Tag Archives: stand up

Chris Dangerfield: heroin in a train toilet and the comedy gig from Hell

Chris Dangerfield, scones and jam yesterday

I met comedian Chris Dangerfield in Soho yesterday. He said he wanted me to publicise his comedy gig in Swansea this weekend and I thought Well, he always has some interesting stories.

But he sounded more than a bit distracted when I phoned him up at 5.00pm yesterday afternoon from Leicester Square.

“Are you OK?” I asked.

“Things are a bit up-and-down,” he replied. I’ll come down and see you.”

He lives in Soho.

Two minutes later, he arrived.

“I was with a man who had a gun when you phoned,” he said. “Where do you want to go?”

“Perhaps tea and scones?” I suggested. “It seems suitably British.”

So we went to Browns in St Martin’s Lane. The waitress had not heard of scones and said she was only working there for a week. She was from Lithuania. But she asked someone else and some very nice scones, cream and strawberry jam duly arrived.

“So,” said Chris, “me and Trevor Lock done this living room tour which I told you about before. We went round Britain doing comedy shows in people’s living rooms. Really successful. So we thought…

“Well, years ago, I was in a rock band called Household and a girl called Mel had set up a company that done all the merchandising for Radiohead. A lovely, lovely girl. I kept sending her demos just on the strength of her connection with Radiohead. And then suddenly, one day, she said: I’ll manage your band. And, at that time, Chas Smash (Carl Smyth) of Madness had a record label called Rolled Gold and they – the record label people – came to our first gig – we pretended we’d done loads – and they signed us.

“So we had the management deal, we had the recording deal and we also had someone set up for the publishing deal. So there was a big night when all the music industry people were there to sign forms and contacts, but I preferred to sit in a train toilet, smoking crack and injecting heroin with a girl. So we got dropped very quickly. I ruined it and we lost it.

“Four or five years later, when I’m clean, I decide to contact Mel and say I’m so sorry about what happened there. It’s part of my recovery to make amends to people and I think it’s a beautiful thing. It really is, you understand? She tried her best for me and I let her down.

“I met her in London for tea. By now, her son was a comedy fan and she said: Would you do a benefit gig for his school? Because they wanted solar power and needed to raise money. It seemed like a nice idea so I said Yes and I’ll probably be able to get Trevor Lock to do it as well. She knew Trevor through Russell Brand’s radio show.

“So we went up there to the school and done this amazing gig – for the adults, obviously, not for the kids. Then, on the drive home, me and Trevor realised there are loads of schools that, essentially, have an empty hall, heating, lighting and a stage. They’re usually the right size that you don’t need a microphone… Ideal comedy venues… So we decided to do a schools tour.

“We contacted loads of schools and said to them: Look, we want expenses and a bit of money but we’ll do a half rate so, if you can sell 100 tickets at £10 a head, after paying us you’ll still have a decent amount. We put together a very good presentation but no-one was interested, which seemed very strange to us, because we could promote it. Between us, we’ve got 30,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter in different parts of the country. The schools could get their PTA involved. It’s a fund raiser. But no-one was interested.

“Except this one school in Poole, Dorset, did agree. So, last week, we went down there.

“When we set up the schools tour last Spring, I had a variety of different comedy material. Some it was more appropriate for different areas but, after doing 30-odd performances of my show Sex Tourist on the trot for the Edinburgh Fringe this August… well, that’s all I have in my brain at the moment.

“So we go down to the school in Poole last week… Trevor goes on stage to introduce me and they love him because he’s lovely and he’s a great comic. He’s exactly what they want. He’s friendly and kind…

“Then I go on. I’m already worried. They’re an adult audience, but I know they’re not my type of audience. I would never blame an audience. I don’t believe in that bad room/tough audience shit. You either make people laugh or you don’t. If you don’t, it’s not a case of failing or succeeding; it just hasn’t worked for a multiplicity of reasons.

“But I was scared and, when I am scared, I either want to crawl up into a ball or attack and it’s usually attack and I am hostile. So I go on stage and I’m very aggressive with my opening line and… well, if it’s my type of audience and they know they’ve come to see Sex Tourist, they’re fine with that, but I went straight into it… and, well, a lot of people in Poole did not like it.”

“So what was your opening line?” I asked.

