Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Dead Man Walking.

I'm going through a bit of a spell. It's nothing new. It happens every six months or so. I go to a gig, jump up on stage with enthusiasm and vigour and then....nothing. My heart's just not in it. This will last for a few gigs, anywhere between 3 and 500, until something snaps me out of it. Every night getting on stage and looking at the ugly, disgusting, punchable faces of each and every audience member who have the gall to give me attention in an airless, black box of a venue that was rude enough to give me employment. Who the hell do these people think they are? Can't they see that I just want to sit in a corner, crying into my sick and feeling sorry for myself?

Watching robot comedians is just depressing. Dead behind the eyes, unfeeling, empty cyborgs who electronically transmit their act word for word without any deviation at all every single night without knowing the difference between a good night and a bad night (they are ALL bad nights) and then drink themselves into a coma to rid themselves of the last of their humanity. Emotionless ghosts who have no choice but to hang around after the show in the hope that someone from Earth will come up to them and tell them they were good and that everything will be OK and when they hear "You're amazing. How do you do that every night?" their electronic mouth says "Thanks" but their hollow, hollow skull screams "BECAUSE I'M DEAD. I WILL REMAIN IN LIMBO DOING THE SAME THING EVERY SINGLE DAY UNTIL THIS CURSE IS LIFTED. NOW EITHER BUY ME MORE BOOZE, FUCK ME OR KILL ME AGAIN". Well, they're my friends and I'm often like that myself.

On Saturday night, I did a gig in Bethnal Green and I just couldn't get it to work. I'm not sure if it was what I was wearing, the venue's PA or the material that I am bored shitless with but there was just something that wasn't right. Luckily, I had a very generous audience who patiently sat through my incredibly dull performance and only dreamt of punching me instead of actually doing it. I'm very grateful to them.

I was in a mood though and I still had another gig in Forest Hill to do. Well, I can't look and act that bored at this gig. I'll be utterly depressed if that happens. But lo and behold, I got on the stage and flung the same shit at a group of people who deserved better. Halfway through, something happened. I just told a story about something that happened to me a few weeks ago. Something that was so "my blog" that I didn't blog about it. But the story worked on stage and I was happy and animated telling it. Thank fuck for that.

Then I went straight back to doing my material and the audience shrugged and let me. BALLS!

Like I say, something comes along to just snap you out of that feeling and, luckily, mine came along right after the gig. Lynn Chambers, who was also on the bill, congratulated me on my story going down well. This made me happy because the rest of the gig was a shambles. "Do you mind if I say something about the rest of your act?", said Lynn.

Ah, crap.

"Please, go ahead", I said even though I meant to tell her to fuck off. "Well", she continued while trying to find the right words. "It's just like you don't like the rest of your material and you can't wait to get rid of it".

Well done, Lynn! Those were the right words and they have been making me laugh for the last couple of days. She's completely right. For the last few gigs I've basically been getting on stage and shouting "I HATE THIS SHIT. YOU HAVE IT" at the audience. And that's that. Time to shake up my act a little bit, write some new stuff, take a few risks and, you know, maybe enjoy myself on stage a bit. And then the cycle can start all over again.

Last night I performed at the excellent Storytellers in Hoxton. I wasn't great but at least I wasn't great while trying out new stuff.


Monday, 28 June 2010

Who Won.


Did I ever doubt that they wouldn't win? Of course, I did. I've seen my team lose so many times before and I'm well aware of the disappointment and depression that brings. I take it as a personal let down. Why did they do this to me? What a pathetic display. They were rubbish. There were so many chances to score and they missed them all. Is the Head Writer blind? Yes, my team is Doctor Who and I am 41 years old.

The latest series is over. Fuck it, latest SEASON. Let's stick with the analogy. They played a blinder. It started and ended gloriously with only a few minor losses on the way and it was exciting the whole way through. From beginning to end. In fact, from before the beginning. The changes to the TV show for little children were massive. New producers, new cast, new head writer. That last one was the most exciting of all the news before the series started. Steven Moffat wrote the very best episodes of Doctor Who since it came back and now he's in charge the excitement has reached a peak. A peak that the children who love the show won't give a shit about but is so important to the unhealthy middle-aged men who go on to forums and embarrass themselves by complaining that it's not as good as when Colin Baker was in it. Yes, Steven Moffat's presence is felt throughout the series but him being in charge soon played second fiddle to The Doctor himself. The brand new Doctor, Matt Smith, appeared on screen crashing the TARDIS in the first episode and after 10 minutes, if even that, he was just perfect. I mean really, really perfect. Look what I'm writing right now: He's the best Doctor ever.

I mean, he's not my favourite Doctor. Not yet. But he is the best. The series wasn't 100% perfect but Matt Smith didn't seem to know that a couple of the episodes were duff or that some plotlines didn't make sense or that some of the other actors were terrible. He just rose above everything and was constantly quirky and interesting and angry and sad and funny and clever and perfect. I wonder when I'll start hating him?

The boring Silurians, the crap Daleks and Richard Curtis' moronic, patronising attitude to mental illness couldn't ruin the series. There was just too much good stuff in there to complain too much. Karen Gillan being as mad as The Doctor, loads of references about actual time travel (that sometimes gets forgotten in Doctor Who) and the little things, the tiny, obscure, trivial, magnificently important little things that made this series just incredible. The Doctor not knowing how much is a lot of money, the TARDIS makes it's materialising noise because The Doctor keeps the brakes on and, best of all, River Song getting a Vortex Manipulator that was "fresh off the wrist of a handsome time agent". BRILLIANT! Someone cut off Captain Jack's arm! That makes me incredibly happy knowing that Captain Jack can't die but you can hack him to bits.

A brilliant series and I pity any idiot that doesn't love it and follow it religiously exactly the way I do. But I know how they must feel when I talk about Doctor Who. Left out is how they feel. I know this because I have lost everyone to football. Friends who don't like football have all suddenly become interested because of the World Cup so they either won't come to the pub with me or they will come to the pub only to watch the football. I can't watch football. It hurts me. Even going on Twitter is cold and lonely these days. Seeing people I know and respect giving commentary to a fucking football match just makes me feel like I don't know these people at all. And they are cunts.

