Show Me The Funny: The finalists
With the live final happening tonight, we look at the three remaining comics. Who will win?
The odds on favourite to walk away with the prize, Pat is a circuit legend. A performer with ten years' experience under his belt, and known for some of the best audience work on the circuit. Few can match his likable banter, and his ability to win over a room is unparalleled.
But Pat has faced criticism in this competition for relying too much on crowd banter at the expense of performing actual material, and while his audience interaction can blow the roof off small or medium-sized rooms, it's hard to tell how it will scale to a gig the size of the Hammersmith Apollo.
If nothing else, having done eight solo Edinburgh shows over the past decade, he certainly has enough material to fill the DVD that forms part of the prize.
Pat's also renowned on the circuit for his tendency to over-run his alloted time, which coupled with the live nature of the final could prove quite interesting/disasterous.
Tiffany has only been performing for half as long as Pat, and is currently performing her third solo Edinburgh show. She's been criticised in the competition for not putting enough of herself in to her comedy, but this writer thinks that's a load of old bollocks. There are plenty of stand-ups on the circuit that talk about nothing but themselves and it gets tiring. We're hoping she sticks to what she knows and does wonderfully, because with the live final being based on a phone-in vote, it's no longer necessary to pander to the judges' limited notions of what represents 'good comedy'.
Dan has the most unique comedy voice of the finalists, with a wonderfully slow, controlled delivery and a surreal attitude towards the world. Although he's been performing stand-up since 2003, he's very much the outsider in this competition, having never really broken out of the club circuit or performed a solo show.
How Dan does in the final will likely depend on what the remaining audience of the show are looking for; if they're willing to go for something a little bit different then he may well run away with it.
Here at The Digital Fix we think Pat will probably win it, but we'd love it if Dan did. All three are fantastic comics that are well deserving of the prize though. Don't let the show fool you. These are not acts that just started doing stand-up and are taking a short-cut to fame. This is not the X-Factor. While the show may have mocked them in places, or given the impression that some of the comics aren't very good, they're all professional or semi-professional acts, most with years of experience, with their craft honed on the open mic circuit over hundreds of gigs.
Finally, tonight we'll get to see them do some of that material they've been working on for years and see just how funny they really are. For once, the show should live up to its name. We'll be hosting a live chat for the duration of the show.