Thursday, September 3, 2009

EOTWQ EJD-Steenbeck alley oop

From Ejay...

Q. What's the best present you never got. I always wanted one of these electric mini-cars a child could fit in, but my father said it was for spoiled rich kids.

Q. We've had favourite film, books, tv shows, but what about comedy, as in on stage. Do you even like comedy? WHat kind do you like? The slapstick kind, impressions, "it's-funny-because-it's-true", the offensive kind?

The fillers...

Q. It's a music related question. Suck it up, people, it's a music related blog...

What's your soundtrack music? What music should start playing when you walk into a room?
(I think we might have talked about this before casually, but not in this formal manner, with this particular crowd)

Q. When we were children, my brother and I invented a perfect world. It had a lot of very good qualities, but it's a secret so I can't tell you about it. All I know is we'd meet all the family pets there once we were all done with this world. If you can invent the perfect world, what would it be like?

Q. I think we've all had the experience of being buked in real life, and lying in bed fuming, only to come up with THE PERFECT RETORT at 3 AM when it DIDN'T DO ANYBODY ANY GOOD!! Tell us about it now.


steenbeck said...

Or should it be "Laying" in bed fuming. That never sounded quite right to me.

ejaydee said...

I guess I answered the first one, so on to...

2. Richard Pryor, the king, I love the way he makes inanimate objects or animals talk like the engine of his car he shot, the neighbour's German shepherd, his crack pipe, his monkey, Death. I also love his rudeness, combined with a real tenderness, like when he sets the scene in the brothel he grew up in, and he also displays real honesty, like when he mentions his crack addiction, and heart-breakingly, when hen manages to make me laugh and choke up at the same time when he mentions M.S., the illness that finally killed him.
There's also Chris Rock, my favourite when it comes to "it's-funny-because-it's-true", Ricky Gervais, especially his Animals show (love the bit about the daddy long legs), on the French side Djamel would come top.

3. I'll have to come to that one later, because I wish my whole life was soundtracked, but I guess if I had to choose one anthem, when I'm in a happy mood, it would be this:

4. Everything would be easy, except a few things, like making the icing on a cake swirl perfectly. Basically the serious stuff would be easy, and the trivial stuff would be a bit challenging, otherwise that'd be boring.

5. Oh so so so so many. Some I'm still looking for, some I'm still regretting. I have no wit. I'm witless.

steenbeck said...

My answers just got disappeared, so I'm going to try again tomorrow.

goneforeign said...

These are the most difficult questions we've had so far, there's at least three where I'm drawing a blank.
1. As a child we didn't get presents really, Christmas was like an apple and a pair of socks or something similar, I don't remember any birthdays. It was the war, the economy, hard times etc. When I became an adult and was working I'd buy myself presents, Nikons, cars, books, stereo gear.....I can't think of wanting something and not getting it.
2. Python, Woody Allan, Faulty Towers, Ricky Gervaise, AbFab,
3. Well obviously 'Hail to the chief' would be OK but if they don't have that I'd settle for Black & Tan Fantasy by Duke.
4. This is one of those that stumps me. All I could say would be a world without........
and the list would fill this blog.
5. And this is another, if buked means rebuked I can't remember it ever happening, perhaps it did and I'm blocking it. But I am quite adept at writing withering put-downs when the occasion calls for it.

DarceysDad said...

1. Best present I never got: For once this is easy to answer. As the eldest of four kids that all got put through paid education, our (to that point working-class) family never had THAT much cash left for extravagent pressies. It never bothered us, and we never felt short-changed or hard done by. The relevant example is cars: as the family expanded, each of my dad's car changes brought something bigger but older. By the time I was off to Uni, the 'big' car was a hand-me-down Volvo from Grandad, and my dad's commute car was a MG-badged version of the ubiquitous 1100 (aka Austin/Morris/Riley/Wolseley etc) that was as old as me. It looked great - leather and walnut dash, chrome bumpers, Connaught Green - but dad's garage had 2 other 1100 engines, spares from an identical scrapped MG, tubs of fibre-glass filler, a paint spraygun, you get the picture. I'd spend whole weeekends sitting in the driver's seat, listening for my dad's instructions to "Press", "Pump it", "Right indicator", "Left lock" ad nauseam.
Anyway, away I went to Uni, and three weeks later Dad and his workmates got badly smashed up in a car crash on their way down the Ford Road into work at Speke. Unluckily it was his turn to drive in his four-man car share; the MG was totalled. In the aftermath, for the only time in my life, I heard my dad tell someone to "fuck off" - the insurance company, offering him £150 write-off value for the 1100.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, my dad then unexpectedly bought himself a brand-new car (admittedly an imported Metro, but still, BRAND-NEW!!).
By then it was almost my birthday, and it transpired dad had been saving for that car change anyway, because ... I WAS GOING TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE MG FOR THAT YEAR'S BIRTHDAY/CHRISTMAS as a way of cementing my new-found independence.
Easily the best I never got.

