Favourite Jokes no.2 (The funniest thing I ever saw)

In this series of occasional blogs I’m going to post some of the routines I’ve done as comedian and explain where they came from. This one below is probably the first routine I ever wrote. When I started out I was a very different comic. Much of my shtick was about being a camp guy growing up in a tough mining town. This piece very much comes from that world. The core of the story and punch line are very much based in fact. Of course I’ve embellished and gagged things up to turn it into comedy….


“Ridicule is nothing to be scared of” So said primo New Romantic Adam Ant. He obviously never grew up where I did. If ridicule came in the form of 10 skinheads chasing you down the high street it was plenty to be scared of.


I grew up in the 80s and was a New Romantic.

Gay clown.

Brave. Essentially I could be found running around a Scottish mining town in my mums blouse. Life for me could be like a 16th century Witch trial. The locals would proclaim, “Yeah, throw him in the pond…and if he floats he’s a poof.”

I’d be thinking, “Oh God. Not the pond again. Not with this blouse. I’m wearing a black bra.”


I used to have a flick over fringe like Phil Oakey from the Human league.   

Phil Oakey

I didn’t look like Phil Oakey though…I looked like Hitler had let himself go.


Anyway. I was always getting stress from the bullies. In particular there was a guy called Bobby Schoolar. he was a right bastard.

Prince Harry 

So one day we were in chemistry and Bobby was trying to get my attention by stabbing me in the thigh with a compass. he leans over and says, “Hey Scotty you’re gay this should interest you.” I said look Bobby I’ve told you it’s the 1980s. I’m not gay. I’m a dandy highwayman.”

adam Ant.

So anyway he still leans over and says. “Whatever!” Then he started to whisper in my ear. he says. “Look don’t tell anybody this right…but last night I was in the bath…and I stuck my thumb….up my bumb…and it was good. now you wont tell anybody will you?”

What would you have done? I was on my feet so fast I nearly created a Higs Boson particle. I shouted to the class, “Hey everybody!! Schoolar just told me he stuck his thumb up his arse last night. And he said HE ENJOYED IT.”


There was instant bedlam in the class room.


Everybody started chanting, “up the bum, up the bum, up the bum.” (I RESISTED AN IMAGE FOR THIS BIT) In amongst all the mayhem Bobby panicked and he tried to make a run for it. Just as he got to the door the teacher came in. Bobby slammed right into him.  The teacher saw this near riot and went insane. he screamed, “Bobby! Get back to your chair. I want you, to explain to me…EXACTLY what is going on in here?”

I thought…can this day get any better.  

cheesy grin.

Any way the outcome of the story was  for my bad karma I got a detention. But that’s nothing compared to what Bobby had to endure for his homophobic bad karma. he spent the next two years at high school with everybody that passed him in the corner holding up their thumbs and going, “Hey Bobby…are you alright.”


Lawrence Vs Brand.

I think the thing I’ve found most interesting on this here comedians crucible of what we can and cannot express within our jobs/opinions/lives is the amount of comics in the same week who went out their way to savage Russell Brand for saying “nice” things while not defending his freedom of speech, while passionately defending Andrew Lawrences freedom of speech to say “not so nice” things, while being quite accepting of what was being said.

These are interesting times. Obviously I find much of what Andrew Lawrence said pretty abhorrent. Of course I do. I’m one of the leftie/liberal hacks he’s targeting. But I’m also an advocate of free speech and I’m delighted he’s said it. I can think of a couple of other folk I work with that have exactly the same views but not so high a profile. Do I refuse to work alongside them? I do not.

So let’s look at Mr Brand first. I can’t ever really say I was huge fan. But that changed last year when he did the editorial of the New Statesman. It was informed, eloquent and raised some great points. Yes he got it wrong with the “don’t vote” thing. Especially because that’s what everybody decided to leap on and completely ignore the main thrust of his polemic. The one thing I’ve personally taken from the whole shebang is I’ve read the New Statesman ever since and I feel I’m better informed because of it. I really am bamboozled as to why such a good looking, opinionated millionaire manages to attract such disdain from the community.