Plus, these days, if you're a man and you are drinking outside a pub that is decked with sad and embarrassed looking St. George's crosses, could you do me a big favour? Would you mind putting on some clothes, please, you disgusting prick? Thank you.


Friday, 25 June 2010

Certain People I Know.

You and me should hang out. You don't have enough weirdos in your life and I'm not only a weirdo but I attract other weirdos too. Yes, hanging out with me will bring you all the weirdos you could ever dream of. Drunks, shouters, the criminally insane. They all end up near me at some point. I'm the Sunnydale for weirdos.

Two memorable ones over the last few days. The first one was a woman who might have been mentally ill but in Lewisham it's hard to tell. I say that with no amount of flippancy. There are just so many odd people in Lewisham (me being one) that being mentally ill could go completely unnoticed here. The odd definitely outweigh the ordinary. I was in the park with Jerk who was enjoying the sunshine. It makes her want to run around in bursts of energy that I can't even imagine having. Unfortunately, this just gets her boiling hot so I try to control her running by throwing a ball for her and then after a few runs I throw it in the river to cool her down. I am a very caring, lovely and sexually gymnastic dog owner. But this strange woman started staring at me and Jerk and was soon ruining the happy-in-the-sunshine mood especially when she walked over and stood pretty much right beside me. She watched Jerk run for the ball and back to me and did a fair bit of muttering. It was sooooo relaxing.

Eventually she spoke. It wasn't great speaking but it was definitely better than her just hovering there mumbling. She said "You're torturing that dog".

Jerks excitement and tail-wagging joy at running after a ball showed me up for the evil dog-torturer that I am. Finally, someone had tried to stop my evil playing-with-my-dog ways. I'll be careful what I say next to this lady. I know, I'll pretend that I didn't quite hear her. That'll give me time to figure out how to kill her and get away with it. "Sorry?", I said.

"You're torturing that dog. It's too hot".

"She's fine. She's just been in the river. She's actually very cool now".

"No he isn't. He's sweating".

"SHE isn't. Dogs don't sweat".

"Well, why is he wet then?"

"Because the river is".

The woman spent the next uncomfortable 15 seconds staring at my face, my forehead to be exact, before shaking her massive, angry head and tutted off. That's the kind of person that you'll meet when you hang out with me.

Then two days ago (it might have been the same day, I am old and can't remember things), I was returning from a furious trip to Sainsbury's, carrying a bag-for-life full of groceries over my shoulder. A car drove past me and the driver leaned out of his window, shouted "Hello, Darling" and made the duckie limp-wrist hand gesture. It was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. I had left Sainsbury's and somehow gone back in time to the 70's. How refreshing to meet men who consider homosexuality so threatening they must shout about it and the pinnacle of that homosexuality is a man carrying shopping. You know, like a woman. That's the kind of person you'll meet when you hang out with me.

I wanted this blog to be a bit longer and more detailed (and funny) but Johnny Candon has just arrived, terrified my dog and sending her into a barking fit and then he put Olivia Lee's Naughty Bits on my TV. That's the kind of person you'll meet when you hang out with me.

So, when are we meeting up?


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Make Some Noise.

My taste in music is scattered. I like a bit of everything (except classical music which is shit). Although my collection is mainly indie there are lots of Sugababes, De La Soul, Beach Boys, various musicals and Miles Davis stuff in there. To be very honest, I only bought the Miles Davis stuff because having jazz albums lying around automatically makes you look cool. I have no intentions of ever listening to it. I like little bits of Ska, little bits of Electronica, little bits of Pop, really wee tiny, tiny, tiny bits of Reggae and little bits of Opera. But my first love may turn out to be my last. Lately, I have become metal thrashing mad.

I was 11 when I saw Iron Maiden perform Running Free live on Top Of The Pops and I loved them. They were the first band in years to perform really, properly live. They sounded awful and looked like twats. How could I not completely relate to them? I taped the song off the radio and listened to it on repeat. The next year I joined their fan club. Buying any of their records was beyond me financially but it had never actually occurred to me to that buying their records was that important. It certainly wasn't as important as owning a badge with their name on it and having a badly printed crap magazine with their beautiful mascot, Eddie, smudged on the cover. Soon buying Kerrang! magazine and learning more about Iron Maiden and their equally good looking and fashionable contemporaries became a normal part of my waking-up-go-to-school-be-bored-go-to-bed life. These people fitted in nowhere but had somehow made a career of their geekiness, odd shaped bodies and terrible hair. I liked these people a lot.

Soon Def Leppard, Gillan and Judas Priest would be scrawled over my schoolbag and, as I got older, Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica joined them. Why did I like them? Why wasn't I into the same music as my classmates and other people my age that I knew? Easy. I was a geek the day I was born and it was almost impossible to disguise that. Kids at my school loved The Specials and fighting and showing off their schoolpubes. That wasn't me. I was, and still am, almost completely hairless, my wrists are too snappable for fighting and The Specials reflected the stark reality of their generation. Like I say, I was a geek and wasn't supposed to be part of this generation and in Heavy Metal I saw other awkward people revelling in their geekiness. Plus their music was over-the-top, loud and funny. All the things none of us could be outside of the music. Not without getting a slap off a 6ft 13 year old who wears his pubes as a badge.

Plus other bands were liars. U2 were worthy, serious and tedious and sang about things they thought they could sell. Whereas Twisted Sister got drunk, put on their sisters clothes and shouted. I know who I have more respect for.

In 1987 I made the ultimate Heavy Metal pilgrimage. I went to the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donnington. I saw Cinderella, W*A*S*P, Anthrax, Metallica, Dio and (embarrassingly) Bon Jovi and as it was a Heavy Metal pilgrimage I did the decent thing and went alone. All the way from Belfast on a bus. Two days (there and back) without sleep. To meet my people.

Lately, I can't seem to stop listening to Metallica (and A Little Night Music apparently) so it was with an incredible amount of excitement that I went to see them last night. It didn't bother me that I had never been so far away from the stage in my life. I had tickets for the front of the balcony at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square and the band themselves where in Sofia, Bulgaria. It didn't hinder my view though because the gig was magically broadcast to the cinema. I know. It's weird. A full on Heavy Metal gig where people sit quietly, eating popcorn and staring at a screen. At least no-one was in my way or touching me or jumping up and down in front of me and there was none of that booze to ruin things. Yes, it was a very grown up affair. Heavy Metal is growing old gracefully just like me.

