Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Lamb & Foxy.

I've had three Curb Your Enthusiasm moments this week. One is too visual to explain here, one is too disgusting to explain ever and just a few hours after that happened this happened. I was standing at Ladywell train station waiting for, you know, a train. I was very early. I had another 15 minutes to wait for my train although I was BANG on time to see the train I really intended to get leave. 15 minutes to wait with nothing to do. BOOOOOOR-ing! But wait. There's someone I know on the opposite platform of this tiny, wee south London train station. It was Foxy. Foxy is the name of my cleaner. She's fantastic, Foxy. That said, I have probably ruined our professional relationship for ever. A few weeks ago I saw Foxy in the street and my immediate reaction to the delight of seeing her was to hug her. And I did. I'd never hugged Foxy before and she definitely felt awkward about it. Not as awkward as I did though because the second I started hugging her was the second that I realised "Aw, fucking hell. You stupid ball-ache of a man. You've made friends with her now. She'll never clean anything properly again and you won't be able to say anything because she's your friend and you can't be horrible to friends. Except Bennett". Maybe I shouldn't have said it out loud but I have noticed a definite decline. She's still great though and I was really happy to see her on the opposite platform during my 15 minutes of being on my own and bored. So excited was I that I called out "Hey! Foxy!". She looked up and, like the Ross Noble of Southampton, she clearly wasn't Foxy afterall. She looked at me and smiled and I responded with "Oh. Not you". Not, "Sorry, I thought you were someone else" but "Not you". as if to say "Christ, love, don't you get sarcasm? There's nothing foxy about you apart from the FACT that you trail through bins late at night. HA HA HA HA HA!". She gave me a look as if to say "If you're not too busy could you drop dead and tell your ghost to go fuck itself". The thing is, that's exactly what I wanted to do. Maybe my eyes are going? That's normal when you start getting old, right?

Another good thing about getting old is that you're allowed to nap any time you frigging feel like it. On Monday I spent the best part of the day in bed drifting in and out of sleep. That was fine except I had a very terrible dream. I dreamt that the whole of Britain had voted for me to apologise to cunt DJ George Lamb. I don't know what we as a nation did that meant one of us had to apologise to the talentless, thick, ignorant prick but I'm pretty cross with everyone for voting me in even if it didn't actually happen. I think everyone should now apologise to me. Or, at least, punch George Lamb. In the face. With the entire Kinks back catalogue.

I very much hope you're going out to celebrate the murder of 2008 and the c-section drag out of 2009. New Years Eve is my favourite of all the annoying, forced-fun nights of the year. There's always a lovely feeling of Thank Fuck That's Over about it. I'm going to get drunk and start writing lists of my favourite and least favourite things of the year. If you're reading this then you're in my favourite list and I love you. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Mnd Yr Lnguge :).

I'm very excited about the latest Stephen Fry's Podgram. This is basically another recommendation pretending to be a blog but if you haven't listened to Stephen Fry's Podgram you are seriously missing out on something very, very special. The latest one is about language and its evolution. As you can imagine, with language as a subject Fry is in his element and is frequently eloquent and funny while discussing it. Discussing it? Well, he discusses it with himself. Fuck. That's terrible grammar, I have learned NOTHING. He gets very excited about how language has changed today and made me feel like a grumpy old curmudgeon, which admittedly isn't very hard. I'm very much of the stupid, blinkered opinion that modern vernacular, "text speak" and changing a words very meaning means that you're thick. I thought Stephen Fry would agree with me, buy me a Wispa and ask me to replace that scruffy arse on QI. I am very wrong. He seems very much excited by the change in our modern language. If Stephen Fry thinks that then I must be wrong because he's Stephen Fry and I'm not. I'm not even Ben Elton, which is depressing. Not that I totally agree with everything Fry says. For instance, if you write "I should of" in stead of "I should have" then you are clearly as thick as a short plank made of pig shit. Anyway, believe it or not, Stephen Fry talks about all this better than I can so give it a listen. It's on iTunes and costs nufink.

I spent practically all day yesterday in bed. It was great. Another recommendation. I listened to lots of new music that people kindly recommended and watched telly. Lying in bed makes you feel like you're doing something really wrong even though you're not. You can hear the outside world being all busy and getting things done and only you are aware of how you're letting civilisation down by lying in your own lazy flesh and watching the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special from 1971 on iPlayer. I survived only on Tayto Cheese & Onion crisps and pretending I didn't need to piss. Basically, I contributed nothing to the 29th December 2008. Let's make it an annual event. But not if you always lie in bed all day.

Not much swearing in this blog. I think I'm really maturing. Back to bed now.

Monday, 29 December 2008

I Stink.

This is more of a recommendation than a blog. I've got two friends from America staying with me at the moment. They're called Heather and Scott and are very nice, easy-going and funny. Those mentally together type of Americans that us comedians often pretend don't exist (I even saw Mark Thomas, of all people, do the dull "Friendly Fire" gag about two years ago, I immediately bought a two litre bottle of Coke). The good thing about having friends over is that you can take them to all the kind of secret, cool places that you think only you know about and last night I took them to my favourite restaurant. First we went to a pub near me where my friend Will was playing Nirvana and the Hawaii 5-0 theme on a honky tonk piano and then we went into town to eat and drink at the beautiful Garlic & Shots. This place is pretty much my favourite thing to do in the world. Everything has garlic in it. The food, the beer, the staff. Everything. If you don't like garlic, don't worry, you can always fuck off. I had lots of garlic beer, garlic chilli, garlic noodles, garlic bread (BRILLIANT catch phrase), garlic vodka, garlic cheese and an actual bulb of garlic. Just in case you didn't think that was excellent enough, the establishment is also run by a group of Swedish Hell's Angels. It's very charming. The food is great, the booze is the best and the people who work there are heavily tattooed and pierced and look like they could kill you with their pencil. If you haven't been then please go. It's in Frith Street. If you have been, it's great isn't it? You stink for days afterwards. I'm literally lying in bed oozing. That's what I do for fun these days.

On to more important things. Can you recommend a good tune from 2008 that I might not have heard? Music's been a bit dull this year and my anal and annual chat about the previous year's music come January is going to be very sparse. Please help. And DON'T say Glasvegas. Thank you.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

This Blog Is Cancelled.

It's an odd gig, the one between Christmas and New Year. Usually pretty quiet although with enough of the aftermath of Christmas parties to just about make it a chore. Last night was different. It was great. It was in Bath, a beautiful British town that I had never been to before. The venue was incredible, a 150 year old theatre fully restored and beautiful to look at. But best of all, it cancelled. Don't get me wrong, it looked like it would have been great fun to play but all cancelled gigs are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than an actual gig. You've got to understand the buzz we comedians feel when we're about to go on stage, adrenalin pumping through our bodies, our minds electric with anticipation, when the owner turns round and says "Sorry, we're going to have to pull it". It's such a high. Sometimes I don't come down from that for days. It's like that was the reason we all got into comedy in the first place. And when the owner says "You'll still get paid", well, that feeling of glory, excitement and semen dribbling down your leg is something the likes of Billy Connolly, Frank Skinner or Ricky Gervais haven't experienced in years. There must be a part of them that misses that wonderous moment. When Ricky's limo turns up at the Royal Albert Hall only to be told by the manager that a football match is on and that's why they haven't sold any tickets but "Don't worry. We'll still pay you". He'd love that. Last night's Bath Komedia gig was cancelled thanks to the incompetence of today's good old British electricians. The power went. Thanks for that.

It was really for the best that the gig cancelled. Firstly, the venue was so utterly perfect for comedy that I was bound to die on my arse and secondly because the hotel I was staying in was broken. The place itself was very nice, a very much above average, modern B&B but the telly was broken and everyone knows that the only thing worse than not having a telly is having a broken telly. I had to be moved to another room because my TV kept switching itself on and off like it was the world's least imaginative poltergeist. Then the second, and final, room I went to had a TV that froze constantly like it was slowly downloading telly. The only channel that worked was Virgin 1, which isn't as good as it sounds. Still, it taught me a lot about When Sports Go Bad. Do you know how many men have died from hitting themselves in the head with their own golf club while trying to putt the ball into a hole eight feet away from them in the last fifty years? One. And he's a fucking idiot. The hotel was OK though. At least it had free WiFi which, as I had my iPod Touch with me, excites me greatly. I was like a proper young person! Hanging out in ma crib downloading tunes from da iTunes, innit. To be honest, I actually downloaded only one tune and it was Mr. Ozio's Flat Beat. I'm getting very nostalgic for shit at the moment. I'll be downloading Stiltskin next.

