Drink to that

WITH the Edinburgh Festival Fringe just days away we look back at previous Fringe stories in The Diary, including the English comedian who told us that before his Edinburgh show he goes through his material and edits out references to Scotland that might annoy the locals. "For example," he added, "I have a joke which now begins: 'An Englishman, an Irishman and an alcoholic walk into a bar.'"

Sweeping gesture

WHEN Tim Vine won a comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe he declared: "I'm going to celebrate by going to Sooty's barbecue and having a sweepsteak”.

Herr herr

GERMAN comic Christian Schulte-Loh when appearing at the Fringe told us his website is germancomedian.com. He added: "When I made inquiries, the website with that name was still available. Who would have thought?”

And an Australian stand-up said she thought Edinburgh audiences were a bit restrained in their praise. After one Edinburgh show a woman told her: "Thanks for that. My friend really enjoyed it.”

A bit fly

SO do you try to avoid folk handing out flyers at the Festival? An Irish comedian once told us: "My 12-year-old daughter is my secret flyering weapon. I have her wandering around outside my venue looking all sad and she goes up to strangers and says, 'Have you seen my daddy?' and people tell her, 'No, no. Sorry, love.' "and she says, 'Well, you should,' and then she whips out a flyer and gives it to them.”

Just the ticket

AN American comedian told us the difference between Americans and Scots after witnessing a collision between two double-decker buses in Edinburgh's High Street. In America, he said, people would rush over to find out if anyone was hurt. "But in Edinburgh," he added, "the first thing I heard after the impact was a Scot shouting, 'Waaay, ya daft b******!' as though he had just seen the greatest goal in World Cup history.”

Key to success

ONE comedian who shared a flat in Edinburgh during the Fringe with two other comedians returned one night and realised that all three of them had left their keys to the door inside the flat. He told us: "We called an emergency joiner, and 12 hours later he appeared and gently kicked the door, opening it perfectly. His words were priceless: 'I love you fringe performers. £100 please’."

Bag ladies

A FRENCH dance troupe putting on a cabaret show on death went to an Edinburgh funeral parlour to buy body-bags for their act. Tugging at the zips, they asked how strong they were as they would be dancing in them. "Madam," replied the funeral director, "we've never had anyone yet trying to break out of them."

And perhaps the blackest comment of all was from the stand-up at the Gilded Balloon, who, annoyed by someone's mobile ringing, snatched it up and told the caller: "Hi, I don't know whose phone this is – I've just picked it up by a car crash.”

Say that again

DO you read the descriptions of shows in the Fringe brochure? Our favourite was the year when a show's description was: "What you did for this bit last year worked alright, just do that again." We suspect it was an instruction that was not meant to make it all the way into the programme, but still more interesting than some of the other shows in the brochure.

Read more: Herald Diary: HRTee-hee?