"Exceedingly good fakes..."

John Cooper Another excellent night at the Malarkey with one of my favourite headline acts.

First up onto the stage was Geordie boy John Cooper.

John's set started in a vaguely rambling style (which he did actually acknowledge at one point) with tall tales and anecdotes of when he was young, but picked up a few minutes in with advice on how to earn money from medical trials.

Not a bad set really, but there definitely needs to be more punchlines in there and less rambling.

Phil Gooden Next up was a Malarkey debut for Phil Gooden.

Phil was obviously nervous as he's quite new to the old comedy game and consequently fluffed quite a few of his lines (although sometimes this was funnier than the actual punchline). The material definitely needs work, too.

Full marks for getting up and having a go and I'm sure with stage time he'd improve a lot. Should have made the set a bit shorter, really.

Sol Bernstein Next up was Jewish character comic Sol Bernstein - and what a brilliant character it was too. A totally believable 'Noo Yoik'-style old-school Jewish pensioner.

The set consisted of some great one-liners and gags from a comic (called Steve something-or-other, I missed his name) who's been on the circuit for years, which shows because the presentation was very slick, with great timing and great material. He came across as cheeky and charming and the audience loved it, judging by the round of applause he got at the end. Nice one, Sol.

Des Sharples Main support came from one of Manchester's finest, Des Sharples.

Des probably put in his best Malarkey performance yet with some great new material, including barbershop experiences and the Bin Bag Ripper murders. And the bit where he 'forgets' his set gets more convincing every time. I've seen that bit loads of times so I know what's coming next but it must be really convincing to people who haven't seen it before. Excellent.

A great set from someone who is fast becoming a prolific comedy writer.

Alfie Joey Headliner of the night was one of the nicest people on the circuit, Alfie Joey.

Amiable Alfie burst onto the stage accompanied by an Elvis backing track and did a combination of material - a fair bit of new stuff since last time - and imopressions. Normally impressions don't really make me laugh but Alfie has a way of using funny material in combination with them.

Alfie's tall tales, anecdotes and impressions were hilarious from start to finish. One of the best acts we've had at Malarkey's in my opinion. Great stuff.

See you next week.