I haven’t seen Mr Brands latest News Night appearance or read his book. I’m of absolutely no doubt that some of what he says is ill informed or total pie in the sky thinking. Here’s why I like him. It was actually his involvement that put me on to reading the New Statesman. More shame me for letting celebs influence my tastes.  So maybe the good thing about him is he raises the profile of important humanitarian issues and then we go look at more informed sources for the real solutions. This is a good debate we’ve all had about him this week and the points he airs. But we are having it BECAUSE OF Russell Brand. Here ends the defence.

And so the prosecution. It may come as a surprise but like Andrew I am also anti Europe. The main reason I have for this is I think it is a gang master for moving about cheap labour and exploiting workers. And there’s the difference. In saying this I’m attacking the cause not the symptom.

It’s Andrews language and targets of attack that so concern me in his initial diatribe. But can I first take a wee look at the type of comedian he attacks. He describes, “Out of touch, smug, superannuated, overpaid TV comics with their cosy lives in their west-London ivory towers taking a supercilious, moralising tone, pandering to the ever-creeping militant political correctness of the BBC with their frankly surreal diversity targets.”

For anybody that knows me and the lack of impact I’ve made on the comedy business there’s no way I can fit into this bracket. Jings how I wish. In fact in reply I would say Andrew fits this description much more than me. I accuse him of being a smug, overpaid TV comic living in an ivory tower, because from my career perspective that is what he is. It’s not only Andrew that everything didn’t come up roses for but he’s had a way better kick of the ball than I ever did. So why the hatred? I’m frustrated too but it does not manifest in attacks on minority groups.

I do wonder if he’s actually ever had to watch 300 EDL marching past his house chanting vile hatreds on Islam and anything else their bile gets directed at that day from his London hole. I somehow think probably not.

Then there was the comment on “liberal back-slapping on panel shows like Mock The Week where aging, balding, fat men, ethnic comedians and women-posing-as-comedians, sit” If this was intended to sound like the language of a bigot then he did a no bad job. I’m just glad I’ve still got my hair. I don’t think we need pour over those words too much. Others justifiably already have.

The bit that really concerned me was in the comment(s) “for every person that comes here and contributes to our culture there are those benefit tourists, criminals and those that refuse to assimilate.” I feel here he’s laying the blame for our economic woes squarely at the foot not just of the immigrant but also at the underclass. But hey he’s a right wing comic. That is his (new) job.

How terrible it is that everybody moving around the various bits of the planet does not walk along the great and the goods corridors that Andrew feels he strides. For shame that not all of us can reach the same salient heights of human endeavour that Andrew so clearly must feel he has.

I’ve mentioned further back what I feel the problem with Europe is. I’d rather we kick up the way than down. But that’s the fundamental difference in our thinking.

Overpopulation isn’t just a British problem it’s global. And yes I feel it needs addressed. But I advise great caution in the language we use when addressing such issues. Otherwise somebody somewhere will shoulder the brunt of the blame. If you’re going to shout, shout to the top.

Does any of this mean I’m opposed to Andrew expressing his views? Absolutely not. But if the gloves come off we should be allowed to take a swing back. I actually quietly respect his…er…gall. But I also fiercely defend my/our right to be equally as galling.

Newcastle. no. 1.

I think I can quite comfortably say that ten of my happiest years have been the ones I’ve just spent living in Newcastle. I first came here to do a support slot for local comedy stalwart and star Mr Gav Webster. I was very new and he’d kindly given me a go so I could see what it was like gigging further away from home. As it turned out I didn’t do very well as my material was too parochial. But it was a great lesson.

But something happened that night that really stuck with me. During the interval a Geordie man came up to me and said, “Here pal that was great. I didn’t realise someone else was coming on I thought you were the main turn.”

Now, obviously none of what he was saying was true. But he had gone out of his way to be kind and cheer me up. He had to make a side step from his journey to the loo to do that. He went literally went out of his way. Trust me in 15 years in comedy you don’t find that everywhere.

Canny is a word often used in the Geordie dialect, “he’s a canny lad.” The more common definition of the word means shrewd, but in the old Scots/Northern English definition of the word it means steady, restrained, gentle. It’s a perfect term for describing the Geordies. Geordies have an ingrained stoicism. This may make them sound a bit cold. They’re not. It’s actually a very endearing quality. It comes from them being able to endure hardship and pain without showing feelings or complaining. It’s among the most noble of qualities and I find Geordies (and much of the north east other peoples)  to be among the most egalitarian and noble this country has to offer.