“Basically,” explained Chris, “I say I don’t use a microphone because I’ve got oral Chlamydia because I get horny after a fuck and I had a fuck with this girl and then I was lubricating my cock with my hand so hand-to-mouth, mouth-to-hand – and that’s how you get Chlamydia. So now you people in the front have probably got it as well…

“I said something like that which is OK but, if it’s said without any humour and said without them liking you… You’ve just turned up at their school and been a horrible, horrible man talking about sexually transmitted diseases.

“And it went downhill from there.

“It was horrible.

“People started walking out. Not just walking out as in Oh, I don’t want to hear this, but protests. A whole table looked at each other, nodded and walked out. Hands over faces. People mumbling.

“A woman heckled me and I just went for her so viciously… Hilariously if you were up for it… but none of them were. And they were quite right. I cut her no slack. I used all the tricks a comedian knows to put someone in their place, but she hadn’t really been… It was a disproportionate response. And then I said: I should just go, shouldn’t I? I should really just get off stage now. And they all just went Yes. They were not yelling Yeah! Get off!! Just politely and calmly like they were saying Yes: you have brought an ugly thing to our town.

“So, as I walk off, there’s already people complaining to the woman who organised the night and to Trevor, who is trying to explain: Well, comedy… It’s all a taste thing…

“He’s there being cute trying to explain it.

“I am thinking That was bad.

“I have never set out to offend anyone. I want to make people laugh.”

“That is always an admirable thing,” I told him.

“So then there’s an interval,” said Chris. “And usually, at the start of Part Two, I bring Trevor on, but instead I say to Trevor: I’m going to go on and apologise.

“So I went on and I had to pull out every last grain of humility. I went on and said:

“Complaints are already being made to the lady who organised this. All she has done is try to raise some money for your school… I have insulted you… If you want to make a complaint, complain to me. This is my e-mail address. This is my Twitter account. I’m very sorry.

“And, weirdly, they started laughing. I said, I normally bring on Trevor and tell you that he taught me how to do stand-up, but I don’t think that’s…

“…and they were laughing. And I sort-of won them round.

“I said: I just want to apologise. I hope your night isn’t ruined.

“And I got one of the biggest rounds of applause I’ve ever, ever had.

“So then Trevor goes on and does well. The night is not ruined. And, afterwards, a lot of people Followed me on Twitter and said they loved it. But Trevor is annoyed:

I did a bloody good gig! he tells me. And, in five years’ time, you’re the one they’re still going to be bloody talking about!

“So it was a weird night, but not as weird as what happened today.”

“The man with the gun?” I asked.

“Partly,” Chris said. “So, you know about my well-documented drug habit…”

TO BE CONTINUED IN TOMORROW’S BLOG

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Edinburgh Fringe: a 14 year old comic, Janey Godley and tales of a Tit Factory

Eternally relevant street art in Edinburgh

So far, I have bitten my tongue about the ticket incompetence at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.

On my first day here, a ticket for a show (ordered ten days before from the Fringe Office) was not confirmed. The show started at 6.10pm. Eventually, at around 8.30pm, I got an e-mail to say the ticket had now been confirmed.

A couple of days ago, a ticket ordered even longer in advance never appeared (twice); I went to the venue press office instead; they arranged it; on the night, it was still not at the box office.

I never blogged about these (and similar) things because it’s impossible to know who cocked it up and, each year at the Fringe, different parts don’t work. You just have to accept it. That’s Fringe life. But it is just as well I did not complain. Yesterday it was me with the massive cock-up. Oooh missus!

Janey yesterday – not photographed by me

Comedian Janey Godley was at an event in Glasgow at lunchtime yesterday. New housing was being opened next to the pub she used to run in the Calton. The housing is named after St Thenue and Janey had been asked to donate a painting of St Thenue and to officially open the new housing with the Lord Provost of Glasgow. Why?

“I kept that building up,” she told me last week (you have to read her autobiography), “and, because of that, they had to build good, sympathetic architecture next door to it.”

“It’s your swirly painting?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, “The one that looks like my mammy in the Clyde, but it’s St Thenue, who also ended up in the Clyde.”

I invited myself along to take photos and blog about it.

It happened yesterday.

Except I had put it in my Fringe schedule as happening today.

“Where are you?” a text from Janey said yesterday morning.

By that time, it was too late for me to get to Glasgow from Edinburgh.

Which was a bummer because, in all truth, it was going to be one of the highlights of my Edinburgh Fringe this year.

