Schaffer scoops best stunt award
By Angie Brown
August 28, 2009
Comedian Lewis Schaffer has won an award for the best publicity stunt at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The comic scooped the Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award for persuading The List magazine he was sponsoring the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for £99.
He told the Glasgow publication the awards would now be called ‘The Lewies’ in his honour and his mother would be on the judging panel.
Otto Kuhnle won the Malcolm Hardee Award for best comic originality.
The award, which is awarded to a performer within a show, went to Kuhnle for his part in Abracadabra – German Humour Goes Global, which also stars Henning Wehn.
Schaffer beat off stiff competition from comedian Shed Simove, who was noticed for his “poo publicity” after he printed details of his show, Ideas Man, on every sheet of 1,000 toilet rolls, and Warren & Hanbury who climbed Arthur’s Seat naked to publicise their show, All To Bare at the Gilded Balloon.
John Fleming, co-producer of the Malcolm Hardee Awards, said: “We chose Lewis Schaffer for his extraordinary publicity in which he pretended he was the Edinburgh Comedy Awards new sponsor.
“It worked on many levels and he managed to work it into the script of his show this year.
“What impressed me was when he was forced to issue a retraction for the false press release he managed to include full details of his own show twice, which is the zenith of publicity stunts.
“So by apologising he managed to increase his publicity as well.”
Kate Copstick, Malcolm Hardee Award co-producer, said: “Otto won because he is a comic genius who due to the particular nature of his genius runs the risk of otherwise going unrewarded.
“Lederhosen, a leaf blower and Siemens’ vacuum cleaner attachment are not a direct route to an Edinburgh comedy award but Malcolm’s award celebrates the originality and idiosyncrasy in comedy.”
The awards are named after the late Malcolm Hardee, an English comedian and comedy club proprietor, who was known for his outrageous publicity stunts.