Of course, thanks to the gig cancellation, I didn't have to stay overnight and got a lift back to my house from Matt Blaize and his, frankly too good for him, girlfriend Fiona. But I did have enough time in my room to catch this nightmare that might actually rival Ewan McGregor's empire of bellendity. If you can, look at this:

God, don't you feel all dirty?

Friday, 26 December 2008

Things To Keep In Mind For Next Christmas.

It's Boxing Day today, so called because we put all our celebrities who died on Christmas Day in a lovely box to take to Jesus. I think you get a much better class of celebrity death at Christmas. This year we were treated to the double whammy of Harold Pinter (who I thought was dead) and Eartha Kitt (who I would have bet my house had been dead since 1995). The people who die at Christmas just seem to be a bit more worthy than those other boring celebrities that die any other obvious time of the year. It's as if they're so special to us that they feel they must ruin just a tiny bit of our happy day by giving their own life. And so they should, they're worth it. Harold Pinter, one of this country's playwrites, Eartha Kitt, she was Catwoman and had a massive head, Dean Martin, he drank and sang songs, Charlie Chaplin, he fell over a lot, and WC Fields, he basically called everyone a cunt but in a really clever way, all died on Christmas Day because they are all achieved greatness in their chosen field (and some of them had cancer). Not like Jeremy Beadle (30th January 2008), Charlton Heston (5th April 2008) and Peter Kay (4th January 2009) who were utter bellends unworthy of choking to death on their own talent during A Sharks Tale and making our Christmas so much more poignant. Yes, being born on Christmas Day must be a pain in the arse presents-wise but imagine the glory of dying that day. Christmas Day is a time for happiness and joy and, by dying, you would ruin all of that. Harold and Eartha, I salute you.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

It's Christmas Day so how's this for a Dickensian tale from Christmas 2004?

One of those dogs is Jerk so really that evil wanker did me a favour. Sorry I don't have a totally feel-good yuletide story but....well, it's me. I'm not good at happy. Read my blog from the 2nd November. It's the closest I've got to being nice. It'll never happen again and it's here:

Have a really lovely day.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

'Tis The Season To Kill Everyone.

I may be stating the obvious but, seriously, aren't people just an abomination? I've just come back from shopping and I'm ready to kill everyone. OK, in a way, I was asking for it. I mean Sainsbury's in Lewisham on Christmas Eve was never going to be, you know, lovely but I just wasn't expecting that amount of bastardry under one roof. I don't know if you've been to Sainsbury's in Lewisham but I'm confident that you have a picture of it in your head right now. You might need to boil your head after reading this to get rid of the thought. It's basically a cross between Waitrose and 28 Days Later with a frisson of screaming ball cancer. I don't like going in there at the best of times (not sure when the best time to go into Sainsbury's in Lewisham would be but it would definitely be post-apocalypse) but on Christmas Eve that's when Santa's helpers all come out to get in your fucking way and take all the trolleys. It took me nearly 25 minutes to find a trolley today and when I got it, you won't believe this, but one of the wheels was wonky and always went the opposite direction from the other three. A comedian should make a joke about that. Anyway, back to me. I'm amazed at how brainless people are when they get inside a supermarket. It's like they immediately forget how to walk, communicate or think on any level. The amount of times I said "excuse me" to shuffling fuckwits in my way only to be responded with a docile, mouth-wide-open stare and a single "uh?" made me angrier than Hitler's piles. I'm not mad on Christmas, I fucking hate supermarkets and people are just the most annoying, pointless spunk by-products ever mistakenly created. And every single one of the stupid fuckers, me included, decided to shop today. Pricks.

In previous blogs I mentioned that Lewisham Council, the very benchmark on which all other incompetent bags of useless shit must be judged, decided to close the special needs school at the end of my street. That's bad. Especially bad as they closed it so they could bulldoze it to the ground and build a £4 million site for "Travellers". The residents of my street have been using solicitors, other Lewisham residents and angry, sweary letters to get this stopped but to no avail. The school still got closed and it still got bulldozed. It's a very sad sight to see. I'll be very honest with you, I'm all up for alternative lifestyles and I'm very happy for travellers to have a temporary place to stay in towns and cities throughout the UK but I'm not happy about a school having to close for that to happen. It's pretty disgusting if you ask me especially as there is a big enough piece of waste ground in Lewisham that currently goes unused. Mind you, that's right by Lewisham Council's offices so you can clearly see why that didn't happen. Anyway, there's been a twist of fate recently and I'm not sure how to feel about it. No construction work has happened on the site for weeks so I wanted to know why. It turns out that the Travellers don't want to live in my street after all. They've contacted the council and are demanding a different location. The cheeky fucking cunts. What's wrong with my street, you fucking slate-stealing cunts? My street is lovely. You should be on your knees and sucking all our cocks for letting you live here, you awful sack of unlucky heather. I've never been so insulted in my life. I was told by the council that the price of my house would go down because thieving gypsy bastards are moving in and now I've been told by them that where I live isn't good enough for tinkers. The fucking smelly, gypo, pikey, choosy cunts. Or maybe they've just seen the local Sainsbury's. In that case, fair enough.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Nob Gags.

I did my last gig before Christmas last night and it was one of the best gigs of the year. Nobby Kash runs a brand new gig in Alton and I was lucky enough to compere it, the audience were just about the most perfect comedy crowd you could want. Everyone did well and everything got big laughs. It felt like a reward for doing three weeks of Christmas gigs. I mainly improvised my way through the gig but I did do one bit of material about the time I was mugged by 11 year old children in Swindon. And that piece of material is the reason I woke up angry and embarrassed with myself. You see, Nobby is great but, and this is a horrible trait in anyone, he is very honest.

In fact, he's brutally honest. He could look at the Mona Lisa and say in his cheeky cockney voice "Nah. It looks like she's cock-eyed, Michaelangelo, you cunt". But that's what he's like. A straightforward, honest man who doesn't know who painted the Mona Lisa. He basically said that he hates that bit of material I had done at his gig. Then he told me why he hated it. This is not a good thing for a comedian to hear because most people who tell you what's wrong with your material after a gig are wrong. They're just wrong people. Changing my joke from "Shopping at Lidl" to "Blowing up a Mosque" isn't the same thing, I tell them. But Nobby had to be a cunt and be actually right. That bit has been performed about five times and I haven't worked on it a bit since the very first time I did it (Clockwork Comedy, November 6th 2007, LeggeFact Fans!). Nobby's point was that with changes it could get a bigger reaction from the audience. Well, FUCK YOU, Nobby. I hate audiences. And how dare he try to help me? Fuck this. I'm going to start re-writing that bit right now and I'll prove to him that no matter what work I do on it it's still going to be shit. Still, I did do some improvising that I was very happy with so, like Michael McIntyre, perhaps riffing happily and doing cack-handed written material is my forte. That's encouraging. Maybe my massive grin will be on a DVD cover next year. Or the year after.

I woke up early this morning. I'm glad I did because I would have missed a half-hour infommercial for Time Life's Greatest Rock Ballads CD collection. It felt like it would never end. But it did have this video of Lizzie Roper singing in Chicago. Enjoy:

Sunday, 21 December 2008


I hid yesterday. It was my last day in Southampton and I decided hiding was the most fun thing to do on a Saturday in this town. All day in my hotel room. I only went out for 15 minutes to get a sandwich from Starbucks and that was enough for me. When I told the shop assistant that my sandwich was to “take out” she beamed a huge smile and said “Well, you won’t need one of these then”. She then went and got a plate for me to look at for a second. I decided then that day six was a day too many here in the town that once housed the mighty, doomed Titanic. It was made in Northern Ireland, of course, and all I can say is that it was fine when it left us. Obviously the ship itself couldn’t stand the though of returning to Southampton. I get a sinking feeling anytime I find out I’m coming back here. So, it was all day indoors for me. It was very exciting. I did about an hour and a half of work and then decided to reward myself with two very long films. I’m not lazy, I’m over-generous, thats my problem. I’d never seen Empire of the Sun before and I’m so glad I downloaded it because it was just amazing. A very moving, well written Spielberg drama with an incredible cast. Is Christian Bale ever shit? Even when he was 12 he did sad and world-weary brilliantly. John Malkovich, Joe Pantoliano and, obviously, Leslie Phillips are all stand outs in this solidly strong cast. In fact, only Nigel Havers wavers. HA HA HA!!! I’ve been dying to write that. Then I watched From Hell with the dreamy Johnny Depp. It’s about the hunt for Jack The Ripper so there’s lots of prostitute killing. As if that wasn’t sexy enough there’s also Johnny Depp’s dreamy eyes to get lost in. And a couple of lesbian bits. So, that’s nice.

