Friday, 30 November 2012

Comedy musings

I've sort of turned my comedy into some kind of dark therapy these days.

I just can't seem to make idle observations about life and then spin-them ever so slightly to the left or right in order to make people laugh at the light stuff. I can't do it...Correction, I can do it, but I don't enjoy doing it. Surely comedy is also about the performer themselves having fun within their own carefully defined parameters?

I was discussing Youtube vids in front of a crowd of 15-20 people in a pub in North London, and in particular one clip of a pop video...You know, them pop videos you have today, on the internets and the wifis and the Android seemed to feature a lot of zooming in and out, I made the throwaway comment 'I thought..."this amount of zooming in and out is specifically reserved only for porn videos." Which, triggered the biggest laugh of my night. A casual remark, sold with enough nonchalance, seems to bring bigger laughs than a carefully thought out twisty turny routine built on callbacks, layers, and idiots answers.

There was another time when my routine about the death of the English language was going down like a maths test last thing on a Friday...So I began to berate the audience's lack of engagement and they loved it. They loved the fact that I lost my rag with them and began to mock them from a position of superiority. However, what sold that one was I began to put on my Yorkshire accent (half my family hail from Yorkshire so I can nail it) and say things like "Is this what you want? A northern man talking about things from the north in the 1980s? Like Dandelion and Burdock? and Swizzels-Matlow from New Mills Derbyshire...Ooo remember Sherbet Dib-dabs, I do. The stick was yellow wasn't it. It tasted like burning lemons. What is Burdock? It sounds like a chip-shop. Chips in newspaper. Burdocks fish n chips on a Friday, thanks mum. 5p a bus ticket. BFH that's your bus-fare home!" Basically I unleashed a mocking tirade of northern observational clang syndrome on them and it seemed to go down well. The barman said he'd not seen anybody get laughs like that in a while and that my 'act' was brilliant.

It was an act, but with 90% of it inspired by control freakery. John Richardson does this brilliantly, he gets angry over the little annoyances in life and weaves it into stories that people can relate to. I have a million and one similar stories that I'd like to turn into routines, but it seems that commercial success in comedy lies with simple observation of a halcyon northern childhood.

So the dark therapy is, simply playing up to this...Getting angry at the crowd for not liking my self indulgent ramblings, and so turning my thoughts into a mockery of the wants and needs of the crowd, that simultaneously refreshes them.

Follow any of this? I didn't.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Watched Skyfall last night...45 minutes of adverts before the film. Forty-fucking-five minutes of people trying to sell me shit. Half the adverts were those pretentious ones that try to sell you an experience instead of a product.

The one that annoyed me the most was for Levi's jeans, because it featured some *cough* inspirational urban poetry about seizing control of life...Because you buy some jeans. Carpe Diem, you're wearing Denim, like 70% of the human race. YOLO so you may as well do it in a hard wearing fabric that has a massive price premium slapped onto it because it is branded. I notice that their Youtube channel has "Go Forth," as it's motto...Well, that is the start of the clean insult we used to use at school when we feared teachers. "Go forth and multiply." So go do it Levi's. You have ticked the A of AIDA with regards me.

But I'll never buy your over-priced pretentious product ever. I am immune to the Veblen Goods effect it seems, I go the other way on principle. BMW, never. AUDI, nope. Rolex, bollex. Cavier tastes like Jizz ("how do you know? etc etc), Champagne is nowhere near as refreshing as Asti Spumante.

Once again I want to yell at you all for not seeing the Emperor is stark bollock naked. I am sick of Planet Earth, and want to see humanity destroyed on the basis of that one crap advert alone. I would link it here but Levi's smugly ask you to subscribe in order to see their latest commercial. Oh...piss off with that, you're not that important, you are chiefly known for making jeans for heaven's sakes.

Oh, and the rest of the shit they were trying to flog was along these lines "buy this watch, it has 007 on it, here's the James Bond music..." or "buy this fragrance it has 007 on the bottle, so it makes you a beefcake secret agent...Oh and here's the music!"

I was so pissed off watching the clock tick round, and there were so many false dawns when I thought we were getting somewhere. The overly loud "this cinema has some loud speakers in it, designed by some cock (THX)," adverts that usually promise the movie is here gave me hope, but no. "There's still time for a coke!" followed by "turn your phone off," followed by more movie trailers for shitty ones about teenagers singing and dancing.

 The film was good...But after paying nearly a tenner for a seat on a Friday night, I don't want 45 minutes of utter shite before starting. At least some arsebeard didn't sit in front of me this time. That would have really gotten my goat.