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Monday 18th February 2013
Sometimes when a celebrity dies you feel like you've lost an actual friend or at least a part of your own life. I felt properly sad when heard the news about Richard Briers who I realised has been making me laugh since I was six years old. Roobarb and The Good Life are two of my earliest TV memories and both firm favourites. And maybe it hurts a bit more because I always thought that Tom and Barbara Good were similar to my parents. It only struck me recently that my mum and dad are actually called Tom and Barbara (my dad goes by his middle name Keith - why?- but he's christened Thomas). So maybe some of the sadness comes from lost childhood and the realisation that time is moving on for us all, but I think it's mainly that Briers was just great at what he did and it's sad to lose him. Though if you've heard Barry Cryer's story about Nicholas Parsons' Richard Briers/Richard Pryor misunderstanding then you'll know that at least Parsons has had time to get ready for this news. Barry himself had a nasty fall off stage this week (something that I've experienced and which was pretty harsh on a man in his 40s) but I texted him to wish him well today and he's pretty much fine, saying he's lucky that he fell as he did as he got off relatively lightly). Being a comedian is the most dangerous job in the world.
Anyway RIP Richard Briers. I won't make a Good Life pun here, but you know if I did it would be pretty apt so you can understand why everyone did.
I saw another great stand-up show tonight Jamie Kilstein at the Soho Theatre. I met him back in 2009 when I was on his podcast Citizen Radio. It's yet another show taking up the theme of feminism and rape jokes (amongst other things). Jamie experienced something similar to my Monggate month (though more extreme) when he questioned the need to do hack jokes about rape, getting a backlash on Twitter and from other comics, though in his case he got death threats and people tweeting him pictures of themselves armed with the guns they wanted to kill him with. At least Ricky Gervais fans don't have automatic weapons! Being a comedian is the most dangerous job in the world.
I could identify with the fact that despite having said contentious things about religion and politics it was the relatively uncontroversial statement that we shouldn't laugh at rape victims that got him into such hot water (just as I was only saying we should think about the way we casually use offensive terms about disability).
Anyway he's a sharp and funny guy and he's clearly loving the autonomy of doing his own shows and getting away from comedy clubs and worrying about being on TV specials. He's a very good story teller as well as passionate advocate for the causes he believes in. He's doing gigs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle next week and you should check him out if you can.
And the folks at iTunes have worked hard to sort out the difficulties and issues of taste with the Talking Cock podcast, which is now up on iTunes as well as the British Comedy Guide. Please subscribe and let's get my cock to the top of the charts. or rather my Co*k. It's a charming podcast about wine tasting or life in an Irish city or noses. I don't know. That asterisk does confuse things.
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