And now my week of Christmas gigs is at an end and what have I learned? Well, not much. Don’t expect anything from an audience is probably the best I can take away. Christmas gigs are infamously awful but this week has been pretty good plus it’s been nice to spend time with a nice bill. That said, last night’s audience were the worst we’ve had by far and if I ever see Paul Sinha, Tanyalee Davis or The Raymonds again it’ll be a billion years too soon. I hate them. Six nights of seeing them do better than me? They can fuck off. They can, and I suppose, they have.

I miss The Real Daniel O’Donnell Show. If you can make any sense of this advert made for the RDOD Show then you should miss it as much as I do. That said, you probably won’t:

Not much to this blog but then it is before 8am in Southampton. Give me a break. Seriously, please. Give me a break. I’m very talented. Oh, go on. Please.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Rhod Save The Queen.

I have now seen the very best and the very worst of Southampton and I saw them both in the same hour yesterday. I’d only packed for a three day visit because Paul Sinha had promised me a lift to and from the gig every night and then he crashed his car on purpose because he’s a spiteful bastard, therefore I had to go to the laundrette. I actually like laundrettes but that’s probably because I never have to go to them. This laundrette was really nice. It was very big and extremely clean and had four assistants who actually did their jobs and helped. While waiting for my dirty, dirty underwear to wash I sat reading and sort of eavesdropping on a conversation between a woman in her early twenties and a much older, white-haired lady. They had obviously just met for the first time and were very friendly towards each other. I didn’t listen too much because I really got into the book I was reading but the bit I did catch was as the older lady was leaving with her washing done. She turned to her new friend and said “Well, it was very nice to meet you and you’ve certainly brought a ray of sunshine to Southampton”. Isn’t that just lovely? I was just lifted as I heard it. People never talk to each other in this country, probably for good reason, let alone compliment each other. It’s such an incredibly powerful force, being nice. People don’t expect it and when it happens it feels great. It can honestly just make you feel so much happier than you were. I certainly was a lot happier. I thought, you know what? Southampton’s really not such a bad place.

Then 45 minutes later I saw a couple give a pint of lager to a Rottweiller.

I can’t wait to leave here. It’s the last day today and it really couldn’t come quick enough. One of my main problems about being outside of London gigging is the lack of food. There is pretty much next to nowhere to eat outside of London and I really don’t know how non-Londoners actually survive (actually, Brighton’s pretty good). It’s basically chips, sandwiches or fuck all. Or a Wagamama’s if you’re very lucky. I’m in Southampton. I am not very lucky. The first day here I woke up and fancied a Burger King breakfast. Horrible, I know, but I never really eat them and I fancied something greasy. I walked into Burger King just as it opened. I was the first customer of the day! Or at least I would have been if I hadn’t walked in just as a member of staff was lifting a huge bag of, what looked like, liposuctioned fat out of a machine. It was like that bit in Fight Club. You know that bit in Fight Club? Yeah? That bit were I walk into Burger King, see a massive bag of, what looks like, liposuctioned fat out of a machine and then leave? It was a bit like that.

Paul Sinha, apart from ruining my week by FORCING me to stay in Southampton, recommended that I watch The Royal Variety Performance on BBC iPlayer. I did. I’m glad I did because Rhod Gilbert was utterly fantastic in it. I can’t say I’m a fan of the royals and I think entertaining them would leave an ulcer the size of Tony Gerrard in my stomach. But, if you’re going to do it then know your audience and definitely have some great gags aimed at Prince Charles himself. Rhod did all that and it was great to watch. The rest of the show was mostly crap because it was all singing and ballet and shit. The main piece of shit came from, surprisingly, Peter Kay. Is this what he does for a living now? Drags up, does karaoke and avoids jokes like they’ve got European Flu? Fine if the prick wants to steal the limelight with some of the most high profile spots on TV but at least tell a fucking joke or two while you’re there or, and I’m only throwing this out there, fuck off.

Just thinking about that smug ballbag just fills me with full-fat fury. I’m going back to the laundrette. I like the laundrette. It’s beautiful. And it’s mine.

Friday, 19 December 2008

I See Wrong People.

When you’re bored out of your mind, as I am in Southampton, any tiny little change of the day will excite you more than it should. Yesterday, I was doing my usual shuffling around the main shopping area, hoping that a brand new Doctor Who DVD or a Robyn Hitchcock CD had been released that I didn’t know about, when I saw Ross Noble. I really like Ross a lot even though I don’t know him very well, but just seeing a friendly face in the middle of all the joylessness and depression that is Christmas was just what I needed. So much so that I immediately shouted “Thank fuck it’s you” and held my hand out to shake his. It was around this time that I realised that this complete stranger was not Ross Noble. I don’t know who he was but I do know he was scared. I apologised. That just made him confused and angry while he mumbled something. I felt really awkward and my brain, something I never rely on, searched for something positive to say while we parted company. He was wearing a Frank Zappa t-shirt and, as I quite like Frank Zappa, I cheerily said “Nice T-Shirt”. The stranger then said “Fucking whatever” as we both walked away. It was then that my brain processed the actual picture of Zappa on the guy’s t-shirt. It was a picture of Frank Zappa going to the toilet. Let’s all just think about that for a moment. Yesterday, I went up to a complete stranger, swore at him and then told him how much I like pictures of men shitting. Still, I thought, at least I’ll never see him again. I spent the next hour walking around shops and making eye contact with him a further four times, each time I looked friendlier and he looked more furious. I then made a firm commitment to return to my hotel room.

I’m glad I did. My hotel room was great yesterday. After a pretty non-descript gig the night before (although the audience LOVED my new Jesus bringing back a prostitute from the dead to have sex with her bit) and embarrassing myself in front of unRoss Noble, it was great to finally start work on my solo show. That lasted five seconds but I did write a new sketch for the me and Johnny Candon show (that’s just the working title). I think I’m going to enjoy writing this. It be childish. Plus something great happened while I was out. I don’t like my room being cleaned when I stay in a hotel so I always put the Do Not Disturb sign up. I just hate the way maids come in and move my stuff, change the heating and find my corpses. But yesterday the sign must have fallen off so when I got back the maid had done a brilliant job of tidying without messing with my belongings. When I stay in a hotel I act like a cunt, throwing crap everywhere and very quickly making the room completely uninhabitable, just like I do at home. Maybe the fact that I’m now in a much nicer room, even though I haven’t moved, was all the inspiration I needed to start working. In fact, yesterday I listened to the new demo that The Raymond and Mr. Timpkins’ Review made of their radio pilot. It’s terrific but that won't stop me from making lengthy notes, criticisms and rude comments about it to their stupid faces. Please feel free to send me anything you have written or made. My feedback is always honest and will make you cry. I also started writing another me and Johnny sketch around midnight last night but I was pissed and, now that I’ve finally read it, it’s awful. It’s still staying in though. We have to get BBC3’s interest, you see.

I listened to lots of R.E.M. yesterday. Just in case you were wondering. I liked them when they were good. Fuck me, I should be a music journalist. That was great.

Last night’s gig was a bit better. A pretty nice audience who really enjoyed the show, shame I wasn’t quite in the mood. I got back to the hotel and felt a bit weary and empty. This may have a lot to do with a Channel 4 talking heads programme that I horribly managed to catch the end of. Don’t know what it was called but it was about early sexual experiences, it was balls and it featured every evil careerist cocksucker going; McGuinness, McIntyre, Fritzl. They were all there. Does anyone really want to hear Robert Webb poshing on about the first time he poshly fingered some champagne-filled minor royal at his over-privileged coke-fuelled end-of-term posh ball? Posh it up all you want, Robert, it’s still rape. Kevin Bishop also had an opinion on the subject but no-one could listen to it, surely? That said, embarrassingly, I once did a talking heads show that was nearly as bad but nowhere near as egotistical. Plus I called Richard Blackwood a cunt on it. I may have mentioned that before. Anyway, it was a really embarrassing show. I suppose I could have watched Louis Theroux on the other side but he’s friends with Toilet and if Toilet’s ignoring me then I’m ignoring Louis Theroux. That’s how I roll. I roll really stupidly.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I'm So Money.

