We have seen bumper crowds at The Stand and The Monkey Barrel, and this year’s Fringe was virtually a total sell-out.
But we have been plunged into mourning over the past few days, with the death of one of the founder members of the city’s stand-up community.
Gavin Stott, better known to audiences as Reg Anderson, who had been plying his unique trade in the Capital since the mid-nineties passed away on Tuesday morning, only two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
There was no-one quite like Reg on the circuit. His act defied description. It was an intoxicating melange of silly one-liners and hilarious prop-based visual gags, all delivered with boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, accompanied by his idiosyncratic Bontempi organ.
He was a total one-off. No other comedian would dare to recreate the final scene of the “The Exorcist” using a Barbie doll.and a green chiffon scarf, re-voicing Linda Blair’s lines in his inimitable Sunderland accent.
As well as being a jobbing comic, Reg ran a number of nights in various pub rooms throughout the city, including Noble’s in Leith, Acanthus above Waverley Station and The Granary on The Shore.
Even when the audience weren’t going along with him, he always acquitted himself with aplomb. The great thing about working with Reg was that there was guaranteed to be a story to tell afterwards. He was, to put it simply, one of those people who attracted incidents.
Famously, after a show at The Granary, the pub was fire-bombed. I once gigged with him in a club in Glasgow when a group of off-duty policemen on a stag night were so abusively disruptive that the venue manager had to phone the police to eject them, leading to the surreal situation where cops on duty were ejecting their off-duty colleagues, while Reg carried on with his act.
Thanks for all those memories, Reg. We will miss your zany wit and your wacky presence. We will miss your charm and your warmth. The Edinburgh comedy scene was lit up by your presence.
It has become a little gloomier this week, now you are no longer with us. You will never be forgotten.