I've rambled, haven't I? I'll come back to the other questions later ...

Proudfoot said...

1. A chopper. ("They're dangerous- the wheels wobble. They're bad for your back. How much? What's wrong with the bike you've got etc etc")

2. Python, Bill Hicks, Eddie Izzard. I like comedy that develops an idea, goes off on a mad tangential ramble and then comes back just when you least expect it. Jim Davidson doesn't quite cut the mustard here.

3. My wife entered the post wedding bash to the strain of the Ramones' She's a Sensation.
Change the gender and there's my entrance tune. Actually I think I'd feel like a character in Peter and the Wolf if that really happened.
Have you seen that bit in Married to the Mob where Dean Stockwell has a pianist singing 'It's Toneee the Tigerrr' as he comes in?
4. A rain forest.
5. Can't think of one now. Maybe tonight at 3a.m....

Makinavaja said...

1. A leather football. My mum and dad never saw the point in spending so much money on something I was just going to lose anyway. After years of pestering them I DID get one for Christmas when I was 10. We were at my Granddad's. We played happily with it for, ooh, all of one afternoon. I left it in the garden overnight and it got nicked! Well I suppose I got it but I never really got to enjoy playing with it. My parents were right, weren't they?
2. I can't get enough of Billy Connolly...
3. Being short, unprepossessing and not the slightest bit cool, I'd always have loved to be able to saunter into view to the strains of an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western style soundtrack.
4.A world where no-one (me included) ever felt the need to boss other people around.
5.Need to think about this one.

Good questions EJD and Steen. Thanks

nilpferd said...

1. Ha- my dad once pimped up one of our old bikes into a chopper to sell it, it went out like a hot cake.
Seeing as I always got high quality, worthy presents I did used to have a hankering for gaudy merchandising junk. Over that now.
2. Humour-wise it's clever, deadpan burlesque or slapstick which gets me laughing- from Keaton to Tati.
3. Soundtrack would be the opening bars of Shhh/Peaceful, or Right off if I'm in a badass mood. I only wish I was the kind of guy who could actually enter a room to either of these.
If I ever encounter Steen or EJ on the street, I so want the RZA/Ghost Dog RESPECT clip in the background as we approach each other in slo-mo.
4. In my perfect world I was the boss. Of everything. You know it's right. Quiet back there.
5. Delayed witty comebacks.. I've had a million. Recently a neat little conceit occured to me after the event involving a bored minion sitting in Troll Mission Control in the middle of the night, firing off a tired salvo in the direction of RR in response to a bleary command barked down the telephone line, but the Troll comment in question on RR suffered a worse fate- it was totally ignored by everybody.

nilpferd said...

Proudfoot, have you spent much time in rainforests? They are, like, sooo wet. Drip, drip, drip. It drives you crazy. And they are dark. And there are strange noises the whole time, plus occasional wierd crashings through the undergrowth. And they are absolutely full of annoying insects.
Just saying.

treefrogdemon said...

1 A pony. My mother had a friend whose children we had to play with when we visited, although we hated them. The daughter had a pony which she'd got bored with really quickly, and her mother had to do all the looking after stuff. I was so so jealous.
2 Don't like standup at all except Eddie Izzard. He makes my tummy hurt (in a good way). And he can do his stuff in French too!
3 Kitty's Back by Bruce Springsteen. I'm not changing my name to Kitty, though.
4 My kids had an invented world when they were little...I kept hoping they'd grow up to be like the Brontes (though without the tuberculosis, preferably). But, not so. Two are teachers and one's a university administrator. My perfect world would be one where people had already realised that fighting is a very ineffective way to sort out problems.
5 Can't remember - but here's a real one. I have facial hair, and on TWO occasions during my inglorious teaching career a 15-year-old lad said to me: "Do you shave, Joc?" (it was a progressive school) and I replied "No, do you?" The kid says "No" and I say: "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be starting soon."
Twice! Different kid! Different class! Result!

AliMunday said...

I had lots of good things as a kid but I always wanted a rocking horse. No idea why.

I tend to like subtle humour - the only example I can think of is / was a televised version of Cold Comfort Farm which I thought was hilarious, but no one else did. Or black humour like 'House' (Hugh Lawrie). But I have been known to laugh at Billy Connelly and I even went to see Mike Harding, live, many moons ago.

Absolutely no idea. Elvis Costello's "Alison"??

Like a Spring garden full of people and animals I love, all being respectful and kind, all enjoying a picnic, music and beer, and not having to worry about anything. Dream on.