Good God! Dara O'Briain is reading out jokes from christmas crackers with Gareth Gates on Loose Women. Why the fuck is this happening? He doesn't need to do that. Lowering himself to shit like that. He's better than that. I mean, Spirit In The Sky is a classic.

HA HA HA HA HA! Yeah, a BRILLIANT joke to start todays blog. But seriously, it was really embarrassing to watch. I know what you're thinking; Oh, yes, Michael, it's very easy to sneer at TV's Dara O'Briain while you're up there in your Ivory Tower that is Southampton Jongleurs. Basically I've got a lot of time on my hands while waiting for the gig to come round and crap telly fills that time nicely. Not that I've just been stuck indoors since I've been here. Not at all. I've been checking out Southampton. Crazy name, crazy place. Not really, of course, but I have noticed a particular amount of insane glee from people who work in shops. I used to work in a shop and I hated it so was miserable to customers all the time. In Southampton you are guaranteed a big smile from a lot of shops. Maybe this new phenomenon has spread country wide but people can't fucking wait to tell you that you have to pay for a plastic bag here. Pretty much every shop I've been in over the last two days has had some miserable husk of no fixed gender ask me the question "Would you like a bag?" and when I say yes they immediately brighten up and explode with a joyous response: "Ha ha, Fuckwit! That will cost ye 4p. 4p more must ye spend. Hee hee hee! You poor 4p-less fool. Have your bag and HAVE AT YOU!" There is so much spite involved that it's actually a lot of fun. Yes, they're evil but it's the only piece of glee that these half-people get in their dark, foggy Southampton day. I like them.

That's quite a bad thing to happen when you're shopping but I'm absolutely loving the VAT rate saving. It means that we are the total opposite of America (again). OK, so you only get a few pence back (unless you're buying an aeroplane or a lion or something) but it's a great feeling to know that something you bought is very, very, very slightly cheaper than you thought. That's why I'm all like "Fuck it. I WILL splash out on a bag". You might as well. Good times, people, I love the credit crunch.

Last night's gig was just about OK. A very small audience that were quite quiet but we all got away with it. In fact, Raymond and Mr. Timpkins Review got big laughs. Yes, there's nothing Southampton likes more than this new Atomic Kitten backlash. Two down, four to go. So far, so good. It's Tom, the sound guy/DJ's, birthday today so we might just be having a drinky. Hopefully. Not sure how much more sober Southampton I can handle. Anyway, I saw this today. Isn't this the fucking dictionary definition of wanker?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

I Heart Comedy.

I love comedy. It's my favourite C-word nearly and I still love it to pieces. If I could only bring one thing on to a desert island it would be comedy and a big gun. I've seen a lot of brilliant comedy recently that has restored a tiny bit of faith in this shitty medium. Go Faster Stripe are a fantastic company that make DVD's of shows that marketing penises wouldn't touch with a ten-foot Mock The Week promotional barge pole (they exist). The production values don't exist but the quality of the material released on Go Faster Stripe's DVD's are excellent. Robin Ince's is very funny, very all over the place and lit with every light bulb in the world. You can practically see Robin's skeleton, thoughts and self-loathing. What's great about these DVD's is that they are in front of a very small audience and are filmed over two gigs in the same venue. Therefore, the people sitting at the front are constantly changing due to editing. It's a really odd thing to see. I just watched Richard Herring's fantastic Menage A Un and started his book, Bye Bye Balham. All this plus watching Screenwipe and Peter Serafinowicz, with Johnny Candon shouting out ideas to make them better ("Blow everything up and then have tits!"), has meant that I've actually had a pretty high quota of good comedy. It's out there. If you look. You have to look hard, there's a lot of Peter Kay in the way. In fact, I went into HMV this morning to buy the latest Futurama DVD (Hey! That's a comedy too!) and right next to it was Keith Fucking Lemon's Fucking Annoying Cringingly Unfunny Tour Of His Own Ego, so, you know, be careful.

Robin, Richard, Screenwipe, Serafinowicz, HIGNFY (that's short for Have I Got News For You so you don't have to go to all the trouble of writing out Have I Got News For You), Superbad, Curb Your Enthusiam and The Dark Knight. That's basically all I've done in the last 48 hours. Not very productive but at least I've seen a lot of quality comedy as opposed to watching Celebrity Juice just to wind myself up on purpose. OK, The Dark Knight's not strictly a comedy but the bit where The Joker disinfects his hands before blowing up a hospital is hilarious. Plus the christmas gig last night in Southampton was very good. Great line-up too. Paul Sinha was fantastic, Tanyalee Davis (who I'd never seen before) has the best Seabiscuit joke ever and The Raymond & Mr. Timpkins review were their usual brilliant selves. I often think they're far too good for our little circuit and if I think that then you can pretty much guarantee that their career is fucked. They are amazing so, you know, they'll be signing on in no time, if they're not already doing so. I'm a little dissappointed that last night's gig was as nice as it was because I was relying on it for my daily vitriol. Fucking stupid nice audience. I hope they're all dead, the selfish, appreciative bastards. Still, got five more nights here. I'm bound to get punched or have a wheelchair thrown at me before the weekend. If not, can you recommend some shit comedy for me to watch and waste my time with? I know you can...

Monday, 15 December 2008


I seem to be in a bit of a grumpy mood today. My hangover was very late. It wasn't there at all when I woke up and just arrived 10 minutes ago. Plus the thought of a week of Christmas gigs is slightly upsetting. I'm in Southampton all week and, although it's no Leicester, there is nothing to do in Southampton. All my Christmas shopping is done so I don't even have that to keep me slightly busy which will leave no alternative but to actually do some work. I hate work. Work is a fucking wanker.

The gig in Manchester on saturday was very much a Christmas gig. They liked me for about 12 seconds then they all started drifting away one by one. For some reason, I wasn't bothered at all by that. I even started making up a routine about Jesus bringing a prostitute back from the dead and fucking her that I thought was very funny. The audience disagreed which made me think I was probably right. I also got booed when I mentioned terrorism. What the fuck is wrong with these idiots? It's Christmas, for God's sake. What could be more Christmassy than terrorism and Jesus paying for undead sex? It's up there with Jingle Bells and carving pumpkins, if you ask me. I stayed around after my set to watch the other acts who recieved more of the same from the audience. Steve Jameson was loved for a few minutes but that's all the attention span most of the people there had, so very well done to him. How he transforms himself from the Steve we all know and love into an old Jewish man I'll never know. Maybe it's the hat. Craig Campbell closed the show and was fantastic, I even think a few more of the punters paid attention. By this time I was drunk so it was very neccessary to rush back to my hotel room to shout at X-Factor. They turned Hallelujah into a High School Musical ballad. The fucking cunts.

I'm very excited to start writing on an Edinburgh show for myself and Johnny Candon, mainly because it's a good excuse to ignore my own solo show. It'll probably be just me and Johnny fucking around and wasting people's time like we do in our O'Brien's Sandwich Shop Sketch if you've been lucky enough to see that and live. Unfortunately, Johnny and I have very little discipline. We've only ever tried writing together once but that ended up with us meeting at my house then recording ourselves singing on Singstar. Not a word got written. Mind you, we've still not written the O'Brien's Sandwich Shop Sketch but that doesn't stop us performing it about 5 times a year. I feel ill. This hangover is doing weird things. Let's try this blog again tomorrow. Sorry.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Never Wake Up.

