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27 Sep 2009

Post 157: Trying to cheer myself up with some comedic distractions

Sadly, this weeks best mixed Metaphor submission was a little too similar to one that has already been used and a couple of others just weren't up to the sort of comedy gold that this blog delivers to its Tanganyican army of readers, needless to say it involved Omlettes, Eggs and chickens so although you're obviously devastated to do without it on a Monday morning or whenever you read this nonsense I thought I'd try and placate you by mining that rich seam of gold known as the internet and what a gem I found, yes,as Agatha Christie said, 'button your seat belts' and prepare to be as underwhelmed by this as I am when I wake up.
Firstly, I was overwhelmed and genuinely touched by some of the messages I got about that last walking video, I don't understand why it's an achievement, I do keep going because I know it's the right thing to do but all I see is failure: A 32 year old man who can't walk independently, doesn't have his freedom and independence and is pathetically reduced to exhaustion and loneliness on a daily basis.
To try and get over these dire feelings I went out twice this week to see two quite different, but nonetheless Brilliant comedians , Old favourite (who I have seen several times) Daniel Kitson, a man who to look at you'd expect to explain the proof of Pythagoras' theory but in actual fact flies fourth with a hilarious off the cuff sounding four letter word filled stream of conciousness, I said a few posts ago that I irrationally disliked beards, well I do, on people who don't look like they should have grown them, but even though it is physiologically impossible, Kitson looks like he might have been born with his. It was a small gig in the local arts centre in Aldershot, I prefer these smaller gigs because you really feel part of it, indeed when I took these photos Kitson chided me yes ME lightly because the flash threw him off his stride adding 'I'm not very professional and am easily put off but no-one gives a f*ck' His unflinching honesty and the heartfelt feeling he puts into his show makes him utterly unique and one of the most engaging speakers I've ever seen. Tracey (my neighbour) took me to this and she loved it, valuing as I do, listening to someone who can hold your undivided attention for two hours. The job of the stand up comedian has gotta be a hard one but if you're good at it, it must be amazing, words to the same effect said by Rich Hall, other stand-up comedian I went to see this week on friday evening. This gig couldn't have been more different, it may have been a sellout too, but this was the Hammersmith Apollo, a 3000 seater sprawling monolith compared to the 100 capacity 'big'' room at the Aldershot West End Arts Centre (one would imagine a hugely underutilised resource in a town full of squaddies alongside possibly a public library or an all male Sauna or an all-night discotheque although the army is a different place these days, apparently ;-)). As always, it is fiendishly difficult to remember any of the specifics of either performance, being unable to take notes (I still don't have the fine motor skills to write (another thing that shames me, I've lost count of the number of times someone on the other end of the phone has asked me to scrawl something down, on the rare occasions I've been on speaker phone when the other person hasn't given up on hearing my dysarthric stroke affected voice, I've had to weakly profer 'I can't write. That's right folks, a 32 year old who can't even write! God this is humiliating sometimes, not to mention, bloody hard.
Oh yes, the Rich Hall joke I did remember is that people always say to him 'Rich, how did you end up being a comedian, like it's a bad thing' 'like they expect you to say 'well I was the class clown', by that token 'do you say to a whore, were you the class slut?' or a 'hobo, were you the class failure?' but now I remember, Brits often ask him 'why do you do so much over here rather than perform in the States? Easy, if you're a comedian, you come to where all the misery is!' and I guess he's right, Britain is infused by constant misery, at least I have an excuse. That's what comedy does for people, it makes them sit up and pay attention, it's why everyone listened to my grandmothers Eulogy because my uncle is hilarious. He transformed a sad moment two years ago into an unforgettable tale of her eccentric and batty 98 year life. Dragging this back on course this is exactly what Daniel Kitson did on Thursday, in the first minute he explained that most of his show was about death or more particularly if you start every premise from the point of view we're all going to die eventually,'what is the point of anything? He then proceeded to argue his way out of this nihilistic blind alley by using a series of very personal, funny and moving examples. I may be guilty of saying quite a lot of things I go too are brilliant, but these two genuinely were, oh yes, and thanks to Jim Wild for taking me to the Apollo, we both really now know what a clever and Talented fella Rich Hall is, we'll both be buying the DVD they shot that night if only for some of his amazing improvised 2nd Half Country Songs he sang as his main alter ego 'Otis Lee Crenshaw' (a Tennessee Jailbait Hic with a penchant for Country and Western expertly taking the piss out of Southern Americans who think that the Ku Klux Clan is still a useful pressure group who don't just look stupid or his proof that every single Tom Cruise film has essentially the same plot where he's pretty good at whatever it is he does, has a crisis of confidence and then spends the rest of the movie re-exerting his expertise at whatever it is he does while getting the girl, think about it.
Changing the subject, but hopefully still keeping on the comedy tip. It's rare that I look forward to things on TV these days because watching TV is so tiring but back when I was in hospital I got addicted to the excrutiating comedy stylings of channel 4s Peep Show, it's now on series 6 and it often makes me cry with laughter. Marks inability to square his old-school values with modern political correctness often seems to have parallels with my parents often comedy struggle to understand that it's not the 1950s. It also strikes a chord between me having a bit of a posh boy ubringing with the independence I had living in London. Then there is Jeremy's ridiculous character that always refuses to take responsibility for anything, and would rather invent a ridiculous lie to further whatever situation he's in usually so he can pretend to the nearest girl that he's a proper person. Jeremy and Mark co-exist because they're so glad they're not each other, both are utterly disgusted by the other and their interplay is genius. If you've never watched it, you must! Be prepared to cry and cringe with laughter!

1 comment:

nurul iman said...

Thank you very Steady info ... hopefully more successful.
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