Thursday, 31 March 2011

Take five.

Last week I went to see a play. That's the sort of fate that should never befall anyone. No rapist, murderer or TV executive deserves to go to a play. Ever. All plays are completely rubbish. There is no such thing as a good play, only less utterly shit ones. That's why they are difficult to review. The play I saw was Frankenstein at the National Theatre and the reviews from The Guardian, The Independent, Time Out, Daily telegraph and The Times all gave 4 stars but, then, they were only comparing Frankenstein to other plays. Even with this in mind, those publications were being incredibly generous, as theatre reviewers always are. They just don't know any better because all plays are just so cripplingly awful and embarrassingly pretentious and dull that theatre reviewers can only guess at how "WONDEROUS... ROLLOCKING... TRANSCENDENT" they are. Like a blind man stumbling to assist a twisted creature that knows not what it does, the reviewers claimed Frankenstein was good. But, no. Frankenstein bad.

The thing is, theatre has no right to be shit. At £45 a ticket it just has no right at all to be less than absolutely brilliant. £45 is about 15 pints of Lager. I've never had 15 pints of lager and complained that the acting was bad or the plot didn't make sense or the dialogue is rubbish. Actually, I have but my point is that there are a lot of things you can spend £45 on that are better than a night at the theatre. £45 is a lot of money. You expect incredible sets, intense yet sensitive acting and a visionary director. At the beginning of Frankenstein, Bamber Gascoigne falls out of a bag and spends 15 minutes doing a Joey impression.

I'm joking! He spends the whole two hours doing a Joey impression. That's what you pay £45 for at the National Theatre these days. Two hours of a grown man ripping off Morgana Show. Two hours of Joeying. Two hours of doing the very thing we were told as children never to do. TWO HOURS WITHOUT A FUCKING INTERVAL.

Bamber Cascoigne, who thrilled us as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, basically slaps his wrist, talks with his tongue out and shits his pants and THAT is his interpretation of a lost yet eager to learn re-animated corpse. The Creature is just such a brilliant and sad character and the National Theatre has put in the hands of a real cunt of a child on a rowdy school bus. He is so completely over-the-top insulting that the audience is spellbound into not noticing how boring Jonny Lee Miller is. A clever trick, really. By the way, Doctor Who fans, did you know Jonny Lee Miller was in Kinda? I just found that out this week and has made me not want to kill him anymore.

Before the play began, we are told that director Danny Boyle started his career in the theatre but his film career took off and he became too busy. This is his return statement to the British theatre after nearly 20 years and the statement he has made is "Never ask me to do this again". How he let this mess happen is anyone's guess. My guess is he wasn't really watching. And why would he? Why would anyone accept The Creature screaming and lunging at a blind man only for the blind man to respond with "Oh, you'd like some music?" WHAT? And a small child turning round to see The Creature for the first time only to yell "You're ugly! Go away!" and then run straight towards him. WHAT WHAT? Or when The Creature finally finds a friend in Dr. Frankenstein's wife and then, from nowhere, says "You had better run" just before he rapes her. WHAT WHAT WHAT? Those are just some of the many, many things that make no sense in this bag of Drama School shame. And I haven't even mentioned that Jonny Lee Miller's dad is black. No, no need to explain that one, Danny Boyle. You haven't explained anything else so why start with that one?

I will say this, I had a great seat. Of course I had a great seat because I saw the play in the cinema. It was broadcast live to the huge screen at the IMAX and my ticket was generously paid for. That is the great thing about Frankenstein. I didn't pay for it. Someone...lots of someones...paid £45 to see that ridiculous play. Of course, £45 is just the standard price. Standard being the best seats in the theatre. The theatre doesn't work like every other place where standard is rubbish but you can upgrade to deluxe, grande or large. No, in theatre Standard is where we dream of being. That's what you pay your £45 for. The cheaper tickets being graded as Far Away, Behind A Pillar and Outside.

All I'm saying is that the theatre is a place of unmitigated evil and there is no difference between Hamlet and We Will Rock You and I definitely really mean that.

ps. Robin Ince and I are performing Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire at the Glasgow Comedy Festival this Saturday. You can buy tickets here:

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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Leggy Come Home.

I have made a terrible mistake. In a way, that's always been the point of this blog. I make terrible mistakes so that you don't have to, but this one is one of the most terrible and horrible mistakes of my life. Worse than the time I said no to tickets to see The Smiths because I already had a ticket to see Nik Kershaw, worse than the time I agreed to do a Harvester advert for £16,000 only to turn up late, drunk, smelly and was docked £13,500 in wages and worse than the time I met Robyn Hitchcock. Any time I met Robyn Hitchcock. These are all mistakes of the past but at the age of 42 I'm still making mistakes. Big ones. And this one only happened because I love Jerk. I love her so much that I wanted to get closer to her, get to know her better, see what she's really like. God, I made such a terrible mistake. I set up a webcam.