I allegedly edited Janey’s autobiography Handstands in the Dark – still in print and a book which gives Edgar Allan Poe a run for his money in horror. I have walked round Shettleston, where she grew up, and the Calton, where she ran a bar for 14 years. But not with her. It would have been fascinating. We had even talked about it last week.

She had been to see the new housing development in the Calton a couple of weeks before and had popped into her old bar next door.

”The guy who runs the pub now,” Janey told me, “is a guy I barred from the place back in the early 1990s. I told him I’ve just been to see the new houses and he says Aye, they’re just gonna be alcoholics and wife-beaters in there so I asked Have you got your name doon?

Anyway. I let Janey doon yesterday – often a physically dangerous thing to do, as others have found to their cost – and, while she was opening the housing in Glasgow with the Lord Provost and photos were being taken by her daughter Ashley, I was in Edinburgh watching 14-year-old stand-up comic Preston Nyman perform his Fringe show Shtick. (It is only on until Sunday.)

Preston Nyman wears well for 14

I had asked Janey’s daughter Ashley about this because in 1999, aged 13, she had performed her own comedy show What Were You Doing When You Were 13? at the Fringe.

“I can hardly remember it,” she told me. “I know I was ballsy and blatant about it all and everyone was very worried I would say something risqué by accident. But mostly I blanked it all out. I did enjoy it but, looking back, I think What the fuck was I doing? Who let me do that? I wasn’t made to do it. It was all my idea… but who let me do that?”

Preston was very professional, part 1950s Catskill joke purveyor, part fast-talking double glazing salesman. He even did sword-swallowing and persuaded a member of the audience to put his head in a guillotine. Aged 14, he has been, he says, performing since the age of 7 and was dressed in a rather 1950s outfit with blue blazer, frilly-fronted cream shirt and checked trousers.

Young Preston and his guillotine with perhaps foolish punter

“This is what I normally wear,” he told me after the show.

“Where on earth do you live?” I asked.

“Hammersmith in London,” he replied.

“It’s kinda Catskills Jewish,” I said. “The clothes and the act.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “It’s a kinda mix of vaudeville and 1970s ITV. All my life I’ve just loved performing and making people laugh and, seven years ago, I heard about this workshop Comedy Club 4 Kids. It’s every day, 5.30, at the Bongo Club during the Edinburgh Fringe, but I do it in London at the Soho Theatre.”

Preston’s dad is Andy Nyman actor, magician and co-creator/co-writer of the Derren Brown TV shows Derren Brown – Mind Control and Trick of the Mind. He has also co-written and co-directed four of Brown’s stage shows.

After the impressive shock of young Preston yesterday, I went to see the gloriously-titled musical Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory. The Fringe office had buggered-up the ticket for this too but, through Janey Godley, I contacted the show’s writer Paul Boyd and got a comp ticket (remember I’m a Scot brought up among Jews).

Paul Boyd wrote the intro and outro music for Janey and Ashley’s weekly podcast as well as eighteen previous musicals.

“Paul and I were on blog.co.uk back in 2004,” Janey told me. “He’s of the same ilk: he’s a performer, a writer, similar minds. We became friends and then this guy John Palmer from New York, a model, started talking to him and talking to me. Paul wrote to me and said You know, that guy John, I kinda fancy him and I said Go for it! He looks gorgeous and he sounds amazing!

“So then Paul phones me out of the blue – we’d never actually talked – and said I’m about to get on a plane and go to New York and meet John. I’ve given up my life, my lover. I’m gonna go. And he did and they’re still together after all these years.

“Then, a couple of years ago, me and Paul were in the Groucho Club in London with John one night and in walk some of my comedy friends. One of them was Tara Flynn. Paul is Irish, so I said jokingly Oh, Paul, you might know Tara Flynn – she’s also Irish. They screamed and hugged each other. I had been joking, but they’d been in a play together twelve years before and now she’s in Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory.”

And Molly Wobbly, I can say with total honesty, is astonishing.

It has more catchy tunes in it than all of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals combined. You could argue that’s not difficult but it’s still very very impressive. It is a combination of Rocky Horror style exuberance, British music hall jollity and the best of West End musicals.

All this plus a singalong song titled “When I Shouted ‘Fuck’ in the Manse”.

Whether it will play to Americans I don’t know, but its effervescent vitality is quite something to behold and, given that it got a lot of attention because the official Fringe Programme (which is very censorious this year) printed the title without any asterisks, there is a wry smile to be had at the very end of the performance with a change to the words in the title.