Just like in 1987, it was a full on festival. Not just Metallica but Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth also. And just like in 1987, I went on my own. I didn't mean to but I did. I was supposed to go with a girl this time (God, that would have blown their minds in '87) but it was a girl who might be a little bit late and then it was a girl who might have to do a bit more work actually and then it was a girl who will probably not be there until the end. Oh, well. I can still walk in there with my head held high and simply shout "I AM MARRIED NOW. A WOMAN HAS HAD SEX WITH ME. SEE THIS COCK? I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE TO HAVE TOUCHED IT" but when I got there there were only about 30 men there (no women obviously) and, as they all looked like me, I screamed and left.

There is no way I'm going to be able to do this without booze.

A great idea smashed me in the face. I'll go on Twitter and see if anyone is around and have a drink with them. I reached for my phone and thought "DON'T FUCKING DO THAT! WHAT IF SOMEONE SAYS YES". I normally never listen to me but I had to begrudgingly admit that I had a point. Luckily, Liz Buckley is even stupider than me because she had tweeted what I hadn't the guts to tweet. She was in Central London and needed booze company. Yay! Liz is my favourite! I can booze WITH A GIRL then go to see Metallica! FUCK YOU, 1987!

We had booze in the sun and I left Liz in the company of writers and artists on the South Bank. She pretended that she wasn't jealous that I was going to sit in a cinema with a bunch of old men watching a bunch of old men singing loud old men songs but I knew her eye-rolling was fake. And Metallica were amazing.

God, I love Metallica. Big and daft and ridiculous and incredible. Big chunky riffs and disturbing lyrics and men playing fast guitar for other men who go ballistic. Well, they went ballistic in Sofia not in the cinema. They sat quietly and nodded and appreciated. All the things you shouldn't do when listening to Metallica. Muki and I sang, screamed, devil-horned and laughed. We didn't move from our seats, mind, but we joined in a bit. Then at the end, something beautiful happened.

Two things really. Metallica were joined on stage by the other three bands while they all performed a brilliant version of Diamond Head's Am I Evil? and downstairs the crowd were stirring. We looked over the balcony to see about 5 people get up on stage, dancing in front of the screen. Then 10 people. Soon 30 people. All jumping up and down, all screaming, singing and loving it. The geekiness of Metal opening it's doors to it's guests and letting them twat about like they can't elsewhere. It was lovely. Mainly because everyone who got up to "mosh" was about 16 years old. Good to see Heavy Metal is still doing it's job.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010


What a sad time it is for comedy. Yesterday Chortle broke the news of the death of a rival comedy website reviewer and paid tribute to her by pointing out her spelling mistakes and biased reviews, something you could never accuse Chortle itself of doing. Then it broke the news that the great Frank Sidebottom had passed away. I didn't click on Chortle's report of the story purely for fear that it showed this extremely funny and original comedian respect by calling him a big fat cunt or something. Chortle have obviously realised that being dead is THE comedy angle of 2010 and has started an anti-being dead bandwagon for us all to jump on. It's a classy site and no mistake.

That said, I'm slightly impressed that, despite trying to stir up pointless shit about Rufus Hound "stealing" a joke, Chortle kept the line "Mr Bennett: If you don't understand that, in the world of live comedy, mud sticks and that you have just a little responsibility to double-check before you fling it, go fuck yourself" in Rufus' response to them. Chortle even, sort of, apologised to Rufus. Sometimes I think that Chortle is really growing up. And then there are days like yesterday.

You'll no doubt agree with me that the most awful thing to happen to comedy recently, or indeed ever, is the news that Jack Whitehall, despite all the press and media opportunities he has been allowed, is still insisting he is 21. He's been 21 for two fucking years. Mind you, he will be ageing rapidly now. I mean his career is definitely OVER. Like nearly everyone in the entertainment or journalism business, Jack Whitehall took a bad drug and, like nearly everyone in the entertainment or journalism business, his career must be thrown into the bin of destroyed dreams and watery shit. Jack will just have to join the failed ranks of Russell Brand, Robin Williams and Otto from The Simpsons who would all have had promising careers in comedy were it not for their evil need to drug up (is that the right phrase?). OK, so he wasn't exactly a household name when he ended up in the News Of The World photographed with a line of coke and, with other TV appearances and an Edinburgh run to promote, it might look to the untrained eye that the picture was probably sent in by his management but THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT TRUE. And now we will never hear of Jack again. Yes, yes, yes, his talent should see him out of this one and he's got that new Stand Up For The Week on Channel 4 but, come on, no-one ever made a career after being caught with drugs even if he's proven that cocaine keeps you looking two years younger than you actually are.

Shame. I thought he was a very nice young man.

By the way, this is Day 4 of the toilet defeating me. It's hacksaw day.


Monday, 21 June 2010

Fixed and Broken.

Sometimes it's hard to be a man.

My toilet is beating me in the tough-guy-of-the-house game. Up until the last few days I was well ahead of the game. I mean, normally I do nothing whatsoever so there was no real proof that I was a crap man but over the last few days I have stupidly decided to prove that I am brilliant at being male. As you know, that means fixing things. Fixing things that I have broken.

Early on I surprised myself at how easy it was to fix things. I fixed two sets of drawers that I had broken about three years ago and then my bedroom door that I had broken two weeks ago. I fixed them all by myself without ANY HELP. I even went to B&Q like a real man to get the stuff I needed. Stuff like woodfiller (whatever that is) and WD40. I've never bought WD40 before in my life and it felt great. It was like I'd grown a brand new cock. Of course, that was nothing compared to the feeling that I got from turning to a grown man in an apron and saying "Do you have a pair of running butts, please?" He did and, after I paid him money, he gave them to me and thanked me. That is the power you have when you finally become a MAN.

I felt 8 feet tall walking out of B&Q on Saturday. I had a bag filled with things that fix other things and I walked with a swagger that shouted I GET THINGS DONE. People stepped out of my way because they all recognised a man with a mission when they see one. Just a man with his tools, listening to A Little Night Music, on his way to put (household) wrongs to right.

