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Monday 19th November 2012

I had an awful lot of fun today researching for tonight's podcast with Adam Buxton, which mainly involved discovering videos he's done and rewatching some old favourites. I think he has a valid claim to be the funniest man in the country, his stuff is smart and inventive, without being pretentious or clever clever. This video he did for the Wannadies is a great example. It's an idea that might not look much on paper - a short man, put on stilts that make him look massive and the does a stupid dance. But remarkably it's both cool and funny and the longer you watch it the funnier it becomes. His own videos are just as brilliantly produced and his songs ridiculously catchy and musically as well as comedically enjoyable. Even more annoyingly he's just as nice a person in real life as he seems on screen and on radio: unaffected, down to earth, infectiously childish and cheeky, slightly sexy. I was worried that I might try to mount him.
I listened to the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast we did in preparation and to make sure we didn't repeat ourselves too much. I was surprised at how disgraceful and potentially libellous I had been, but there was good rapport and I was fairly confident we'd do a good show tonight.
Doing these every two weeks means that I have plenty of material for the opening monologue and I was presented with even more when I got to the theatre. I had had one entry in the Frankie Boyle/Mick Jagger, Dave Gorman/Ringo Starr essay competition which was pretty funny, but also a Twitter storm seemed to be brewing over Lord Alan Sugar's attempt to flog nail files with the tweet - "Women, why not get the boss to buy you all a small gift for Christmas to show appreciation for all your hard work." It was knowingly or not like something out of Madmen (the implication seemed to be that no woman could be a boss) and maybe a knowing and ironic attempt to inflame passions and send curvy nail file sales rocketing. I jumped on the capitalist bandwagon and tweeted, "Men, why not get the boss to buy you all a small gift for Christmas to show her appreciation for all your hard work?
Then I added, "To be fair to Lord Sugar his next tweet was asking men to get their bosses to buy them a new smegma scraper, so he's not sexist."
It then struck me that a smegma scraper (I was imagining something like the Roman strigil) might be a genuinely good product and commented that I might take it on to Dragon's Den. It seems my whole comedy career might be boiling down to just encouraging men to clean their penises, but if I could achieve that then that would be a life well-lived. But then @cretmeister tweeted to say that such a thing already existed and directed me to the webpage for the willy brush. This was pretty much comedy gold, not only because the company was proud of being based in Scotland (undoubtedly the smegma capital of Europe) but also with such claims as "Our company believe that this revolutionary product will become as commonly used as other hygiene related toiletries, such as the toothbrush or hairbrush"(it might be used as commonly as those items are used to clean genitals). It was half an hour before showtime and a complete new comedy routine had presented itself to me. It might not be one that I would do in my stand up set (though to be honest there might well be room for a version of it in Talking Cock), but it was exciting to think that I was going to be able to do this on stage just half an hour after it had been "written".
As I had so much stuff already for the main podcast I decided to do this (and the Boyle/Jagger essay) in the first (unbroadcast) half of the show. But it went so well that as usual I wished that I had saved it for the actual podcast. I've been a bit spiky and nervous with some of the first half bantery bits this series, but this time had lots of fun with the people in the front row, who again gifted me with very funny jobs and interests. So I think for once we will put this part of the evening out as a podcast too, probably next week. There were a few back references to the first half in the second half, but from your perspective as a listener at home, you will be hearing the back references first and the original next week. I quite like that. It's very much in the spirit of the RHLSTP.
And as expected Adam was tremendously good value on the podcast. I have often flagged by the end of these marathon conversations on other weeks, but time passed fast and confusingly for me this week and I had no idea how long we'd done. I think the whole thing comes in at almost two hours and Adam desperately needed a wee for the last twenty minutes or so, but it seemed very consistently funny to me. I hope you'll agree. It's already up on the British Comedy Guide and will be on iTunes soon. The last show in this series is on December 3rd with Russell Howard. Still a few tickets left, so if you feel like supporting the project and helping to keep it going then you can buy them here.
Adam, I think, was a little bedazzled by how long it all went on and couldn't believe that we don't even edit the thing, but he remained charming and friendly even with a full bladder. I hugged him at the end and his beard bristled against my chin. I think he probably felt the sexual spark that I did and suspect we will both be soon leaving our wives (and he his humanely imprisoned children) to move in together.

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