By pure coincidence I ended up in a relationship with a North East Lass just a year later. Coincidence because we met in Scotland not Newcastle.  She’s now my wife Lesley. One pivotal night I was lying on the couch and I remarked on impulse, “Pet, I think I could quite happily pursue my comedy career in Newcastle. You travel with your job. Could you maybe inquire if you could work there?”

Next day Lesley came back from work and told me, “Yes I can get a job in Newcastle. But we have to move in the next two weeks.” So move we did.

Newcastle like Scotland has a reputation for the hard man. In the 10 years I’ve been here I’ve never seen violence. I’ve hardly seen a raised voice in anger. It’s a city I feel safe walking across at night. I did have one moment on a sunny day when dressed in Jesus sandals, linen trousers and flowery shirt a young Geordie drove past, lent out his car window and shouted, “How Ye! Fuck off.”  He was laughing heartily as he did this and rather than be insulted I laughed along with him. To be fair in the Geordie Catwalk of fashion trends I did look like a ponce.

One of the main things as a Scot I share with the Geordies is there is a dark edge to our humour. it comes from hardship, factory work and precarious living standards. On the very first week I moved here I had a gig at a well known local folk pub called the Cumberland Arms. I was trying to find the place and had arrived at the edge of a thicket of trees. Looking confused a young Charva happened by and saw me lost. (And I use that word in it’s Geordie Romany definition meaning child. It’s horrendous how it’s been misappropriated)I told him where I was looking for. He said, “Aye Bonny Lad it’s right through them trees there.” I looked at him with a bit of worried uncertainty in my eyes. He spotted this and added, “Aye mind bonny lad, ye want tae gan through them trees there. Because if you go up that road over there….you’ll get murdered.” And that was me set off by Geordie humour and laughing like a drain again. And thankfully…I didn’t get murdered.

Funny fuckers.

God Save The Sex Pistols

God Save the Queen.

I absolutely despise our national anthem. I switched on TV today to catch about 70’000 morons holding their chests and singing it at some American Football event being held at Wembley.

It’s not just that it’s a fawning piece of outdated pageantry. It’s that people seem to revel in the fact that it’s a constant reminder that yes we have a class system and as long as there’s a Queen or King you will NEVER be at the top. No matter if you cure cancer, end famine and bring about world peace all on the same day. As the song says, “you will never be royal.”

For me the most important single 45 of all time is God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols. For me God Save the Queen isn’t just a great song, it represents a unique moment in British history when 4 young kids from impoverished backgrounds had the establishment totally on the run. Via a song a bunch of juveniles reminded people for a fleeting moment what’s really important in their lives.  And I don’t think that’s ever been really achieved before or since in the poptastic pop charts..

The lyrics to God save the Queen weren’t just considered inflammatory, they were seen as treason. The song shook  up the system so much that when it reached number 1 in the charts it was decided there was to be no number 1 that week. Through one song these young kids managed to induce an Orwellian type of censorship. It’s not happening. You’re opinions are suspended. Truth is lies. The thought police are monitoring the charts.  Eventually in 2001 the BBC issued a statement announcing that the song had in fact reached number 1. Rumours abound that the person who released that statement is now locked in the Tower making trainers for ASDA.

Personally I feel the song and the LP that accompanied it has been one of the most influential pieces of art in my, and many other people’s lives. It informed me of the importance of having an opinion. Do I dislike the Royals as people. Many of them yes. these new younger ones seem a tad better.

But here’s a thought for all you lovers of Wills and Kate. If you really do love them then why didn’t you give them what they probably really wanted out of their wedding…i.e. their privacy.

In most countries, parents can tell their kids that if they work hard and do everything right, they could grow up to be the head of state and symbol of their nation. Not us. Our head of state is decided by one factor, and one factor alone: did he pass through the womb of one aristocratic Windsor woman living in a golden palace? The US head of state grew up with a mother on food stamps. The British head of state grew up with a mother on postage stamps. Is that a contrast that fills you with pride? Imagine letting you’re pride in a person being dictated by the fact they arrived via a certain vagina.