The drawers and the bedroom door had been tamed, now to take on the toilet seat.

The toilet seat was very unique in my house. It's the only thing here that wasn't broken by me. But like everything in my house I had just left it for months and did nothing about it. I spent months going to the bathroom, sitting on the toilet seat, falling off, getting up again, doing a bit of business, falling off, tweeting, falling off, finish business, falling off, more tweeting, make wipey and leaving. Well, no more. That may have been how they went to the toilet in Victorian times but it was time for me to move on. I would take what's left of the seat from the toilet and replace it with a brand new seat. One that wasn't all smashed to bits. One that didn't push you to the floor when you sat down. One that showed you a bit of respect.

I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.

I'm on Day 3 of trying to unscrew that bastarding bastard toilet seat bastard from my toilet and it refuses to budge. The screw is corroded, due to my manly freeform style of urinating, and it has become a solid, rigid, going-nowhere bastard. It has laughed at WD40, Tabasco Sauce, Lemon Juice, pliers and my weak, weak wrists. It is completely stubborn and only makes a "Eeeeeeeeeee" noise when I use every ounce of my strength on it. "Eeeeeeeeeee". "Eeeeeeeeeeee". "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" like the laughter of pure evil.

This has to be fixed today. 3 days is too long to spend on the removal and replacement of a toilet seat. My brand new cock is shrivelling up and coughing.

There was a time when Toilet was my target of mockery in this blog. I don't like it when toilet laughs back.


Thursday, 17 June 2010

I'll Give You a Shout.

Had a lot of fun with Robin Ince at our preview of Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire. We had an hour to talk about things that make us furious. It should go without saying that an hour was simply not enough. Even our Top 10 Things That Annoy Us Today list had 12 things in it and we only talked about 4 of them because we kept remembering more things that upset us. Thanks to everyone who came to it. We have a few more previews and then we'll be performing it at the Edinburgh Fringe at The GRV from the 6th-18th August.

This is something I wrote for the show last night. I think I even got round to actually saying some of it. This was in the My Angry Hero section. It's been a while since I read about this man but I think I've got my very basic story right. If not, let me know. I realise I'm cheating in this blog by just cutting and pasting something but, you know, fuck off. This is free. Enjoy:


Do you like art? I love art. I’m happy to say that I’m fortunate enough to have a collection of incredibly beautiful paintings on my phone. Banksy. All that shit. Brilliant ringtone too. I KEEL YOU! Very funny.

I think it’s safe to say that all art before the 1950’s was fucking shit. They should just get rid of it. It’s all pictures of fruit or pictures of God or pictures of God eating fruit. I like the one with the banana. That was cheeky. But really all art was terrible and all artists were wankers and the art world was dead. Before the 50’s, nothing had happened in art since before cave paintings when people used to make statues out of mammoth tusks and man-dung. Some of us had moved on from then. I’m talking to you, Emin.

But luckily in the 1950’s a man would come along and save us. Piero Manzoni made incredible art. He did amazing paintings of silhouettes of things like scissors and pliers and very quickly became the Italian art version of our very own Morph. Brilliantly, he was angry. He hated the art world. Why would he not? It’s pretentious, elitist and apparently even Timmy fucking Mallett can do it. So he used that anger wisely. He started selling toot to some of the very best galleries in the world. Canvases painted white. Not just one of them. A whole collection of completely white canvases. The reviews? INCREDIBLE!


He drew really basic line drawings with a twist. He rolled them up and put them in a tube, sealed the tube and then signed it. If you opened it and looked at the painting it would be RUINED! The reviews? MAGNIFICENT!

For fuck’s sake.

He blew up balloons, sold them and called the collection “Artist’s Breath”. The reviews? THAT IS THE BOMB!


Right. He sold eggs with his thumb print on it, boxes that if you stood on them then you were art and even painted bread. He could do nothing wrong and all the art world loved him.

Except for one reviewer.

One of Italy’s art glitterati got bored of Manzoni and complained that galleries would buy ANYTHING that he made no matter what it was. He could sell his own shit for it’s weight in gold.

My favourite piece of art that Piero Manzoni ever created was his collection known as The Artist’s Shit. This beautiful man, a cross between Picasso and Beadle, put his own shit into 99 30gr tins and sold them to galleries in accordance with the daily exchange rates for gold.

I’d like to see Timmy Mallett do that. I would hate to see Timmy Mallett do that.

I'm really looking forward to getting angry with Robin on this show. I've only been awake about 20 minutes but this article, that I saw via Paul Sinha's link, has made me angrier than I should be at this time. Janet Street-Porter really is an incredible cunt. I don't have time to write about it now so please leave a comment for me so I don't have to write about it. Thanks: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1278510/Depression-Its-just-new-trendy-illness.html


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

James, Sit Down.

I watched Doctor who, the TV programme that I am married to and having sex with, on Saturday night in full knowledge that James Corden, the biggest cunt in the entire world, was in it. It was a depressing day, anyway. I was away from home and stuck in a hotel trying to get over my phlegmy illness and was feeling very sorry for myself. Playing four Metallica albums in a row while just lying there doesn't cure anything, by the way, so don't try that. But soon Doctor Who would be on. My beloved Doctor Who with the best Doctor since Peter Davison and the best companion pretty much ever and...and...and cunting fucking bastarding James fucking Corden.

And he was really good.

It was the first episode in a while that I completely enjoyed (the ending was pretty crap but I forgave it) and Corden was so good in it that I forgot that he wasn't the most horrible person currently working in television. He's a really good actor and I'm surprised that he hasn't thought of doing acting before now instead of going on TV, pointing at his stomach and collecting a cheque.

Of course he's a good actor. He would never have got a foot in the door if he wasn't at least OK at acting. I mean, there's no way that he has got where he is today on personality. And that is pretty much all the James Corden that I know. I've never seen Gavin & Stacey and I know that I never will. It's just not for me. The few clips I've seen scream twee and the title alone puts me off. So all I have to judge Corden on is his sketch show, Horne & Corden, and his forced personality. If he has this acting talent, why on earth is he behaving like such an arsehole in front of cameras? Does he have THAT little amount of faith in himself? Is he still THAT worried that the bullies that surely pushed him around every single biscuit-eating day of his schooldays are going to come back and get him? I mean, he's a good and successful actor. He's won. He's had the last laugh. But that's the problem, his laugh his vicious, cold and terrified.