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Last night – “un-Fringe-like behaviour” at Bob Slayer’s Adelaide comedy show

Bob Slayer opens his mouth

When your comedy show is titled Bob Slayer Will OutDrink Australia, then some problems may crop up on the night with either the performer or the audience. This proved to be the case at the recent Perth Fringe, where British comic Bob Slayer was thrown out of the festival. Now he is at the Adelaide Fringe, but it was not his own behaviour which proved to be the problem at his midnight show last night. This is what he told me in an e-mail this morning…

__________

I have had people turn up barely able to stand because of drink. Or others refuse to buy a ticket until I downed a pint that they thrust into my hand. All of them have been a pleasure to perform for and there have been some amazing gigs. But last night, approaching the half-way point in my run, I had my first stinker of a late show.

If you were going to take a bet on who would be the biggest problem at the gig, then I think most people would assume it would be the drunken water pump fitters from Tasmania – three brothers, one of whom had just got out of hospital after an operation to have a brain tumour removed – and so they were knocking back large Jack Daniels and cokes to celebrate. But it was not them. They were great fun.

So who was it?

It could not be the nice couple?

No.

Could it be the venue bar staff who came in after their shift?

No. They have been before and are super.

Surely the most unlikely punters to cause problems in a Fringe gig would be the three girls who came in from the Fringe Office?

When I first meet someone and they drunkenly slur “We are going to come to your show” three inches from my face, then I know that they are likely to be ones to watch. These three certainly meant well. It was nice of them to offer to flyer up the street and in the pub before the gig and I am sure it was nothing to do with them that every other night I have managed to pull in up to a dozen last-minute extra folks whereas last night not even ones who had enquired about buying tickets made it into the room.

I walk into the gig room to start the show and two of them are on stage screeching into the microphone. The other is taking photos.

After some banter and wrestling the mic off them, they sit in the front row but with their back to me, repeatedly asking other audience members the same inane questions that they think stand-up comics should ask an audience. They are certainly living up to my No Rules ethos and creating a challenging start to the gig.

Then one of them falls off her chair. Another unplugs my mic lead. And the third one is ordering more drinks that they mostly seem to be spilling.

When a gig like this happens, sometimes my way of dealing with it is to stand back for a little and conduct the carnage. That’s what I do. And I also get my dartboard out and get naked. Why not? I mean it’s not as if the gig could get any worse, is it? Why not be naked and have people throw real darts at me with only a half-sized dartboard as protection? The venue manager even joins in and has a go throwing one from the back of the room.

Then one of the Fringe girls is on stage again, grabbing the microphone. It’s OK – she only wants to be involved. Her friends tell me that she is normally really shy when she isn’t drunk. The venue manager tosses me some gaffer tape. I ask her if she would like me to make her a designer outfit. She obliges and I wrap her up and lie her down, announcing the world’s newest escapologist. She gets out and, shortly afterwards, all three of them leave the gig to a round of applause.

Strangely and significantly, no-one else walks out.

The audience and I have a chat about what has just happened.

The three drunken water pump fitters from Tasmania tell me that they don’t want their money back and buy me a drink. The nice couple tell me they are going to come back again and see a show which doesn’t have the wheels falling off it quite so much. I do a couple of stories, we wrap it up and go for a drink together. The nice couple tell me that they overhear the girls moaning about the show in the bar to anyone who will listen with no mention of their own “most un-Fringe-like behaviour”.

Now, just as only a bad workman blames his tool, it is also true that only a bad comedian blames his audience and I want to make it clear that it was not the three girls’ fault that this gig disintegrated. I certainly only have myself to blame.

After all, I was the one who let them in.

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The serious subject of performing a comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe

(This was also published in the Huffington Post)

Yesterday, someone asked me for advice about their next Edinburgh Fringe comedy show.

The Fringe does not start until next August, but now is the time people begin their preparation.

His problem was that he had a factually-based one-hour show and has fallen out with his on-stage partner. It happens. Fortunately, the person asking me had written the entire show on his own, otherwise there might have been tears over ownership.

“My show is written for two people” he told me. “It’s written for me and a sidekick/straight man. How do I translate that into just me? How would Eric do his act without Ernie? I don’t think I’m gonna find another partner in time. And the show is funny but factually-based. It’s going to end up sounding/feeling like a talk/lecture. How do I manage to keep the thing bubbling?”