Because in this country that’s all you have to do to be in charge. and trust me the establishment love that fact and will hang onto this style of privilege until it’s prized from their guillotined corpses.

But John the royals do so much for our country? Really? Were told the Royals are great for tourism. Out of the top twenty tourist attractions in the UK only one of them is related to the monarchy, Windsor castle at number 17. Ten places ahead of that is Windsor Legoland. So working on this logic should we to build a lego man and make it head of state? it would probably make more sense than the idiot Charles.

And there’s another flaw in most royalists opinion of the old institution. Many royal lovers don’t actually like certain royals. Look at Prince Charles. The majority of Brits don’t even want to see Charles as King. They want to skip him and put up William. Ah, no sorry. You see that’s republicanism and that would require a vote. And thanks to the current system you can’t have it both ways.

It’s an unhealthy society that invests in people being given God given privileges of the highest order over that of an impoverished child.

A couple of years ago I was in Scotland for my nieces wedding. While there I popped into a supermarket to buy some batteries for my camera. In front of me at the checkout was an elderly woman who was possibly buying her weeks shopping, it all fitted into a hand basket. As her groceries were being rung through she enquired as to why she was being charged twice for the two for one ready meals. The girl on the desk pointed out that one of the meals she’d picked up wasn’t in the offer and so she would have to pay the £2.99 extra.

At this the woman became visibly upset, almost panicked looking, because this extra £2.99 was beyond her budget and she had to take the embarrassing choice of putting the other meal back.  On the same day we were spending an obscene amount of money celebrating another old woman. It was the golden Jubilee.

I don’t hate the Queen. I hate this outdated system we have where privilege comes through blood and nothing else. If you want to go out and celebrate royals fair enough. But spare a thought for the other old lady whose budget probably didn’t stretch to being able to buy a flag to join in the pageantry.

So I’ll finish with a little bit of my stand up…..

I don’t hate the royals. In fact I quite like the weddings and Jubilees because I collect royal souvenirs. I think I’m one of the few people that owns a Camilla Doll….it used to be a Diana Doll…but I left it by the fire.

Do you know what I found most ominous about the royal wedding, is that they gave her Diana’s ring. That’s a bit ominous. it was like they were saying, “Let that be a warning to you.”

Will she live? Will she die? To tell the truth I don’t really care. As long as she outlives Elton John. No really if I have to listen Candle in The Wind again for another three months…I’ll probably drive myself into a wall…..So there you go. Bang goes the Royal variety show.

But we do like Prince Harry though. He seems down wiv da kids. he was on telly this week and it was pointed out that while he was at posh military academy Sand Hurst they had a nick name for him…they called him Harry Potter…that’s a bit rubbish isn’t?

I bet even Harry was going, “What? Is that the best you can manage? For Christ sake I’m ginger…And that’s not even my dad.”

No future , no future, no future….repeat until dead.

Favourite Jokes. no. 1.

As a full time comic one question I’m often asked is where do jokes come from. Well, in truth it all comes from a variety of places. Yes I do sit at a keyboard putting blood sweat and jeers into developing material. But, sometimes inspiration comes from different sources. so what I’ve decided to do in this series of occasional blogs on the subject is post some jokes and routines up here with a bit background as to where they came from…

no.1. They say X-Factor has destroyed the spirit of rock and roll. But I think that’s rubbish. Because every time it comes on I’m ready to throw the telly right out the window.

I prefer the real rock and rollers. Live hard die young. I went to see the Manic Street Preachers. The next day Richey Manic disappeared, never to be seen again, presumed dead.  A month later I went to see Big Country. just a month after that the lead singer committed suicide…. I’m trying really hard to get tickets for One Direction.

So as you can see we have two jokes here. the X-Factor is one I just came up with during my writing sessions. I thought I’d said goodbye to this gag a while back but then the second joke came by very recently so I decided to resurrect it. I actually sold this gag to BBC Radio 4 show Newsjack. Technically that means I shouldn’t use it any more. so far no ones complained.

