This series of RHLSTP has flown by and tonight it drew to a close (though I will be recording a special at the Great Yorkshire Fringe on Tuesday with Mark Addy and the Mayor of York as well as doing a Best of stand up show). It’s been a consistently good series I think, with a good mixture of guests and most of the chats getting the right balance of funny versus thoughtful. And tickets are already on sale for the next three series. Which is sort of terrifying, but also makes me appreciate the good fortune of the little world that I have created. I will have done 12 series of something, that I have created off my own bat, without having anyone to tell me if I can or can’t do it. It will end when I want it to, or alternatively if all of you decide that you’ve had enough (which at the moment doesn’t look like happening - we probably had the best average ticket sales this time too). The autonomy is a great thing, but every now and again I allow myself to feel a little proud of what I have achieved here by just getting on and doing it myself and by, beneath my veneer of false incompetence being quite good at this (though to be fair between the veneer of false incompetence and the underbelly of me being good is a bigger veneer of actual incompetence, but that’s part of the charm). And I realised that not only can you currently buy tickets for a RHLSTP on 27th November 2017, but that three of them have already sold (only 403 left, so book soon). https://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873492663. Maybe I should concentrate on pushing the autumn 2016 tickets first though.
I was pretty knackered tonight. I had done a toughish session at the gym just before lunch and was a bit sore and hungry and hot. But Tom Parry, who was first up, was full of energy and jokes and 90 minutes whizzed by. We’d sold about 300 tickets tonight which had surprised me, but I think it might be down to the draw of rising star Elis James, who as well as doing stand up and acting has made a bit of a name for himself recently both via his high profile support of the Wales football team, but also his work with John Robbins on XFM and live podcasts. He wasn’t afraid to keep talking and it was a long podcast at the end of a long night, but the audience stayed focused and he might have provided the funniest riff of the series when he built on the character of a postman that I asked to create for me for any sitcom he is involved in in the future.
It was already a fairly Welsh heavy podcast, as Parry is half-Welsh and James is 200% Welsh, but it was nearly even more so as Peter Baynham had got in touch over the weekend to tell me he was flying in from LA and would there be any podcasts he could do. Today would have been the only one that worked and it was already booked up, but I was considering trying to get three recorded in a night and plonk him on in the middle, but his plane wasn’t arriving until the afternoon and I suspected he might be too jet-lagged. Alas this was the case but I hope I can get him on another podcast. Not only has he been behind some of the greatest comedy creations of the last 30 years (not least the Too Gorgeous Pot Noodle Man) but we also shared a flat for a couple of years meaning we have the capacity to massively embarrass each other. He reminded me, via Facebook messenger of a time I had had a huge argument with him and Stew about my belief that paper books would be obsolete in our lifetime as they would invent a computer system where you could read any book you wanted. Peter remembered me saying it would be via CD ROM, but I think I envisaged something more like a gameboy with books on little cassettes. I wasn’t entirely correct, but apparently had been so passionate about it that I had eventually stormed out of the pub in a huff because my Shape of Things to Come vision was being poo-pooed. I did that kind of thing a lot back then. Because I was (and still am, but I am more at home with it now) an idiot.
But, you know, I was kind of right. And this was long before ebooks were on the agenda. And I’d been arguing this point since the early 90s.
Still, what a dick. It might be good that Peter couldn’t make it.
There’s a back log of podcasts so these two won’t be out for a couple of months and our discussions about Corbyn and Brexit might be old hat by the time you hear them. But once again, my guests and I have created well over 20 hours of comedy over the last two months, from absolutely nothing. And there’s at least another 60 hours on the way, if President Trump hasn’t destroyed the world by then.