The Last Laugh's reputation continues to build

Looking back over the leaflets from my time running and compèring the Last Laugh is bringing back lots of things I thought I'd forgotten - the regular punters, for example. When the Last Laugh first started, there were two middle aged blokes who came every week and heckled the acts (or more often than not me) in a way which I imagine they thought was good humoured. They were like Sheffield's answer to Waldorf and Statler off the Muppets. Eventually, the got bored and stopped coming.

Later, there were also a couple of really keen comedy fans, a tubby bald one who looked older than he was and a skinny beaky-nosed one who looked about 14. They were really nice, and came to every show.


Then there was Adrian Roney, a Jewish guy who ran a pork butcher's up the road from the Lescar. I once asked him whether he thought there was any contradiction between his religion and his profession, and he said, 'No - I sell it, but don't eat it.' His speciality was entering the caption competition with something like, 'Roney's the excellent Pork Butcher's on Sharrowvale Road currently has a special offer on sausages.' I think he won the competition with that tactic at least once.


By autumn 1994, the Last Laugh was starting to build a reputation, and we had one of the local TV news programmes come in and film a report on our opening show, largely spurred by the fact that Scott Capurro had recently appeared in Mrs Doubtfire. Having said that, one of my favourite acts of this season was Anvil Springstien, who was another one of the distinctive home-grown northern acts which tended to be big audience favourites. A Scouser living in the north east, he was a likeable motormouth with a penchant for gags based on his gritty left wing politics.


Thursday 6 October: Alan Francis & Scott Capurro

Thursday 13 October: Rainer Hersch & Andy Parsons

Thursday 20 October: Martin Davis & Noel James

Thursday 27 October: Mandy Knight & Kevin McCarthy

Thursday 3 November: Kevin Hayes & Steve Murray

Thursday 10 November: Anthony King & Anvil Springstien

Thursday 17 November: Dave Gorman & Tony Burgess

Thursday 24 November: Brendan Riley & Kevin Seisay 

Thursday 1 December: Milton Jones & Steve Gribbin  

Thursday 8 December: Ian Stone & Dominic Holland  

Thursday 15 December: Linda Smith & Rory Motion