Oh, that horrible, lonely feeling of guilt that punches you in the teeth when you wake up the day after doing not one but two christmas gigs. That continuing mindfuck of "Christ, did I really do that just to get a bunch of disinterested drunks on my side?" thats seemingly impossible to shake all day. What happened to that drive to be creative that I had/pretended to have when I first started? Last night I did a gig in Manchester to a bunch of people who came along to drink heavily, complain about their food and point out to me when they didn't like my jokes. Instead of putting them down and shrugging it off I basically put on ringlets, little tap shoes and sang The Good Ship Waw-wee-pop to amuse and get these fuckwits to like me. As soon as they did, or at least some of them did, I left the stage. Pretty typical christmas do really. Can't blame the audience, even though I definitely will, because they're out with workmates to get pissed and it's not like they hated me. And why would they? I basically wanked them off, gave them a tenner and told them next weeks lottery numbers. They could only love me after I've sold myself wholesale to them. Then it was off to a gig in Blackburn which was better but I was still basically lapdancing for laughs. I went down quite well in Blackburn but mainly because I'd called someone in the front row a twat. They don't call me the Oscar Wilde of the circuit for nothing or ever. Both OK gigs really until I woke up this morning and felt cheap, dirty and ashamed of my performance. You'd think I'd be used to it but, no, I'm constantly surprised at how low I'll go to get a room full of people I hate to like me. Don't know if I ever want to do another gig ever again. How do some comedians do this constantly? I wish my conscience would fuck off so I too could ruthlessly do fuck all but dance, juggle and wink for a living. Yes but are these lazy "comedians" happy? Fuck, yeah. They're thick. Of course,they're happy. It's all this thinking that we do that makes us miserable. They'll never have that problem, the lucky bastards.

My favourite part of the night was travelling to Blackburn and back with Beth who very kindly gave me a lift. I've met Beth one time before and thought she was very funny but this was the first time that I'd really spoken with her at any length. I like her a lot mainly because of her brilliant cynicism. We talked a lot about all the woeful people that you have to encounter in this stupid job and how anyone that doesn't like The Dark Knight should be despised and deported. It was a great chat. To be honest, even though I didn't get the same feeling from Beth herself, I think she might be the woman for me. We have loads in common. We both think comedy is a crap business, we both love Batman and we both really like women. So, all I'm saying is let's keep an eye on how this relationship develops.

I've got Manchester again tonight. It'll be much the same but tonight I promise to try a bit harder. I've had good times at this gig before, I'm sure I will again. By the way, I've been writing this while listening to the new Ween album, At Cat's Cradle, 1992. It's excellent. If you've never heard Ween then go to iTunes and download Push Th' Little Daisies from the album Pure Guava. You'll be a fan. DON'T illegally download it. Oh, and I just watched The Dark Knight about half an hour ago. It has loads more CGI in it than I remember. I'm a bit dissappointed. But don't tell Beth. I think something special might happen there. You should all buy a hat. DON'T illegally download one.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Hey! Is Having The Shits Much Fun?

Having the shits isn't much fun. It's basically the most horrible form of gambling I've ever encountered. Being more than six feet away from the toilet is a risky step and answering the door is a mugs game; it could be someone who has something important to say about petitions to keep the local swimming pool open but you'll only have to interrupt them to rush off for a spot of bowel releasing and a relaxing bit of screaming for mercy. That's what happened to me anyway. But I did learn something about the kind of people who want signatures, they will gladly wait while you shit and shout. That's good to know. The other thing about having the shits is the mystery. It puts you right off your food (as I'm sure reading about it has too) and yet shit still pours out in great volume. Plus it has none of the advantages of AIDS or cancer, if you have them you'll get sympathy and, if you're really ill, a trip somewhere nice. If you have the shits people look at you like you've just told them you've downloaded lots of yummy kiddy porn while licking your lips and rubbing your belly. Having the shits is not something I planned or wanted and I think I deserve the same amount of respect that Freddie Mercury gets. Instead people treat me like a common Jade Goody.

Still, I'm getting better. I haven't pooed in ages, thanks for asking. And I feel like I've had at least some sympathy because yesterday I walked out of one of my many Loo Adventures and saw Jerk puking. I like to think of it as sympathy puke, anyway. God, this blog has everything. Shit, dog vomit, Jade Goody. It's like reading OK! Magazine, which is also something you only do when you're ill.

Tonight I'm off to Manchester. It's a two and a half hour train journey so that will be the real test. If anyone would care to guess what station I'll get to before shitting my pants then the person who guesses correctly will win a prize. But you won't like it. This also might be my very last ever gig because one of the Doug Stanhope of the Stanhope fans who wrote to me in September threatened to kick my head in next time I'm in Manchester. Not much of a threat. I always assume I'm going to get my head kicked in, even when I'm asleep. Just to let him know, I'll be in Opus which is quite a big nightclub. Even though it's a Christmas show it should be pretty good, I like the gig. There's never any Stag Nights in mainly due to the huge amount of Hen Nights. Hmmmm...head kicked in or a room full of Hen Nights? It's a toughie.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I Am Sick And I Am Dull And I Am Plain.

I just witnessed the last day of Woolworths in Lewisham. I didn't mean to. I'm ill and had to go to Boots to get LemSip Extra Strength and a packet of Stopshittingallthetime Plus and accidentally walked past Woolworths. It was fucking carnage. It was as if civility had been made illegal and if you didn't act like a vicious, drooling, selection box grabbing monster you had to go to jail for a million years with John Leslie and no telly. I only lasted a second but in that second I met my favourite old lady ever. I thought I had met my favourite old lady ever a few days ago in Woolworths when I was buying a Diet Coke. She was in front of me in the queue and, because she couldn't find her purse in her bag, I offered to buy her newspaper for her. It was only 40p or something and I easily make that in a day so I'm not afraid to throw that sort of cash around. She seemed very sweet and very grateful which, in turn made me happy. Then I noticed that the paper I bought was the Daily Mail so now she's a cunt and I hope she gets kicked in the face by a horse 50 times. Every day. But today's Old Lady in Woolworths was different. I met her by accidentally standing on her foot. I apologised, of course, but her response was just weird. She said "Oh, I don't mind. Really, I don't". To be honest, I was very tempted to test her out on that one but I was too ill to stand on an old lady again quite so soon. Maybe I'll see her again. 

That wasn't a very nice story. But, apparently, none of my stories are. I was told this yesterday by Margaret Cabourn-Smith who may have a point. During the space of about 20 minutes I managed to tell about 5 or 6 stories all of which were horrible but I found very funny. One story, about my cousin throwing a bottle at the drummer from the Bangles and hitting her in the face, made me laugh so much while telling it that I just came across as pure evil. I'm going to have to work on that. Anyway, I have the shits so I have to go.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

TV and Guilt.

Why have I never watched Screenwipe before? It's utterly fantastic. Imagine a TV comedy that's on the TV but instead of it being like a TV comedy it went the other way and was actually funny? Then that's what Screenwipe is like. Plus all it does is take the piss out of all the awful TV shows so you don't have to watch them ever. Last night's edition was about reality TV programmes that "want" to make you feel better but, of course, leave you nauseous and violent. Every bit of the show made me laugh out loud and now I love Charlie Brooker and want him to make all TV. It's a clever show made by a clever person so how the hell it ever actually got commissioned is a clerical error or wondrous proportions. TV Burp is very funny too but it celebrates crap TV rather than smashes it's pointless head in. Plus it's just nice to see the awful world of brainless TV spat on in such an original way, if you don't include In Bed With Me Dinner. I love it.

Another Christmas gig last night and, once again, I got away with it. The nightmare that is the Christmas gig is bound to rape my face off sometime in the next two weeks but, as of yet, I've managed to avoid any really bad ones. Last night was the 99 Club in Leicester Square, the (nearly) original home of The Comedy Store. Things didn't start well because I got there an hour and a half too early which is incredibly unfashionable even for me. Then when I went down to the bar for a beer they said they only did bottles. I don't like that. They may as well serve NOTHING. A bottle of beer is absolutely fine if you're the kind of person who really, really hates beer but is too spineless to admit it. I'm not that kind of person. Firstly there is NO beer in a bottle of beer and secondly it's generally more expensive than a pint glass that actually has beer in it. So, that put me in a foul mood. Then the show started and compere Lee Nelson was so funny that it made the gig almost impossible. He introduced me to the stage but, as he was brilliant, I wanted him to stay on. It was all that me and the audience had in common. Well, for a few minutes anyway. After that it was actually quite fun even if I was all over the place. Then, in my last two minutes when I was feeling very confident that the gig was going well, I saw Robin Ince walk in. I'm not sure when the last time was that Robin saw me do stand-up but from the second I saw him standing there I became as cack-handed and annoying as I was back then. Although he's younger than me, I take Robin as a sort of Father figure. I even want him to beat me sometimes. And I definitely feel terrible when I'm totally unfunny onstage in front of him. He's so head and shoulders above practically everyone on the circuit that, suddenly, my jokes about dogs not even being the same as cats start to dry up in my mouth. Even worse were his compliments afterwards because, although he barely mentioned the gig, he started praising the blog and telling me how I have to do a show somehow based on them. I'm trying to write my first one-man show right now and I agreed that it would be best if I made it a bit bloggy. This is shit because now that I've said it to Robin I'm going to have to actually do it because if I don't then he'll be right about me being a lazy hack. He never said that, of course, but there is a chance that he thinks it. So now I've got to write a show based on fury and powered by guilt. I fucking hate Robin. If you see him, punch his cunting punchable face in the face. Or join this: 

By the way, it was also very nice to see Andrew Bird last night who reminded me of the time we travelled to Aberystwyth together. To cut a long story short, I started shouting "Is everyone on this train a fucking arsehole". It was before blogging so it was my only outlet.

