BIG ON TIK TOK BUT CAN THEY CUT IT ON STAGE?

LONDON. They have millions of followers for their TikTok sketches. 

But how will four hugely successful creators fare in a live stand-up show at Britain’s biggest comedy festival, the Edinburgh Fringe?

This is “one great big Edinburgh experiment”, says Coco Sarel as an introduction and possibly a caveat in case things go wrong.

Coco Sarel

Sarel (900,000 followers) is one of four TikTok comedians who, she says, want to find out if they’re any good at stand-up.

Steven McKell (3.8 million) 

Larger-than-life and flamboyant, with a flair for physical comedy that’s attracted attention online.

His sashay onto the stage could form a TikTok video on its own, but here it only fills five seconds out of his 15-minute slot.

After a high-kick and a questionable claim to be a “one-man entertainment machine – like Beyonce if she was from Fife”, the rest of his set focuses on his family life.

As he tells it, they were poor, they fought, they put one of his eight siblings in a tumble dryer and dangled another out of the bedroom window – but they looked out for each other.

When the police broke down the front door in a raid one day, his diminutive but fearsome Scottish mother headbutted one of the officers, he says, “right in the shins”.

He has learned the stand-up trick of starting with a grain of truth and embellishing for comic effect.

He’s a big personality, and manages to hold the crowd by doing more than just goofing around.

Ayame Ponder (2.7 million) 

Seems to have built her huge following largely by commentating on videos of things like bottles being rolled down stone steps and watching them smash. Yes, that’s a thing on TikTok.

She starts her set with tongue-in-cheek brags about being “a TikTok star” and “incredibly famous”, before moving on to everyday topics like dating and the nicknames she’s given boyfriends based on their, er, physical attributes.

Ayame ponder

She’s as likeable and engaging on stage as she is online, and gets the audience on side without setting them alight.

Still, she tells them as she exits: “I’ve been amazing, you’ve been so-so.”

Henry Rowley (1.2 million) 

He made his name with videos parodying pompous posh people.

On stage, his history teacher and his dad both sound uncannily like Richard E Grant, and when he says he wants to branch out it turns out that means parodying posh people at music festivals.

Henry Rowley

He puts his whole body into fully acting out his ridiculous characters, and earns extra laughs by being more blunt and risque than his co-stars.

Of the four, he has the most fully-formed act, is the most convincing storyteller, and seems to have the self-possession required for stand-up.

So did the experiment work?

There were mixed results but overall, yes, these TikTok comedians can cut it on stage.

They aren’t the only online creators in Edinburgh – Serena Terry aka Mammy Banter (2.2 million) and Abi Clarke (906,000) are among the biggest TikTok names to have brought their own shows. BBC.

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