Patrick Stewart made a bit of a tit out of himself at the recent Glamour Magazine awards by telling Corden off in front of everyone. Picard was obviously a bit drunk and his "joke" about Corden's fat belly fell flat but that's OK because he's Patrick Stewart. He's been a successful, acclaimed and, most importantly, loved actor for decades. He's allowed to fuck up once. He's earned it. But Corden? Well, Corden ONLY fucks up. That's what he does for a living. He is a professional, hard-working, money-making fuck up. His sketch show was such an egotistical car crash that the only laughs it got were from it's many, many terrible reviews, his football coverage seems to consist of him him going "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!" while doing a series of obscene hand gestures and he confidently defines himself by his gut, displaying it at every opportunity. That's why his reaction to what Patrick Stewart said is just baffling. Patrick Stewart basically did every single joke that James Corden has ever written and condensed it to five words. And how did he react? Like James Corden. Not like James Corden, the talented actor. No. Just like James Corden.

He put his face viciously right up against the face of a 70 year old man and repeated "Go on" at him. You know, just the bullies at school had done. That's how he's taken his triumph and his success. To try and be more like the people he is afraid of. He then proved what a hilarious comedian he is by, you guessed it, showing his belly. Sigh...

You'd think if he had a friend one of them might have a word with him. Maybe say something like, you're a really good actor and people must ask you to be in things all the time. Why don't you do more of that? I mean it's great that you're number one in the singles chart but it's just you hanging around with a load of big lads going "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!" and doing the Wanker hand gesture. I saw you in Doctor Who and I just think you're better suited to something like that. You gave the role a lot of weight. Yes, I thought you'd like that but seriously, you made the character really likeable and considering you're James Corden that must have been very difficult. But obviously not. You're just that good. I really look forward to seeing you acting in something else very soon. It must be so good to have that amount of talent and to have so many opportunities to use that talent. Be a shame if that was wasted.

So, to cut a long story short, I'm a big fan of James Corden the talented actor and I never thought I'd ever say that.

Thanks to Cripesonfriday for donating pictures from his private collection.



Dear God.

The worst thing that's ever happened.


Friday, 11 June 2010

Ill Behaviour.

I'm ill again. I think this is my fourth or fifth being ill of the year. That's pathetic. It's almost as if burning the candle at both ends when you are rocketing towards 42 might be bad for your health. I don't want to get old but as I am, and there doesn't seem like there's anything I can do about it, I'm going to have to slow down a bit. Yesterday I watched Mary, Queen of Shops and this morning I started my day with camomile and honey. If that doesn't sound like a boring old cunt who's just given up then I'm afraid it's the best I can do.

I had to cancel two gigs and a meeting yesterday because I couldn't speak. The previous night I had been bullied mercilessly into singing by some of the less talented members of London Comedy Improv. Even though my throat was sore and I despise singing I gave in and did a song. That didn't stop the cunts from making me sing another one. That, mixed with the fact that I constantly shout anyway, made my throat and all it's brown, brown phlegm decide to take my voice away. I felt cold and hot and shaky and snotty and awful so I took yesterday off to lie on the sofa with my egg-beat-up-in-a-cup and settled in to feeling sorry for myself.

Of course, I'm far too mature to watch Bagpuss to make me feel better anymore. But, apparently, not that mature yet to not watch The Evil Dead II while lying under a Spongebob Squarepants blanket. I bought The Evil Dead II on DVD about 7 years ago but never watched it. In fact, I haven't seen the film since it came out in the '80's. I regret that. It's just one of the greatest films ever made. It's funny, horrible and an incredible piss-taker. The ending of the film is just so utterly stunning that it's a crime that Evil Dead III didn't just continue on immediately instead of coming out a couple of years later. It made me very happy but didn't get rid of my snot or my fever.

I got rid of that on my own. No medical attention, no one helping me, no Lemsip. Never Lemsip. And for good reason. Although I am a very old man, I have still yet to learn that Lemsip isn't free and is always just there when you want it. I have never bought Lemsip and I don't think I can. In my head Lemsip is in the cupboard above the cups and always has been and always will be. When I was ill as a child my Mum would just give me a Lemsip and I'd feel a bit better. I say, as a child. My Mum has been known to give me a Lemsip well into my 30's. Lemsip's are free. You're ill, you've been through enough. Lemsip doesn't also expect you to PAY for that disgusting crap, does it? But I looked in the cupboard above the cups yesterday and, unbelievably, there was no Lemsip. Obviously, I phoned the council but they said it "wasn't part of their service". Once again, they pass the buck. So I went cold turkey instead of hot lemon. I am very brave.

Ok, so this blog wasn't exactly as angry as my last one but maybe I'm building to something, yeah?

The World Cup starts today.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mirth is Murder.

I had to get up stupidly early, walked Jerk in the rain, had an argument about a bill, then got on a four hour train journey to go to a gig in a huge room with hardly any people in it and yet somehow yesterday was excellent. Oh, it was miserable for a very long time but then in the late afternoon I checked my Facebook and saw I had a message from Sharon Smith. Sharon Smith is brilliant and is worthy of constant praise and admiration. Sharon Smith has recently decided to become vegetarian.

I don’t think I’ll ever get a bigger thrill than reading that someone has turned vegetarian after hearing my anti-carnivore rant on Precious Little. It is my crowning achievement and can’t possibly be bettered. Sharon Smith is brilliant.

The rant started the day after I had gigged with a comedian in Reading a couple of months ago. I like him a lot but he did something on stage that really fucking pissed me off. He made a vegetarian “joke”.