The thing is, when you're a dog owner the one bad thing about the relationship between you are your ickle puppy is that the dog can't talk. You never really know how the dog truly feels. Most dog owners would say that if they could have one wish, it wouldn't be for something dickish like world peace, it would be that their dog could talk. This is completely ridiculous. You really don't want your dog to speak ever. I recently had a dream about Jerk and at one point she turned to me and said, in a very polite English voice, "I'm going now".

No-one wants their dog to talk. It would be heartbreaking.

A webcam is exactly the same. I mean, what does Jerk get up to when I'm not around? What adventures does she have? What adorable games does she play? Does she just curl up like a big, cute, lovely, yummy donut that you just want to kiss and kiss and kiss?'ll be lovely having a webcam and seeing Jerk when I'm out. It'll be really, really nice.

It's not nice.

I set the webcam up through Ustream and left the house to go to my gig in Alton. When I got on the train I phoned Muki who was in Las Vegas. I told her all about the wecam and we both agreed that it was the most perfect and adorable idea that anyone had ever had ever in the whole history of perfect, adorable ideas. Muki clicked on the website and saw... nothing.

That's fine because I had just fed Jerk so she's probably in the kitchen eating. Jerk doesn't scarf her food like other uncooth dogs. Jerk is a lady. She eats her food slowly, enjoying the flavours and she only ever drinks champagne. She is class. After about 10 minutes Jerk finally appeared on screen. And she just stood there. For ages. Doing nothing.

I'd left the TV on, because I'm insane and think that she watches it, and Songs of Praise was quietly churching in the background. But Jerk just stood there. Staring at the sofa. The sofa that Jerk and I sit on. The sofa that was empty. And that's when she started to cry.

At first we just thought Yoko Ono was hosting this week's Songs of Praise but no. She's not Christian so they wouldn't let her, I don't think. And the crying got louder. At one point she howled so loudly it just sounded like she might die. I reckon I'm not a bad dog owner but when you can hear your own dog crying via Las Vegas when you're on a pissy train in South London you feel nothing short of Cruella Deville or Josef Fritzl. Muki's commentary to go along with the visuals didn't help. "Oh, my God. She's staring right into the camera. She's crying and she won't stop staring into the camera. She knows we're watching. She knows!"

This lasted two minutes. Jerk's crying, I mean. Muki's commentary lasted hours. She then got on the sofa and curled up, occassionally squeaking her dog toy, and then fell asleep. It took me a long time to get over those two minutes and I can blame no-one but myself. I did it. I did it and you must never, ever do it. Dogs don't play cards when you leave, they don't watch telly (or if they do they fucking hate songs of praise), they just miss you. You love your dog, you feed your dog, you play with your dog, you fuss your dog, you comfort and care for your dog. Want to get closer to your dog than that? Then be prepared to be horrified. Webcams are for mutual masturbation on Skype, not pets.

As I started to get over Jerk's crying moment, I thought I'd listen to a podcast and as a result spent the rest of the train journey laughing. It was a Simon Munnery interview and he was talking about the worst introduction he'd ever got. The compere was so utterly useless that he got everything mixed up. Simon was going under the name of League Against Tedium at the time and this idiot compere got so confused that he ended up thinking Simon was on first AND he got Simon's name wrong. This meant that Mark Maier, the act that WAS on first, was introduced as League OF Tedium.

That compere was me.

And I'm still making mistakes.

ps. Robin Ince and I are performing Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire at the Glasgow Comedy Festival this Saturday. You can buy tickets here:

Also Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is know available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here:


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Light's Not On.

I blame the messenger. I always blame the messenger. I mean, look at him. He's got stupid messenger hair and a fat hand. I hate him. It's rarely anyone's fault but the messenger. He's an idiot. Weirdly, you never blame the messenger. You and the messenger are fucking BFF's, aren't you? Oh, you and the fucking messenger up a tree, m-e-s-s-a-g-i-n-g or something. Why do you like the messenger so much? I actually want to shoot the messenger. I want to put a gun in his eye and shoot him. All messengers are a dick. Couriers, receptionists, street urchins, Hotmail, Twitpic, post-it notes, graffiti, newsreaders (but not postmen. Postmen are cool). There is no need for any of these things. They're useless. Especially newsreaders. We know it's all shit. Why are telling us all the time? Weirdly though, I like cab drivers.

