It’s been a while, this seems to be how I always start these posts, It’s been a while and I’m sorry that it’s been so long. But as it’s Christmas, and like the crazy uncle who always smells of whiskey and stuffs fivers into your hands saying “don’t tell your mum”, I thought I’d show up again. What a year. What a goddam crazy year for me. At the end of this year I’m 35% less of the person I was at the beginning. I’ve lost 9 stone in total (how I did it is here), been signed to an agency, been a UK and International finalist in comedy awards I was nomiated for, gone viral a bunch and learned that Quorn is ground up mushroom. What a ride. I mean mushroom is pretty meaty on it’s own, why grind it up? Just eat mushrooms, fry them with butter or coconut oil, add garlic, delicious. I keep promising to update this blog more regularly but I’m never really sure what you want to read, there’s nearly 10,000 of you so it’s hard to please all of you. I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of being weird and picky about it I’m just going to post everything. Stories, pictures, videos, dates of stuff coming up, everything. Then you can decide. If at the end of next year there’s less of you than now maybe we’ll change it but really I’m sure there’s going to be more. I’ve been doing a joke advent calendar for the whole of December. Some of you will have seen these before in my other social media, some will have seen them when they went viral but I’m sticking all of them up here now so you’ve all definitely seen them straight from source. Enjoy
It’s been a while since I posted actual jokes on here, instead bombarding you with dieting and books like a librarian six weeks before their wedding day, and now I realise there’s nearly 10,000 of you I feel like I’m letting you down so here’s some stuff for you to enjoy as a thank you for following me and also because you laughing at my material fills a hole in my self esteem. Enjoy.
Two years ago I was a bad comedian.
Actually that’s not entirely true. I wasn’t a bad comedian but in my own opinion I wasn’t good. I’d watch back sets of my own performances and cringe at myself. Thing is the audiences liked it, I was getting a lot of work and basically my career was on the rise but that only made it worse.
My problem was the material didn’t matter, I was doing jokes about stuff that wasn’t important to me. Sure here and there were a couple of bits about my family but overall it was a bunch of jokes about penises and poo. Again it’s fine for some comedians, it’s just that I’d wanted to be a different type of comic. I’d grown up with Billy Connolly talking about his childhood, Robin Williams discussing his addiction and mental health issues, Eddie Izzard opening the UK’s eyes to transgenderism and Victoria Wood championing feminism. Later on I would find Louis CK, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Tim Minchin, Brendon Burns, Richard Pryor, John Oliver, David Cross, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia and more but right there at the beginning of my love affair with comedy it was story tellers with issues.
I’d grown up with these people, I wanted to be like them, and right there in the middle of the career I’d worked so hard for I felt like I was failing. I started to hate my work, it wasn’t fun to write anymore and that meant the performance was all very stale. I felt like I was letting myself down but worse I was letting those iconoclasts of comedy down.
It couldn’t go on like that, I couldn’t hate doing the thing I’d loved my whole life. I’d worked so hard and it felt like the thing that defined me slipping away. I mean if I wasn’t a comedian what was I?
So I changed. I forced myself to write about subjects I felt like were important. You know what happened after that, you’ve followed me because of the change I made. Before that I was another comedian making jokes about the same subjects. It’s alright for some but for me personally it wasn’t enough and that showed in the work.
In no way am I saying that I’m even close to those heroes of mine that inspired me to do standup but I feel like I’m getting closer, that I’m on the right path. I went to see Louis CK last year and 3 of his jokes were similar to jokes I’d been developing for my show, that was incredibly encouraging. I mean I had to ditch 3 bits that I knew definitely worked but still it’s great to know you’re thinking in the same way as your idols.
This week I did a solo show at Leicester and it was full. People came who had seen me the year before or who followed me online. It was exceedingly flattering to be in a room full of people all agreeing that the comedian I was now was so much better than the comedian I was then. Those comedians I looked up when I was growing up changed my mind about a lot of things and I’m hoping that now I’m starting to make as much of a difference as they did.
Thanks to everyone that came on Tuesday, it was incredibly humbling. Next year I’ll be doing 3 dates because of how well it went. Until then here’s some very short snippets from the show.
Thank you to everyone who came last night to my Leicester comedy festival show, it was great to have a sold out room with so many people there. It was humbling.