Not exactly ... but when the buyer of my last house called to say she was pulling out (the day before everything was due to go through), I got really mad and put the phone down on her ... mulling it over later, I rang her back and asked to buy the survey from her (mutually beneficial), I then put the house back on the market complete with survey and sold it fairly promptly. And this was before the Government ever thought of 'HIPS'.

goneforeign said...

Nilp: What you say about rainforests/jungle is true but that's what's so wonderful about them. I spent some time in the rainforests in Guatemala and found it to be incredibly interesting, I have dozens of memories.
For one, there were three of us, I had a Sony cassette recorder hanging round my neck recording all the time, playback was always interesting. In one situation I said "Jesus, did you see that, it was a fly as big as a sparrow!' and sure enough it was, it had flown right across our path and landed on a tree off to the right, then you hear me crashing through the undergrowth Nikon in hand, I got a picture of it. One of the most interesting things was the sounds of insects, literally millions of 'em all around. You know how on Ladyland they do a thing shifting the phasing from left to right and back, the insects do it constantly at high volume. It's wonderful. I owned a Nagra back then and swore that I would return with it just to record the fantastic sounds, which also included loud roaring at night which we thought were jaguars but were probably Howler monkeys. And there were snakes.
I could live in the jungle. To each his own.

gordonimmel said...

No. 1 is easy and infact I mentioned it on one of the thread's last week.
I always dribbled on shop windows looking at the huge Airfix Model Spitfire's/Messerschmidts - I'm not sure of the scale - 1/32 perhaps (Proudfoot will know) - anyway it would have been about 2 feet wingspan once I'd finished it with it's own engine and everything.
My parents attitude was, like some others upthread, 'we're not buying you that for THAT price and what's wrong with one of those small ones for a couple of quid?'

2. If it's only on the stage then I'd go for Eddie Izzard aswell. I just love the way he goes off on surreal tangents that unexpectedly introduce ideas into your head that you thought could never be in there. In a similar vein I used to like the American comic Steven Wright (NOT to be confused with the Radio 2 DJ) but I haven't heard anything of him since the early nineties.

3. Er, don't know, I'll think about it and get back to you.

4. Too big a subject to reply to in a couple of sentences really. And I'm very aware of the Law of Unintended Consequences (i.e. if their's no war, illness etc how do you deal with the resulting mass starvation?. And if you do eradicate mass starvation where do you house all these people without destroying all other wild life and wild habitat?). Sorry, did I just put a bit of a downer on that question?

5. I've thought of LOADS of put downs at 3 AM. Problem is that I forget them all by the time I've sobered up in the morning!

Uncle Ejay said...

Hi there, good answers all around, I'm sure my teammate will agree. The comedy question was meant to be about the stage rather than TV, because we've already had that question. I won't be around tonight because I'm in Paris to see my sister who had another baby, and I saw Jarvis Cocker on the way to the clinic. That's the second time I see him in Paris!

steenbeck said...

Congratulations to your sister, Ejay. That's 3, right? Boy or girl?

Okay, I'll try again with my answers...

1. A horse. Not that I expected somebody to buy me a horse, but I saved up every penny anybody gave me to buy one for myself. And it never happened.

2. I like Chris Rock, too. And BIll Cosby, especially the Chocolate Cake skit, which I think about frequently when I feed my boys...
I also like Dave Chappelle. And they're not stand-up comedians, but they ARE on a stage of sorts--I love John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I think they prove how powerful intelligent comedy can be.

3. I have to think about a definitive answer fo this one, too. At the moment I'd say maybe Eddie Harris' Listen Here, because I'm always talking. And it sounds cooler than I actually am.

4. Sorry, I didn't mean this one to be so heavy. I didn't mean how would you make THIS world perfect, I meant, you know, in a childish way, the way you might have dreamed up some fantastical world when you were little. It's interesting how it's impossible to avoid thinking about all the sadness and trouble of the real world when you're an adult.

In our world animals talked, and everybody had some special power, there were no cars, there were lots of different kinds of landscapes you could go for adventures, there were lots of feasts and ceremonies to celebrate different times of year...

5. The worst job I ever had was for a test prep company. I don't think you have all these tests over there...SAT, PSAT, LSAT, GRE, MCAT... This company published books to help you learn how to take these tests. But they WERE FULL OF WRONG ANSWERS. One I remember is that they called Prince "The artist FORMALLY known as Prince." Tee hee. Anyway, I had a manager, a real bundle of uptight passive aggressive middle manager-ness. He worked for The Man, but he wanted to prove he was still punk rock, so he wore his chinos tucked into combat boots.