The second gag is brand new in the past couple of weeks. It came from a conversation I was having with an actor while playing a very small part in the TV show Vera. the punch line just sprung up in the air. So there you have it….

no. 2. I don’t know the underground system in London very well. One time I was going around asking people for the Euston Line. Of course there isn’t a Euston Line so doing that really annoyed the locals. Eventually I met this salt of the earth east end cockney…he was French. I said, “Excuse me mate. Do you know the Euston line? He said, “Oui. Ah know thee Euston Line…it goes Allo  Euston we ‘ave a problem!”

This came from when I was sitting on a tube in London. I over heard a French chap mixing up the words Euston and Huston in his conversation. It brought to my attention that the French often drop the H when speaking English. So with a mix of where I was and hearing a French accent the joke crystallised almost immediately in my head. It’s a nice clean one so it comes in handy at corporate events.

no. 3.  I see that one of the donors to UKIP (* UKIP are  a right wing UK political party) took out an Advert in the news saying there was no such thing as homophobia because the words not in the dictionary! So I got my dictionary out….And yes homophobia is in the dictionary. It’s actually sandwiched in-between homoerotic and homosexual…..which is probably the last place that homophobia wants to be sandwiched…but that should teach it a lesson.

no. 4. I was never any good at sports. at school they used to call me names…like goalkeeper.

A short and very old one this. I do a lot of political comedy now but I haven’t always. When I started out I was more like a character comedian. I even had a different name (John Littlejohn for anybody interested) My whole shtick was based around being a camp weakling from a tough mining town. This joke fits that persona. I’ve changed a bit since then…but yes I am still shit at sports.

no. 5. It’s nice to be here tonight…in fact it’s nice to be anywhere when you look like a homeless Bee-Gee. Mind you if you think about it Scottish people are quite like the Bee-Gees…We’re hairy, we like to sing…and two thirds of us die prematurely.


Drug Tales. no.1

When I was younger me and friends, like many youths in the 1990s, used to experiment with drugs. I’m going to post a series of stories here regarding this. Most will be funny. It was a fun time…but there’s always at least one horror story.

*NB (if any of the moral brigade/authorities/police read this I now work as a Vicar and do a pile of charity work)

“Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight”  So asks the Joker of his victims in Tim Burtons version of Batman. I’d gone to a screening on my own. The first time I’d ever done such a thing. When that fateful line was spoken it resonated to my core. Why? Because just a month before I think I maybe had done just that.

LSD as you may or may not know is a fairly potent psychedelic drug. Now I’m not going to get into here the ins and outs of what it does, or any hippy notions of “opening the doors of perception” or any such stuff. I’ll keep it simple. Me and my tripping buddies probably went on about 20 LSD trips between 1990-95. And that was it for me. I now feel it’s a young persons experience and I’ve got too many worries about repairing the back gate and potential Armageddon scenarios to go opening up those “doors of perception” What if I can’t get one shut again?

When we took decent LSD for me it did this 1. Made me hallucinate in a very pleasant and mild way. 2. Loosened me up enough to realise  I could come out with funny diatribes and impressions that made people laugh (I suppose this was the start of me becoming the comedian I now work as today) 3. Made all involved laugh a lot (or was that me?)  4. Made us rap about cod philosophies that our young minds knew little about. 5. Made us more perceptive. (perhaps) 6. Generally made you feel pretty great. A huge feeling of wellbeing.

So, there we were. It was a Friday night and me Chaz and his girlfriend Alison had scored three blotters of acid from our mate up on a trip (pun intended)  from his London squat. Blotters often came with an image printed on them. These were called Jokers. Yup, that’s right…they had an image of Batman’s the Joker on them. Believe it or not the irony/memory of this has just struck me now. Hmmm, so much for increased perception.

And so we took our trip and headed out for a splendid time, For a few hours a splendid time was what we had. I remember the trip first kicking in when the three of us were in a taxi going across Edinburgh. “Orange” was the one word remark that Chaz made. And we all started giggling in fits knowing exactly what he meant without another word having to be said. You see street lights are orange and the generally glow they gave off was starting to be greatly accentuated by the chemicals.

And so we made our way about the streets of Edinburgh laughing, chatting and occasionally stopping dead mid pace to look at an interesting pattern on a wall. Eventually when we reached Stockbridge it was decided we should venture off the streets and follow a riverside walk called St. Bernard’s well. Id never been here before. Once we were a bit along the way I was struck at how isolated this bit of town was even though we weren’t too far from the heart of the city. What also struck me was the loud sound of the rushing water running beside us. I actually joked “well if someone wants to rape or murder us this would be the perfect place to do it because nobody would hear a thing.” I’d come to regret that notion shortly.

