Tag Archives: Comedy

Laughter on the Outskirts is coming!

Hello Humans.

On Friday the 15th of February, 2013 the world trembled as Laughter on the Outskirts made it’s world premier at the Leicester Comedy festival. A rough beast, slouching towards Edinburgh to be born. Over the course of an hour the charming enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in human flesh and skin Woodward and I said things with our mouth-holes and moved our meat-sacks around to entertain the audience. Paradigms were shattered, unthought ideas were thought, the falcon could not hear the falconer, and mere anarchy was loosed upon the world.

At the very least people chuckled and no-one died.

So that was good. I am excited to see how it develops over the course of the Edinburgh Festival in August. That’s right, I said it! Woodward and Jeffery: Laughter on the Outskirts will be playing there every day. More details to follow, but it can’t hurt to start spreading the word now can it? Come along, all of you! It will be free too!

In the meantime I wanted to use this post to talk about jokes. Specifically my joke about the French philosopher Michel Foucault. Not immediate comedy gold, granted. But I was pleased to see th joke finally work properly. or how I’d always imagined it would work in my head even though it never necessarily did.

Michel Foucault

Foucault if he was texting you

So this post will either be an interesting and entertaining consideration of the mechanics of comedy or painfully solipsistic self-examination. Potentially both. But, if you are still with me, I’ll continue. If you’re not with me then I can’t say I blame you, so instead here is a link to a youtube video of giant anconda regurgitating a  cow. It’s pretty amazing. Continue reading

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Edinburgh Festival 2012

The Edinburgh Festival is but  couple of weeks away and I will be there, scrabbling around after 5 and 10 minute open-spots like a hobo searching a bin for the butt-ends of cigarettes. Unnecessarily unpleasant metaphors aside, these shows are on all through the festival and will feature a vast cheese-board of delicious comedians for you to sample, many of them less bitter-tasting, less pungent smelling and more amusing and less riddled with blue veins than me. So go along to them if you are there and support live comedy! It’s an entirely different experience from watching it on television, where the breakdowns and deaths are minimised and almost no-one gets their knob out. Out here in the booze and rain-sodden streets of Edinburgh however, you never know what you are going to see.

I will also, at some point, post some recommendations for shows, but I haven’t seen any yet because, you know, it hasn’t started.

Anyway, here are some dates. If you wold like to come and see me that would be nice. I also accept pints of beer, intoxicants, free books, food, moral support and job offers. See you there!

For news, reviews, live, real-time emotional discombobulation and updates on any new spots I might be doing you can follow me on twitter.

JULY

Monday, 30th-Red Raw@The Stand, Edinburgh

Tuesday 31st-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

AUGUST

Wednesday 1st- The Newbest of the Newbees, The Beehive Inn, 12.00-13.00

Thursday 2nd- Aberdeen vs. Glasgow vs. The World II  The Newsroom, 16.30-17.30

Friday 3rd- The Newbest of the Newbees, The Beehive Inn, 12.00-13.00

Wednesday 8th- The Newbest of the Newbees, The Beehive Inn, 12.00-13.00

– Fresh Faces at the Free Fringe, Southsider, 16.30-17.30

– Laughing Horse Free Comedy Selection, City Cafe, 21.15-22.15

Thursday, 9th- Fresh Faces at the Free Fringe, Belushi’s, 18.00-19.00

Friday, 10th- NTFF Comedy, The Wayside, 17.00-19.00 (I am compering this one!)

Saturday, 11th- Laughing Horse Free Comedy Selection, City Cafe, 21.15-22.15

Wednesday, 15th- The Newbest of the Newbees, The Beehive Inn, 12.00-13.00

– Aberdeen vs. Glasgow vs. The World II  The Newsroom, 16.30-17.30

Thursday, 16th- Laughing Horse Free Comedy Selection, The Free Sisters, 17.30-18.30

Friday, 17th- NTFF Comedy, The Wayside, 17.00-19.00

Thursday, 23rd- The Newbest of the Newbees, The Beehive Inn, 12.00-13.00

– NTFF Comedy, The Wayside, 17.00-19.00

Saturday, 25th- The Newbest of the Newbees, The Beehive Inn, 12.00-13.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New Stand-up Video and a New Date

Haven’t posted for a while. The siren call of my thesis deadline has most of my attention right now. So this is just filler really. This is the video footage of me at Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow, 26/06/2012. Hope you enjoy it. Anyway, sometime soon I will be posting the dates I’m doing spots at the Edinburgh Festival. Got around twenty so far, with more to come. I’ll also post some recommendations for things to go and see if you are there. Things that don’t involve me. You know, funnier things. But that has to wait, academia beckons. See you anon.