Well, I got fired, by him, in front of lots of people. Wish I could have been all Fuck All Y'all and walked out with my head held high, but I had to clean out my desk and try not to cry, unsuccessfully. (I had notebooks full of novels and screenplays I'd written on company time. I couldn't just LEAVE them there)

I lay awake for nights composing a letter to this fellow, it was blistering and vindictive. I never gave it to him, of course, I never even wrote it down.

DarceysDad said...

Steen, just "out" him here and now. We'll all point virtual fingers at him and laugh at the chinos / boots thing. With the power of the internet it won't be long before word filters back to him that there are people the world over who know he's a dick-with-no-dick! And that you've got a couple of dozen protective brothers who're all ready to punch his lights out if he ventures into the wrong town.

ejay said...

He's the 4th, so that's 2 boys, 2 girls now. How could I forget about Dave Chapelle? and Stewat & Colbert started on stage I'm sure, definitely Colbert, he was in a show with Davis Sedaris' sister, Amy.

Chris said...

1. I had had an acoustic guitar since I was about 10 but naturally wanted an electric one to allow me to develop into a rock star. I had my eye on the Hofner Galaxy, which had four(!) pick-ups and was invariably red. As my birthday was only about six months away, I started dropping huge, unsubtle hints. Unsuccessfully. However, I did get a cheap Fender look-a-like and my Dad made me an amp, so that was OK with me.
2. I can generally enjoy any stand-up comedian with a brain and a socially-aware attitude (and that doesn't mean I insist on the jokes all being PC). The last comedy I saw on stage (in a theatre!) was Mark Thomas and Rob Newman: very political but also very funny. I have wide boundaries of acceptance so will laugh at Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle, but I can also find myself chortling uncontrollably at Peter Kay and Billy Connolly. It's a pity that the 'greats' such as Pryor, Hicks and Bruce are gone as you can't laugh at old jokes for ever. I'm looking forward to seeing Sarah Silverman on TV tonight: I've not seen a full routine of hers.
3. I'm not that keen on soundtrack music and, to be honest, I'd rather make a quiet entrance.
4. The perfect world would be one where egos would be attuned automatically to those of others, so that everyone only desires those things that don't cause distress to the population at large. Completely unworkable, unfortunately.
5. I think I need the skill to come back with the retort that instantly puts a genuine smile on the faces of those concerned. Any advice, tin? TY?

steenbeck said...

That's a nice balance, Ejay. It's what you grew up with, no? 2 and 2.

Aw, thanks, DsD. Good to know. WHen I think back on it now, it was pretty passive-aggressive of me to get myself fired instead of just quitting this job I absolutely hated. I think part of the anger must have been directed towards myself.

CaroleBristol said...

Q. What's the best present you never got. I always wanted one of these electric mini-cars a child could fit in, but my father said it was for spoiled rich kids.

A. I was a bit of a tomboy when I was a girl and I used to go to football and go fishing with my Dad. When I was 11 there was a particular fishing reel I really wanted, because it was a top model. I was called a Mitchell 300. My Dad bought me a reel for Christmas but it was a different, cheaper one. I was really unhappy and it took ages to get over it. By the time I was old enough to get a job and save up to get one myself, I wasn't interested in fishing any more.

Q. We've had favourite film, books, tv shows, but what about comedy, as in on stage. Do you even like comedy? WHat kind do you like? The slapstick kind, impressions, "it's-funny-because-it's-true", the offensive kind?

A. I like dry, observational comedy, stuff that makes you think. I also like hard edged, almost cruel stuff too though.

Q. It's a music related question. Suck it up, people, it's a music related blog...

What's your soundtrack music? What music should start playing when you walk into a room?
(I think we might have talked about this before casually, but not in this formal manner, with this particular crowd)

A. It all depends. If I am in my normal everyday mode my music intro would be something like Patti Smith singing Till Victory but if I was feeling all dressed up and sexy I'd think that Elisabeth Welch doing Story Monday would be perfect. It is used at the end of Derek Jarman's film of The Tempest.

Q. When we were children, my brother and I invented a perfect world. It had a lot of very good qualities, but it's a secret so I can't tell you about it. All I know is we'd meet all the family pets there once we were all done with this world. If you can invent the perfect world, what would it be like?

It would be The Culture, the society invented by Iain M Banks for his science fiction novels. It sounds perfect.

I used to be very influenced by Tolkien when I was younger and I loved the idea of being an Elven woman like Galadriel but now I think that I'd miss electricity, the internet and all my CDs. I don't think I'd want to swap my guitars for harps either.

Q. I think we've all had the experience of being buked in real life, and lying in bed fuming, only to come up with THE PERFECT RETORT at 3 AM when it DIDN'T DO ANYBODY ANY GOOD!! Tell us about it now.

A. Not really. I try not to hold grudges and try and put the shitty bits behind me.

ejay said...

