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Doktor Cocacolamcdonalds

WINNER: THE MALCOLM HARDEE AWARD  www.malcolmhardee.co.uk/award - presented at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A true original. Difficult to categorise but could be Frank Zappa's and Frank Sidebottom's love child!

Was discovered playing a small room at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival, and before long the likes of Steve Coogan, Stewart Lee and Jason Byrne were flocking to pay homage.

The doctor uses elements of guitar and an array of Casio keyboards to perform his hilariously bizarre songs.  Appearances at The Comedy Store's infamous ‘Full Mooners' night, Robin Ince's ‘Book Club' and the Malcolm Hardee tribute night at The Hackney Empire followed as soon as word of mouth got round.

He is now picking up a cult following in the UK and Ireland where he has appeared on a host of comedy and kids shows there, and after his extraordinary 2007 Edinburgh Festival show was asked to appear in every episode of BBC3's Comedy Shuffle, and also invited to perform a run at London's Soho Theatre and invited over to perform at the prestigious Boston Arts Festival in the US and clubs in New York as well as appearing on Last Comic Standing for NBC America . He has also become a regular at the round of summer festivals including the Leeds Festival.  

A very strange star has been born!

 

CHORTLE, 4 STAR REVIEW:

Doktor CocaColaMcDonalds is simply wonderful, with a level of full-throttle anarchic brilliance to which most acts can only distantly aspire. The ghost of tragically forgotten Frank Zappa 'find' Wild Man Fischer is alive and well in this act, which truly captures the spirit of the Fringe.

The good Doktor, a combination of Beck, Syd Barrett, and a serious acid casualty at an early Glastonbury Festival, appeared white-faced and naked throughout, except for green swimming trunks bearing a red floral pattern, a pair of black socks in different shades and one or two ties around his neck.

He was accompanied by various musical instruments including a Casio keyboard, a Yamaha keyboard and a Nintendo GameBoy.

He is a basically good musical act who has written 17 songs about Gene Hackman alone, including Gene Hackman Is Better Than PacMan. But his talents are not tied to the French Connection star alone, and others include: Which Film Do You Adore? - Rocky One, Rocky Two, Rocky Three, Rocky Four?, Don't Fuck With The BBC, Cos They Own Radio and TV and Feed Celebrities To The Third World, a song so good I would buy it.

The unexpected treat with these songs is that they are not just one-gag titles but are full songs and musically strong at that.

This is not so much comedy as a fully-fledged one-man event which escaped through a wormhole from 1967. Doktor CocaColaMcDonalds is not just in his own class, but on his own planet and it was a privilege to visit it for an hour.

John Fleming

 

THE SCOTSMAN, 4 STAR REVIEW: (Edinburgh Festival 2008)

AS Doctor Cocacolamacdonalds watches yet another group of people walk out of his show, he emits a weary sigh.

"Apparently I polarise people," he says.

Around a third of the audience for the show in the tiny Pleasance Hut decide they cannot bear

the presence of the Doktor for a moment longer and scarper through the side exit.

The first time it happens one of the bolters turns to the stage and apologises. "It was the underpants," she says, pointing to the slightly threadbare psychedelic nylon underpants that are most of Doktor Cocacolamacdonalds' stage outfit. "What nice people," he says regretfully, as the door closes behind the retreating audience members.

I find him hilarious, but I would never recommend him without a reservation, and as usual the audience for tonight's performance illustrates the point.

A third walk-out, another third shake their heads in disbelief and the rest are laughing like idiots.

It helps if you have seen him before. The psychedelic underpants and glam rock make-up are less disturbing the second time around. And you begin to get used to the on-stage panic attacks when the Doktor loses an amplifier lead or runs out of batteries.

Tonight's show includes the classic songs "Don't Join the Army Unless You Want To Kill People" and "Don't Generalise" as well as some new songs and a completely bonkers new character, The Month of January.

How can I give him any less than four stars? I'm a fan. Last year I went to see him three times. But don't blame me if you don't like him.

By Claire Smith

 

THE NATIONAL STUDENT, 4 STAR REVIEW (Edinburgh Festival 2008):

The Doktor is back with more shambolic shenanigans and some of his old favourites. If you're not familiar with this clown faced weirdo then brace yourself and prepare for something unlike anything you've ever witnessed. If you saw him appearing weekly on BBC's ‘Comedy Shuffle' and feel a little apprehension, let me tell you in no uncertain terms, two minute snippets don't do the man justice. The dosage was insufficient. You need to fully immerse yourself in his world in order to truly benefit from his manic medicine and appreciate where he's at.

Its wrong, it doesn't work and its awful - therein lies its brilliance. With painted face, colourful pants and little else, Doktor Cocacolamcdonalds reels about the room knocking his equipment onto the floor and tripping over cables. It's an absolute mess quite frankly... and I love it!

Admittedly, Doktor Cocacolamcdonalds is an acquired taste. Like lime milkshake, it shouldn't work but it does. He may well have you putting your face in your hands from time to time; overcome by the cringe factor that is inescapable, but its absolutely hilarious.

I'll openly admit that I'm a bit of a follower of his work, when I first saw him at the Fringe I caught the bug and the chance to see some selected moments from his greatest hits was an absolute joy. His new material continues in the vein to which we're accustomed, and Ray - Man of Words makes a welcome return with his latest poetic compositions.

If you want to be safe and lazy then go see a tried and tested big name act or household name off the telly, and good luck to you... But if you want to fully take advantage of all the wonder and lunacy of comedy at the Fringe and in so doing discover a startling experience that'll shape your night, then go see Doktor Cocacolamcdonalds.

Maybe have a few bevies beforehand... oh and bring your friends.

by Ian Phillips