Last night, I went to see Stand Up Greek Tragedy in Brixton, South London – one of the regular Stand Up Tragedy nights organised by Dave Pickering, a man with an obvious and commendable taste for the bizarre.
Last night’s wildly diverse show somehow included genuine Oxbridge Classics scholar Michael Brunström aka The Human Loire (recently blogged about) using a hammer to nail grapes onto Justin Bieber’s face – well, a large cut out of it – while gargling Sophocles’ Ode To Man using Listerene antiseptic mouthwash. Fears that Michael may go mainstream seem unfounded.
Joz Norris claimed to have mis-calculated act
The show ended with Joz Norris (recently blogged about) taking his clothes off to sit in a plastic container he had brought along simply so he could do an Archimedes/Eureka gag.
Joz claimed not to have thought-through the fact that, by STARTING his act with this, he had to perform the rest of his routine disrobed with a pink plastic shower cap on his head.
Somehow, it seemed natural that the show should end with the whole audience (including Joz sitting in his plastic container) singing along to Jarvis Cocker and Pulp performing Common People.
The show will be uploaded as a podcast on the Stand Up Tragedy website but, alas, sans visual surrealism.
My night was not yet over, though, because it was the first night of the World Cup in Brazil and, outside Brixton tube station, I passed as a man holding a two-foot tall cuddly penguin was in mid-argument with a man who had one-and-a-half arms. His left arm was cut off into a stump at the elbow. I have no idea what started the argument but, when I passed by, the Penguin Man was saying:
“…didn’t go to a fucking interior design school.”
To which the man with one-and-a-half arms almost visibly spat: “Brazil is the fucking HOME of football.”
“IN MY ARSE!” shouted The Penguin Man.
“AND THAT’S WHY!” shouted the man with one-and-a-half arms.
The penguin remained mute and immobile throughout.
Lyle had got a photograph of one of the Malcolm Hardee Award Show posters, then got it developed and enlarged at his local Tesco photo department. He normally has it displayed on the wall by his piano.
The idea that a 16-year-old Glaswegian would be a big fan of Malcolm Hardee intrigued me, as I was not aware Malcolm was known by anyone under about 35 in Glasgow. So I asked Lyle how he had heard of the late great man.
“The story Jo told was very funny, so I researched Malcolm.
“I read a few articles on him. He seemed a fantastic character and was very interesting. I watched a few YouTube videos of him performing and thought he was brilliant! I then bought his book I Stole Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Cake – Best book I’ve ever read. Full of great stories.
“I’ve chosen Malcolm as one of my favourite comics as he has the power to capture an audience’s attention. He controls the show. His stories do not drag on. There is no-one just like him. He’s a one-off genius.
“I’ve never been to one of his shows (as I was fairly young when he passed away). My dad’s a big comedy fan as well. He remembers Malcolm’s famous balloon dance, but never really got into his work.
“None of my friends or the rest of my family had heard of Malcolm.”
Some people, I suggested, might think Malcolm was a bit risqué for a 16 year-old.
“Yeah!” Lyle told me. “Some of Malcolm’s stuff can be a bit sordid. However Malcolm is different from lots of other comedians. He uses his material appropriately, at the right times, in the right places.”
I must admit this came as a bit of a surprise for me.
“A wonderful work of art,” says Lyle
“For instance,” Lyle told me, “a comedian such as Frankie Boyle would come on stage or come on TV and swear, be racist, mock the disabled etc. But Malcolm’s performing skills and material is something much more than that.”
I certainly wanted to hear more.
“He would charm his audience,” Lyle told me, “be rude, but in a humorous manner.
“Other greats such as Dick Emery, Rik Mayall and Bob Monkhouse could be rude but warm on stage. So Malcolm’s not so different in that sense.
“My top comic list would probably contain: Malcolm Hardee, Rik Mayall, Jerry Sadowitz, Dermot Morgan, Dawn French, Brian Limond (Limmy), David Croft, Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke, Larry David, Steve Coogan, Sam Bain, Mitchell & Webb, Eric Chappell, David Nobbs, and Derren Litten. A mixed bunch!
Gobshite was recorded when Malcolm Hardee managed Jerry
“I’ve got another live show on CD that he did at the Edinburgh Fringe. He’s also an incredibly talented magician. I can do a few of his card tricks.”
So there we have it. The role models for at least one of the rising generation of British teenagers… Mother Theresa? David Beckham? Justin Bieber?
Malcolm Hardee and Jerry Sadowitz.
“Are you interested doing comic things yourself?” I asked Lyle.
“I’d like to write a sitcom or sketch show,” he told me. “I have many ideas I’d like to try out. Comedy’s something I’ve always been attached too; it’s something I’d love to do… I am thinking of setting up my own blog. I thought it would be a good idea, since I am a huge comedy fan, nosey and love talking to people.”
I also want to know what these people were actually looking for. Most of them stumbled on my blog.
What is the “iraq war hidden porn” story?
What is the specific “i wanna drink my mother’s milk porn story”?
If anyone can pull all those search words together into a novel, he or she could become the next William Burroughs.
TheHuffington Post tell me that they only really want 7-13 ‘tags’ on their stories because any more and you tend to get lost on Google searches. I have always thought “britney, spears, farmyard, sex, justin, bieber” are probably the ultimate tags most likely to get lots of stray hits.
I shall still keep putting lots of tags on my blogs here but perhaps try the short Britney Spears approach today.
American comedian Lewis Schaffer recently Tweeted a #ff recommending this blog for its “casual xenophobia and non-casual name-dropping”.
Well, for sure, when Scotland gets independence, I am going to get a Scottish passport as soon as possible because it will be safer than a British or (by then) English passport.
If your aircraft gets hijacked or you get involved in any other terrorist mass hostage situation, the first people to be shot are the Americans – obviously – or sometimes the Israelis who, for some semi-mystifying reason count as Americans in such situations.
The next to be shot – depending on the former colonial history of the people with the guns and the bad attitude problem are either the British or the French.
The last people to get shot are likely to be Irish or Swiss passport holders… The Irish because even the most uneducated terrorist has probably heard of the IRA and you don’t shoot your own; it’s like Toyota owners being polite to each other on the roads in Britain. And the Swiss are fairly safe because even the most uneducated terrorist is likely to know the Swiss are neutral in everything and have never done anything – they did not even invent the cuckoo clock.
It’s also probable, of course, that most terrorist organisations bank with the Swiss and you don’t want to annoy people who are giving you a good interest rate and hiding your identity from the CIA, the NSA and MI6.
So I am going to get a Scottish passport when Scotland breaks from the United Kingdom.
I have no idea why Lewis Schaffer – who continues to appear on stage every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in London’s longest-running solo comedy show at The Source Below in Soho – should complain about name-dropping.
But, then, he’s a New York Jew.
What does a colonial kid like that know?
Marilyn Monroe once reportedly asked Laurence Olivier when being served doughy things at a Jewish dinner while they were filming The Prince and The Showgirl in London:
“Gee, Laurence,” she replied, “Don’t they eat any other part of a matzoh?”
Also has the otherwise street-savvy Lewis never heard of adding random Tags to blogs to try to get extra hits? I haven’t even mentioned the racist Britney Spears animal sex tape scandal involving Prince William, Kate Middleton and Justin Bieber referred-to by the porno stand-up comics in the inept IKEA ad currently running on British television but obviously not on the hardcore sex channels nor on Colonel Gaddafi’s cage-fighting Libyan TV channel? The one with the trans-sexual goldfish. Nor have I mentioned granny sex (popular with Lewis). Nor Japanese schoolgirl facials.