Yep, 2 and 2, excep we go girl boy, boy, girl, and they're G, G, B, B.

I hadn't noticed the question was about entering a room. In that case, it could be Inspiration Information by Shuggie Otis, Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, by MJ, Right Off is a good choice.

goneforeign said...

Chris: I'm not big on going to see comedians live, but the last one I possibly saw was Bruce, I saw him twice at a club in Hollywood. I was tempted to include him but he wasn't really a funny guy, he didn't make you laugh a lot, mostly had great routines and made you see things from a different perspective, similarly Mort Sahl who I also saw about the same period.

ejay said...

Speaking of comedians, this promo thing was quite good. It's in 3 parts:

Abahachi said...

1, You're disturbing memories that would probably be better left undisturbed... A few months before my 30th, Mrs Abahachi and I were going to the arty cinema at the Bristol Watershed and happened to take in an exhibition of photos that was on there as well, and I fell completely in love with a couple; one of them would have been perfect for a birthday present, and wasn't too expensive, so it was all agreed. But Mrs Abahachi then saw an advert for cheap flights to Pisa for a weekend, and thought that would be so much more fun, so that's what I got, and by the time I've got into a position where I could conceivably afford one of the photos without it having to be a special occasion, I can't find any trace of the artist and aren't even sure if I've remembered his name right. I've never said anything, but I still think this was fundamentally selfish of her, and I'm still pissed off...

2. Not my scene at all.

3. Generally prefer to sneak into room without anyone noticing. Possibly aspire to living up to Charles Mingus' Better Get It In Your Soul.

4. On the basis of the 'children's eye view' clarification, it would be that the world of Swallows and Amazons or the Lone Pine Club were real, and I happened to meet the gang and get accepted. I was a very bookish, and very lonely, little boy...

5. Follow the Way of the Hippo.

GarethI said...

1. I really wanted the Astro Wars video game when I was about nine.
2. Me and a fantastically grumpy friend went to see I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, on the last tour Humphrey Lyttleton did before he died. You've not lived until you've heard Tim Brooke-Taylor singing the words of Girlfriend in a Coma to the music of Tiptoe Through The Tulips…
3. Depends entirely on my mood, although I'd love to smack a big pair of double doors open at exactly the moment the big keyboard chords kick in on Destroy Everything You Touch by Ladytron. As a lover of puns, though, my soundtrack is probably what you'd get by clicking on the big red button here.
4. The perfect world is a 2-0 win over your rivals followed by fish and chips (copyright Nick Hornby).
5. It wasn't the perfect retort, just a reply that I got beaten to. I was temping at the time, in an office full of sensible married women who didn't like me swearing. One of them was talking about her back problems and explaining how she'd been for this special treatment the week before with one of those… She couldn't remember their names. "What do you call those people who walk up and down your back?" She asked. "Chiropractors," someone shouted. Just at the point I was going to shout "Prostitutes." So it was probably a good thing.

ToffeeBoy said...

1. My birthday is less than a fortnight after Christmas so I often used to get joint Christmas/birthday presents. This was never (repeat, NEVER) as good as getting two separate presents. Also, it meant that when I got to my birthday, I'd already got what I was getting.

So the present I really wanted was two presents - don't care what. This is about greed after all...

2. Funniest stand up comedians that I've seen live:

- Eddie Izzard
- Mark Little (Joe Mangle from Neighbours - no, really)
- Jeremy Hardy

3. Hmmm... tough one. How about Consolation Prize by Orange Juice. I think ToffeeGirl would appreciate that.

4. Most important Utopian feature is that I wouldn't have to go to work. The rest of you can please yourselves.

5. I'll let you know at 3 AM - as soon as I've thought up something REALLY good. (Apologies if I'm not the first to say that - I haven't read the other comments yet)

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Proudfoot - make that a dond then ...

FP said...

Great double act, guys.
1. A pony indeed. But I bought one for myself later.
2. Bobby Thompson - The little waster. Comprehensible only to North Easterners but an absolute master of comic timing. Genius. Donding Tati and Billy Connolly.
3. Anything by chic but I always think you can make a great entrance to the Harlem Shuffle.
4. A small French village in the Vaucluse - surrounded by vineyards.
5. No - the replies don't even come later. Either immediately when you need them.. or not at all...

FP said...

Oh and Steenbeck - I would have shared my horse with you.

TracyK said...

Ali, do you mean the version of Cold Comfort Farm with Joanna Lumley and Kate Beckinsale? Fantabulous and cheap as chips on!

