Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Advice For Virgins

The Edinburgh Festival starts next week and I'll be writing a weekly blog for Chortle (the best comedy website: - check it out). My first post is advice for people taking shows to the Festival for the first time...


Always a pain in the arse (wish I’d thought of that as a title). Round about January you have to come up with a title for a show you won’t actually get round to thinking about or writing until June. Pick your title wisely. Or do what I do and don’t pick it wisely.

Some Of My Rejected Show Titles:

1) “Crossing The Red Sea With Jo Caulfield” (I’d been listening to the Adverts first album)

2) “The Great British Mistake” (I was still listening to the Adverts first album)

3) “Jo Caulfield’s Bad Hair Day” (Self explanatory)

4) “The Future Used To Be Better Than This” (maybe next year)

5) “The Adverts Live” (Different album, the deadline was getting nearer and I was running out of ideas)


Before my first Edinburgh I was given a bit of advice that you should never do more than 5 or 6 previews. I can’t remember who told me, it was either Adam Bloom or Andy Parsons (*) but the reasoning was you’ve got to keep the material fresh and exciting for yourself. The last thing you want to do is arrive in Edinburgh with an hour of material you’re fed up performing.

(*) Or maybe it was Jeff Green. It was either him or I read it somewhere. No, now I come to think about it I’m pretty sure it was Adam Bloom. Or Andy Parsons. Or Jeff Green. Or I read it somewhere.


1) Remember why you’re going to the Fringe. Don’t get wrapped up in the politics, don’t get wrapped up in the bullshit. Enjoy your show every night.

2) Don’t read the papers every day. There’s no point. Thierry Henry is NOT coming back to Arsenal. (This is for Ian Stone)

3) Enjoy Edinburgh itself. It’s one of Scotland’s most beautiful, picturesque, historic cities. Great bars, great restaurants (cheaper than London). Take a walk down to Leith. Take a bus out to Portobello. Take advantage of the fact that you’re going to spend a whole month in such a beautiful city.


1) You’re going to get wet. It doesn’t matter how many raincoats and umbrellas you pack, you’re going to get wet. Accept it and move on.

2) You’re going to get drunk. There’s no point in promising yourself you’re not going to touch a drop this year, you’ll still end up sitting in a bar with a comedian you’ve never liked, bitching about a comedian you’ve always liked who’s just got a 5 star review. Accept it and move on.

3) All your new material about the new anti-smoking laws are a year-out-of-date in Scotland. Accept it, drop it and move on.


2001. Coming off the train at Waverley Station and seeing a man in full Highland gear, the tartan kilt, the sporran, the bagpipes … my real first American Tourist.

2002. Seeing my posters displayed around the city… then seeing a drunk man urinating in my face at closing time.

2003. Sharing a three bedroom flat with a mime artist and a fire eater… it was very quiet but very hot.

2004. I was introduced to a top PR agent who said he’d really like to work with me in the future… which should have been flattering but this w*****r didn’t remember I’d paid him a small fortune to be MY PR agent the previous year.

2005. I met a Scotsman who claimed he’d NEVER seen the Loch Ness monster. I didn’t believe him. I think he was lying.

2006. My most successful Edinburgh. I didn’t go. (I was busy recording my radio series)

2007. CC Blooms won’t be the same this year as neither Topping & Butch nor Will Smith are at the Fringe.


Edinburgh is the official capital.

Inverness is "the capital of the Highlands".

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland.

Aberdeen is the Granite City.

Dundee is the city of discovery.

Paisley is the largest town in Scotland.

Dingwall was the Viking capital of Scotland.

Arbroath was the ancient capital of Scotland.

If you ask a Scotsman, “Is anything worn under the kilt?” he will always reply, “No, its all in perfect working order” and everyone will laugh because it’s a matter of pride that a real Scotsman wears nothing under his kilt.

However, if you ask a Scotswoman, “Are you wearing anything under your SKIRT?” and if she says, “No” then it’s a whole different story. She is a slut and a witch and should be burnt at the stake.

That’s really all there is to know about the Edinburgh Festival, and Scotland in general.

Until next time…

Love Jo x

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