7,000 tune in to Stand

Mar 22 2020 | By More

First Saturday Night Live from The Stand a hit

Almost 7,000 people tuned in live to watch the Edinburgh Stand comedy club’s first ever Saturday Night Live streaming event on Youtube.

At its highest point, the audience reached 6,686, while the audience for the recorded hour long programme had added at least 20,000 extra viewers by midnight.

Mark Nelson. Screen-grab from live stream.

The Edinburgh club has announced it will now repeat the event this coming Saturday, 28 March, at 8.30pm.

This week’s show saw compere Mark Nelson introduce Jo Caulfield, Gareth Waugh – who replaced Irish comic Ryan Cullen at short notice – Vladimir McTavish and Phill Jupitus.

After the event, The Stand tweeted: “We are so proud to have so many amazing followers and fans who feel like family to us.”

Although the show was free to view, the online audience was invited to donate to the Stand which is, and always has been, a Living Wage Employer. Nor has it ditched any of its staff in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The club, which started in the basement of Christies in the West Port in 1995, has become integral to the national comedy scene.

As compere Mark Nelson pointed out in an appeal to donate: “We need laughter at this time. There is literally no comedian that you watch on your TV or who you buy tickets for, that has not come through this club.”

Phill Jupitus. Screen-grab from live stream

The evening had a slight glitch, with the sound and vision disconcertingly not quite synched. While the reality of performing to a nearly empty room provided a challenge for the comedians.

However Nelson proved a smooth operator, adding a strong sense of his own comic ability while working with the online hecklers and making the sure the stars had plenty of room to shine.

Jo Caulfield had cadged jokes off fellow comedians on the COVID-19 crisis, which she attempted to deliver in the joke-writer’s own accent. Which, as she admitted her accent ability is limited, was not always a success. But her physicality shone through.

prepared topics

Gareth Waugh took most capital from the idea of his dog having an instagram account and the likely hood of ghosts being deterred by a 15 tog duvet. A sequence which became increasingly risque as he wandered away from his own prepared topics was most successful, simply for the delight in watching him summon comedy out of the ether.

Indeed, much of success of the event was the knowledge that this was material which was so new it had not even been heard in public before. No topic was off limits, and laughing in the face of COVID-19 was the order of the evening.

Phill Jupitus was so on the button that he opened his set with a Haiku for Kenny Rodgers, whose death had been announced that morning. And continued with a series of poems in a style reminiscent of John Cooper Clerk, which confounded some of the online hecklers who were not always approving in their comments on the live chat feature.

Donate to the Stand here: https://www.thestand.co.uk/donate/

Saturday Night at the Stand will next be live-streamed on Saturday 28 March 2020: https://www.thestand.co.uk/saturday-night-live-at-the-stand/


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