1: I've never really wanted anything that badly, I don't think. I just asked Jon and he came up with some corkers. In the early 80s he wanted an Adidas pale and dark blue tracksuit in cotton. He actually got an eastern European brand I can't spell trackie in several shades of brown polyester. They were flared. In the 80s. He had to wear them for PE at school, so he tucked the flares into his footy socks so he'd avoid trouble. Playing footy they came out, he was mocked and then beaten up by the older kids. He wanted a mountain bike: got a bright pink racer. Wanted an Atari: got a Vectrex. As an adult his mum once bought him a 3ft high Scooby Doo. I could go on...

2: I like the Stewart Lee enormously. When we saw him do a very,very offensive extended routine (which concluded with him vomiting into the open anus of Jesus but also wove in revenge on Joe Pasquale) I laughed so much a was almost sick. Amazingly, the row of four little old ladies in front of us never blenched. However, my favourite, favourite is someone you've probably never heard of, Daniel Kitson. He refuses to do TV after working with Peter Kay on Phoenix Nights (as Spencer), he also never works weekends late, as he hates drunk crowds. He is a mesmerising ranconteur and he blends fury at the ignorance of modern living, with a tender, delicate compassion for his fellow man. It's very hard to dscribe what he does, I think you should all just go see him and become converted. He has a stutter, which he deals with by saying, as soon as it manifests; "By the way, I do have a stutter. You may have noticed. Now, I have got material on it, but it makes me feel like a whore, so let's imagine I've done it and you are now bowled over with my wit and incredible bravery and let's move on". He recently did 3 special nighst at the open air theatre in Regents Park, where he'd written short stories and his friend Gavin Osborne sang a song every 10 minutes or so. Gradually, as the story evolved, you realise the songs are about a relationship from first meeting, through marriage, kids, family holidays and the eventual death of the man. Then at the end of the story, you realise that that story told in song is the sequel to the tentative start to the relationship you've just heard begin, as teh story ends with the first lines of the first song. At the end there was total silence froma stunned crowd, many of us in tears. YOU SHOULD GO SEE HIM!

1st - Bristol Tobacco Factory
2nd - Cardiff Sherman Theatre
4th - Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
6th - Durham Gala
8th - Birmingham Glee Club
9th - Norwich Arts Centre
10th-11th - Brighton Pavillion Theatre
12th - Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre
14th - Warwick Arts Centre
15th - Manchester Royal Exchange
16th - Nottingham Playhouse
17th - Playhouse Liverpool
18th - Sheffield Crucible (On sale July)

He's also in the US in September, so don't fear, US chums! There are also more UK dates, I just couldn't fit them into my post.

Listen to the podcast of an old show on his website here:

3: I'd probably pick the intro to Hello Kitten by Hefner, as my nickname was Kittencat for a long time and is the name that John Peel mocked me for on air. Jon picks Live and Let Die.

4: Perefct World is too hard for me right now. Will think tomorrow.

5: I rarely don't have a retort. Sorry.

sourpus said...


1) Although I was never spoiled as a kid, I dont think I ever went without a present that in some way, shape or form either WAS what I wanted or resembled it enough that I cant really say I never got it. What I would have liked though wouldve been a surprise party. A really good one, in a cool location, with all my many friends (now scattered to the four winds) present and correct especially to celebrate sourpus. I know its wee bit egotistical of me to want this - perhaps thats one reason why I never got one. But I only ever had one actual party in my life and that was when I was 5. Nothing on my eighteenth, nothing on my 21st (the whole day was a comedic disaster so bad, it deserves a post of its own). I saw them so many times on TV and in movies, and I heard about them from friends. Im gonna stop now before I start to blub...

2) Oh, so many...

It all spins back to Python, Peter Cook and Spike Milligan, none of whom I have seen live. Tommy Cooper, who I did get to see once at Coventry Theatre. Big fan of Eddie Izzard aswell, Billy Connolly, Groucho Marx (although not as a stand up obviously) Woody Allen (when on top form). I used to like Bill Hicks, Jerry Sadowitz, Derek and Clive, that kind of thing and never really lost my taste for the boundary pushers. Probably because Ive never really been the biggest fan of cosiness if that's all there is.

Lately, ive been a huge fan of The Mighty Boosh, which to me is just delightful.

3) This is a great question. But im afraid, rather like clothing, it changes from moment to moment, hour to hour and light change to light change. Right now it would either be Medicine Show by Big Audio Dynamite or Wogs will walk by Cornershop

4) Notwithstanding the sterility of any kind of perfection (sorry, but you know..) in the one im thinking of people believe in abundance and are filled with optimism. Those are the most important qualities the world lacks at this time.

5) Without a context im stumped.
But I prefer to let things go. Better for everyone.

Shoey said...

I want Darth Vader's theme music.

CaroleBristol said...

Swallows and Amazons

For a few years, I really, really wanted to be Nancy Blackett.

Proudfoot said...