Monday, 8 December 2008

This Blog is Dedicated to Karen Matthews.

My thanks to Sophie Johnson who suggested that I watch this years British Comedy Awards. I was going to avoid it because I knew it would upset me but that's the point of this blog. Me being all grumpy. So well done, Sophie, for making sure that I'll never have a single moment of happiness thanks to watching that fucking smug display of back-slapping wankery. Comedy doesn't need an award. It doesn't fucking deserve one. OK, Geoffrey Perkins deserved his award and huge round of applause but then he did produce Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy, Father Ted and Big Train. No-one else involved in this parade of oblivious idiots deserved fuck not nothing. They did their job. Mainly, they did their job really fucking badly. They don't need a fucking award for that! That'll only encourage them. NEVER encourage these people. Do you want to see another series of Live At The Apollo? Of course you fucking don't, you're not a tool, so please stop encouraging comedians. Anything good about it? Oh, yes. Firstly there was the galaxy of stars at the event. Alec Baldwin, Eva Mendes, Stephen K. Amos. Yeah. Apparently he's famous now. But my favourite part of the night was the moment were the industry seemed to turn on Ricky Gervais. He won the bestest funny acting prize and during his acceptance video received nothing but jeers despite the fact that he was doing that joke about winning Golden Globes that he always does. I think he's funny but, my God, is he a prick. Also I enjoyed the fact that, due to decency and morals, they replaced the host, because he berated an old man over the phone, with someone who snorts coke off prostitutes. Although Angus Deayton was good, I thought. Frank Skinner was very funny. Kevin Bishop proved he's just as funny in real life, which must be murder for anyone who knows him. But I thought it was the writers who did a really great job. There were some very funny gags throughout. They should let those writers write a comedy instead of filling in the gaps when comedians aren't waving to the cameras and giving their inflated egos a "happy ending". Please don't let this show go on again. It just reminds us how awful the state of comedy is while it astounds with the amount of people in the industry who haven't a clue how awful the state of comedy is. When's that Peter Serafinowicz thing coming on?

I did two things yesterday that were both a little bit sad and brilliant at the same time. I spent two hours in a pub on my own watching Doctor Who on my iPod. It was The Curse of Peladon which features the second stupidest looking monster in Doctor Who's history ( but is utterly brilliant. I realised that an episode of Doctor Who takes up as much time as it takes to drink a pint of beer, so that makes any classic episode 2 units. Unless it's a UNIT episode, that makes it 3. So, it definitely wasn't a waste of time to find that out. The second thing I did which was a bit sad but brilliant was to play pool with some old men that I'd never met before. It was brilliant for numerous reasons, one being that one of the old men wore a Cud T-shirt. But the main thing I liked about it was the feeling of nostalgia. I used to be a member of the St. Patrick's Snooker Club in Newtownards when I was 16 and regularly got beaten at the game by very old men who stank of tobacco and time. I would go down there with my friend Dotes, who wasn't an old man, and he'd always give me an automatic 100 point lead anytime we played. He still won because Dotes was very good and I was hopeless despite the fact that I was a twat with my own Two-Piece cue with my name carved into it. I also had a guitar that I couldn't play. So, last night as I was playing pool I almost won a game! That's pretty good for me. I had only two balls to pot when I made the stupid mistake of being crap. The old man took advantage of my weakness, potted everything and shook my hand in triumph. It was the shaking of the hand that really took me back to my youth. I used to shake old men's hands a lot back then but I rarely do it these days, unless I'm compering and Steve Jameson is on. They were very nice men, by the way, and it was a pleasure to lose to them.

So, that's what I did in the pub. One thing I'm seriously thinking about not doing in a pub, or at least doing it a lot less, is drinking. I'm not as good at it as I used to be and I used to be shit at it. I got drunk on saturday night, that much I remember, but the next day I had to be reminded by Rob Heeney what I had done the night before. I hate that feeling. I got two messages from him yesterday. One was reminding me that a cab office hung up on me because I was speaking with a stupid voice (unbelievably, I thought that was funny at the time) and then he sent a second saying how much he loved my pixelated Brucie. I don't know what that means and I never want to know. I like mysteries so let's keep that one in as much of the dark as we can. Is getting older really going to do this to me? My feet hurt all the time, I have grey hair and now I can't drink properly. Is it really time to slow down? I'm only fucking 40. 

One final thing that you really don't have to read. Mock The Week is a cunt. I hate the programme anyway but yesterday I saw an advert on the tube for a Mock The Fucking Week book that had the statement "Thing You Don't Want For Christmas: The Entire Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who Boxset. Thing You Do Want For Christmas: The Smug Mock The Cunting Week Book". You have got me very wrong indeed, poster. You don't know me at all. I'd rather watch all of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor Who episodes along with a film of me getting my own head kicked in than live in the same postcode as a copy of the Mock The Week book. The thing that makes me angriest is that the Entire Sylvester McCoy Boxset doesn't exist but that crappy, crappy book that I've never read or seen does. Don't buy it. Instead write to the BBC demanding a McCoy boxset and then buy that. Thank you.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Another Prick.

The Christmas gigs keep coming but so far I've yet to be hit with an extremely awful one. It'll happen, of course, there's no avoiding it but so far so good. Last night I started off with a lovely gig at The Funny Side of Covent Garden. The audience were very fun and friendly even though I did get heckled. Just once. By another comedian. Fucking charming. Didn't ruin the gig though and, to be fair, it must be sort of liberating for a comedian to heckle. I obviously wouldn't do it but only because I might not know when to stop once I've started. Then I was off to the very lovely Downstairs at The Kings Head which is one of those gigs that comedians generally look forward to because it's just so very, very nice. But my gig didn't start off that way. 

John Lenahan, the compere, was about to bring me on when a couple returned from the bar after the interval. They confidently and rudely walked right across the stage in front of John and when he pointed out that that was pretty rude the "man" turned to him and raised his middle finger. He gave John a very serious, cold stare which, apparently, he'd given all the comedians that night. What an almighty penis. His girlfriend was utterly embarrassed but with a look that screamed He's always like this. What's the point in coming to a comedy club if you are genuinely without mirth on any level. A comedy club is surely a fun thing not a fucking test. Then when I walked on I saw the same prick talking to another member of the audience. By the time I got to the mic I heard him say "Do you want to take it to the next level?" Now, it has been pointed out to me that they could have been discussing a game of Mariokart but, I suspected from his angry tone, that he was being threatening. Therefore I stopped my set, which hadn't begun yet, and asked to have him chucked out. The audience seemed to be very much up for that idea too and there is something fun about turning a lovely, cosy, middle-class, Crouch End audience into an "OUT! OUT! OUT!" shouting mob in the space of a few seconds. The thing is, as soon as he was kicked out I was overwhelmed with this terrible feeling of guilt. Who the fuck do I think I am that I can just demand that the owner of the club, the very man who will later on give me £12.50 for doing "jokes", throws someone out of his own establishment? What an egotistical prick. Luckily, that audience are really into egotistical pricks because basically my set was the most self-indulgent pile of ME ME ME that you could be unlucky enough to witness but my constant references to the man who got chucked out and, James, the man who got threatened by him meant I totally got away with it. There was even the odd quite funny bit about reclaiming the "giving the middle finger". If I can remember that I might have a bit of new material on my hands but, you know, that won't happen.