Now, I will freely admit that I have absolutely no sense of humour at all when it comes to vegetarianism but that is mainly because practically all comedians have no sense of humour about it. How many tedious fucking times have you heard a comedian say that there are probably more vegetarians in the room but they’re too weak to put their hand up? Yes, very good. LOL my balls off. You’re absolutely right. The fictional lack of protein in our diet certainly has made us weaker than you despite your colonic cancer due to you packing your arse with beef, you murdering cunt. If vegetarians are weak it is solely down to the boredom provided to us by comedians. Comedians are cunts and Sharon Smith is brilliant.

Not that this particular comedian would ever come off with something as hack as that. But it was still incredible. I’m well aware that it was just a joke but hearing the passion in his voice and the cheer and applause of the audience just made me sick. His routine is based on things like Quorn products that claim to be chicken or beef flavoured. The end line is that “Someone had to kill and eat an animal to make sure it tasted like that, you self-aggrandising cunts!” I think you can see an audience of meat-eating fuckheads beating their chests and howling at that. But let’s actually think about it. Firstly, “flavoured”? Surely it’s “style” meaning the texture of the product and I don’t think anyone had to kill and eat anything to get the texture right for Quorn. After all, you carnivores rule the fucking planet and people who actually have a soul and can empathise with other living beings have no choice but to constantly see what it is that you’ve murdered for lunch. A billion chefs on TV. None of them vegetarian.

But here’s the bit that really got to me: “self-aggrandising cunts”. I really do have a severe problem with that for two very good reasons. Firstly, is there anything more self-aggrandising that eating dead animal flesh? How fucking important do you actually think you fucking are? “Hmmm…I’m a bit peckish. An animal must die!” If vegetarians are in anyway smug about not herding animals together, terrifying them and eventually slaughtering them then I think that’s fucking fair enough. Even in 2010 vegetarians are treated like they’re weird. STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT. You eat blood and veins and flesh. How the fuck are WE weird?

The second reason is perhaps more stupid. I have seen this comedian perform a hundred times and he often admits to his belief in God. You see? That’s my real mock-beef right there. Vegetarianism is my belief and I just find it insane to hear the phrase “self-aggrandising” being used against vegetarianism by someone whose belief is that he is a child of the one true creator. Blimey, that’s really pretty self-aggrandising stuff. Hey, at least my belief system is based on solid evidence and clear fact and not just on a dream a daft prick had a couple of thousand years ago. In a way, I hope there is a God. That whole “Thou Shalt Not Kill” commandment is going to look pretty massive come judgement day.

Yes, it was a joke and I shouldn’t take it this seriously. I am an idiot. But one for a good cause I hope you’ll see. And there really is a good reason why Quorn and other companies use phrases like “beef/chicken style” and that’s because becoming a vegetarian is a big deal. We’re brought up to not think about what we’re eating and when you realise that you’re eating Death In White Wine Sauce you want something that will wean you off meat kindly. It’s hard starting off in vegetarianism and most people are fucking thick. Me included. On my first day of being a vegetarian I put gravy on my chips and didn’t realise for a couple of days that gravy is meat tears of the dead. But I stuck with my vegetarianism because I believed in something important: I was trying to fuck a girl who was vegetarian.

Hopefully, Sharon will have something similarly important to keep her focused. And she will hear it all in the weeks and months ahead. “What you don’t eat meat? Not at all? Do you eat fish? Do you wear leather? If there was no other food would you kill an animal?” Fucking tedious. I’m not vegan (though I probably should be and admire any vegans greatly), I own two leather items (my belt that I bought when I was 18, three years before I became vegetarian, and a pair of leather shoes that my Dad was going to throw away) and if there was no other food around then I can only imagine that there are no other people either so would I kill an animal? Maybe. But as there are no other people either I’ll almost certainly fuck it first. Luckily, we have other food so the question is ridiculous but not as ridiculous as the reasons that meat-eaters give for being anti-vegetarian. My favourite one came from my own brother-in-law: “Are you trying to tell me that if cows could kill humans they wouldn’t do it?” That’s right. He eats meat as a form of defence.

Anyway, my point is that Sharon Smith is brilliant.



Monday, 7 June 2010

Bristol Suite.

That stay at the posh Four Seasons hotel totally makes sense now. I had to be raised as high as I could go so I could fall as far as possible. The weekend after Doha I stayed in a flat in Newcastle and that wasn't great. I'm being incredibly kind when I say that only because I got to personally know the rats in the alley outside and don't want to hurt their feelings. But this weekend in Bristol I stayed in a proper, old-fashioned, British B&B.

Fucking awful.

It had everything that all good, mad B&B's should have. Acres and acres of dust, a billion cats and an embarrassing name. It's called Toad Lodge, it costs about £20 per night and it is worth every penny. Don't get me wrong, I've stayed in way worse places but this was definitely interesting. Flat screen TV's with lots of channels? Yes. Credit cards? No. Really modern, see-through, circular sinks? Yes. Hygiene? No. I'm not sure what my favourite thing about it was. The breakfast room was good. It had only one table but all the dirty cutlery and placemats you could dream of. Plus the table itself had a new kind of stickiness that I hadn't experienced before. Like week-old jam hiding under a thin sheet of microwaved semen. All this was more than made up for by the owner of the establishment. He was brilliant and I love him. The only way that I can possibly describe him is Britain's poshest tramp. He stood beside me while I ate my terrifying breakfast saying things like "Can I possibly interest you in another cup of tea, Sir? I notice your cup is running perilously dry. Or perhaps Sir would prefer to enjoy it in the garden?" while oozing sweat, wearing filth and smelling of something long dead. I really liked him. Genuinely. He was really nice.

But if I had to choose one thing to keep in my memory of this forgotten hostel it would be the very helpful stairlift. Yes, credit cards are something that just hasn't quite happened to Toad Lodge yet but they are modern enough to care for people who can't do stairs and have made sure they've provided the correct assistance. That is if you don't mind sitting in something that looks like it should be used to persuade heretics to confess their guilt. The dark brown, clunky, ancient, mechanical nightmare made it look like Tim Burton had given the stairs a huge, evil smile that would greet you any time you passed. The fact that the stairwell already had an audible hum (as well as an olfactory one) just made the stairs seem alive, yet dying.

In other words, it was creepy.

Still, at least I never had the troubles with the toilet at Toad Lodge that I had at the Four Seasons. Of course I didn't. It's a B&B. The toilet is miles away in a cupboard near the humming stair mouth. I'm not using that. Especially when that see-through sink looks so nice.

