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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Aaron Barschak: 'Comedy terrorist'
Aaron Barschak
Barschak studied acting in New York
The man dressed as Osama Bin Laden who gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday party is a former public schoolboy who calls himself a "comedy terrorist".

Aaron Barschak's unscheduled appearance at Windsor Castle was the latest in a series of stunts in which the 36-year-old stand-up comic has hijacked public events.

Using his invented persona - complete with peach dress, women's shoes and false beard - Barschak has a history of sabotaging high-profile media situations and briefly stealing the limelight.

His recent victims have included London mayor Ken Livingstone, comic Graham Norton and Monty Python's Terry Jones.

Aaron Barschak in his comedy guise
Barschak is fluent in French and Spanish
He was filmed last year interrupting a stage tribute to the late Spike Milligan as a bemused Eddie Izzard looked on.

Earlier this month Barschak stormed the stage of London Comedy Festival and confronted comic Norton, announcing he was from the "comedy police".

Norton was closing the festival when Barschak burst on stage with a plastic hook in place of a hand. He was led away by security guards.

Barschak has apparently entered some events undetected by tucking his tunic underneath his shirt and trousers to avoid suspicion.

Aaron Barschak confronts Graham Norton
Barschak is due to perform at the Edinburgh Festival
He is the son of a north London property developer, and took A-levels at the fee-paying City of London school where he became fluent in French and Spanish.

On leaving school he travelled to Bolivia where he imported Western pop records before moving on to New York to study acting.

"Aaron always wanted to be a serious actor," said his father Fred, 72, who rubbished newspaper reports describing his son as "a nutter".

"He is a zany character with a zany sense of humour.

"But he is not a nutter. Anyone who thinks he is a nutter should speak to him first."

Aaron Barschak with police officer at Windsor
Barschak is a good mimic, according to his father
Aside of his self-styled comedy terrorist, Barschak's mimicry extends to figures such as the late Gregory Peck and fellow anarchic comic Ali G.

One of his neighbours in Golders Green reportedly saw him outside his house last week wearing an orange boiler suit. He told her he had been performing a terrorist character from Camp X-Ray.

A relative newcomer to the stand-up comedy circuit, he is scheduled to perform a 55-minute routine at this year's Edinburgh Festival.

Comedy promoter Martin Mullaney said Barschak had "amazing potential" but that his set was in parts "a bit weak" and "needs tweaking".

But if the sole aim of his Windsor stunt was to gain publicity for the Edinburgh show, to this end Barschak will have proved singularly successful.

Views from BBC News Online users who have seen Barschak's stand-up show:

I saw his stand up show in Richmond with a friend and her boyfriend (we WERE the audience...) I spoke to him for a bit afterwards and he was quite an interesting person. He didn't really seem like a shameless self publicist to me, so I'm confused as to why he does these stunts. He must have an agenda...? If so it doesn't come through in his act. I'd be interested to hear what the point that he's trying to make is. I'm sure that the late night discussion shows are all on the case already. I hope so ... does he have anything worthwhile to say?
Ruth Colbridge, UK

I saw Aaron a few times, and he is definitely talented. He did a brilliant impersonation of Ali G, and American gangster films (De Niro, Pesci). And he has bravery, which is something that a lot of so-called comedians don't have. Good luck to him!
Nick, London

I shared a one-man tent at Glastonbury with Aaron in the bog-bath year of 1985. Certainly one of the great comedy moments of MY life. Also being a good North London boy, I spent a good deal of time with him in the 80s and have met up with him sporadically since. All I can say is that Aaron's just a loveable fool without a malicious bone in his body. Good luck, Aaron, and cheers for putting a big smile on my face - and there was me thinking you were better suited to Shakespeare and that...
Leo, UK

I was at the Tribute to Spike at the Guildhall in London, and saw him burst onto the stage. Everyone was very confused as to whether he was part of the act, probably including those on stage, and nobody attempted to clear him off the stage. One thing I must say is that he wasn't at all funny. His stage invasion was cut from the televised programme, which was the only reason I knew it should not have happened. He appeared to go to the after-show dinner too - I don't understand why he wasn't thrown out. It was a very selfish, self-important thing to do. If he had been funny...
Tony Wernham, UK