I don't really know where a good place to start a fight is but I'd like to think that a comedy club would be one of the less likely ones. But it still happens. The rest of my night was a big booze drunk. I can't help but think that my blog has just turned into a diary over the last couple of weeks. That'll have to change. Maybe Peter Kay will do something tomorrow and I'll be all upset and we'll all be back to normal. In the meantime, please download the latest Collings and Herrin Podcast. It's very funny.

Saturday, 6 December 2008


There is only one thing worse than a comedian and that is an audience. Audiences are awful. OK, they pay money to see the show and some of that money goes to paying comedians but, really, if they would all just fuck off we'd be a lot happier. They come in and sit down and somehow just expect us to be funny or something without them making a fucking effort to be in any way entertaining themselves. And they're ugly. And whispering? Well, I don't know where they learned how to do that although, obviously, I've asked lots of times. And last night I performed in front of an audience that I hated. I turned up at Big Night Out in Leicester Square while the brilliant Simon Evans was still on and dealing with a bunch of fucking arses. I'll give you an example of their fat, bald, ugly ignorance; Simon: "I live with my wife and daughter in Brighton". Fat, Bald, Ugly Prick: "Yeah, I thought you might, you bender". Yes, this is how these people are celebrating the goodwill of Christmas. You know, by being cunts. Eventually Simon expertly got the remaining nice people of the audience on his side and asked the Fat, Bald, Ugly Pricks to leave. One of them did. The rest of the gig was polite (sort of) but a little bit quiet considering how incredibly funny Simon is. Then I went on. I was nervous because, let's face it, I'm nowhere near as good as Simon is. Not even close. But I had a great gig. It was great. Great in as much as the things I said got laughs and applause. So why didn't I enjoy it? Well, I thought the audience were a bunch of dicks (most of them anyway) and if they liked me then I must be a dick too. It's a horrible feeling knowing that you're just as stupid and pointless as those thick fuckers. After the gig a man came up to me to tell me how much he liked my act. I thanked him and he responded with "Better than the first one anyway". Like fuck I am, you fucking idiot. That's how fucking simple these mindless morons were. They liked me and I'm not half as good as Simon Evans. Greg Burns was .. me. They must have treated him as a God. Fucking audiences. Just avoid them. And if you're thinking of becoming an audience member can I just ask you to kindly reconsider? You're not needed, thank you.

Big Night Out is an excellent gig, by the way. Even Jeremy O'Donnell, the booker and compere, wasn't exactly mad keen on his audience but that's what happens. Especially this time of year. I also had a gig at the Funny Side of Covent Garden that was fun and I decided to round the night off with a trip to Spank at The Albany, Great Portland Street. I'm not a fan of comedy, as you know, but I do like seeing a man getting his cock out on stage so Spank is the place for me. It was a fun night, really. When I got there Eddie Izzard was on! Not the actual comedian but his act was there. Plus there was sketches, character comedy and a cake eating competition. It was good to see that Spank had their fair share of pricks in the audience too. People shouting out or just drunkenly making noises. To be fair, I did a bit of the shouting out myself proving even more that I am a dick like my BNO audience. As a burnt-out husk of a comedian, it was all a bit much but I couldn't be all grumpy about it because there were lots of new acts there and everything about being at a gig excited them. One of them, Dave Gorman, has only done about 15 gigs and the beaming grin and wide-eyed enthusiasm he displayed just hanging out at the Spank post-show disco was very inspiring. I hope he sticks with it. I hope he's not one of those fly-by-nights who just do it for a couple of years, wins an award and then fucks off to telly and book deals like some other cunts. I really don't know why I'm complaining today, other than the fact that I like complaining. I had a good night and I got a bit drunk with some nice friends. That's nice, isn't it? OK, it would have been better without an audience. Remember the old adage; There are no bad gigs, only bad audiences.

Yeah. A nice night. I'm nursing a tiny hangover that I feel I earned. I'm in my pants drinking tea and eating Hob-Nobs while listening to some great music. And, for the first time in a month, I am in my house on my own. Bliss.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Sainsburys and Celebrities.

I've taken a lot from my Father-In-law of late. His swearing and his homophobia plus his insistence on saying the phrase "I only (FILL IN BLANK) on days ending with Y" about 12 times a day. But Wednesday was when he pushed me to the limit. While walking round Sainsbury's, one of Lewisham's biggest tourist draws, we happen to pass Les from Vic Reeves Big Night Out doing his shopping. I was extremely excited. I'm a huge fan of Big Night Out and you might remember Les' brilliant catchphrase "What have you got with the sticks, Les?" He was fantastic and even when doing his shopping he's still the same old Les that I used to love, in as much as he wasn't buying chives. I excitedly pointed out to my Father-In-Law who Les was and his only response was "So what?" I felt like killing him on the spot. My Father-In-Law will never be half the man Les is, pretty bad considering Les is fictional. His nonchalance towards Les put me in a grumpy mood instantly and I plotted a revenge. Later that night I took my Father-In-law to a pub quiz. That showed him! "Who played Tucker in the TV series Grange Hill?" Don't you know, you fucking American idiot? Ha ha! "In what county would you find the town of Paignton?" That's easy, you stupid foreign bastard! "How many grammes per kilometre are in the average Bowler Hat?" HA HA! You dozy penis, you weren't even born here! Fucking idiot. Anyway, to summarise, he doesn't care about Les and that makes me upset.

I'm glad he didn't join me at Sainsbury's yesterday. Obviously, since seeing Les there I've decided to go there every day in the hope of seeing him again and becoming his special friend. I didn't see Les but I did see someone that I didn't expect. I saw Katy Manning who played Jo Grant, the Doctor's companion, in Doctor Who in the early seventies. I immediately called Johnny Candon who said that I should go up to her and tell her I'm a big fan. To be honest, that's generally Johnny's advice about anything but this time it actually seemed to make sense. So, I went over to her and nervously asked if she was Katy Manning (well, I had to be totally sure, she's had a lot of work done) and she said yes. I told her I was a huge fan and she pretty much smiled and walked away. It was as if Les from Vic Reeves Big Night Out had gone up to my Father-In-Law and my Father-In-Law just said "So what?". I was mildly crushed. They do say that you should never meet your heroes but I think the same should go for people who worked with your heroes for a couple of years and hammed their way through a handful of terrible scripts (and two good ones). Good to know she's a Lewisham person. We've got Jo and Ace now. No doubt Sarah Jane, when all her Childless Adventures are behind her, shall move here soon. 

A bad gig doesn't matter if the journey there and back is fun. Not that last night's gig at the Showcase Cinema in Leicester was bad. It definitely wasn't, but it was very, very odd. A cinema isn't a relaxing place for a gig, not for a performer anyway. Firstly, people already have it in their heads that, because they're in a cinema, they have to be quiet. Very quiet. Plus, because it was quite a plush cinema everyone had a lovely big, comfy seat to relax in and the ceiling was so high it just felt that intimacy wasn't really on the cards. But it was OK. All acts were good, I was cheesey but brief and it was run by Ad who is very nice. All OK but it didn't exactly rock. I didn't mind because I got a lift up to Leicester with Martin Hill and Tom Deacon. I'd never met them before but they're thoroughly nice blokes and great to spend a car journey with. They're both pretty new so had the positivity, vigour and excitement about the comedy circuit that I had in the year 1794. They were almost too positive sometimes. They both thought that Peter Kay was good, so that gives you an idea how fresh-faced they both are. Don't worry, Grandpa Legge put them right. Then cynicism arrived. Tom looked up a loud, angry comedian's MySpace page on his young persons iPhone and we all howled with laughter at it's content. It was basically all about how much he could drink and the rules Bill Hicks "taught" us. Why do comedians do this? There is NOTHING cool about being a comedian AT ALL. It is immediate geek territory and I'm very happy with that. Bill Hicks wasn't cool. He was a brilliant comedian with terrible taste in music and a sideline in sanctimonious. Not cool. I really wish that Bill Hicks had never died because then he would have fucked up by doing an advert or a pro-Bush routine or something and all the people who play dress-up as him on the comedy circuit would never have existed. The way back from the gig was just as nice as I got a lift from Dan Antoploski who is just an utterly brilliant comic and, incredibly, not a stupid arse. I know it's not much of a driving story because really you need to be in a car with two nice comedians and one absolute cunt to make it a perfect journey (Let's play the "Worst Car Journey" game in the comments section now). But it was good to have fun enroute even though the gig wasn't spectacular. It was still well worth the trip.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

A Voyage Round My Father-In-Law.