My bedsheets in Bristol.


Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Wedding Crasher.

I don't know about you but I can now pretty much tell when a day is going to be bad. Something weird or stupid will happen really early in the day and it will trigger something in me that senses 24 hours of doom. Like last week, I woke up and washed my face with a candle. I just knew that day was going to be shit and it was. Yesterday, I went strolling around Bristol really early in the morning and spotted a Dalek and Darth Maul collecting for the Marie Curie Cancer Care Fund. I thought, they've changed. And then I thought, today's going to be shit, isn't it? My God, it was shit.

Now what I'm about to tell you all took place over the space of about 25 seconds. It started quick and ended quick (mainly because I walked away all confused and angry). This also might be the most My Blog blog I've ever done. What happened was so me that it just felt like it was taking the piss. It felt like a summary of my existence or, even worse, a cover version of my life played by someone even worse than me.

The great thing about not living in a tiny metal box at the bottom of the sea is that you can get out and walk about in the street. Walking is a good thing to do and it's also free. In a way, I'm glad Hitler lost the war. Walking is such an enjoyable, free thing to do that to even think about having to show identity papers every three feet would somehow sully it. And the great thing about being in a strange place with nothing to do and no-one to hang out with means that you can walk wherever and whenever you like. You can explore. Look at the architecture. Go to HMV. Contemplate taking a photo of a Dalek and Darth Maul doing their bit. Go to HMV again. I'm telling you, it's what freedom is all about.

Imagine then walking freely in the sunshine, happily looking at all the beauty of Bristol, when a bunch of cunts start shouting at you.

That's what happened to me. I was listening to the stunning track Ya Sumeera by The Divine Comedy on my iPod and was in a little world of my own as I walked past what I assume is a Registry Office. I didn't notice the 40-odd people standing outside it because they mingled in perfectly with all the other people going about their business but luckily they were loud enough to get my attention.


I was really confused because I had lovely music in one ear and loud, angry people in the other but I turned round quickly enough to find out what the problem was. All I saw where hands waving me out of the way so I took my earphones out to hear.


Right. Now I can see what's happening. I have 40 people shouting at me to move, some of whom have cameras and confetti. One has a video camera. Great. I've walked into a wedding and somehow I'm in front of the bride and groom.

Time to dart out of the way and apologise.

That's the thing, you see. As I was apologising I noticed that the bride and groom hadn't actually appeared yet so I'd only actually been standing in front of the doorway but these people were still shouting at me. "COULDN'T YOU HAVE WALKED ROUND? CAN'T YOU SEE WE'RE TAKING PHOTOS! YOU SAW US ALL STANDING HERE!"

Christ Almighty. These people are nuts, I thought, just leave it.

Sadly, the bride's grandfather had other plans.

He walked a few steps after me and said "What was that all about? Why would you do that? Cheeky shit. You nearly ruined the wedding", he insanely blurted. It only took me about half a second to gather all the info. I had walked down a street that I am free to walk down. I hadn't noticed a wedding going on. They certainly didn't look too dressed up for this special day and me walking past them would have taken one fucking second. But instead of letting me pass, they screamed and shouted and now an old man is calling me a shit. "I said sorry", I repeated. "I had no idea it was a wedding".

"It's my granddaughter's wedding. What do you think we're standing here for?", said the wrinkly bastard while poking me in the arm with his skeleton finger. I snapped.

"Get your hand off me right now", I said in my best scary Northern Irish voice. It's incredible how quickly that comes back after being poked by a really old man.

This further upset some of the other arseholes and they turned to tell me to go away, something I had wanted to do from before the beginning. But while they did that the bride and groom appeared and only half of their group noticed due to them being insane and shouting at me. The shouting continued and I walked away shaking.

I've never wanted to punch an old man in the face more than I did then. I keep going back over everything in my head and I really can't see what I did that was wrong. I did NOTHING and got abuse for it. If that old man was shouting at me and poking at me just so I'd have a blog to write then I thank him but he really didn't have to go to such lengths. Shit happens to me by itself, people don't have to just throw shit at me. The only tiny bit of joy that I can get from this is that as I left I saw the guy with the video camera still looking at me. So when that girl watches her wedding video there won't be lovely footage of everyone cheering and throwing confetti and wishing her well. No. Instead the greatest day of her life will be commemorated by me saying "Get your hand off me right now" to her grandfather.

I tried calming down but I couldn't. Had I ruined someone's wedding? No, I hadn't. Or had I? NO. I really hadn't. I'm sure I hadn't. Definitely 90% sure that it wasn't my fault. I bought a falafel and went to sit in the park.

The park. That'll calm me down. Stupidly, I sat next to fucking young people. NEVER sit next to young people. They will talk with words that hurt you. Things like "Russell Crowe is incredible" and "I'm staying in Dad's flat in Japan for three months". Bastards. Then they get out an iPad and treat it like it's yesterday's toilet paper instead of what it truly is. It's tomorrow's toilet paper today. They weren't helping my mood so I tried to ignore them and enjoy my falafel. Or should I say my bread and lettuce. The lady in the shop seems to have forgotten about the falafel. But I'll eat it. Bread and lettuce is all I deserve after what I've done. WHICH WAS NOTHING. Reading didn't help either. I started Richard Herring's book but the first 30 pages are all about fighting and it just wound me up more. Would it have been so bad to just deck one old man just once?

But a tiny wee fly then landed on my page. I blew on it in the hope that that would shoo it off but it didn't move. I gently brushed it but it stayed still. The thing is, I had finished my bread and lettuce, the young people were now talking about Gossip Girl and I couldn't read because I was so wound up. I wanted to go back to my depressing B&B where I'll be happy. The fly wasn't ready to move yet so there was only one thing for it: to close the book and kill the fly.

Except there was an alternative. I could sit there and wait for the fly to go away of it's own accord. And I did. I sat there for five or ten minutes waiting on a fly to get bored of reading How Not To Grow Up and move on. After all, it's not really in my way. It's not going to be there forever and if I make a fuss it'll only make me feel bad.



Friday, 4 June 2010

Rail and Reality.