 

Coming up…

JULY

Monday, 30th-Red Raw@The Stand, Edinburgh

Tuesday 31st-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

AUGUST

Watch this space…


Stand Up Shamanism Part 2: Shamanic Comedy vs. Fascist Comedy

Gotcha.

To be fair that title is deliberately provocative and designed for optimal attention-grabbing value. So lets say right off the bat that I am in now way suggesting that any of the comedians talked about here are actual fascists. This is just for fun and because I like being overly analytical about comedy. Also, there’s a built in double bind which means if you do get offended by my lighthearted assertion that certain forms of comedy and comedians are ‘fascist’ and think I shouldn’t be saying such things then that would indeed make you look like a fascist.

So I’m just going to start and if you are the kind of person who has an irony deficiency (seewhatIdidthere?) then you should probably look away now. Unfortunately, if you do suffer from an irony deficiency then the chances are you will not know this. That’s one of the symptoms. For the rest of you, what follows is an irritatingly contrived attempt to come up with a theory of comedy I will no doubt simply discard and disown as soon as I’ve written. For I am a multiplicity damn it!

Hopefully the writing won’t get too florid and the theory too abstract but it is me writing this, so you can’t say you weren’t prepared if it does. Luckily I’m going to whack a load of videos of comedians in there to illustrate the argument so that should take the edge off things. Basically, the question I want to ask here is, “what is the point of comedy”?

The answer seems obvious; to make people laugh. But that’s a deceptive answer isn’t it? Because Bernard Manning made loads of people laugh and the general consensus at this particular historical juncture is that he was a fat racist cunt. Albeit a fat racist cunt with good timing. So it can’t be that the role of comedy is simply to make people laugh. There seems to be what we could call a moral hierarchy.

Enter Micheal McIntyre. Continue reading


Tpot Freedom Sessions and The Stand: It’s been a busy week…

Hello humans.

It’s been a while. Sit down, let’s catch up. Tea? Coffee? How do you take that? There you go. Some biscuits on that plate too if you want. Just help yourself. No not those ones. They are for me.

So let’s begin. Its been a busy week. Thesis continues apace as the October deadline looms. Hopefully when I start editing it down-because its way, way, too long right now- the academic excess fat can be put up here on the blog. I believe the theory is that they should be turned into journal articles to further my academic standing. Or something. But information wants to be free! And besides, the blog affords more opportunities for digression and humour.  Because obviously I pepper my academic writing with knob gags.

Its standard academic practice! Everyone does it!

My actual point being that I have nothing to report from the realm of research for a while. But when I do, you will be first to know. I know you have an unquenchable thirst for writing that considers the evolution of the superhero through the lens of posthumanist theories. Considering the evolution of the superhero through the lens of posthumanist theories is very fashionable right now. It’s all those hipster kids down at the discotheque ever talk about on their blackphones and i-berries.

For now though: Comedy News!

ITEM! Started the week with my first ever open spot at The Stand‘s Red Raw night. The Stand, for those who don’t know is a comedy club in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. I was on in Edinburgh, which is an amazing place and where I have seen two of my comedy pantheon-Stewart Lee and Simon Munnery– performing. So being in the same Green Room as those two, and many more besides, was very exciting. basically the Stand’s ethos is that they take  comedy seriously, paradoxical as that sounds.

So yes, it was an open spot night, but it was an open spot night at proper comedy club The Stand. So I was more nervous than I’ve been in a long time and desperate to make a good impressions. A nice tight five minutes with no lulls. And while I don’t know if I necessarily managed that it was great fun and with a proper audience, a roomful rather than a handful. Not that performing to a handful isn’t fun and instructive itself of course.

It seems to have gone down well though. I’ve been offered a few more open spots anyway, (dates can be found at the bottom of the post) including a ten minute spot at the end of July. So I’ve gone up by 5 minutes! Sort of. For that one spot anyway. It is, of course, entirely possible that a full ten minutes at a Stand Red Raw night might be the dizziest height my stand up career ever reaches. This is fine. two years ago it never would have occurred to me that i would be anything but an audience member in there anyway. So I guess there’s a lesson in there about following you dreams and you will one day shit rainbows or some such. Got a thing you love to do? Or have always suspected you would love to do? Go out, dear reader, do it now! For life is short, and one day you will be nought but dust.

