Christmas Whistle/Thermometer/Compass

As the winter hush of Christmas descends upon the land and children everywhere are misled about how toys are actually made, we crammed in one last 2012 outing for that other rotund jolly fellow: The Fat Controller!

With many Clapham residents returning to their family homes for Christmas the streets of SW4 were chill and deserted. But the inside of the Railway burned with the warmth of a thousand candles (that doesn’t sound a lot at first, but when you think about it probably is pretty warm, especially in a building).

So for our elite Clapham Comedy audience The Fat Controller produced six delightful acts from wherever he keeps them (Clunky metaphor, change this bit)

First up, was the double-super Geoff Marsh (his stagename, his actual name is Hilario SexPanther). Looking a bit like Guile from Street Fighter II he wrung LOL after LOL from the crowd as if they were a flannel and he a brutally efficient mother, making sure the flannel was dry enough to hang on the little rail in the bath. A gentleman and an artist with sublime gags, the cross-section of Clapham we welcomed that night were charmed.

Next up was Farrell MacKenzie, a favourite at the Fat Controller. While he shared his misgivings about his new haircut with the audience there can’ve been no doubt about his act. Different and just as brilliant each time we see it, I could write for a fair while about great bits of his he didn’t do (lying to a child about the word “deciduous” and password-strength). But Clapham lapped up his new stuff on months of the year and fertility like alcoholic cats would Baileys.

Following Farrell was the freshly-shaven Adam Greene. Another Fat Controller favourite, he brought the room together like a more successful Kofi Annan. Unique on the circuit for his Imperial War Museum material, in 2013 he has pledged to have at least two minutes about each of London’s major museums. He also brought the microphone stand, a first for the Fat Controller in Clapham. Thanks Adam.

The night was Gabriel Ebulue’s last gig of 2012 and the SW4 audience were treated to his seemingly-effortless effective laidback delivery and unique mind. A certain snail’s loss was comedy’s gain and we look forward to having him back in the New Year.

As we do Jack Grant, who brought a heart-stopping and hilarious Dickensian social realism to the penultimate spot, taking as his topic the job market and trying to impress girls. He manfully surmounted a moment where he produced the wrong piece of paper from his pocket but put it back and took the right bit of paper out of another pocket. He also ate a sweet he found on the floor. We are delighted to inform you he was accepted for the post of “Ha ha ha!” by an appreciative crowd.

Closing the night was Nick Elleray, who opted to go microphoneless and project. The Fat Controller has to admit there was a bit of hiss from the amp but we’ll sort that for next year.

Regulars may have seen Nick before but his set was nearly all new and classy stuff, with a garnish of the classics at the end. He brought an ease and assurance to the closing spot that was almost regal while never being imperious or exclusive. As ever, we were super-pleased to have him involved.

Special prize this week was a three-in-one whistle, combining a whistle, thermometer and compass.

It only remains to thank the delightful staff of the Railway, without whom the pub would be literally unstaffed and Clapham far the poorer. Thanks guys!

We’re back in the New Year! Starting on January 13th, come, bring your families, your friends, people you’ve just met in Clapham! Have a great everything in-between, love you.

The Fat Controller



This week Brenda Gilhooly won a well-deserved prize at the British Comedy Awards for her work as a writer on the critically-acclaimed primetime hit Harry Hill’s TV Burp.

But it can of been as nothing next to the honour of opening the last Fat Controller’s Comedy Night of 2012 in Clapham last Sunday.

Brenda gamely opened for our crowd of discerning live comedy afficianados and did not disappoint. From one-night stands to which gender commits suicide better, her set had it all.

Following her, the magisterial Andy Zapp took our audience to the furthest reaches of human experience with some bravura drugs stories and gags as trusty and true as a sword passed from generation to generation of a noble house.

Swinging things back the xx-chromosome way, Carmen Ali taught us all what the word hydrophobic meant outside of the rabies context. In a winning 10-minute spot Carmen also taught the crowd what erotic cannibalism meant. And in SEO terms anyone now searching “Erotic cannibalism” and “Clapham” now has a legitimate reason.

At each appearance at the Fat Controller James Shakeshaft combines the value of a British holiday with the fun and glamour of a more exciting holiday whilst transcending the contradictions that implies. Presenting hand-crafted remixes of his classic bits his material is more than just technically very strong.

After the break up-and-coming Peter Kelly enthralled with a set built largely around leg amputations. A furrow largely unplowed by his fellow comics, he nonetheless infused the tales with warmth, bathos and lashings of ha-ha-ha.

People have talked about tattoos before at the Fat Controller but none with the winning bonhomie of Murray Porter. The imaginative Scot wowed Clapham’s comedy discriminati kids with his speedboat comic mind.

Ending the evening in superb style was Twayna Mayne. The Moroccan government may have survived the Arab Spring but will surely not endure the forensic character assassination she sets out in her letter to the tourist board, after what sounds like a horrific holiday in the Maghreb. But like the alchemists of yore she transmuted the grim metals of an awful-sounding holiday into pure comic gold. The audience were only one drink offf a standing ovation and we will be bringing her back just as soon as we can.

Clapham’s premier comedy night, Fat Controller’s at The Railway, returns -hungrier, madder, leaner, laugha-haha-ier, in the New Year!

As will you gentle reader, as will you, for it is written…