See? All it took was a gig to destroy all cheeriness and return me to my normal, slate grey, miserable self. I knew I couldn't go for a full week being all happy and shit. It's one or the other for me. Normally shit.

The gig wasn't bad. But I was. I was fucking terrible. Last night in Spalding I found myself tripping over my words and drying up on stage. It felt like it was my first gig and I had stolen all my material from Charlie Awful. I got laughs but I played it safe and it just got a bit dull and then I mentally collapsed. I've been doing stand-up for 45 years. You'd think I'd know better.

Mind you, I'm lucky. I haven't had a bad gig in a long time. I've certainly been spoiled this week with Mike & Andrew's Coalition Party and Los Quattros Cvnts (though, to be honest, I was patchy at best in that) plus I've barely done any gigs outside of London this year so long, depressing train journeys home have been avoided. It was actually quite nostalgic to be on a train, completely alone, listening to Morrissey and drinking Stella. The life of a comedian is full of wild highpoint's like that one.

There was even a bit of joy to be found on the train. Actual joy. Sort of. The ticket inspector came round to do what he's paid to do: be terrified that the next person he speaks to is going to punch him. That's what he does for a living. I mean, EVERYONE wants to punch a ticket inspector. It's the one thing that unites every single human being, animal and plant. Ticket inspectors are to be admired for their bravery in accepting that they are constantly about to be punched but also loathed for their physical demeanour and whiny voices that make us all want to punch them in the first place. They deserve a medal. And a kicking.

The ticket inspector Gollumed his bony, bent frame down the aisle begging for tickets and mercy when he came across the passenger he hates most. The drunk man. I'd like to point out that I was not the drunk man, I'm the sigh-here's-your-precious-fucking-ticket-now-go-away man. Hunch-backed and trembling, the ticket inspector turned to the drunk man and said "Can I see your ticket?" Obviously, the drunk man though this was the funniest thing that he had ever heard in his entire life and burst out laughing. If he ever saw Lee Evans it would probably kill him. But the drunk man had a topper for the ticket inspector's hilarious "Can I see Your ticket?" line. He said "Yes. Can I see your arse?"

But the ticket inspector was a true pro. He'd heard it all before. Without blinking or hesitating or showing any emotion he just looked at the drunk man's ticket and said "No. You're on the wrong train".

I don't know what train is the right train for seeing the ticket inspector's arse but it's nice to know that that service is available somewhere. Obviously it would be nice if ticket inspector's all had nice bums but I can't imagine that they all do. Maybe the rail companies should pay more attention to arses when choosing their ticket inspectors. I'm sure they'd offer Kylie a job when her singing thing dries up.

My memory isn't good so before I forget this story altogether, allow me to add it to this blog. For Monday's Hen & Chickens show I had to bring a small fold away table with me as a prop. When walking out of Highbury & Islington tube I passed two gentlemen who LOVE hanging around tube stations. As I passed, with no trace of humour or irony or anything, one said to the other "Imagine having to carry a table with you all the time".

I can't help but think that he assumed I was homeless. Homeless but with my own furniture.


Thursday, 3 June 2010

Don't Happy, Be Worry.

Look, I'm really sorry, OK, but this week has been very nice. I have nothing to complain about. This blog will be (another) waste of yours and my time. What's the point in writing anything if you're not hating everything? Fucking stupid, useless, happy, fun week. It's ruined everything.

Monday night was a complete joy. Andrew Collins and I had another work-in-progress night at the Hen & Chickens. It (really very nearly) sold out and the audience were perfect. Lovely and very supportive. Thanks for coming along. I even did a bit of secret dancing during Andrew's set and the venue managed to spell my name correctly on their blackboard. That is the first time that has ever happened.

Next day Los Quattros Cvnts met up to rehearse. This meant drinking in a pub and shouting. It was lovely. As was last night's show. I mean, really. What the fuck is going on? If everything is going to start being all nice then I'm not going to get out of bed. Come on, brain. Something shit must have happened. This blog is dying to death.

Erm...Dan Mersh spilled my pint last night. No. That's not good enough because he immediately bought me another pint and I had drunk about a third of the first pint so really I did very well out of Dan being a clumsy arse.

Oh, yes. I got caught in the rain on Tuesday. Really got soaked.

God, that's terrible. I mean, I wasn't that soaked. Also, from out of nowhere, a woman came up to me and sheltered me under her umbrella. That was really lovely. I can't complain about someone being kind to me. The selfish bitch never once thought of my blog when she lent a hand. I fucking hope she's dead.

Right. I'm off. There is just nothing to complain about so I'm going to the park to sit in the sun. I'll get much needed stupid Vitamin D and probably having a tediously lovely time.

Mind you, I had two terrible dreams the other night. I dreamt that Jerk was crying and it woke me up so I went downstairs to see if she was OK. I was in that haze where I thought the dream was real. Jerk was just sitting there reading a book and drinking wine so I went straight back to bed and straight to another bad dream. I dreamt that Jeremy Limb was drowning. I was trying to help him but he wouldn't let me. He just kept staring up at me from beneath the water. It freaked the shit out of me.

And that's how low I've sunk. To writing about my dreams like a pretentious, I-wonder-what-that-means? arsehole. Something shit better happen soon.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Hello. My blog today is all about thanking and promoting.

I'd like to thank everyone who came to Mike & Andrew's Coalition Party last night. I had a lot of fun. Special thanks to anyone who came to either of the other shows Andrew and I did at the Hen & Chickens and a ton of thanks are showered over anyone who came to all three. I really appreciate it.

Free on Wednesday? You are? Excellent. I can't recommend this month's Los Quattros Cvnts show enough. Not only has it got a lot of really funny sketches in it but we're lucky enough to have Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Zoe Gardner as our guests. If that's not enough we also have Richard Herring. I mean, come on. That is a damn fine show. If you didn't go you'd just end up hating yourself and then you might take your own life. Surely it's worth coming along to when you think about it like that?

The show starts at 8pm and it's at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square in London. Get there early because the seats fill up really quickly and we really want you to be comfy. You deserve it.

Here's the Facebook invitation with all the info: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=121375334560312&ref=mf

See you there. My blog returns tomorrow. And thanks again!