"Am I really on stage doing this?"

Toby was too ill to compere on Tuesday so we were treated once more to the comedy genius of Justin Moorhouse. Justin was his usual superb self, having some top banter with the audience, but it was at the end of the night where he really excelled. More later...

Chris Brooker First onto the Malarkey beer crate was Chris Brooker. Chris is a regular on the Chortle message boards, so it was nice to finally put a face to the name.

Chris did a ten minute set containing some keen observations, especially where parents are concerned. Also there was material about the hell of living with a lesbian housemate - the hell being she pulled more girls that he did! Poor Chris.

The highlight of Chris' set was the bit about DVD porn - and the fact that you can play it backwards with absolute clarity so you can see "some young stud hoovering his seed off the upturned face of a young lady". Brilliant!

Chris started fairly strongly and got better as the audience warmed to him. It's always difficult being the first act on when people haven't had chance to have a few beers but Chris did well on his debut I think.

Owen Rankin Next up was Malarkey favourite Owen Rankin, the badass motherfucker of Manchester. This time Owen had the proper Axel F soundtrack to do his breakdancing to rather than get the audience to do it - obviously moving upmarket. Having seen the routine several times before I thought it was starting to get a bit tiresome but Owen's delivery was more animated and energetic than before, which added to it.

He did have some new stuff, as well as a bit of interaction with the audience, which was a welcome change from the older stuff. The visual stuff was good too, the Andy Cole record and the Simon and Garfunkel 'porn moustache' LP was a classic!

It was probably the best I've seen Owen so far - I particularly liked the hopeless Justin samples some of the vodka jelly available at XS... chat up lines. There was a classic bit where Owen pointed out 'two lads' in the crowd - only for one to turn out to be a woman! It was a genuine mistake, though, as he explained to me later on. Altogether a good set from Owen.

After Owen, Justin took to the stage once more before the break to announce the drinks offers and ended up having several of the vodka jellies - his face was an absolute picture! Let's just say Justin's not a fan... But he ended up mixing three of them together in a glass and swallowing the lot. I think it may have had some influence on his somewhat interesting duet with Chris Lynam later on.

Ira Rainey The penultimate act, Ira Rainey, came all the way from Bristol.

Ira started off with some good traffic police jokes, and tales of his early years as a child. From then on it went from scarecrow porn to karaoke, to protesting against council tax by flopping his nob on the council receptionist's desk.

Ira has a good, confident stage presence with some great gags, especially the sicker ones (maybe that's just my taste). A good, solid 20 minute set.

After the break, up stepped the truly amazing Chris Lynam.

Chris Lynam Now how the fuck do you go about describing Chris to someone who has never seen him? The man is truly off his head! He burst onto the stage, spouting noises and random phrases, lifting fruit off a plank and putting it down again, impressions of snow, bottles of milk, a frog in the throat, pigeon shit, a hailstorm, an eskimo blowing his nose and going for a piss... the list was almost endless.

The smashing of the fruit had the audience ducking for cover, and it wouldn't be the first time through the set they were frankly shit-scared! There were also 'magic' tricks, a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher that he repeatedly let off, poetry (accompanied by the rather excellent 'balloon cigarette'), and a killer bag (and the confiscation of a trainer from a member of the audience, which Phil managed to catch when Chris lobbed it into the audience).

Phil proudly holds aloft his prize...

...while John catches some stray ice with his knackers.

Next it was audience participation time with Debbie the Human Piano, played by Luke the Human Piano - er - Player, which he duly did whilst being soundly beaten by Chris's hat while Chris told a detective story - bizarre!

Chris frightens the shit out of Debbie and co.

And next, the striptease! Chris whipped off his clobber to reveal a red dress and fishnets - mmm, lovely... And even lovelier when he proceeded to put a full bar of chocolate in his mouth and then dribble it all over his chest (whilst blowing out Smarties into the audience).

After that he went off to rapturous applause and came back for the encore of all time - THE FIREWORK UP THE ARSE! Chris then suggested Justin do it - and he agreed! And so both of them ended up, bollocko, with fireworks up their arses! LIT!! Although Justin had a junior firework, what with being a beginner in the art of poohole pyrotechnics. At more than one point Justin had to ask the crowd if he was really was actually doing it.

I promised I wouldn't put the piccies on here (I think Justin thought it was a good idea at the time, but that was after a shit-load of jelly vodkas) so you'll have to use your imagination - suffice to say if you missed it you missed a fucking good night. By the end some of the crowd were even chanting "There's only one Justin Moorhouse!". It was that good.

I will, however, sneak this pic of Justin and Sarah on - I'm sure he won't mind. Aww...

See you next week.