“Well,” I suggested. “It’s already a show about true facts. You could tell the truth, say there was going to another person and it fell through. Then you play both parts straight but, in the way you tell the story and in the nature of playing two parts straight, it will be funny. The fact that the other guy is not appearing becomes part of the show, another layer, a sub-plot, added texture.”

“But how do I actually physically perform it?” the newly-solo act asked me.

“Just as a monologue,” I suggested. “Or you could do the old Tommy Cooper thing of literally wearing two different hats, depending on which person you are. That might get a bit tiresome over 55 minutes… Or it might work.

“Personally, I think you should just do it as a talk/lecture. It is the style and personality that makes it interesting. All one-hour stand-up shows are really just lectures made funny by the personality of the performer.

“If you have a one-hour comedy show, it has to be about one central thing, unless you’re a brilliant gag-machine act like Jimmy Carr, Milton Jones or Tim Vine.

“Most of the really creatively successful Edinburgh shows since 2004 (I date everything from Janey Godley’s jaw-dropping confessional Edinburgh Fringe show Good Godley!) have been about one aspect of the performer’s life or a series of anecdotes strung together with one central thread running through.

“That’s the difference between a comedy act that can last 20 minutes in a club (a series of unconnected gags) and a comedy show that lasts 55 minutes (smoothly-linked anecdotes that have an over-all subject and shape).

“In your case, you already have the subject. The trick in an hour-long Edinburgh Fringe show is not to find enough gags to fill-up 55 minutes. The trick is to find one story that will last 55 minutes and which, in the telling, will be incidentally funny at regular intervals.

“You should see one of Janey Godley’s shows,” I suggested. “She is possibly the best storyteller I have ever seen and I have seen a few. A lot of other comedians do not understand why she gets such totally OTT rave review quotes for her shows because, as fellow performers on a bill with her at some club, they have only ever seen little bits and pieces of her club act. She doesn’t really do traditional gags. She does personality. She does very good 20 or 30 minute spots, but her real forte is 60 or 90 minute shows.

“And the fascinating thing about her full-length shows is that there is almost nothing ‘funny’ in them at all. The subjects are all serious and very often horrendously sad. But her personality and storytelling makes them very, very funny. I don’t think of her as a stand-up comic. She is a very, very funny storyteller. It’s that Frank Carson line – It’s the way you tell ‘em.”

“Yeah, yeah,” the worried performer said, “You go on about Janey and she may be brilliant. But what do you yourself actually know about performing an Edinburgh show?”

“Nothing,” I admitted. “But most people don’t notice.”

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No joke: a secret list of people you cannot joke about on ITV in the UK

A scriptwriter for a very well-known comedian told me this week that one of his jokes was recently rejected for inclusion in an ITV programme not because it was not good enough, not because the producer did not like it, but because it was a joke about a celebrity (a rock star, as it happens) who is on an ITV list of people who are considered too litigious to make jokes about.

Whether this is true or not, I cannot guarantee. But the producer showed the list to the scriptwriter.

“I am not even supposed to tell you it exists, let alone show it to you,” the producer said.

No joke.

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Jewish comedian Lewis Schaffer reacts to the Palestinian refugee camps myth

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about Palestinian so-called refugee camps.

I asked London-based Jewish American comedian Lewis Schaffer if he had any opinion on it.

I do not know why I foolishly asked if he has an opinion.

Of course he does.

He has an opinion on everything.

You might spot a of self-marketing in it.

This is his response…

_____

You are not going to pull me into an argument.

I grew up supporting and loving Israel but I also see the devastation the creation of the State of Israel has caused on the Palestinians.

Keeping in mind that more Muslims come to my show than Jews (Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous at the Source Below – 8.00pm Tuesdays and Wednesday; reserve at www.sourcebelow.com), I lean to siding with Palestinians, solely for business purposes.

The great American humorist Will Rogers (and all Americans are great, but this dude was GREAT even by American standards), once said:  “You’re dead as a comic if you take yourself seriously or if the audience takes you seriously”.  

I am lucky because I barely have an audience to alienate and the more I take myself seriously the more people think I am just kidding.

An analogy of the situation in Israel/Palestine is a sad vignette presented on BBC’s Frozen Planet with David Attenborough this week. They showed a fight to the death between a wolf and buffalo in the cold snowy north of Canada – actually Canada is all cold snowy north.

