Inevitable. And a bit sad, obviously
Oh arse

Comedy

I don't often talk about comedy in general terms any more. The reason being that not only do I not get to go and see stand ups in action, but to be frank, I'd rather pull out my teeth than listen to a hell of alot of those (predominantly) guys.

I don't often talk about comedy in general terms any more. The reason being that not only do I not get to go and see stand ups in action, but to be frank, I'd rather pull out my teeth than listen to a hell of alot of those (predominantly) guys.

I'm minded to think about comedy by my recent glut of Bill Hicks purchases, since a book of his onstage stuff, interviews and bits and pieces has come out. Slightly surprised by how well his live stuff reads on paper, but on second thought I don't think I should be. One of the reasons the guy was so compelling was the sheer power of his oratory. I still can't believe it's ten years since he died. It has the combined effect of me (still) feeling mournful at his passing, but also thinking "Eek, christ, am I that old?". I'm now a year older than he was at his death. I don't think I've let quite the Jim Fixx life, but I certainly haven't had the life he led, drudging around the US doing stops in dive clubs then coming to the UK occasionally and becoming more and more feted. What a weird life.

It's people like Hicks that buggered stand up for me. Him and "Cluub Zarathustra". And Pete Baynham. It's a shame Pete doesn't do anything live - not that he really ever did much anyway but he is the funniest person in the UK. Sick, no sense of when to stop - no, I say that but he obviously has every sense of when to stop. He just doesn't. He's the unseen hand behind so much Chris Morris and Steve Coogan madness. I remember when Hicks died, we were down at Club Z and I think Pete was doing his "Daily Mail" type character ("I read in my paper..."). I was so gutted (why should someone be so gutted over a comic they never met, didn't know... etc? I've talked about that before - it's the man's heart, basically) and I was glad - if that's the right world - that Pete had a similarly hollow look, thinking about him.

Anyway. The point I am making is that generally speaking stand up comedians make me want to hit them in the eyes with sharp pencils, they are so appallingly bad, compared to the brilliance of comedians who really push it to the edge. Where the hell are those guys anymore? Is there anyone out there who is actually any good? perhaps I could do with finding one to refresh my comedy self.

However, I also remember that when I was a comedy journalist, I was also an insufferable fame cocksucker - always the way with entertainment journo's. I may well have taken my job reasonably seriously, but I also took far too much pleasure in hanging out with these people (ie: the ones who were actually being creative!), as if they were actually pleased to see me for my own sake! I mean, thinking back it makes me feel more than slightly uncomfortable. However, I did make several really good, lasting friendships in that period, including meeting my best friend and also met McK so I mean... I should just shut the hell up, really shouldn't I!

This is an old, irritated wound. I don't know why it bothers me when I think back (which is not really that often). I am a bit of a moth to a flame with good comedy, but I am overly sensitive regarding the journo times and it does stop me bothering with new standup. I think it's basically because it remind me of an ex-boyfriend I had for a while back then who was such an arse (and remains one - at least he always is to me) and yet I couldn't see it until years later. My dumbass stupidity in falling hook, line and sinker for a pillock is very likely the aspect of the whole thing that makes me wince the most.

Look the point I'm making after all this is - it feels weird how much of a Hicks industry there is these days and of course, I feel in that slightly embarrassing "indie" way a bit like saying "Piss off! Find your own dead comedian hero". But here was a genius comic, and not just for the content - you have to look at the way he owned the stage and used the mic stand as a prop - effortlessly and with real grace.

So you know... if you en't heard him before (like - hello?) then go and get some stuff immediately. Or I will berate you for ever for not doing so.

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