(This is  why I failed as a motivational speaker)

ITEM! Wednesday night I spent an enjoyable hour and a half talking to Peter Wood for his new series of podcasts. You can keep up with Pete on his blog or follow him on twitter and see where he’s playing next. If you can bear to listen to it an hour and a half of me talking about comedy-lord knows I couldn’t -then that’s here. He also interviewed the excellent Robin Valo (who blogs and tweets too- my, aren’t we all modern?) which you can listen to here.

ITEM! Friday was the filming for the inaugural Tpot Freedom Sessions show/website/multimedia juggernaut. Our tagline is: Teapot Freedom Sessions: Smashing you repeatedly in the face with a fist made of entertainment. At least that’s what it’s going to be on this blog. More news when it’s all cut together but the Facebook page is up here and I will post more details when the website goes online early next month. The short version: to film a show that can be broadcast with an accompanying website where viewers can find what would effectively be DVD extras: interviews with the performers, extra live footage. A mixture of music and comedy filmed up at Tpot Music Studios out in the middle of deepest darkest Perthshire, the day was a roaring success. But as the things not edited yat and this post is about stand-up I’m only going to talk about that aspect of it here. Except to briefly plug the bands who were on and urge you to like their Facebook pages, but their albums, go see them live, and write them inappropriately suggestive fan mail. So thanks to The Boston Tea Party, The Creeping Ivies, Homesick Aldo and the enigmatic Family of Ghosts who have no internet presence whatsoever which means we can safely call them an underground band. They would like that.

Anyway, we made up a room in the house to be the comedy club for the evening by shoving in a higgledy=piggledy mix of chairs and sofas and bean bags. An intimate venue is the polite way to put it. Then we shoved it full of Perthshire reprobates. Who were, let us say, a lively crowd. it made for a fun gig. Four of Scotland’s up and coming comedy talents were good enough to come through. So I’d like to say a big thanks once again to Dave Nelder, Ray Fordyce, Genevieve Cytko, James McIntosh and Les Sinclair for their time and their jokes. Everyone did amazingly. And thank you too to the audience, who were supportive, quite drunk and occasionally a bit mental. But in the best possible way. It certainly made for a good show and I cant wait to see the footage. More details on that as and when. In the meantime click on all those comedian’s names, see what they are doing, go and see them live, become their friends, but them drinks, write them letters that go way past inappropriately suggestive into the realms of Sadean pornography. They will love you for it. Trust me.

For my part, aside from being presenter for the day, which was interesting, fun but a bit weird, I was compeer for the comedy section which was a whole new experience for me and an eye-opener. mostly because my comedy is, if not slow exactly, then I guess ‘considered’ whereas comepering for this to an audience well on their way from ‘merry’ to ‘fucked’ on the Inebriatometer I felt I had to go full tilt. A lot of jumping around was involved, a lot more shouting and, for some reason, a lot more swearing than usual. I enjoyed it anyway, and I’m looking forward to the next one. So keep an eye out for that and come visit the countryside!

Don’t forget to like the Facebook page and keep up with what’s going on.

FINAL ITEM! The mystery that is Davey Mitchell has a venue booked for this years fringe. Last year he was based at The Blind Poet, where I spent several happy afternoons, drinking, doing a five-minute spot and then watching and chatting with an insane variety of different acts, at various levels of experience, and it was always an enjoyable gig. Even when there was only three people to play to, there was a kind of benignly anarchic egalitarian atmosphere. All comers were welcome. No news yet on the time but when I know I will tell you all and you can get down there and support the show. All of the comedians mentioned above will no doubt be there ar some point so again, follow their blogs, tweets, face droppings and all that.

Support live comedy people! It’s good for the soul.

Anyway, this is my blog, so fuck those guys! I will be around leaving my comedy smearings on walls at the dates below. And during August I will be tweeting my random whereabouts at the festival. So if you like this blog or you like my comedy come along. if you like this blog but you don’t like my comedy, come along anyway. You can tell me I’m not funny and that we can discuss the philosophical implications of the posthuman instead. Although both is preferable.

Over and out.

Upcoming dates!

JUNE

Monday, 11th-  Comedy Variety Show@City Cafe, Edinburgh

Monday 18th- Red Raw@The Stand, Edinburgh

Tuesday 19th- Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

Tuesday, 26th-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

JULY

Tuesday 31st-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

AUGUST

I will be running around the Edinburgh Festival. Follow me on Twitter to find out when and where!


