Frank Chickens are our god

Comedy fans subvert corporate poll

An obscure Anglo-Japanese avant-garde musical group is on course to be named the best comedy show to have come out Edinburgh in the past 30 years – thanks to voters protesting about corporate trivialisation of the Fringe.

The Frank Chickens are leading the poll, run by the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award in an attempt to impose the beer brand on to the accolades previously known as the Perriers. The public are invited to choose their favourite act from all the previous nominees to be crowned ‘comedy god’.

The idea would also provide some cheap publicity for the new sponsors and promote the idea of continuity with earlier years.

But in an angry email to organisers earlier this week, well-respected comic Stewart Lee raged at the idea, calling it ‘the most shameful, inane thing I have seen in all the years I have been doing the Fringe’.

He cited 1994 nominees the Frank Chickens as an example of how pointless the exercise was, claiming that few under 30 would have heard of them so how could they be judged against comedy stars still in the limelight?

However, comedy fans have taken his comment as a rallying cry to vote for the now obscure band, who specialised in singing about Japanese social conditions and the experience of Japanese people in England, and now they are No 1 in the Foster’s poll, ahead of Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard and Ross Noble.

Among the supporters of the campaign are Lee’s former comedy partner Richard Herring, who tweeted to his 30,000 followers earlier in the day: ‘The Frank Chickens now at number 2 in the chart. Push them to the top.’

Click here to vote.

Published: 22 Jul 2010

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