An Itch I Can’t Scratch

Today I have reached the difficult stage of beard growing. Its the point where a lesser man would turn back, shave his face and never darken the halls of Beardom ever again. Its the day of Beard Regrowth Project: Bio-hazard Supreme Itchyface. To wrongly phrase the words of the Kings of Leon song ‘Wooooaaaoooooh my face is on fire.’ My cheeks are a hub of irritating itchyness and my neck feels as though hundreds of tiny scratchy ants are doing a relay race, using a baton covered in itching powder. I have scratched my face so many times now that its possible I’ve worn away a layer of skin. Which would probably make my face itchier. I am scared that I might just scratch my face away, until there is just beard left. I have encountered this challenge before and rode through it like a beard warrior, so I will do it again. Its part of my theory as to why all men with beards are either knowledgeable or evil. Its because you can either get through the itchyness by reading lots and distracting yourself with knowledge. Or you can concoct evil plans. Hence knowledgeable – Gandalf, my Dad, Bill Oddie; Evil – Noel Edmunds, Saroman, ZZ Top.

I am becoming knowledgeable by reading my newly arrived Fringe brochure. It feels even bigger than last year. I’m fairly sure that everyone is going to the Fringe this year. I think most of the rest of the world will be vacant as everyone and their mum does an hour show. As usual there are loads of people I have heard of, and loads of people I haven’t heard of and probably don’t exist. I grace page 105. I didn’t pay the £6 billion pound fee for a picture advert which I am slightly regretting, although you never know if it makes any difference. I often worry that people will see a picture and think ‘Oh god not him.’ Whereas no one can spell my name so they’ll never realise its me and go and shout at Eleanor Tiernan instead. I am pleased that I actually wrote a blurb. There are a vast amount of shows that just have the description ‘might talk about….’ It displays a certain level of unpreparedness. Unlike my blurb which presents the lie that I have some sort of idea what I’m doing. Its all about the lying. Or is it? That could be a lie. But its not. But it might be.

I spent last night watching comedy on TV. I rarely do that. Not because its like a busman’s holiday, but more because there isn’t that much comedy on and I am rarely at home on an evening. That last sentence makes it sound like I am far more of a party fiend than I am. The televisual pickings I chose last night were Krod Mandoon and the TNT show. I had highish hopes for both of these due to the caliber of cast and writers, which is why I opted to pry myself away from the Sega Classic demos I had downloaded for my xbox. I say pry away, the key with old games is that memories tend to hold them in high regard when in fact they were shit, we just had nothing better to compare them to. Altered Beast was what I started playing last night, and it was clearly created by someone who took a lot of drugs and had no idea about games. The game concept of a demi-god who can turn into a wolf man and fights headless ghouls is all well and good, until you die everytime you touch anything and a floating face laughs at you.

I gave Krod Mandoon a try. That try lasted 1 and a half minutes. I have never been so disappointed in a show so quickly. The opening started, then within that tiny time period the first laugh was supposed to come from a man walking into a wooden post. Ba-da-boom. I can’t imagine what genius thought of that highly original moment. Yes I am being a tad snobby. Walking into a post can be very funny, but somehow this was done with a complete lack of timing or humour. Even the post’s performance was wooden. Arf. It was really dull. The whole thing. I gave it 20 minutes of my life and it gave nothing back. Even the presence of Matt Lucas did not save it. That makes him now the second Lucas to let me down. He did George Dawes, and then became shite. Him and George Lucas should go and be ashamed of themselves in a small Lucas built cave where they are not allowed to make anything ever again. The TNT show was not much better. Holly Walsh was excellent on it, but that’s because she is very funny. Sadly the producers seem to have failed to notice this and not really put her in it much. It was the more the ‘Jack Whitehall Show’. Now Jack’s a great stand-up but his gags last night weren’t great and the whole program had that terrible feeling as though the TV people had waded in and taken the funny away. Very sad. It had some great writers on it so I hope it picks up in the coming weeks instead of becoming the next Tonightly.

Must go sort out my face. Have a preview in Cambridge tonight as part of the Cambridge Comedy Festival and I will have to soothe my cheeks (the facial ones) before I walk on stage having sandpapered away my skin. If you live in Cambridge or nearby, do come. You might see a man fight his own beard.