City Cafe Gig 09/04/2012

Haven’t posted anything recently as the thesis has been eating up my time so this is a bit of filler. Here’s the video from the City Cafe  09/04/2012. Still very much a work in progress this one, although I am quite happy with the final couple of minutes. And it’s nice to have a new set. Meanwhile, I have been  working on polishing the five minutes I will have to do at The Stand on the 21st of this month. Very exciting, so I’m determined to make it the tightest, shiniest five minutes I can. Nothing new, just tried and tested stuff for the most part. But in a different order. Saying that, there’s a fair bit of it that has never been caught on film so there should be few surprises if you have had the misfortune to see me before! Come along, bring your friends, etcetera. Upcoming dates can be found below the video.

MAY

Monday, 7th-  Comedy Variety Show@City cafe, edinburgh

Monday, 21st- Red Raw@The Stand, Edinburgh

Monday, 28th- Comedy Variety Show@City cafe, edinburgh

JUNE

Monday, 11th-  Comedy Variety Show@City cafe, edinburgh

Tuesday, 26th-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow


Some Random Thoughts on Stand-Up

I haven’t written anything about comedy in a while so I though I should in case people forget I’m a comedian and just think I am posthumanist anarchist academic. Which I am, but I’m a posthumanist anarchist academic comedian. You know, like Micheal Mcintyre.

On that note, I’ve always wondered when do you get to say that you’re a comedian. Is it  A) when you get paid? Or B) from the minute you drag yourself up on stage for another five-minute spot of potential public humiliation, mass apathy, or, if things are going well, actual proper laughs? I’m going to go with option B. Otherwise there’s no point in writing this post.

So anyway, its been a busyish month-for me anyway-of comedianing (that’s what it’s called!) so this is a brief summary and some thoughts which will hopefully be more entertaining than self-indulgent. At any rate as usual everything will be hyper-linked; all the nights I was at are regular and well worth your custom. There are lots of brilliant comedians you’ve not heard of yet out there that you can catch at these nights.

And then there’s me.

(If you haven’t seen me, or need some means of distracting an elderly loved one for five minutes, there are videos of me here) Continue reading


Stand-up shamanism

Stand-up comedy, eh? What’s the bloody point of it? As friends, lovers and people I met once while drunk can tell you that is a question I can talk at interminable length about. So, um, that’s what I’m going to do here. But don’t worry because it will be interspersed with videos of people being funny. Deep breath, everyone. Here we go. Continue reading


Lizzie and Sarah: The Comedy of Pain and Desperation

Well, this is a find. Knocking about online in the uncommisioned pilot episode of Julia Davis and Jessica Hynes sit-com Lizzie and Sarah (video at the bottom of the post if you just want to scroll down!).  Starring and written by Hynes and Davis, the cast is rounded out by reliable comic talents like Mark Heap (Brass Eye, Big Train) and the actor Kevin Eldon (pretty much every great comedy series of the last twenty years.  Also, Hyperdrive).

Here’s the official BBC synopsis:

Lizzie and Sarah are two fiftysomething suburban housewives, perpetually mistreated and ignored by unloving, selfish husbands. The highlight of their otherwise dull lives is their role in an amateur dramatic society, The Borking Players. In the aftermath of a tragic accident which causes the death of a popular local teenager, emotions run high, and following a dismal birthday lunch for Sarah, the two friends embark on a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip. As the day unfolds, they find a way to wreak their revenge.

As Richard Metzger quite rightly points out over at Dangerous Minds (which led me to the video, thanks DM!), “Although there is nothing untrue in the above synopsis, don’t think for a second that you know what this piece is about…” This is a dark, dark show. Hilarious certainly, but bleak. And bleakly hilarious is a rare and pleasing juxtaposition. Continue reading


More from the archives…

Look everyone! It’s Life at the End of Time, and its back! That’s right I have finally put my 2007 short film and non-youtube sensation back online. I presume it got taken off because no-one watched it. Nothing changes but the seasons, people.

Watching it again I still think its pretty good. Some of it doesn’t work, some of it goes on too long, but there are some good jokes in there. And it brings back happy memories of its production. Five fun-filled and exhausting weeks running round London spent in the company of the gentlemanly and talented Louis Jackson. I think the fun comes across.

Also considering doing a separate video for the song at the end; another co-production with the lithe and moral musical savant Craig Jeffery. As I recall, not without some distress, certain contingents proclaimed it the best part of the film upon it’s original nationwide (of course) release.

So here it is, emerging newborn and blinking back into the daylight. And if you don’t like it, well, there’s always the song at the end. Enjoy.