It was going to be a bit of a late one for Birdy, as she made it to the Assembly’s Studio Two in George Square for her second helping of Connor Ratliff and Griffin Newman of the evening!
Let me get started by saying The George Lucas Talk Show has a reputation that precedes it; and therefore, it also has some hardcore fans. Previous guests have included the likes of Seth Meyers, Weird Al, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Hamm, Kevin Smith, Peter Serafinowicz, Ahmed Best, Tony Hale, Aimee Mann and writers of Star Wars.
I’m more of a newcomer to the show, having watched a little on YouTube, but never having seen it live before. Some of those fans were LOUD – and some of them sitting directly behind me.
I also interviewed Connor Ratliff for our sister publication, Geek Native, and that’ll give you a bit more insight into both this show, and The Baron and the Junk Dealer, a standalone play also on right now at the Edinburgh Fringe.
If you’ve watched any talk show before, you’ll have a pretty good idea of the format, and this is not dissimilar. Watto, played by Griffin Newman, takes to the stage first and gets the audience warmed up, soon joined by retired filmmaker George Lucas – played by Connor Ratliff.
Producer Patrick Cotnoir, who books the acts, then takes his seat, carrying Watto’s first cider of the night (there will be more).
It’s only then that tonight’s special guests are introduced, who happen to be comedians Paul Chowdry and Larry Owens! I’m excited.
It’s quite a casual vibe, with the hosts and guests just riffing off each other to an extent. It feels like this conversation could easily be taking place in someone’s sitting room.
There’s definitely a vibe of avoiding mentioning the names of movies – due to the ongoing strikes – and plenty of talk of any such mentions being bleeped out, but it’s all fairly lighthearted and basically along the lines of ‘this is what we’ve got to work with’.
Larry asks for his face to be pixellated in the post-production recording of the show that will go up on YouTube.
The show itself
This was a really fun, engaging show and I felt the two special guests tonight were able to bounce off each other fairly well. Hypercolour George Lucas was as you’d expect George Lucas as a host to be, and Watto is probably my favourite personality of the night.
Larry Owens (who’s never had a negative review) keeps bursting into song, Watto joins him, and one of my highlights was when everyone ended up simultaneously singing different songs – because that’s the kind of chaos that I roll with, baby.
The show is interrupted a couple of times by people trying to go to the toilet the wrong way and ending up backstage, with the audience shouting ‘NOOOOOO’ to try and stop them – one woman fails to get the message and George makes to retrieve her.
We also learn about how George’s baby was kidnapped by Disney, and about The Scotsman’s habit of giving three-star reviews to anything George Lucas/Star Wars-related. Unfortunately the Scotsman wasn’t in the audience, but this Scots woman was!
I felt a bit sorry for Patrick, being tasks to retrieve hand sanitiser, and cider after cider, but at least the rest of them are able to talk about whatever they want with no-one to keep them in check when they get rid of him, and I’m assuming that’s the point. Remarks are made about his aggressive brow vibe (or similar).
I had a great time at The George Lucas Talk Show, which was laugh-out-loud fun and with great chemistry between hosts George and Watto in particular. The special guests were fun to watch, and overall I’d recommend this long-running and much revered show to anyone who likes Star Wars.