Nilp I have been lucky enough to spend some time in rainforests and it's true what you say re dripping and insects. I quite like the weird noises though. I should add that in my perfect world I am adapted to live in the rain forest (like a tree frog or something) or is that cheating?
How about an evergreen deciduous woodland?

nilpferd said...

Since GF has revealed that he was responsible for the weird undergrowth crashings, I'm a little less inclined to fear them myself.. I have also loved my time in rainforests, mainly South Westland and Abel Tasman National parks, while being equally aware that other creatures are much better adapted to them than we are.

Chris said...

gf: 'I'm not big on going to see comedians live, but the last one I possibly saw was Bruce.' That is one hell of a statement! Deeply impressed that you saw him, that he's been the only comic to have dragged you to a stage for decades, and that you didn't really rate him after all that...
I'm not familiar enough with the reality of a Lenny Bruce performance but I got the same feeling from Bill Hicks: deeply affecting and thought-provoking but not always side-splittingly funny. I watched Sarah Silverman on TV last night and she explores the shock-y stuff too (e.g. 'I reckon if there had been black people in Germany in the thirties there would have been no Holocaust. Well, not a Jewish one, anyway...') but the act was just too thin on good material and she didn't convey an idenifiable attitude, an essential for controversy to work as humour IMHO.

Aba: is your answer to 'Do you even like comedy? What kind do you like?' really 'Not my scene at all'?
I know you like humour: I've seen it. Please tell me this is a joke, rather than that you have been humouring us all along...

Proudfoot said...

I've recently been dipping into a bit of the comedy my parents' generation liked. Ok it's cool yo like Tom Lehrer (my 15 year old daughter and her friends have just discovered him) but was surprised to find stuff like Paddy Roberts, early Bill Cosby and even erm... Johnny Morris were great stand up/ funny songwriters.
In the case of Johnny Morris (yes, him off Animal Magic) I'd be grateful if anyone can run down a record called (I'm pretty sure)'The Entertainer'. It really is funny but my parents have lost it and I can't remember which label it was on.
Now listen, Abahachi- if I can admit to finding Johnny Morris funny then cough up!

CaroleBristol said...

I am a huge fan of old BBC radio comedy.

Around The Horne is pure comedy gold.

You couldn't imagine going to see it on stage though.

Abahachi said...

@Chris and Proudfoot: I thought the question had been clarified as referring solely to stand-up, in which case the answer is indeed that it's not my sort of thing; never been to a live performance, unless you count a very bizarre Bavarian duo offering a mixture of satirical songs, apparently straight guitar/organ renditions of Blue Bossa and a lot of anti-Polish sketches that I once had to sit through, and don't enjoy watching solo performances on television.

I love comedy, and I simply find comedy that's been properly scripted - and generally involves interaction between characters, rather than one person rambling on - much funnier and appealing. So, I can offer a long list of funny films and tv and radio series - I used to be able to recite more or less the whole of both series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from memory, with all the different voices, and could probably still manage a good two-thirds of it - but the nearest I get to liking on-stage comedy is a mild liking for some of Alan Parker Urban Warrior on the radio.

AliMunday said...

TracyK - yes, that was the one, with a young Rufus Sewell (sigh) as Seth.

TracyK said...

Ali: it's up on Youtube!

All the parts are there, enjoy!

TracyK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AliMunday said...

Tracy: Thank you! Another excuse not to get on with anything ...

Proudfoot said...

But aba the funniest bits of HHGttG are when Marvin rambles on a bit. Maybe he should have done stand up. Pain in diodes down left side permitting...

May1366 said...

Been away from the EOWQ for too long so I'm swinging the lead in order to get these answered:

Best present I never got: I always wanted a Sodastream. I should maybe have elevated my aspirations.

Comedy: Big area, this, and my answer's only going to scratch the surface - comedy's a constant reference point for me, almost as much as music. As a performer, I've come to aspire to the state of Dean Martin (the breaking-off from something soulful to tell a self-deprecating gag) and my writing's been compared to Ronnie Corbett's jokes!
CaroleBristol has given two answers to these questions that have had me in furious agreement - one is the mention of Elizabeth Welch singing Stormy Weather in Derek Jarman's Tempest, and the other is the appreciation of Round The Horne on the comedy front. My non-TV comedy tastes were forged by Python's films and records, Round The Horne (and other R4 comedy over the years from The Grumbleweeds and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue to The Sunday Format), monologues by Alan Bennett, Joyce Grenfell and Rowan Atkinson and then stand-up acts like Alexei Sayle, Emo Phillips, Rik Mayall as Kevin Turvey, Jerry Seinfeld. Did a bit of time around the British Asian comedy scene in the 90s - the likes of Nina Wadia and Sanjeev Bhaskar were far funnier before Goodness Gracious Me, with Sanjeev's The Secret Asians double act with Nitin Sawhney particularly good. John Hegley's poetry can be hilarious as well.