David Attenborough expressed the modern view that humans shouldn’t take a side in this natural fight between two species. He felt both the wolf and the buffalo had a right to live. A few years ago we might have sided with the gentle grazer bison and not the hunting wolf but now we see the wolf’s side, too.

And rightly so.

I have Wolfs in my family on my father’s side. They moved out to Phoenix after the War and did quite well in the furniture business.  On the other hand, my mother’s maiden name was Buffalofsky.

_____

Well, that’s the Palestinian problem sorted then.

Tomorrow, back to the blog…

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Jewish comedian Jerry Sadowitz and the Palestinian refugee camps myth

A couple of days ago, I got an e-mail from someone saying: “I disagree violently with some of the things you say on your blog, but I usually find it interesting – which is a partial definition of a good blog I suppose.”

I guess so.

A problem arises when there is nothing overwhelmingly interesting to blog about.

Last night, I was at Vivienne and Martin Soan’s always bizarre Pull The Other One comedy club in Peckham. This time, one of the acts was a  genuine local choir of 25 people who trooped on stage but did not sing.

In the audience was comedy scriptwriter Mark Kelly.

He told me that, many years ago, when the world was young – well, 1990 – he owned a new-fangled video recorder which included, unusually for the time, single frame advance.

He recorded an episode of the Channel 4 series The Other Side of Jerry Sadowitz in which Jerry, best-known for his controversially offensive stand-up comedy, showed his equally extraordinary skill as a close-up magician. One particular trick Jerry performed was one that Mark Kelly knew about.

Mark knew how the trick was done.

He used the single fame advance on his video recorder to watch it in detail…

“And I still could not see the point at which Jerry pulled the trick,” Mark told me. “I looked at every single frame and I just could not see it. Jerry is that good.”

He is, indeed.

But that is not really enough for a blog.

Saying nice things about people is not good copy.

It is far more interesting to annoy people – which is why I occasionally mention my professional admiration for the late comedian Bernard Manning.

It always gets knee-jerk reactions of annoyance, mostly from people who never saw him perform live.

As ever-reliable Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being noticed is not being noticed.”

I can but try.

I looked back at what was in my e-diary ten years ago, on 26th November 2001.

I wrote this to a friend:

_____

There’s a load of bollocks talked about the number of Palestinian refugees in camps. The host Arab countries (like Lebanon) tend to bar them from getting proper jobs and living freely where they like, so as to maintain them as an aggrieved, definable entity living in poverty in ghetto-like enclaves which are called ‘camps’ but aren’t at all.

I have walked down the Airport Road in Beirut and seen the Shatila so-called refugee camp where there was a massacre in 1982.

It is not a camp; it is just another brick and stone built part of Beirut with normal houses. It is like saying Golders Green in London is a Jewish refugee camp.

The Palestinian refugees would have been assimilated within any other host countries decades ago without this intentional ghettoising of them by the other Arab countries they fled to. 

Some of these Palestinians have been ‘refugees’ since 1948. It really is like saying the Jews who fled from Hitler to Golders Green are ‘refugees’. They WERE refugees in 1936 or 1939, but not now.

It is pushing it a bit to say someone who was born in Lebanon, whose parents and possibly grandparents were born in Lebanon is actually a citizen of Bethlehem (or wherever).

It is a complicated problem, because the people in Lebanon continue to be Palestinians like the Jews in Golders Green continue to be Jews… but being Jewish is an ethnicity and a religion, not a nationality. Are you an Indian although you were born and brought up in Liverpool? I would say you are British of Indian origin but you ain’t an Indian any more than I’m a Fleming from Flanders. 

If, however, you and your parents had only been allowed to live in one small area within Southall which contained nothing but ex-pat Indians and you were not allowed to work normally and  integrate within the British social or economic system then, of course, it might be another matter. 

I blame the neighbouring Arab countries equally with Israel for the problem. The Arab countries have just used the so-called refugees over the decades as political pawns. 

_____

I wrote that to a friend in 2001. If I had had a blog then, I would have blogged it.

There are still alleged Palestinian refugee camps in Arab countries.

I blog it now to try to cause random offence.

Though, in causing offence, I am but a lowly beginner at the feet of  Jerry Sadowitz, brilliant magician but also still astonishingly offensive comedian.

It is good to try to cause offence but credit where credit is due.

****

Jewish American comedian Lewis Schaffer’s reaction to this blog was quoted in my blog the following day.

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Filed under Comedy, Israel, Lebanon, Magic, Middle East, Palestine, Politics