Cab drivers are, by tradition, bastards. Of course, they start very young and happy and full of great ideas of how to improve the cab industry (skill, knowledge, hygiene) but after just a few days of working with members of the drunk, stupid public their brains die and they become granite. I met a really lovely cab driver once. Well, he was lovely then, I can't imagine he is now. I was at a late night party and, as it was about 9am, I thought it was probably time to go home. One of the other party revellers (I don't name his name, let's call him Zethquin) also lived in Clapham so we agreed to share a cab. I sat in the front and chatted to the cab driver while Zethquin sat in the back and remained eerily quiet. The cab driver was just lovely. We talked about the cultural significance, but not the skill, of George Best and great sci-fi films. He joked about everything I liked. He was my dream cab driver who only lost his cool for half a second when he heard a splash from the back seat. I assured the lovely, lovely cab driver that Zethquin had simply spilled a bottle of water and was cleaning it up. I had to say something because Zethquin was so drunk he couldn't talk and I couldn't tell him the truth because Zethquin had puked in the hood of the coat the cab driver was wearing.

We got out, paid, left a very good tip and waved a cheery goodbye. I know it was wrong but the cab driver was so utterly lovely that there's no way I could turn to him and tell him that he's wearing a hood full of sick.

We all have our memories of the day Princess Diana died. That is genuinely mine.

If you get into a cab in the next few days and the cab driver is a complete bastard, that might be my fault. Or at the very least Zethquin's.

But I can't fully blame myself or Zethquin. And you shouldn't blame yourself for any horror you've flung at a cab driver in the past. We are not the only reason why cab drivers have become social turds. I blame the messenger.

I fully realise that you have to be fuckthick stupid to qualify for the job of answering phones in a cab office but the half-man I spoke to last night just took the piss. Bertie Jenner, the young and offensive comedian, and I needed a cab to take us from the Hammersmith Apollo (where we were obviously doing a gig. Obviously. I was headliner) to the Cutty Sark (where Bertie apparently lives) and then my house (where I definitely live). I called a London based cab company that specialises in knowing London really well and taking people from one part of London to another part of London. This is what happened:

"Hello. Can I order a cab, please, to pick me up from the Hammersmith Apollo?"

"Where in Hammersmith?"

"The Hammersmith Apollo".


"Er...outside of it?"

"Where in Hammersmith?"

"The Hammersmith Apollo".

"What's is the Address?"

"I don't know the address. Sorry".

"You need the address. How is the driver supposed to know where to pick you up?"

"Because it's the Hammersmith Apollo".

"Is that a church?"

"Funnily enough, no. It's a venue. A big music venue. It has Stephen K. Amos's face all over it".

Bertie looked up the address on his iPhone and I managed, though it was a mental battle, to relay the correct information to him.

"Ok. Where to?"

"The Cutty Sark".

"What is the address?"

"The Cutty Sark doesn't have an address, it's just The Cutty Sark. Right. Cutty Sark Greenwich train station. How's that?"

"North Greenwich?"

"Not even close. The Cutty Sark Greenwich train station. The DLR".

"What is the DLR?"

"It's the train at Greenwich".

"What does DLR stand for?"

"What possible difference can that make? If you have never heard of it and have no concept of what it is, what will knowing what DLR stands for achieve? It stands for David Lee Roth. It's the Cutty Sark Greenwich David Lee Roth Station we'd like to be dropped off at, please*".

"And the other drop off?"

"16 Durham Close. You've probably never heard of it".

That is my real address and I fully encourage you to drop by anytime, night or day. The cab driver turned up and he was angry. That's no surprise. Cab drivers are angry because some of us throw up in their hoods and the joy just leaves their bodies. But no. The cab driver spent the first 5 minutes cursing the dick that answered the phone and relayed the journey to him. After struggling to get information into his empty head he then just gave the cab driver a bunch of random places. "He's an idiot", said the cab driver. "I hate him". Isn't that nice? The cab driver is one of us really because, look! He hates that dick on the phone. Just like we do. The dick that ended up telling the cab driver that we wanted to go all around London and at some point stop in North Greenwich. The only place he got right was my house which is, of course, at 16 Durham Close.

Why not tip the cab driver a bit extra this week? Maybe even kiss him. Or write her a poem? (Some taxi men are women, remember?) Or just say "I love you" with your eyes. They'll get the message.

* I didn't say that bit which is a real shame.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

It's Like This.

Someone asked me the other day "What DO you like?" after I said that I didn't like 30 Rock. I know I'm the only person in the entire world who doesn't like 30 Rock but that simply means that, once again, everyone in the entire world is wrong and I am right. It suffers badly, for me, from being created by and starring Tina Fey, the most patronising and full of herself performer I've ever seen. I can't watch her because everything she says or does suggests she's a lot smarter than everyone else and when she interacts with any other actor her face just screams "I'm getting paid WAY more than you". But maybe it is a good show and I've only seen bad episodes but I'm probably never going to give it another chance plus I quite like being the only person in the world who doesn't like 30 Rock. And, anyway, how smarter than everyone else is Tina Fey when she posed for a Gap advert after the company had been exposed as running a sweatshop using child labour in Cambodia? Still, she's very good at being Sarah Palin, isn't she?