I've spent a lot of time with my Father-In-Law over the last month. Not all of it good, due to his new-found freedom in swearing, but some of it has been extremely fun and funny indeed. He loves swearing. More than me even. But it's OK coming from me because I am a child, albeit a 40 year old one. He's a grown up and should know better but, and I'm not saying it's a bad thing, he definitely doesn't. Over the years he's been the very dictionary definition of quite conservative, polite, clean-cut American now it's all fuck, shit and, one one occassion, red cunt hair.But it's not just this incredible release of swearing that's brought a brand new sparkle to his life because over the last two days he's really been enjoying a love of homophobia. I hate homophobia. The very thought that a man can hate another man just because one of them MIGHT find the other attractive is just baffling and more than a little horrible. I say horrible, when it comes from my Father-In-Law there's almost an old-world, innocent charm about it. It's not like he goes into gay bars with a machete, it's more like he giggles at the very sight of any man who is either slightly effeminate or even just well dressed. They don't have to be actually gay, they can just be neat and tidy and still suffer the intense wrath of my Father-In-Law making his hand go limp and talking in a "whoopsie" voice. Basically, it's like Dick Emery has entered his body, something my Father-In-Law would hate because a man in another man is a bit gay, I suppose. My favourite piece of his homophobia is his learning of the word "bender". Apparently that's not used in America and he'd never heard of it until he came over here. It's certainly not a word used in his hometown of Greenville, Illinois which is a dry town, in other words alcohol is illegal there. I hate homophobia but not drinking seems a bit gay to me, but if he's happy then that's fine. There's nothing wrong with not drinking. I mean, we all experimented with not drinking when we were young, right? So he has nothing to be deeply ashamed about. Actually, coming to think about it, surely visiting England is seen as gay by a lot of Americans so maybe he is experimenting after all. The great thing about his love of the word "bender" is the fact that he can't remember it. He keeps going around calling well-groomed, good looking men "bangers" which just make him sound like he's interested in them. "Look at those pair of bangers", he would say. They were very handsome, I'll give him that.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I Heart Big, Fat Cunt Peter Kay.

Last night I was lucky enough to gig with the Canadian philosopher Mike Wilmot who put something into brilliant perspective for me. In a round about way, Mike pointed out to me that I didn't hate Peter Kay at all. At first, I felt dubious of this opinion because I could have sworn that I definitely did hate him. I could have sworn that I wanted to force feed Garlic Bread and Spangles down the boring dullards throat until he exploded and then bathed in his awful, awful guts but Mike was sure I was wrong. He pointed out in a very calm, rational, albeit quite drunk fashion that it wasn't Peter Kay I hated, it was his audience. I immediately went wide-eyed and felt a warm light hit my face. He was completely right. It's the people who put Peter Kay where he is today, and still support him, that are the true villains in this piece. Why are they doing it? What are they possibly getting out of it? Surely, there can't be that many people who still need to be reminded of things like Space-Hoppers and the Dairy Box adverts, mainly due to the fact that anyone who was around then hasn't forgotten them. So, what can we do to stop this audience from further supporting, basically, nothing? I think I'm not going to beat Peter Kay so instead I'm going to join him. From now on my blog is going to be swamped in pointless reminders of the past so soon people who loved him will love me instead and when they come to see me do a gig they won't see me talking about pointless things like Cola-Cubes because I talk about pointless things like Lidl, which is quite modern. HA HA! They won't hear a single reference to the '70's but by then it'll be too late because Peter Kay fans can't really think for themselves and they'll just have to go along with my shit instead of his. OK, it needs a bit of work but it's worth a try, isn't it? If a blog by a total nobody can bring down Peter Kay it's worth supporting so please pass my blog onto any Peter Kay fans that you're lumbered with in your life. They'll like my blog. Starting now.

So, last night on stage at The Boat Show, like a bag of Rancheros, I was swallowed up and turned to shit. I'm not saying I died (unlike Reginald Bosanquet, eh? Remember him?) but I just couldn't get the audience at all. They pretty much tolerated me as I grasped for straws (CRAZY STRAWS! What happened to them?) and ran out of things to say. It was a far cry from how I felt at the Christmas gig on friday when I was all confidence and swagger. Maybe it was the audience? Yeah. Maybe it was them and not me at all. Maybe they were just a bunch of boring idiots who didn't get cutting edge comedy about Lidl like what I was giving them. Maybe I was brilliant and they were just a shit, shit crowd, eh? Micky Flanagan, Doc Brown, Hal Cruttenden and Mike Wilmot all went on stage and were incredible. Probably the best night of comedy I've seen in quite a while, really. All of them got the big laughs and applause that they deserved so maybe it was me after all. Of course, I'm being hard, like a gobstopper, on myself. Lots of people came up to me afterwards to say thank you and well done. Lots of them. Admittedly, I was standing next to either Mike Wilmot or Doc Brown at the time so it would have been pretty rude to just ignore me and they were nice people. I basically got the We're-All-Winners-At-The-Special-Olympics pat on the head that I probably deserved. Hey, at least I turned up. Like Jeans in the 70's.

I really need to pull my finger out and start writing my one-man show for Edinburgh. I have a preview in February and I haven't even come up with a solid idea of what it's going to be about. I've never done a solo show before and I'm scared. There are several problems with my one-man show; Firstly, it's badly cast. I would have gone for Stewart Lee or Bill Murray but neither of them replied to my thousands of emails. Secondly, it's not written. Still at least I've got a press quote for the preview in February. It's part of the (of all places) Leicester comedy Festival and the quote I've used is actually from a The Clock Hour review stating "He's the best thing in the show". For anyone's solo show that has to be a good thing.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Deep, Intellectual Conversation.

Last night I met up with Dan Mersh and Paul Litchfield of sketch group The Trap. We got together to discuss future plans and to generally swap ideas and create something very new, very edgy to reveal to a gasping, awe-inspired audience in the new year. The main thing that we discussed though was our own, seperate sexual awakenings which all seemed incredibly similar. Basically, it turns out that before we knew what a sexual yearning was we all had sexual yearnings for Princess Ardala from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. She was the sexy, evil princess who Buck Rogers kept knocking back because Buck Rogers is a fucking idiot. I can't help but think that actor Gil Gerrard had many meetings with the writers to see if the scripts could go in a different direction and then he'd go home, alone, and scream at his own cock. We then went on to PROVE that Ridley Scott is shit. Not that we should ever judge people. That's not right. Life's not a popularity poll, you know.

The Smile UK's Favourite Comedian Poll is a popularity poll and it is ridiculous. Peter Kay, a fat cunt, was voted as the UK's number one favourite comedian with an incredible 63% of the votes. Incredible in as much as it proves how staggeringly dull and thick the useless human race is that anyone, ANYONE, could think of this talentless heap of ball-sweat as anything other than pitiful. I scanned the top 10 about 80 or 90 times and I'm not in there at all but then, like Peter Kay, I have absolutely no right to be. Strangely, Billy Connolly isn't in there at all because, like, he's NOTHING in the UK, right? Mind you, it's a ridiculous poll anyway, all polls are ridiculous. Dawn French came 5th! DAWN FUCKING FRENCH! Just to make things worse, Smile also ran another seperate poll to decide who was the UK's Least Favourite Comedian. In there is Victoria Wood, Harry Hill, Jimmy Carr, Paul Merton, Russell Brand and Alan Bennett who are all now officially not as funny as Peter Bastard Kay, a man who hasn't done anything in years except re-release his Being Fat in Blackpool DVD over and over again. Who else is in the least favourite poll? Who else is not as funny as that useless cunt? Spike Milligan. God, I hate the public. If you see any of the public today just punch them and say that was for Spike, then repeatedly kick them while singing Show Me The Way To Amarillo. You can make yourself just as furious as me by checking out the results here: 

I stole that link from Chris and now I'd like to steal something from Robin Ince's blog. It is pretty funny. Enjoy.

Basically, it's safe to say, that not much happened yesterday. I bumped into Stephen Merchant. That was quite nice. He's still really lovely despite his crippling success and fame. Anyway, that was it.