But the comedy gods for me are Python, Round The Horne and Derek & Clive (actually, all Pete 'n' Dud stuff); Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce for paving the way for the next two names - Chris Rock, and above all, Bill Hicks, whom I caught in 1992, not long before he died.

Soundtrack: Charles Mingus - Scenes In The City, with the Langston Hughes narrative: "Well, here I am. Same place I was yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Sitting on a high bar-stool, holding my dreams up to the sound of jazz music..."

May1366 said...

Perfect World: I used to be involved in an arts collective, naively trying to raise public funding to take over a disused warehouse and turn it into an artists' venue. We had a parallel 'perfect world' fantasy I've never topped, in which one day a battered video-tape would arrive on the desk of someone at the regional Arts Board (as the Arts Council then was) which, when played, would show us all dancing the conga through the streets of Havana, Fidel at the front, Tropicana girls behind us, and we'd all be singing "Done one with the money, we've done one with the money, la-laa-laa-la, la-laa-laa-la..."

Perfect Retort: Not really a verbal retort, and not really in response to a buke, and it'll probably reflect badly on me, but here's the background. My girlfriend loves to tango and recently she's persuaded me to attend the lessons as well. There's a guy who's been going for some time and is pretty good but - how can I say this? - if he was a dog, he'd have the cleanest genitalia in the animal kingdom. He does salsa as well, which happens straight after, and you get the impression that this is all he does, touring the region's Latin American dance lessons, dancing with endless attractive women and then moving on, like a door-to-door gigolo. But he's a nice guy and friendly enough - always shakes your hand. Thing is...he always gives me a three-part 'soul brother' handshake, not something I see the other men in the group getting. I've been around the block long enough to figure out why I'm the only recipient of the soul brother shake, and long enough to know it's done with probably the best of intentions. So no buke at all - the bloke's just signalling his cultural sensitivity, I got no jihad going, it's cool, I'd give or accept the same shake from each of you. But all the same, coming from someone I don't really know that well, and done in a really firm-handed way that leads me through each move like I'm his tango partner, it all feels a bit...demonstrative, a bit forward, ingratiating, and yet remaining very alpha male. And he holds his hand out, palm horizontal, facing upwards, like he expects me to slap it.
So the perfect retort I came up with, and which I'll have to fight the temptation actually to do, would be to take his hand tenderly and, eyes fixed on his, proceed to lick him in a long, slow line from his fingertips to his wrist.
I used to want to change the world for the better, you know. Now look at me. Should've shelled out of my own money for the Sodastream and climbed in the gutter there and then to save time.

DarceysDad said...

Taken me a long time to get back to this, but I'll thank May1366 for giving me the impetus, and my "can we have our staff back for a bit?" customer for the opportunity:

Comedy - Bill Hicks gets my vote too, and I'm now INSANELY jealous of our resident poet for having seen him live. Bill wasn't perfect: his deliberately over-played porno routines made me very uncomfortable (so he succeeded in his aim there then), but when he got 'on one' about subjects such as the LA riots or Bush Snr (God, how I wish he'd still been around to take on Dubya) he was untouchably brilliant.

Soundtrack to our entering a room: this does depend on scenario, but most of the time, I'd say the first 18seconds of UFO's Only You Can Rock Me. If I'm feeling playful and it was me and the kids entering a room, then it would be The Toy Dolls' Nellie the Elephant, but starting (as the door opens) with the ".....oooooOOOO" bit.

Perfect World: ah! Um ... I DO have such a vision, but I won't share it with you. That's because it might be perfect to me, but it would appear rather frightfully - murderously, even - dictatorial to the rest of you.
In my defence I can only quote Arnie from True Lies: "Yeah, but they were all BAD!"

Rebukes? I tend to keep them to myself, since I lost it with one inconsiderate driver, who whilst holding and talking on a mobile, abandoned their car SO BADLY parked, it actually prevented around 20 others from having ANY way out of the car park.

Now in my defence, this was not long after our big car crash, and I was still very sensitive on the subject of idiot drivers, but that's about to be shown up as wholly inadequate. Anyway ...
Having ranted at them about the thoughtlessness (leaning heavily on the fact that the disabled spaces were half of those blocked in), I got a "Well what do you expect me to do?" My reply was "Send your licence back to Swansea; you're not safe enough to have one." Misinterpreting the silence that followed, I then demanded "And what's so damned important on your phone it wouldn't wait for 30 seconds?" At this point the poor sod lost it, bursting into tears, just managing
to tell me that the hospital were telling her her mother had died.
NNNNNGGGH! How proud of myself did I feel then?

Confessional catharsis? Nope, sorry, that's not working either.

Oh well, back to work.