But that is a good question, isn't it? "What DO you like?" Well, I like being the only person who doesn't like 30 Rock. When everyone is talking about how great 30 Rock is and I don't know what they're talking about it makes me feel good. Look at me being different. But you know, I DO like a lot of things. I like my dog and my friends and drinking and The Young Ones and Metallica and being vegan and doing Los Quattros Cvnts and the strong emotion of love and a couple of books and Gavin Webster.

I was lucky enough to have a really good gig at the fantastic Bearcat Comedy Club in Twickenham on Saturday night, the night of Ireland's win/England's loss in some rugby match and the rising of the supermoon. It was great to have an audience that not only couldn't give a fuck about sport but also actively despised the moon. Stupid, round, 90% closer to Earth dick that it is. I felt so good after this gig that I went to another comedy club. Just to hang out. I'm glad I did because, not only was my dear friend Johnny Candon there, but also Gavin Webster was performing.

If I had to pick a favourite circuit comedian I reckon it would be Gavin. He's a hard-working, no-nonsense, straightforward, Northern, working-class, traditional comedian who is none of those things. Well, he's hard-working and Northern, I'll give you that, but he's also surreal and delights in being, I hate this word, silly. There's barely a thing he says on stage that he doesn't comment on or reconstruct immediately after, constantly reviewing himself throughout his act. Then at some point he'll rail against the world, like a proper old man in a pub, making a well-observed and clever point about something that has never happened. His reason for "this country going downhill" gag is pretty much my favourite joke in the world and the joy and confusion it brings to an audience in equal measure makes it even better.

I've tried about 50 times to describe Gavin's brilliance here and deleted them all. I have no idea why I have kept the words that I have but I have realised that I am no comedy reviewer and now fully understand why Steve Bennett gets paid the fortune that he does. It's really hard to describe someone who is utterly funny just because he appears to be one thing then reveals he's something else while having some of the best jokes and routines you'll ever hear. Maybe I should have just written that? I don't know. What I do know is that Johnny and I watched him at the Banana in Balham and right afterwards went straight into the upstairs room of the venue to watch him again. That must say something, right?

If you happen to see Gavin Webster's name in any listings then make the effort to see him. If you're the type of person who only sees comedy once a year at the Edinburgh Festival then go to see one of his superb solo shows.

Shame he's a cunt in real life.

He's not. I just realised that I said something nice and that's not what my blog is about. I am evil and I'm the kind of person that gets asked "What DO you like?" so I had to say something horrible about him. Now I've explained that I'm going to have to do it again. Shame he's a cunt in real life.

So, that's what I like, to answer your question. Gavin Webster. Mind you, I like the film About A Boy so take that whatever way you want.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Gents Review.

One of my favourite things to do is go to the toilet. Two of my least favourite things are the public and men. You can therefore imagine my utter distress of needing to use the toilet when I'm out of my house. It means I'm going to have to go to use a room frequented by the public and most of them will be men. Sure, within a public lavatory they have some smaller rooms called "cubicles" but even when you're in one of these smaller rooms you can still hear members of the public talking and, thanks to the sexist way we all urinate and deficate, those members of the public that I always hear are men. You can just sit there and you'll end up hearing someone outside the smaller room singing never before heard Christmas carols * or when you leave the smaller room and go to wash your hands you'll meet a smelly dick**.

I'm quite terrified of public toilets. Something bad is always going to happen in there. Sometimes something disgusting will happen in there. Sometimes something completely stupid. On Friday night, I had my second of two bad public toilets with men in them encounters. The second one was actually not as bad or disgusting as the first. It was just revolting and odd. I walked into the toilet at Ruby Blue (a venue where I was booked to NOT go on stage and I got paid for it. If that's not the biggest FUCK YOU to Comic Relief then I will try harder next year) and saw three men chatting to one another. They were just standing there. Chatting. In a public toilet. Where people shit and piss. They just stood there having a little chat. It's not like they were chatting while washing or drying their hands or even exchanging light banter while standing at the urinal. They were just stood there in the middle of the public toilet chatting. And for those of you who think that's not as weird as it sounds let me also inform you that these three men were standing there, in this public toilet, chatting and drinking coffee. They had coffee, in real cups, and they drank them in the public toilet. What does that say about the bar, Ruby Blue, when people would rather drink coffee in a room where men go to release stools than sit in the bar itself drinking coffee while shouting over the top of S&M by Rihanna?

