I have just been asked if I will shave my beard off for an audition I have next week. This is a terrifying thought. I have only been beardless once in the last 8 years, which was also for a TV venture. It was a hidden camera shoot for a Graham Norton show that never happened, and I had to be the teenage nephew. Without a beard, I look like a child. I’m afraid that suddenly sans beard I won’t get served at bars anymore and I might get caught by a truant officer and taken back to school. An even worse thought is that I haven’t seen my chin in over 4 years and what if its not there anymore? What if my entire chin structure is held together by my beard? I will have to do whole shows about how I have no chin, and how when people say ‘chin up’ to me it makes me cry. Even worse still, what will I stroke when looking like I’m contemplating something? Oh dear God, the thought of it all is terrifying. Needless to say, I’ve said no. Lets see how they all deal with that. Probably by not giving me the job. Sigh.
Less fun than not having a beard, was last night’s gig. Everything about it seemed ok at first. It was in a lovely venue, The Cobden Club in Kensal Rise. I’ve only ever been there once before for this:
That was when I nearly spoke to Dennis Hopper and Damon Albarn had I not been too scared. Forgetting the fear aspect though I definitely would have hung out with them all night. Basically ignore that outright terrified star struck attitude and I was basically their best mate for the whole night. Luckily neither of them were there last night, otherwise I would have been too busy cowering in the corner like a great pal/frightened fan. Instead they had really really tiny cupcakes. They were so small it felt like I was a giant eating a normal sized cupcake. This was as special as Dennis Hopper being there. Dennis Hopper does not make me feel like a giant standing next to Dennis Hopper, so therefore cupcakes win.
The problem with last night was not the cupcakes or the lack of Dennis Hopper, but the fact it was a charity gig. Now, without meaning to slur all charity gigs ever, they tend to be filled with loads of people that don’t really give a toss for what’s on, and are just there to drink because their friend works for the charity and has asked them very nicely. Or in the case of the last charity gig I did in Epsom, they are just a massive bunch of the most horrendous people ever that build a gig so bad I still get ‘Nam like flashbacks. See old blog flashback number two:
Oddly enough the Epsom gig was also the last time I worked with Terry Saunders. Not meaning to say that Terry is a curse on all the gigs I do or anything, but he probably is. I am scared incase there is some sort of space/time vortex that is opened when we work together causing even the nicest of gigs to fail. If this is the case then we should embrace our evil power and gig together at comedy clubs around the country until comedy is dead. Rather than him being bestowed with some sort of ancient gypsy voodoo, its more likely that me and Terry are both the sort of gimps that readily accept charity gigs because we pretend we are lovely people. He also has a gypsy voodoo curse but that’s to do with the plague of locusts he carries around rather than how his gigs go. The other contenders were Mark Allen who I haven’t seen in ages and Eli Silverman who I had never met but he seemed ace and had the sort of moustache you should be very proud of having.
The show was meant to start at 8pm, but the bar we were in was desolate. This might have had something to do with the free drinks all being in the bar upstairs. It might have also been to do with the big Amnesty sign saying ‘No Comedy Here’, which is a poster that’s meant to be about how political comedy of any kind is a crime in certain countries, but to all the trendy Kensal Risians, they took it all a bit literally. Time went on, and I stole lots more tiny cakes and a free pin badge saying ‘Protect The Human’. It seemed odd to me that a campaign about protecting humans involved giving humans booze and damaging them. I suppose that the best way to protect other humans is to get the trendy wanker ones to get so drunk they die of liver failure. That way other people are protected from them. Me and Terry spent a lot of time standing next to each other but not talking and just tweeting via our phones. While I am a big advocate of Twitter, at times like that it does make me think socialising is dead. It got worse when we did speak only to show each other the tweets we had just sent that we had already seen on our phones. I’m surprised that any conversation we did have wasn’t only in 140 character bursts.
To pass time we went to watch the band that were playing upstairs. They were called The Dirty Feel and were really really good. Proper 60s-70s rock and they all dressed and acted like they were playing 60s-70s rock. One had long hair, a beard and girls top. One had a moustache and a hat and one looked like the guy from Nickelback. He was the only one I couldn’t take seriously as he had a leather jacket on but nothing underneath. I felt very concerned about how sweaty he would be getting and all the chafing that might occur. He clearly hadn’t thought it through. All their songs were good though and I kept expecting them to do something really rock like smash a guitar or kick in an amp. Then I realised its the credit crunch and that doesn’t happen anymore. ‘Smash the amp!’ ‘We can’t. Ive still got 13 monthly repayments for it on my credit card.’ When the band finished they told everyone the comedy was on downstairs and some of them ambled towards our bar with all the enthusiasm of a kid being forced to go to the dentist. And that child has orthopedic shoes. And is walking through very thick mud.
And so the gig was to a rabble of people who talked all the way through Terry’s start. They then talked all the way through the top of my set. I mentioned that while an Amnesty gig was about Human Rights they should not be exercising their rights to Freedom of Speech. I thought that was clever. Two people in the front row, sighed and got up and left. The rest carried on talking. I rambled on for 15 minutes paying attention only to the women on my left who was actually laughing, and then I ran away. I got in the car and pricked my finger on my Amnesty pin badge trying to take it off. So much for Protect The Human. I think I will leave charity gigs for a little while. I feel my karma meter must be at an all time high from enduring that and Epsom and will have to now go balance it out by being a real arsehole for a bit.
First step is somehow finding a way to ruin the life of Mary Bunker from Maine, USA aka MamaBee4 on Twitter. She seems to have found it hilarious to entirely steal the idea of Twitter Comedy and do it the weekend before us. Admittedly she has done it in a shit disorganised way, with no press and no jokes and I mostly couldn’t give a damn. But then she messaged our Tweetcomedyclub account boasting about it. Now that’s just not right. Not only is she a cheap idea thief, but she boasts about it too. And if you are going to steal an idea dont rub it in the face of the person you are stealing it from. Thats like the great train robbers taking the ransom to, er, Network Rail and dancing around with all the cash around Victoria Station. Out of annoyance I looked her up to find that she writes blogs with titles such as ‘Ass Breasts’. There must be someway to stop her from being. I might tell Amnesty she has violated my human rights by talking about my, er, Ass Breasts, and then perhaps they will send her loads of pinbadges until she cuts her finger loads and bleeds to death. If you want to hate her too, please feel free to. In fact we could always set up a facebook group. That’s what I love about the net, there is no boundaries to how far you can send abuse. Yeah its all about connecting people from around the world, but if those people irritate the hell out of you, you don’t have to wait for airmail to deliver them death threats.