He's done it!

Watson cracks 24-hour show

Mark Watson has completed his record-breaking 2,005-minute stand-up show.

After 33 hours and 25 minutes on stage at the Pleasance Dome, the comic ended his show to a rousing standing ovation at midnight.

Almost 20 audience members stayed with him for the entire duration, with others coming and going. Many comics also paid a visit included Dara O’Briain, Arthur Smith, Daniel Kitson (who acted as Watson's sidekick for several hours), Ed Byrne and Lucy Porter.

Another of them,  Brendon Burns, said of the achievement; ‘In terms of our art form, it’s the  greatest  thing anyone has ever  done.’

And at the end of his stint, a croaky-voiced  Watson said: ‘I said this last year – but its even more true now. This is the best thing I have ever done.’

Among the highlights of the epic show were:

  • Andy Zaltzman winning a Trivial Pursuit competition, for which Burns forfeited  his trousers, which were burnt and the ashes  confined to an urn for future contests.
  • Andrew Maxwell donning a policeman’s helmet to deal  with a  troublesome Roddy Fraser, a newish London comedian, by repeatedly yelling at him
  • Watson performing two gigs simultaneously, this one and his normal hour-long show, to two audiences in adjacent rooms
  • Sending awkward punters to Marc Blake’s to try to ruin it.

Each of the 2,005 minutes represented a year in history since the birth of Christ, with kings coming and going, minstrels and artists recording key events, and the audience celebrating years that appeared the same upside-down, such as 1881, by standing on their heads.

Watson was helped in his endeavour, some of which was webcast on Chortle last night, by his girlfriend Emily and fellow comics Tim Key and Alex Horne, providing computer graphics.


Published: 17 Aug 2005

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