But before the incident in Ruby Blue there was the incident in All Bar One, Leicester Square. This is going to be quite a tough story to re-tell in a blog so I'll just pretty much transcribe it with as little exaggeration as I can. Let me set the scene first: Two men are standing together at one side of the urinal and another man is standing alone on the other. There is no room for me to wee-wee so I wait. While I wait, I overhear the two men standing together. This was their charming conversation...

"You fucked her the other night though, didn't you?"

"What? Shut up".

"You did though, didn't you? You did. You fucked her. You did. You did though. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You did. You fucked her. You did though".

"Shut up".

"Admit it. You fucked her. You did. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You fucked her. You did though. You did. You fucked her".

"Fucking shut up".

"I'm just saying, mate. You fucked her. You did. You did though. You did. You did. You fucked her. You fucked her. You know you did. You fucked her. You did. You did. You did though. You fucked her. You know you did".

"I'm not saying I did, I'm not saying I didn't".

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! You fucking did. You fucking did. You fucked her. You did. You know you did".

The "You fucked her" man stopped urinating, pulled up his zip and left the public toilet while laughing. This made his friend think. I'm assuming the friend wanted to clear up the whole did he/did he not fuck her, her being the most unfortunate human being that has ever crawled this planet. I assume he wanted to clear up the mystery so he called after the "You fucked her" man. And what better way to get someone's attention than by calling out his name? That's when the depression hit me. I can't tell you how heavy with sadness I was when the man left the public toilet and his last words were "Hang on. Wait up, Bonanza".

The "You fucked her" man is known by his friends as Bonanza. He is so loved and is so brilliant that his friends have a nickname for him and that nickname is Bonanza. Being quite nice and being called Michael has never seemed so dull. If only I was a right cunt then I too could be called something like "Maverick" or "High Chaparral" or "Little House on The Prairie" and one of my friends could have sex with someone and we could laugh about it while pissing. That's why I hate going into public toilets with men in them. It reminds me that I'm shit at being a man.

My favourite thing that Bonanza said amongst the "You fucked her"s was "You know you did". What was this supposed to achieve? Did the man genuinely think that he hadn't made love to her but the phrase "You know you did" made him see the light? "Hmmm...that does explain why there was so much woman on my penis that night"...

You might be thinking that it is all my fault. What was I thinking going into a public toilet in All Bar One of all places? You might be right but then I went to the public toilet at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington yesterday. A lovely, lovely theatre. The cublice door was closed with a big "OUT OF ORDER" sign on it. That's OK. I only need to tinkle. While tinkling I heard the flush in the cubicle go. It didn't quite flush properly, of course, because the toilet is "OUT OR ORDER". It flushed a bit again and then the person flushing obviously gave up. He walked out of the cubicle and we made eye contact. The look on my face was "Why did you go in there when the sign clearly says 'OUT OF ORDER'?" and the look on his face was "I bet he wants to know why I went in there even though the sign clearly says 'OUT OF ORDER'?" We never exchanged a word, just glanced at each other. The man then just said "Ah, well" and left without washing his hands.

Good for him. His shit isn't his problem, is it? That's for other people to clean up. His nickname is probably "Gunsmoke", something like that.

Great news for all you Kindle owners! My blog is now available to subscribe and read on your device. It costs £1.99 a month to subscribe but it will still be completely free to read online. What's the point? I don't really know but I do know that if any money ever gets to me via this blog it might encourage me to do more plus, and this is the greatest bit, you can press a magic button on your Kindle and a robot voice will read out my blog to you. Imagine having Stephen Hawking saying "cunt" in your very own living room! That's definitely worth £1.99 a month surely. You can subscribe here: Richard Herring's non-award winning blog is also available here:

* Read this and watch this

** Read near the end of this:

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Brown Waste.

"Ah, shit! I've been recommissioned!" These are depressing words for any actor, writer or viewer to express or hear. Yes, you thought you were talented and making a fantastic, fresh comedy series or you thought you were an intelligent audience member who's tastes are above the average but you were WRONG. The TV companies know best and their view is "If it's unbearably shit, let's give it a second series". Don't think of this as neccessarily a bad thing, although it definitely is, because maybe we should be wearing this as a badge of honour. The powers that be have given up on our cool, brilliant, clever little show after just six episodes? BRILLIANT! I told you it was good. I mean who wants to be recommissioned by a business that happily gives a second series to Episodes, Stand Up For The Week and fucking Mrs. fucking Brown's fucking Boys.

One of my favourite TV series is Catterick. It lasted one series. Just six episodes. It had a story, characters and some of the best jokes in any sit-com and it lasted one series. Of course it did. It's excellent. The Peter Serafinowicz Show was flawed but brilliant. When it hit, it was fantastic. It would have been the natural thing to see those ideas developed over a second series but no. It was just too good to be recommissioned. I couldn't believe that Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle didn't get another series immediately after it's brilliant debut. Arguably the best stand up comedian in the UK performing at the very peak of his powers, it was easily the best comedy series around and as a result did not deserve it's second series. Imagine my surprise when it did finally get recommissioned. I guess I was wrong. Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle must be shit.

