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Thursday 20th March 2014

Thursday 20th March 2014

4134/17053

More Fubar radio today. We were recording this week's episode this lunchtime, the one we did on Tuesday was, slightly confusingly, for next week. We had to be careful not to back reference things that hadn't yet happened, but it did allow me to make some stunningly accurate predictions of what would be happening in seven days.

Today we asked for childhood mishearings and misunderstandings of words and lyrics like "Lord of the Dance Settee" and it proved a popular feature. Someone did point out that Adam and Joe did something similar on their radio show, although Adam (who'd been @ed in) did graciously accept that they probably weren't the first to do that. I then realised that as I had done the Lord of the Dance Settee routine in This Morning With Richard Not Judy that it was THEY who had copied ME! I will be sueing the arses of off them. No, I will be the bigger man and leave it. I mean, I don't want to kick down. Do they have their own show on Fubar radio? No. In fact it's going so badly for Joe that he's pretty much had to leave the country in shame. I will be magnanimous.

My favourite of the many, (because I had done the same thing) was someone who had been utterly confused by the opening to Good King Wenceslas thinking (as maybe we all did) that the words were really "Good King Wences last looked out". Which is a much better start to a song. Giving a real feeling of jeopardy to come.

And then I had to attempt to put together 30 minutes of new material for a try-out gig tonight. It really is all go, but my stamina does not seem to be dropping yet. Although ostensibly tonight's gig was meant to be an opportunity to try out stuff for Meaning of Life, I didn't have anything much ready for that, but I did cobble together about 20 minutes of material for Lord of the Dance Settee. And I as I said after nearly every routine, "There's somethink in that," which might be my new catchphrase. Most of the bits were more thoughtful than the old one-liners that I had opened the gig with, but they went OK. It's pretty unusual for me to have anything at all for Edinburgh by this stage, so it's a positive thing to have this much. But given I am churning out about an hour of material (though some of it is old) a month at the moment, the prospect of getting an hour together by August seems more than manageable. There's not exactly a theme to it all as yet, but I hope to use a settee as a prop throughout and have at least two routines that can use it already. It's going to be about joy and being uncool and trying to do comedy that is funny in itself rather than relying on taking the piss out of "bad" comedy (which seems to have become the latest trope for comedians - including me). I might even try to do a show without any swearing or offensive ideas (that would be more of a challenge). I am interested in trying to create a set that would work on both Michael Mcintyre's Roadshow and Stewart Lee's Alternative Comedy Experience (not that I am likely to be invited on to either). Is it possible to do a set that is comedically experimental, but crowd-pleasing on a broader level? I think so. I have found the audiences in comedy clubs (rather than my own tour shows) are generally open to esoteric and original ideas. Ultimately I'd like to broaden my range of skills. I don't think any genre of comedy is redundant or unworthy, you've just got to find the unexpected in it. This can be difficult with observational material or cock jokes or slapstick, mainly because these are such well-ploughed furrows, but that makes the challenge all the more exciting. I think most of my shows leave the audience feeling quite positive about the world, but maybe Lord of the Dance Settee will set out to spread unfettered joy, though already there is a seam of wistfulness, looking back at lost triumphs - even the name of the show comes from an old routine, so that's quite apt. I have a feeling I am going to enjoy it. For a first shot at most of the stuff tonight was certainly not as excruciating and painful as most first previews.

I don't know why I am not gettin exhausted by my workload or terrified about all the stuff I still have to do. But for the moment at least I am enjoying myself as I dance into the abyss. All those months at the beginning of this blog where I sat around the house in my dressing room waiting for something to happen have perhaps taught me that having a lot of stuff to fill your days is no bad thing. Let's punt this comedy ball into the sky and see where it lands.

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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
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