but life is up and down…
I have had a couple of interesting offers recently…an audition for a welsh detective series – i did it over the computer. am yet to hear back from them. I was playing a priest. Also, might be doing a bit for Penderyn Whisky…facebook ads over Christmas.
Have also been entered for the welsh Mastermind – that is, welsh language Mastermind. Beatles songs will be my first specialised subject.
what else? just gripes i have today, sour gripes…
i ebay stuff, trying to make any money i can from selling an old crap.
I started selling my collection of Godzillas, from the late 90s. Sold three of them thus far. One buyer gave me negative feedback, for what i’ll never know…if a seed grow he push it down, i shot the sherrif…no seriously, it’s been a tricky year and it’s getting trickier.
Covid killing people. and here’s me complaining about a virtual auction ! duuuuwwww fi’n cofio dod lawr man’na.
BUt things do happen that piss one off…a friend, an ex-girlfriend, – i messaged her the other day just to say hi – she wrote back to me, also to say hi, and added that she thought i should take a political side after all this is over. She meant in my comedy, she said i sit on the fence, and play it safe. Those were her words. maybe a reflection of what she is all about – political conviction. But really? can that change anything? i said to her England’s not interested in my politics. (I don’t think she got that)….the point being there’s plenty of political stuff i’d like to say as a welshman, that don’t fit into the cosy norm of british comedy. It’s still a crime to say anything remotely resembling nationalistic sentiment. when really, all you want to say is ‘don’t treat us as a colony !’ that’s political isn’t it??
But, from an artistic pov, what makes political comedy so good anyway? I’ve had this before where a friend says to me: what’s the point of your comedy? meaning what’s the point unless i have something political to say…well, thing is, comedy is broad, very broad…..but it’s clear that some people get annoyed unless they can hear certain words leaving the comedian’s lips, words which echo their own viewpoint, perhaps. And that to me is one drawback of talking politics: you tend to only please those who share your views i.e. preaching to the converted.
Comedy ultimately makes people laugh. Is that the main purpose or point of it ? Arguably yes. But of course it’s possible to make people laugh by saying very diverse things. and i like to think that what i say is not pandering to society’s prejudices. Fuck it, if people don’t get some of my humour they’re entitled to say they don’t think i’m funny. But i object to being criticised for not being more ‘political’….
If i was a chef who, in real life, is left wing, would you expect my dishes to have red flags on top? If i was fascist plumber do you think the pipes i fix would sport swastikas?? NO! So why does this expectation rest on a comedian? Why is it important for a comedian to talk politics, for their act to be about the state of the govt? the state of the nation? about the marxist dialectic, Mrs Thatcher, Boris, Palestine, Israel????? etc …YES when it’s done well it’s great, there’s a place for it, it is a valid style of stand up comedy. It’s satire! Yes absolutely. The end of the eighties was the peak of this form of stand up, the early days of the so called ‘alternative’ comedy. And some of those comedians were giants: Mark Steel, Bill Hicks, to name two.
But comedy encompasses everything. all of life. And, to me, what one feels, e.g. spirituality, surmounts political doctrine in importance. Can i get this out in my comedy? Yes. do people notice it? I don’t know.
Do i write my own material? Yes. Is that a political act? I think so. I don’t have a ‘political act’ but my comedy is full of political acts like that.
She said to me i should follow the example of Spitting Image. Spitting Image. How i remember it. It had a handful of good ideas, but relied heavily on the sensational, and grotesque, and really just slagged people off. Satire not. It was humour derived from our instinctive fondess of seeing famous people bashed.
Also, political stand ups i think tend to be hippocrites to some extent. Maybe not the good ones. But, becasue they have their audience who likes to hear the shit they’re saying, then that audience also laughs along with the imperfect things. Like, ooh don’t say anything remotely racist or sexist but its ok you can slag off the germans, the french, or imitate the welsh or scottish accents – and imitate them badly – where’s the political ideal there then?
NEXT- i’ll be talking about Radio Wales,- watch out !