Of course, I can go one even more impressive than Catterick or Serafinowicz. I have never had a first series commissioned. That's just how talented I am. And I take great comfort from that when I have a night off and put my feet up on the sofa and watch some new TV comedy. If this is what the TV companies want then it makes sense that my utterly genius scripts have been sent back with a badly written, grammar-free rejection letter. Not that I always accept rejection letters. Production companies must understand that I get a lot of rejection letters and I do try to read as many as I can but unfortunately some of them just aren't right for me at the time, it's just not what I'm looking for, etc. Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is last night I watched a TV show called Twenty Twelve which wasn't funny but, to be fair, no one in it tried to be funny and then I watched fucking Mrs. fucking Brown's fucking Boys.

Where to begin? Well, let's begin where Mrs. Brown's Boys starts: in the bin. It is clear that the BBC have simply found all the old Rentaghost scripts they thought they had dumped and replaced the words "ghost", "ghoul" and "spectre" with the word "fuck". It's so utterly offensive that I'm sure the word "spook" stayed. It starts off with CBeebies opening credits and an old-fashioned voiceover welcoming us to Mrs. Brown's Boys. That was the bit I liked. That one bit where the guy said "It's Mrs. Brown's Boys!" was the one single solitary second of enjoyment to be had from this dung that is thrown into our eyes and mouths. It's easy for them to get the dung in our mouths too because your jaw hits the floor right from the word go. Mrs. Brown, in the fine tradition of Shakespeare or serial killers from Silence of the Lambs, is a man dressed as a woman. Yes, somehow the BBC didn't just tell them to fuck off there and then. Mrs. Brown is a man dressed as a woman and has a bunch of children all aged about two years younger than her, except the hilarious gay son who is clearly much older than his male mother. In last night's episode, Mammy (played by Mrs. Brown played by some docker with no teeth) went to a wedding and had to speak to a posh lady. Incongruous with most wedding etiquette, Mammy told the posh lady to go fuck herself and then walked into a room waving a penis around. The second bit wasn't that surprising as I was already confident that Mammy had a penis. She's a tough talking, hard drinking, "typical" Irish woman with a "typical" Irish family. Just like mine! Oh, the amount of times my own Mum would just tell people to fuck off for no reason, shit her pants while laughing and then wave her fat, hairy cock at a priest...But that's just what we're like. That's the Oirish fer ya. We're just so tick, ah but sure isn't the crack great? Where the fuck is a potato famine when you need one?

But I have just learned that it's getting a second series. Of course it is. It deserves a second series. It's as bad as adult comedy can get. If they took the swearing out and put it on at 3 in the afternoon I wouldn't have a problem with it. They don't. They put it on at 10.30pm. That's when I watch TV. This programme is aimed at me. The BBC must think I'm a fucking eejit...I mean, idiot. Even when you watch it on iPlayer a little insulting box pops up saying "Are you 16 years of age or over?" HOW DARE YOU! No one over the age of 8 minutes old should watch this tripe. I was hoping that when I clicked "yes" another box would pop up saying "Well, what the hell are you playing at?"

This blog was supposed to be about how lovely celebrities are. I had a great week last week and wanted to share it with you but last night I decided to watch a bunch of self-loathing Irish people piss all over their culture and then hope that we might all join in. It upset me so you got this blog instead. In fact, I'm still furious about it that it might go to a 2nd blog.

No. My anger and fury over this doesn't deseerve a 2nd blog. It's too good.

I will leave you with this though. Keith Lemon's on his 5th series. Goodnight, everyone.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Travel Sickness

It's the train's fault, not the passengers. All those times that I've been furious with pig-ignorant half-people who shout and fight and fart and play loud music and ignore their screaming children on trains might be unjust (maybe) because it's finally dawned on me that these people have been shown the way by the train itself. The train is a little bastard.

I spent most of last week commuting like all of you business robots, getting up in time to scream about how early it is and somehow forcing my corpse all the way to Ladywell train station. This is where I wake up. This is when the anger starts. This is when the trouble begins.

To get on a train you have to pay something called a fare. Every year the financial experts at National Rail look at costs, expenditures and upkeep and then they get all bored and tired and decide to charge us whatever the fuck they like. For instance, I wanted to travel from Ladywell to Waterloo East at 8.20 in the morning. My fare was £3.20. Know how many stops I travelled for that amount of money? ONE. ONE FUCKING STOP AND IT COST £3.20. Of course, I could save money by buying a travelcard. Unbelievably, during this current recession, a travel card costs £7.30. That's right. £7.30 for the privelege of STANDING in a big metal box, full of piss and ripped up Metros, that will take me to my destination but, obviously, sit just outside the station I want to alight at for 15 minutes FOR NO FUCKING GOOD REASON. Of course, I didn't pay £7.30 for a travelcard. No way. I was travelling at a "peak" time so my travelcard cost £10. WHAT THE FUCK IS A PEAK TIME FOR TRAVELLING ON A BRITISH TRAIN? You mean there's actually a less glamorous time to travel on these fuckers?