I saw Barschak at the Camden Head in Islington, and he was much funnier than the predictable "proper" acts we had paid to see. A bit rough around the edges but it is a relief to see someone doing something different. And if Prince William wants to celebrate his 21st birthday in a Tarzan loincloth, you would think he would be capable of taking a joke.
Tony, North London

I met Aaron at a London bar about a year ago, donning the same outfit he wore to Will's. He was then a desperate man; desperate to be found funny and desperate for fame. Honestly, he wasn't that funny but he did do the best Al Pacino impression I have ever heard, before or since. With some guidance I think he could make a success of himself...
Neil Bernard, UK

I saw this "performer" last January while in London. I'd describe his "act" as bizarre and disjointed. It was dreadful to view - similiar to watching a trainwreck. Anyone can make themselves a comedian. The questions is: did anyone else find you amusing?
James George, USA

I saw him perform in New York. He needs better punches. He has stamina, but his handling of comedy is still too raw. Maybe with experience he will become someone worthy. Right now, is just a kid with dreams, and some guts. But he's no Robin Williams or Chris Rock yet...
Carlos Sicilia, Venezuela

Seen his show several times at the "Dentist" (lower ground bar) in West Hampstead. Anarchic and chaotic are good descriptions. There is some wonderful material, at times incomprehensible, timing sometimes woeful, gaps where he can't remember what's next, but he seems to get away with it, and the highlights can be very very funny. You never know if he has been booked as an act or has just imposed himself on proceedings.

Props include a collection box with the words Fund-a-mental written on it.

Ivan Gill, England

Well, I have actually performed comedy myself at the same gigs with the Comedy Terrorist.

And I can tell you he truly rocks... he is awesome, the future of British comedy... not forgetting myself of course!
JC (the Gallic fruitcake), UK

I saw his act and it wasn't very good. That said he has a lot of energy and hopefully this stunt will give the security officials the kick up the backside they so obviously need!
Pauline, UK

Well done Aaron Barschak for thoroughly entertaining us and taking the mickey out of the pompous, pampered Windsor family as well as the sycophantic media. He is indeed a comedy hero who deserves every success.
Nick Roberts, UK

I think he was superb in comparison with Tony Blair, he makes me laugh much more...
cuquita loca, Planeta de los simeos

"Good mimic" - But where is the respect?
Salim, UK

I have seen the routine (he was at Jester's Comedy Pub in Bristol a couple of years ago). I thought he had potential. Certainly, if he's anything like the comics down here, getting publicity for his act will be his main concern.
Tony Lewis-Jones, UK

The same guy briefly came onto the stage during one or our regular improvisation shows at the Comedy Store in London. He was the only person in the room who thought he was amusing. He will learn that publicity alone is not enough. You need talent if you want to entertain for a living, and this has yet to reveal itself. I suggest his next target should be George W. Bush. The security response might make him think about what he's doing.
Richard Vranch, UK

I saw him "perform" at a comedy club for 20 mins his act was given a slow hand clap until he was finally removed from the stage. At this point he was booed by the audience, his act as he calls it, is either very clever and no one else gets it or he is a total failure as a comedian and nobody has had the guts to tell him. His act needs a lot more than a "tweak" as Martin Mullaney says, he should look for another career. If you are heading for the Edinburgh Festival give this show a miss, watch some paint dry instead.
Brian, Scotland

it was very lame, he is just an attention seeker.
aaron goldsmith, england

It is obvious barschak is a publicity seeking out of work artist. Desperate for the big-time!
wayne, london

I was at the Spike Milligan tribute when Barschak got up on the stage. He wasn't in the slightest bit funny and when he'd finished the rest of true comedians carried on while he stood like an idiot on the stage. If the rest of his act is as funny as that night then he won't go far.
Joan Edwards, England

Save us from ageing Student Radicals. Dom Joly has got a lot to answer for!
Ross Allan, UK

Barschak is a different type of comedian - some might call it a zany sense of humour. However, reading between the lines, he has the uncanny ability to pick out events which are a national comedy (public rip-off events in particular) and make them stand out for what they are. He's definitely got potential.
George Blair, UK


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