The Rule of Three in comedy and a meandering New Year’s Eve blog today

The late Tony Wilson presents Granada TV’s mostly forgotten series So It Goes in 1976

Tony Wilson presented forgotten TV series So It Goes in 1976

Today’s blog maybe meanders. Today’s blog would perhaps be better posted on a New Year’s Eve – any New Year’s Eve – but no matter…

I once heard a prominent British comedy agent say it took at least three years of hard work to create any form of success for a comedian.

The Rule of Three.

I always tell performers they have to take a show up to the Edinburgh Fringe on three consecutive years.

The first year, they don’t know what they’re doing and no-one knows they are even there.

The second year, they know what they are doing and people may be aware they are there.

The third year, people look on them as a Fringe regular.

The Rule of Three.

It may be the same with blogs.

It may take three years to begin to get them right.

So maybe next year?

I started writing daily blogs around the start of 2011 – almost three years ago – I can’t be bothered to check exactly when they became daily.

Rule 1 of writing blogs. Near enough is good enough.

But it is coming up to three years ago sometime.

I think it took about a year to get a rough idea of what I was doing. By the time three years have passed – early next year – I might actually be writing them better.

This came to mind because yesterday I got an e-mail from someone which started:

“I have just come across your piece on the internet about the death of Bill Foxton, which has rather ruined my Christmas! It wasn’t your blog that was upsetting, as such, but the circumstances of the death…”

The blog about Bill Foxton, an interesting man who happened to be a British soldier, was written in March 2011 when I had just started daily blogging.

Bill sounded like a fascinating man: one of those men who brighten up history but are then forgotten by it, as the mists of time close almost immediately. I wish I had met him. Interesting men and women deserve to be remembered by the future.

And I think that, to an extent, is what this blog is about.

It seems to be mostly be about comedians or the comedy business, but it is really about quirky incidents, interesting people and half-glimpsed sub-cultures that may interest someone reading it today or in 40 years time in Britain or the US or Tierra del Fuego or Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands. It hopefully records the existence of interesting but little-reported or un-reported or soon to be half-forgotten people or events.

Or people who may become famous in the future. Briefly. No-one is famous in the long run. Who designed Stonehenge?

There are those two famous quotes from Blade Runner:

Rutger Hauer dies in Blade Runner

All those moments will be lost… in time… like tears in rain…

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost… in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.”


“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long”

Nothing burns for long. Our sun will, soon enough, expand and explode and everything here will become stardust.

Dan Leno, Tommy Handley, Harry Worth, Arthur Haynes, Mike Yarwood were famous throughout Britain in their time; the biggest names in British show business for a brief time. But they were unknown in the US. Now, they are mostly forgotten or unknown in Britain. And, in terms of the size of the Earth’s population, no-one is actually famous unless they are known in China and India.

In two brief generations, most of the seemingly ‘important’ events and people of today will be drifting into the mists of time, like one-hit Top Ten wonders.

So this blog tries to record quirky people, quirky events, little-known corners of sub-cultures, not always funny, sometimes melancholic. One recent blog recalled events when Belsen concentration camp was liberated. Back in March 2011 there was that blog on the life and death of Bill Foxton.

So it goes.

Anthony Newley starred in very odd Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

Anthony Newley starred in very odd Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

This blog is titled So It Goes, after the death refrain in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

It appears 106 times in the book.

Like I said, today’s blog perhaps meanders. Today’s blog would maybe be better posted on a New Year’s Eve – any New Year’s Eve – but no matter…

More normal service may be resumed tomorrow.

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Filed under Comedy, Death

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