Fringe Benefits

Through the magic that is social networking I learned last weekend that my name was dropped in a Winnipeg Fringe Festival show called Shakey Must Die by a theatre group called Burning Meatloaf.  Sadly, the festival ended last week so I won’t have the chance see Shakey.  I’m told it was used in good fun, with respect…. blah, blah, blah.  No matter, I’m flattered.

It’s not the first time my name has appeared in a fringe festival show, however.  Back in 2001 a show called Rich Hall and Dave Fulton Present The Terry Dullum Appeal ran for a couple of weeks at the huge Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.  I am not making this up.

The show was created by and starred comedian Rich Hall.  The same Rich Hall who was once part of the cast of Saturday Night Live.  The same Rich Hall who created Snigglets (words that aren’t words but seem like they should be.)

Before he made the move to live and work mainly in England, Rich would appear often at a (now defunct) comedy club in Grand Forks.  He’d also visit us on News @5 to promote his appearances.  It was great fun having him on with us.

Back to the summer of 2001 and The Terry Dullum Appeal.  The show was a mock benefit for a little boy who supposedly lived in the Midwest by the name of Terry Dullum.  Terry may or may not have had Tourette’s Syndrome.  In any event, he was said to swear a lot.  Inexplicably, a life-size cutout of Terry Dullum with what appeared to be lobster-like claws greeted show-goers in the venue’s lobby.

Terry Dullum did not appear in The Terry Dullum Appeal.  But his “father” did, along with his favorite professional wrestler, asking the audience to give generously to support little Terry.

All of this according to online reviews of the show.  There were a lot of them and most were pretty good!  A few of those reviews are still floating around out there online somewhere.

I heard there was talk of taking the show elsewhere when the Edinburgh run ended.  This was in August of 2011.  And then, along came 9/11 and there were real “appeals” going on.  Perhaps a mock one wouldn’t have been in the best of taste just then.

Why Mr. Hall chose to use my name in the title of a comedy show created for a European entertainment festival, I may never know.  But, it has got to rank right up there as one of the strangest, most surreal things ever to happen to me.  Thinking about it now, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Rich Hall.

It’s all very flattering.  I think.