Obviously, I wanted to know more.
“Well, basically,” Dave told me, “a senior person at Channel 5 (she works in digital sales and is not directly involved in production) wanted to have a ‘different’ sort of wedding. The couple approached Geoff Whiting of Mirth Control comedy agency, who thought I was best suited to the job. He had seen me playing an insane killer attacking and fighting Harry Hill in Harry’s recent live show Sausage Time.
“I met the couple at the wedding venue in Surrey. There was a minstrels’ gallery at the back of the room and a kitchen to the side of the ‘stage’ area, where the ceremony would take place. We decided I should pretend to be a vicar and they liked my suggestion that the caterers should make a lot of noise in the kitchen, prompting me to have an argument with them.
“The couple were married in secret the day before, so all 150 guests including the best man thought I was a real vicar, until the end of the ceremony.
“It started normal, then I quoted some extreme passages from the Old Testament about adultery and death.
“I adapted a normal wedding script, putting some of my own material in it:
“Mark, you are a very handsome young man. Emily, you are an exceptionally attractive young woman. I am going to ask you both in turn to declare that you are free to marry one another. I hope that you will share a marital bed and perhaps, as dawn lights up the garden of the house you will one day be able to afford (preferably in a nice area), Emily’s slumbering leg will brush against Mark’s leg. This will lead to caresses and the flowing of conjugal juice. Emily, may perfect milk abound from your perfect bosoms. And one day, may that milk of kindness mature into the cheese of wisdom.
“When I stripped off to my purple Lycra leotards and tights (custom made for my appearance in Ben Elton’s feature film Maybe Baby) and did a fertility dance down the aisle, the congregation started to wonder if, perhaps, I was not a real vicar. I danced provocatively and put my leg over the balustrade.
“I then produced an axe and sacrificed a small animal (cuddly toy) for their abundance. I qualified this by saying I’d just returned from several years serving in rural Africa, and had been influenced by their rituals.
“At the end of the performance, the bride and groom walked down the aisle and out of the wedding barn as if the ceremony had been completely normal.
“The couple paid me a very good fee and I hope to get more work like this, as it’s easier than stand-up and had a massive impact on the 150 people in the congregation – though I had to keep it fairly clean in case I offended any of the older people there.”
So there you have it: a blatant attempt by a stand-up comedian to tout for more work.
But he is not as desperate as Harry Deansway.
In other news, yesterday I got an e-mail from Harry, the publicity-hungry publisher-turned-comedian:
“After years on the sketch circuit,” it said, “my penis is hoping to finally get his big break in my Edinburgh show Wrong Way and is looking for press opportunities. I am e-mailing you on behalf of my penis as he is very shy, so if you would like to speak with my penis it would have to be via e-mail.”
I e-mailed back a rejection because:
“It sounds like your penis doesn’t have the balls to email me itself.”
Finally yesterday, I was told The Stand venue at the Edinburgh Fringe will not issue any tickets to any Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award judges this year – although it has done that without any problem for the past six years – both via the main Fringe Office and via The Stand’s own Press Office.
As a result, no acts appearing at The Stand will be considered or nominated for any increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award this year.
Since when has the venue not the performer decided who should be allowed to see their shows?
Since a long time ago in The Stand’s case, as it has a long and undistinguished record in restrictive practices which adversely affect acts’ careers.
To quote Malcolm Hardee, “Fuck ‘em.” He would have gone round and pissed on their stage.
But The Stand has been taking the piss for too long already.