For those that couldn’t make it here’s a couple of clips from the show.
While twitter went mad with whether or not you should torture a baby to save a terrorist, I’ve spent most of today arguing with racists. It’s really opened my eyes to how ignorant you need to be these days to be a bigot.
It started with this joke (thanks to Ignacio Lopez for the pic):
A couple of facebook groups stuck it up and shared it with a few thousand people which is lovely. What isn’t lovely is loads of people saying Muslims are coming over here and raping everyone, I was like “Woah! Are they? I didn’t know?! They haven’t even asked me out let alone tried to force me to have sex with them, what’s wrong with me?” I was hurt. If anyone was going to be doing all this raping I should have at least felt threatened right? I had to check this out so I googled it. I typed in “Which ethnic group does the most raping in the UK?” and there it was first hit Government office of statistics and it turns out that the people doing the most raping in the UK was white British nationals at a staggering 86%. I was shocked, how could this person have been so sure of their numbers yet been so wrong even though it had taken me 0.0034 of a second to find the correct answers. I had to correct the guy because he was definitely going to feel embarrassed
So I go back to this guy, I cut and paste the statistics so he doesn’t even have to look at the site but I also link him there so he can know I’m for real and he comes back “they’re lying”. The office of national statistics AND multiple rape support charities are lying? Jeez ok so I do some more googling and find out that it’s the same from all areas AND 90% of all attacks are from people close to the victim meaning it’s not just people arriving from overseas suddenly coming over here and raping the first person they see.
Well he’s not happy about that, he goes crazy. He is not a happy bunny. It doesn’t make any sense though, he had a fact but it turns out that fact is wrong and I’ve found, with very little research, the truth. You’d think he’d be happy that he hadn’t said it out loud at a party and really embarrassed himself right? But no he couldn’t fathom that Muslim immigrants, by definition, weren’t rapists. Sure some are but so many more white British nationals were that it would be more accurate to say “White British men are rapists except for these ones over here”.
We live in a world where you can’t avoid information, it takes effort to be ignorant. Even if all you did was watch TV every day you’d still get a reasonably balanced point of view so in order to be a bigot you have to specifically IGNORE ALL INFORMATION. Why would anyone do that? Why would someone ignore correct information? The answer, as with everything, is fear.
We’re afraid of responsibility.
We can’t get a job because of immigrants, not because we haven’t spent time getting the qualifications or getting out there and trying to get a job or even starting our own company, No it’s immigrants stealing what’s rightfully ours. There’s crime in the streets, can’t be other people like me because then one day it could be me so it must be those other people who don’t look like me. There’s a long waiting list for me to have a routine operation, can’t be the government I voted for because that would mean they weren’t everything they promised to be AND I WOULD BE WRONG so it must be immigrants.
We live in a world where we don’t take responsibility if we don’t have to and when presented with facts contrary to our opinion instead of saying “oh wow I didn’t see it that way before” we get angry because it must be wrong, we couldn’t possibly be wrong it must be the facts. IF I’M WRONG ABOUT THIS WHAT ELSE AM I WRONG ABOUT OH GOD PLEASE HELP ME? There’s no God and the church covered up sexual abuse of minors? I REFUSE TO LISTEN!
It’s not just the right that’s like this, it’s the left as well. Here’s an article about how women empowering their sexuality is transphobic if that sentence made your head explode that’s because it’s ridiculous. Sure we’ve got a long way to go until LGBTQ rights are established and they’ve had a long hard slog of it but that doesn’t give anyone the right to take away someone else’s identity WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY’RE SAYING IS HAPPENING TO THEM! They don’t want to take responsibility for their own feelings, it’s easier to say “I feel offended, it must be those people who are offending me” rather than “Everyone has a right to feel empowered about themselves”. God forbid we ever let people feel comfortable in their own skin when we’re still struggling with our own identities, am I right guys/girls/other!
People say we’re post truth, that we live in a time where everyone can believe whatever they want and fake news is just as valid as real news in the general populace’s eyes but I say that’s inaccurate. We don’t want to know that the reason we feel this way is due to our own insecurities, we don’t care that actually we’re projecting onto a group or individual just to make our own fragility justified.
We’re not post truth, we’re post responsibility.
