Edinburgh Fringe Review: Found Footage Festival, Underbelly

America's Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are the Wombles of comedy. The friends since childhood have made a cult career out of putting together hilarious laugh-your-organs-out shows from things that everyday folk leave behind. Or to be more specific they hunt down old VHS tapes, find the most ridiculous bits on them, and play them to audiences. 

Their latest late night extravaganza pulls together a range of clips that will have you chuckling so hard you may require medical attention. Much of the humour comes from bad production values, bad hair and bad performances, but Pickett and Prueher’s skill is weaving these naff howlers together with a witty commentary to make a proper, complete show. 

Of course it is easy to get a giggle out of lycra leotards and you can probably find equally amusing clips of nerdy men waving weapons about on your laptop at home. But not only have your amiable hosts here done the legwork for you, there is also something extra funny about being with other people while you are watching film of a man in tuxedo singing about zodiac signs while they are acted out behind him onscreen by an interpretative dancer. 

A particular highlight is a selection of unintentionally knockabout safety-at-work shorts, where the accidents get increasing gory. Feet are driven over, hands go into machinery and if there’s a tall ladder you can be pretty sure someone is going to fall off it. Elsewhere we are introduced to a guide to cybersex narrowband style, which means the line goes down whenever a phone call is received. Now that's what I call coitus interruptus.

Pickett and Prueher do not merely press play and then sit back though. They  are good-humoured frontmen with a keen sense of the absurd and are prepared to get stuck in, showing clips of their own guest appearance on inane community TV dance show Chic-A-Go-Go that is still running despite being frankly bloody awful.

Found Footage Festival conjures up an era when the ability to film and broadcast things was starting to grow rapidly. There are plenty of people making rubbish now on their smartphones, but somehow it won’t ever have the unintentional comic charm of Petpourri, which looks like the world’s worst pet advice programme. Footage Festival is the ultimate underground show – it really deserves to go overground.

Found Footage Festival is at Underbelly until August 27. Tickets here.


Hello! Thanks for reading all the way down. I wish I could give you a prize. But BTJ needs your support to continue - if you would like to help to keep the site going, please consider donating.

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.