This is Nish Kumar’s tenth consecutive Fringe. A significant moment for the man commonly referred to by his peers as the ‘veteran underdog’ or ‘that guy who owes me money’. To mark the milestone we asked him to take us on a walk down memory lane...
2006 was my first year at the Fringe, and what a year it was. It was the first time that I realised that Fringe was not just a town on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I turned up at Waverley station shouting, “Where is Fringe?” much to the amusement and subsequent fury of the local Scottish people.
2007 was the year that my comedic colleague and prominent diabetic Ed Gamble dared me to eat nothing but haggis, for three meals a day.
By day three I had given up. The delicious but toxic delicacy caused me to bloat dangerously and spontaneously scream verses of the poetry of Robert Burns.
Whilst undeniably impressive, these recitations proved an unwelcome distraction in our humour show.
2008 I don’t really remember much about this year
2009 I twisted my ankle badly in an attempt to recreate Ewan McGregor’s ‘running’ scene from the film Trainspotting. A word of warning, running is a lot harder than they make it look in the pictures.
2010 Tom Neenan and I did sketch show which was slated by a furious group of tech-savvy pensioners.
They thought they had tickets to see Giles Brandreth’s juggling show, but due to a clerical error, they were watching us.
Several of them took to the Internet and the hashtag #Nishsucks was trending within the hour.
Neenan convinced me to not reply to each of their comments with the riposte: “Hey what is this? The Last of the Summer WHINE?”
That zinger would have made things worse, but it was undeniably hilarious.
2011 This was the year of the ‘ham incident’. I can’t really say anymore, due to the statute of limitations, but what I will tell you is fire blankets are no good if they are covered in petrol.
2012 This year, was otherwise notable for being the year I officially became Best Friends with the comedian and amateur wrestler James Acaster, a fact which he continues to deny to this day, which is just one of his funny little jokes. Classic Acaster.
2013 I did some acting in a play this year. It was great, although the rest of the cast were not supportive of my occasional tendency to improvise my lines, or sneak a quick power nap in scenes when I wasn’t saying much.
2014 I always said this would be my last year at the Fringe. It was time for a break I thought, and yet here I am again.
Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in, like Al Pacino in the Godfather or Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor sequels.
Nish Kumar: Long Word Long Word Blah Blah Blah I’m So Clever, Pleasance Courtyard, until 30 August, 7.15pm, £10-£12, 0131-226 0000