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Fred MacAulay Hosts Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s First Comedy Night

Photography by Alan Maclean

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home will be holding their first ever comedy night at The Stand Comedy Club on Tuesday 3 December.

Fred MacAulay, a supporter of the Home, has put together a top-notch bill of stand up talent for this very special night featuring some of his favourite comedians, including Janey Godley, Rob Kane, Liam Withnail, Susan Morrison, Wendy Wason, Jeannie Jones, Gareth Mutch, Megan Shandley, Gareth Waugh, Dave Flynn and Richard Melvin.

There’s also a Christmas twist. Not only will each comedian be performing a stand up set they will also be singing a special festive song.

This special event not only promises lots of fun and laughter, but all profits will go towards Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s work to rescue, reunite and rehome stray and unwanted pets in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

We caught up with Fred to find out more.

How did you first get into comedy?

I just thought “you get one shot at this life and if you have an ambition you should chase it.” I was in accountancy and finance simply because I thought an income might be handy. I got married and the kids came along, and I thought “hold on I need to do something.” Fortunately, at that time in the late 80s there was the So You Think Your Funny? competition, which still goes on at the Fringe. The Glasgow arts festival Mayfest copied it, so in 1988 Fred MacAulay was one of the contestants and did five minutes. I didn’t win it, but I knew I couldn’t wait to get back on stage and do it again.

Why did you want to put on a night for Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home?

I’ve got three dogs and one cat. We’ve had pets for the last 25 years, we’re very much a black lab family, currently we’ve got three. I was keen to support the Home, I’ve been down to visit, it ticks a lot of boxes. Without blowing my own trumpet I’ve worked with various other charities for health, refugees, children or young adults but I didn’t do anything for animals.

How did you put the line-up together?

It’s had an incredible response. I just posted on Facebook asking if anybody was interested [in performing] and I had about 15 responses within an hour. Not everyone could make the date in the end, but I think we now have 12 who have all given up their own time for the night. There is a community in comedy and when a call goes out people jump in to help, but I was astonished at the list of people who came forward. Wendy Wason is even coming up from London to join us. She’s was one of the first to say “count me in.”

This isn’t your standard night of stand up is it?

I had heard some comedians down south had got together to do a Christmas songs gig and I knew there wasn’t one in Scotland so I thought it would work perfectly for the Home. I’ll be hosting, everyone will be on for about 10 minutes, so it’ll be pretty busy. Christmas songs tend to be a couple of minutes, then 10 minutes for the standing ovations.

We’ve got 12 comedians, they all have different talents. But very few of us sing. I know Megan Shandley is a lovely singer. And Liam Withnail is a good singer, I don’t know how I know that, I’ve never actually witnessed it myself. Personally, I survived seven nights on Fame Academy for Comic Relief 12 years ago. Though I think that was more to do with the keenness of the Scottish viewers wanting to see me get more uncomfortable as the programme went on. I still get the fear when I think back on that, so it’s about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

Christmas Comedy Night, The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 3 Dec, tickets available now

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