By Frank O’Donnell
(Scottish News Agency)
EDINBURGH, Scotland — The comedian son of the Irish foreign minister was arrested during a street performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Sunday for using the word “penis” in his outdoor show on the Royal Mile.
David McSavage, whose father is David Andrews, was handcuffed by police officers on Edinburgh’s famous street after he had ignored initial warnings about his language.
But the maverick comic refused to censor his show and was arrested to chants of “penis” from the 200-strong audience who were enjoying his show.
McSavage, who has been a street performer for five years, was led away in front of the large audience which included children and spent four hours in jail. He was released just in time to perform his evening performance of his indoor comedy show on the Fringe.
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The 32-year-old was also threatened with arrest at last year’s Fringe for foul language and on Monday attacked the police for their “heavy-handed” attitude.
“Next to me there was people with a huge banner which said, ‘Hitchcock’s bollocks,’ and yet I get picked up for saying ‘penis,’ ” he said. “Everybody was stunned and half thinking it was a joke. There should be a bit of leeway for the Fringe. On TV we get murder and violence but here we can’t even mention the word ‘penis.’ It’s so hypocritical.”
The police were alerted after McSavage told the crowd he was going to pull his pants down and set fire to his penis.
“There was a scantily clad dance troupe to the right of me and so I had to do something to keep the audience,” he explained.
But five minutes after he made his startling announcement two policemen told McSavage to turn off his loudspeaker because a woman had complained.
McSavage hit the headlines in April after appearing as a warm-up act on a top Danish talk show for Irish boy band Boyzone. He alleged that the band’s minders attacked him after he slagged them for 38 minutes on “Dario’s Joint,” the Danish answer to America’s David Letterman show.
McSavage was left in a neck collar after the incident and later sacked from the warm-up spot. He claimed it was because the record company rang to complain about his gags. The comedian was later involved in a public war of words over the incident on Ireland’s “News at One” program, leading to headlines “Boyzone Warzone” in a Dublin paper.