Ok. So it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Been a while really since I’ve written more than a few back to back tweets online. But here I am, back again. Had some stuff in my brain. Not even important stuff, or meaningful stuff, but sometimes it helps just to get this stuff out.
Comedians, for example.
Not quite sure why but there’s a few bits from certain comedians that often pop into my head. And a couple in particular lingered long enough that when I gave them some proper attention, more arrived, and suddenly I was thinking about old jokes and routines, and those ones that stay with us long after the laughter has died down.
Some of the main stuff that often I find myself mulling over is from comedians whom I don’t even know. Names have often been a struggle.
I’ve seen plenty of comedy acts in my life so far, many thanks to my old job, some that I even paid for. Gary McCormick and Tim Shadbolt. Rhys Darby. Flight of the Conchords. Strassman. Comedy Festivals, open mics, and the odd amateur competition.
But for whatever reason, these are the ones that stuck.
1. Danny Bhoy
The first time I ever saw Danny Bhoy do stand up was while the TV was on in the background and my friends and I were busy talking. In a lull in conversation, Danny Bhoy could be heard explaining that he’s Scottish. Not Irish, as some people confuse him for. If he was Irish he’d “speak like this: Fiddle de de Potatoes!”
Not particularly funny or witty but made me laugh in that moment and has flickered in my brain whenever there’s confusion over where in the UK someone comes from.
2. The honesty of kids
I wish I knew the name of this comedian. Sadly I don’t even remember much about her, like what country she’s from or much of what she looks like. But I remember the bit.
She was talking about how great a kid’s honesty is. For example, not wanting to go to school. Cue whining in the way only a five and under can truly muster: “I don’t want to! You can’t make me!” and the miming of clinging to a doorway, being pulled from it by unseen parents. Then the dragging of the invisible backpack. The sad and hunched look over the shoulder as if to ask “do I have to?” but requiring no words.
Then – she ponders – what if adults could be this honest? And she repeats the exercise, swapping school for work and an invisible backpack for an invisible briefcase. It was hilarious at the time and well executed. And on those days that I have to force myself out of bed and go to work when I’m not quite in the mood (Mondays) I think back to this unknown bringer of lols.
This comedian’s name I really should remember. I’ve seen him a few times now, the first being on TV. The second live… to find many of the same jokes repeated. A third time to find, yup, more of the same jokes. It happens with all comedians I’m sure. But over the space of a few years, it’s not great to discover as an audience member.
However! He did tell a great story about eggs. Again, name unknown. I could tell you he’s blonde. A Kiwi. But that’s about it. Great, huh. Helpful. Anyway… he’s very good at accents and mocks the Australian one well (‘straya), but also has a great dig at the Kiwi accent. The egg story refers to being at a UK supermarket and stumbling upon a New Zealand woman trying to find the eggs, but being totally and completely incomprehensible due to her accent.
“Uks-cues moi sur, dough yough know whur thuh ugs are?” Poor shop assistant hasn’t a clue. And instead of describing what she’s after, the question is repeated in different ways until finally ending in exasperated cries of “Ugs! Uhhhgggs!”
Eggs of course are said in just a sliiiightly different way by the rest of the world than us flat-vowelled Kiwis.
Although many more examples from past memories jump into frame, these three bits in particular seem to stay with me. Not quite sure what it says about me (a link to the Scottish heritage, a yearning for childish honesty, an awareness of how Kiwi I sometimes/often sound?) but while a joke such as the above is never as good written as it is told, I hope you’ll search out these comedians and get along to their shows. Especially if you can figure out who the latter two are… and if you do… share with me.