So after being ripped off (and don't start me on Oyster cards. JESUS CHRIST) by the train we go insane. When we pay our £10 for a travelcard we lose all reason. "I paid", we think, "therefore this train completely belongs to me. I can do whatever the fuck I want. Look at me. I'm writing on the window. Why? BECAUSE IT'S MY FUCKING WINDOW. I've got my feet on the seats. Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE MY FUCKING SEATS AND I CAN SHIT ON THEM IF I WANT. Fuck it, I might as well light up a cigarette and have a puff in between random shouts and, no, you can't sit on the seat next to me. Why? BECAUSE IT'S MY FUCKING ASHTRAY".

We go mad. Of course, we do. We pay lots of money and when you're standing on a platform waiting for a delayed or cancelled train or if you're lucky enough to get on a train, while you're stood there crushed up against the door with someones elbow in your back, someone's umbrella in your throat and someones wandering hand on your bum-bum you have time to think. You think: I paid for this? London Transport is the most expensive public transport in the world but where are the improvements? Where's the security on the train? Why arent there enough trains? Why do trains stop so early at night? Why are all of the trains filthy? Why do people who work for the train companies never know whats going on? Why is it all so fucking shit?

While these questions are kicking around our heads we go mad. The train actually drives us insane. It's not us, it's the actual train itself. That's what the train wants and the train is winning. How can we not go mad when we think about how our money is spent? How can we not go mad when we think about every single bastard useless train employee? Every job interview being this: "Come in. Do sit down. You do seem completely under-qualified for any job at all but are you a terrible cunt also?" "Oh, I'm a frighful cunt". "Congratulations. When can you start?" "Monday. But I'll be late".

And how can we not go mad when we see so many passengers that have been driven mad before us? Last week I was on the tube and right in front of me was one of the beaten. One of the train's victims. He was probably OK once, in the beforetime. But now he was a horrible cunt, a man mentally broken by a transport system that makes no sense at all. He sat in front of me listening to very, very loud music on his big Lobot headphones. I sat reading and pretending that I didn't want to kick his neck in but I soon noticed that he was playing the same song over and over and over again. As soon as it ended he would quickly take his iPod from his pocket and replay the song again. It got to the point where I dreaded the song ending. There was something even worse about the one nano second that it took him to cheerily push replay than it was to actually repeatedly listen to this song. But I looked around and saw, once again, that no one was at all bothered by this prick but me. Maybe they had all come to terms with my new realisation that some people are driven mad by the train. Maybe they were just showing support for his condition. Maybe I was being too harsh on him. Maybe. Let me just explain further that every single time he played that song....HE SANG ALONG WITH IT. EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME.

I think I was patient but I couldn't take it anymore. This happened:

"Can you switch that music off now, please?" (I was quite cross).

"Sorry, mate. I have to learn this song."

I closed my eyes, drew strength from somewhere. "What?"

"I have to learn this song."

"No, you don't. No one HAS to learn a song. This is a train. If you WANT to learn a song, learn it at home. That's what the other X-Factor people do. (I was quite smug now) If you want to listen to music you turn it way down so everyone else on the train can't hear and you definitely never, ever sing."

"The volume's broken on my iPod."

"Then you have to switch it off."

"I can't. I have to learn this song."

"Then I will carry on talking to you so you won't be able to learn the song. Fair?"

He switched it off and continued looking at me like I was a nutter? HA! I foamed at the mouth and became aggressively rude to a man who treats trains like they're the Pineapple Studios and I'M the nutter?

That's what our stupidly expensive London Transport did. A man figured out that a travelcard is about 30p cheaper than hiring a rehearsal space and another man realised that he paid so much over the odds for a travelcard that he could just consider himself The Train Police. I found out last week that Boris Johnson is spending £150 Million on "upgrades" to the tube meaning that we'll all be able to get a signal on our mobiles under ground. Imagine that! The one fucking place on this planet where you're guaranteed embarrassing, loud ringtones won't depress the fuck out of you is being taken away from us and it will only cost £150 million. Where will they get that kind of money from? Oh, yes. Us. We'll look back with fondness very soon on those heady days when a travelcard was only £7.30 (£10 before 9.30am).

On a more positive note, my big foot is currently being licked by a dog.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Damned Foreigners.