Don’t look at my skin and think that I’m like you. Don’t say it’s ok to be racist and suggest I do racist jokes because “they’ll find it funny too”. Don’t say “you don’t need to be PC here” when talking about treating people with a different ethnicity as equals.
Don’t look at my gender and assume I think it’s ok to treat women as second class citizens, don’t shush a woman in a conversation with “shhh love men talking” and expect me not to verbally dress you down for your obvious misogyny.
Don’t look at my body shape and assume I’ll be ok with you calling me and everyone else fat or thin or any other derogatory term you can think of for someone who doesn’t look like you and if we’re being honest you could stand to lose a few pounds too.
Don’t look at anything about me and assume I want to be a part of your hate filled world. When challenged don’t make out like it’s “just a joke” because I can show you millions of people repressed by those so called jokes.
In fact the only thing you should do is educate yourself or shut the fuck up.
First off sorry about the lack of blogging, there are now over 5000 (closer to 10,000 including all the other places this goes) of you and it’s ridiculous for me to leave it months without updating. I will be rectifying that. Thank you to everyone that’s hung on though, I’ll make sure it’s worth it.
(worth it, right?)
Secondly a confession. I am a social media whore. I have a hole inside me that can only be filled by sharing my whole world with friends, family and complete strangers. What this has done is severely reduced my productivity (NO WAY! SPENDING TIME NOT WORKING IS REDUCING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY!? WHAT IN THE HELL?!). I’m not the only one, people the world over waste time on the countless forms of social media just clicking through the same 3 pages hoping for notifications to pop up of people interacting with their cat photos and undereducated semi political messages
There have been countless studies on it, many of them funded by the platforms themselves in order to find out how to keep people on those very sites, and they all come to the same conclusion: we are lonely.
(nothing good happened in this picture, everything about this photo tells me the story ends with a phonecall and crying)
We want to reach out and find people who like the same things as us, people who can define us as individuals as well as providing us with the comfort of a herd. It’s hard to know who you really are in a vacuum (MAINLY DUE TO THE NOISE, AM I RIGHT?! *HIGH FIVES*) so to have a large group of people constantly able to tell you that yes you are right dirty foreigners should go home to their own country or no you shouldn’t have to work for a living, everything should be right there on a plate for you means that you can say “That’s who I am! I am a lazy, entitled, racist!” it’s not great but at least you know. No one likes uncertainty
(well some people do, some people use it to cement their position but then I’m using the term people loosely)
and that’s the main problem with social media, it can be a great tool for communication and spreading the word or getting behind a cause but mostly it’s a catalyst for narcissism and rampant paranoia. Even this post is a massive display of arrogance and self importance, what do you care about a fat guy who’s trying to distance himself from social media? You don’t! Or rather you shouldn’t because really all we’re doing is creating little groups of people all thinking they’re right then being completely surprised that there’s other people with different ideas. We’re isolating ourselves.
(and we all know how that turns out, Pauly Shore cries himself to sleep every night)
and that isolation is a terrible thing. Just days ago was the 2 year anniversary of Robin Williams suicide, as I’ve said on here before Robin is the reason I do comedy and it hit me hard. Whenever anyone takes their own life it’s a terrible thing, it means that person can see no other future ahead except pain and they don’t want it. I tried it once, spoiler alert: I failed, and only by talking about it did I get over it. Talking is a great tool for getting over depression so here’s a video of me talking about it so other people can feel like it’s ok to talk about it Talking about suicide but with jokes
But it can go the other way, people reach out and no one reaches back or even worse people think it’s ok to abuse other people because it makes them feel better, this in turn isolates the person being bullied further. Again this has become the majority of interaction over and above supportive messages on social media which just goes to prove that if you leave humans with any kind of wonderous new discovery they’ll find a way to be an asshole with it.
(hey guys I’ve got this thing that makes the food taste better and means we don’t get poisoned by it, it makes it hot, what are you doing guys? GUYS?!)
Really what I’m saying is I’m pulling out of most of social media unless it’s to interact with people who want to come to a show. That does mean I’ll have more time to make shit and update this so hurray to anyone who cares. It’s easy to get lost in the great echo chamber and as Jean-Paul Sartre gets famously misquoted on “Hell is other people”