Tag Archives: Whitstable

Comedians’ traumas: Holly Burn cuts herself and Bob Slayer fakes his gay dad

Bob Slayer & Stephen Frost at Pull The Other One last night

Things are looking up. I’ve seen two stonkingly good comedy shows on two consecutive nights.

After Nick Wilty’s OyOyster Comedy show in Whitstable two nights ago, I went to Martin Soan’s Pull The Other One at the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill last night and it was a spectacularly successful show.

Compèred by Stephen Frost and Bob Slayer, magician David Don’t did, OTT surrealist Holly Burn managed to cut herself but continued the act with blood smeared on her forehead, Laurence Tuck continued to develop his oddball stage character with new even-sharper gags, Boothby Graffoe climaxed with a monkey from Hartlepool (while the audience joined in with their mouths) and former doctor Paul Sinha, always good but last night 5-star brilliant, managed to develop what seemed to be hay fever sneezes in mid-act at around 11.30pm. Bob Slayer had come to the show directly from the Download Festival where, he told the Pull The Other One audience, he had fallen out of a wheelie bin doing a crowd surf. They did not look re-assured.

The show ended just before midnight and, inevitably, I missed something. When I woke up this morning, there was a text message on my iPhone which Bob Slayer had sent at 01.57. It read:

“I have found a new thing. Find the lonely nutter in the pub. Let him latch on, then convince folks that he is your absent father who cannot accept a gay son. His denials only add to the story. Tonight I had a girl screaming that he should respect his son’s choices. I told her he didn’t mean to beat my mum.”

Later this morning, he told me: “I left my new dad with some people outside the Half Moon. A woman was berating him for not accepting my choices. I shouted at him: I wish I could pretend you were not my dad! and ran off crying into the night.”

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Comedian Nick Wilty, a failed armed robbery & Malcolm Hardee’s power drill

Comedian Nick Wilty’s wedding on 28th September, 2008

Last night I went to Nick Wilty’s Whitstable Comedy Club aka the OyOyster Comedy Club. It is called OyOyster Comedy because Whitstable is known for its oysters and Nick’s late friend, comedian Malcolm Hardee, was known for saying, “Oy! Oy!”

A great comedy night – Adam BloomGeorge Egg and Sean McLoughlin.

Nick is himself extraordinary – a former British Army soldier who became a very very good stand-up comedian with itchy feet which meant he was forever travelling the world. At one time, he told me he was thinking of settling in the Far East but instead he got married in 2008 and moved to Whitstable. And, having been at the leopardskin-themed wedding (I can’t remember what I wore) and seeing him with his wife, I think he made the right decision.

I don’t think I have actually seen him since for any length of time, though we might have bumped into each other at the Edinburgh Fringe. But I do remember a meal we had at Kettner’s in London’s Soho on Thursday 21st November 2002.

Alright. I kept a diary, now transferred to my Apple Mac, and I did a ’search’. The diary entry for Thursday 21st November 2002 reads:

Lunch with comedian Nick Wilty at Kettner’s in Soho. In the 20 minutes before Nick arrived (I was early), I sat in the almost empty bar. The only other people there were former Kray Brothers associate Freddie Foreman and three men apparently talking about an armed robbery which had gone wrong and whether or not The South African had double-crossed them.

Nick told me he had left the army after the Falklands War because it had become boring – doing the same thing day in and day out. He served c1978-1982 but avoided Northern Ireland by (truthfully) saying he had lots of Irish mates and his sympathies tended towards Republicanism.

Nick told me that going onstage was like the first time he parachuted or bunji-jumped – fear in the pit of your stomach then a sudden change to exhileration when you were actually doing it.

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