One thing that Thailand definitely has is good manners. Pretty much every Thai person could be a member of Polite Club. They are warm, helpful and grateful and it makes you feel good being in their company. Not that everyone I met in Thailand was gracious. No. Some of them were out and out cunts. They were British.

The average British ex-pat is probably the worst type of person you'll ever meet. No-one would listen to their constant bollocks at home so they move to another country to shout constant bollocks at people who can't understand them. They don't like the weather here, the Government here or the pesky Age of Consent Laws here so they must move. They are fat (even the thin ones), evil bastards who hate Britain soooooooooo much that they just had to get away to a far off land and hang out with other British people in a British theme pub. And if you meet one you are doomed to hear this: "I would never go back. Why would I go back? Look at what I have here. I have everything I could want. I don't know how you could live in Britain, mate. It's paradise here and I'm never coming back". This is followed by the fucking horrible prick dropping to his knees and begging for HP Sauce. Gee, Mister, if only there was a country where you could fuck kids AND have PG Tips, eh?

After Phuket we went to Hua Hin and a hotel that was heartbreakingly perfect. It was in a jungle, by the beach and everything it had to offer was beautiful. The people who worked there were the pinnacle of grace and manners. When was the last time you went to a Travel Inn and were offered a glass of juice made from flowers grown in bliss? Then we had to do a gig. A cunting gig.

This was never going to work. A British ex-pat gig in an estate agent's office? Good fucking grief. What fucking estate agents has a fucking stage in it? Hot Property in Hua Hin, apparently. The audience talked the whole way through the show, they talked on the phone loudly while the show was on and they thought nothing about walking across the stage to get to the bar while the show was on. They just didn't give a fuck. They've spent so much of the last few years shouting at and pushing at "foreigners" that they have no concept of how to treat other human beings. One cunt started the debate on whether I was British or Irish so before I strangled him I introduced Nick Doody to the stage and sat seething in a corner. A fucking shrieking twat who was constantly "contributing" to the evening sat near me talking and talking and talking and talking and saying absolutely nothing so eventually I said to her "Do you ever shut the fuck up?" She laughed. She laughed because she didn't get it. She didn't get the plain and simple fact that she was irredeemably awful. None of them did. I told them often enough but none of them understood that I genuinely hated them. None of them ever simply realised that the reasons they didn't fit in in the UK are the exact same reasons that they are loathed in Thailand. I don't say this lightly but if they were dead the world would be a better place.

Luckily a few people came up after the show to register their disgust at the rest of the audience. A few did. Not enough though. The rest of them went back to shouting, groping their teenage wives and getting fatter so they'd have more room for their tattoos.

We went back to our beautiful hotel in paradise so I could drink alcohol and complain about those people. I have never said cunt so often in such beautiful surroundings. I wanted to just stay there and say cunt as the sun rose. Lovely.

Then it was two days in Bangkok and home again. Those gigs in Bangkok were the best of the trip. The trip was a blast the whole time really and the company was great. But I'm home now and everything is back to normal. It's so good to know that, after that one night of British ex-pat horror, we can still be right bastards on our own turf.

Since I got back I've seen the worst kitchen salesman ever. He just stood in the middle of Lewisham Shopping Centre saying "Kitchen". Not shouting it, not whispering it out of embarrassment, just saying it. "Kitchen". I could have watched him all day. "Kitchen. (Pause for 10 seconds) Kitchen. (Pause) Kitchen". I just wanted an sharp suited American from the 1930's to go up to him and say "Hey, kid. I'm a Hollywood producer and I've seen your act. You got the goods".

Then, while washing my hands in a public loo, I saw a man putting on aftershave. He kept staring and smiling at me but saying nothing. He just stood there smiling and putting on aftershave. Finally we made eye contact. His smile got bigger and he said "No splash, no gash". I left.

The worst person since my return might be one of the biggest cunts I've ever seen in my life. As I left Leicester Square Tube Station on Thursday I saw a man nicking a Big Issue. HE STOLE A FUCKING BIG ISSUE. What a cunt. You don't STEAL Big Issues. That's literally the last thing you ever do. That's like wanking in the letterbox of an Orphanage or tipping Jesus out of his wheelchair. You just don't do it. And there he was. A grown man in real life stealing a Big Issue and then running away. He got to the top of the stairs and turned to look at the vendor. He was laughing and ripping up the Big Issue. People saw him and did nothing. I saw him and did nothing. We all just watched. We watched and we pitied. What a stupid, poor, awful sod. He thinks it's funny to steal from a homeless person and is in no way ashamed of that fact. Well, congratulations, my friend. If you wanted pity from a homeless person you got it. The vendor just raised her eyebrows and gave a look that said "Wow. I thought I had problems".

I pity him but I pity Thailand, or any other country, more. I think we're sending you another one.