It was decided we should get off the path and get down by the waterside for added sensual shenanigans. So we climbed down a steep embankment and got by the river shore. The predictable lobbing of stones and rocks into the river began and after a bit Chaz and Alison wandered a bit up the river leaving me isolated. I was stood tripping merrily away when that unusual feeling hit me. How we do these things we’ll never know. But I suddenly felt as if someone was watching us. So I turned around and there up the bank leaning on the fence we had cut through was a figure. Or was it? I’m tripping you see so the first thing I think is, “you’re seeing things John” The  reason I thought this was purely logical. Because if that was a person standing looking at us then they would be a confidant person indeed. After all this was a murderers paradise.

And so I stood staring at this figure. Imagined or not I was now becoming convinced there was something there. Was it a statue? There was something unusual in the way they were standing. But eventually the potential severity of this situation began to dawn on me. If that was a person he was stood staring at me only 20 feet up an embankment while I stared back at him…for a while…and there were three of us.

I decided to turn quietly away and make like I was seeing things. I pretended in my physicality that I’d seen nothing untoward. I then made my way up the river to my friends and with my back turned to the thing that may or not be there quietly explained the situation to them. Telling them not to turn quickly. And then all three of us did turn. There was nothing there.

Now at this point I have to explain a thing to the hallucinogenic uninitiated. When you hallucinate on LSD you don’t just make thing up out of thin air. There has to be an object that your eyes misperceive. When we turned around and there was nothing where I had seen something I knew I’d been staring at a person and they’d been staring back at me…for a while.

We made our way back the river bank. I didn’t want to alarm Alison too much (a misguided sexism as she was equipped to deal with this situation as any of us) so I took Chaz aside and explained I was convinced someone had been standing watching us. I asked what was the quickest way out of this isolated area as we’d walked along it quite a way and he explained we were better to keep going forward rather than backwards. Eventually to clear the air we started to make a joke of Johns imaginary stalker. But to be on the safe side Chaz  would walk backwards and me and Alison would walk forwards so we could be absolutely sure no one was following us. It became a laugh and a game. I was now convinced we were in the clear. I was wrong.

About 20 minutes later we emerged back onto the streets of Edinburgh. I had no clue where we were. it was 3. a.m. so there was no one about. We were walking up some back street of Edinburgh and I thought “I’ll just have one last look behind me.” there emerging from where we’d just been was our stalker. I knew it was him immediately. What had been a silhouette became a person. Long hair, long jacket and in my heightened state of perception really fucking dubious, in fact obviously very dangerous.

I turned away and said nothing. I turned around again and he’d halved the distance between us. I then began to panic. “Chaz how far are we from an area where other people might be?” Chaz sensed my panic and turned around. “That’s him he’s been stalking us. He’s not afraid mate. There’s something really wrong here”

Our predator was now on the other side of the road from us level. He must have ran to cover that distance. He looked scary, evil and seemed to have some kind of intent. And whatever that intent was he was about to let be known. He opened his lengthy jacket and let us see he was carrying a shotgun. We were frozen.

That’s when I realised what I’d seen earlier. I mentioned he seemed to be standing in an unusual position. He’d been pointing a gun at me.

That’s when the group of revellers came around the corner. I’ve never been so relieved. he just turned and walked nonchalantly away.

We made our way home fast. When back at the flat we realised that all that had saved us was that when he’d pointed his gun at me I had reacted in a really calm and unusual way. The LSD had saved us. Had I panicked, had I screamed I’m sure he would have been on us.

Anyway the moral of the story is we took another trip a few months later and all was well in the world again. No visions of stalking bogeymen, no fear of walking again across the city at night. And that’s when something hilarious happened…I’ll tell you the next time.


Laughing at the establishment Pt.1

As well as the blogs I will post here I was hoping to take a moment of your time to draw attention to another wee project of mine. On the last Monday of every month I host a militant topical comedy panel show called Sod the Tories (And Have A Nice Week)

We have a Facebook page which if you Like and follow you’ll be able to hear our monthly podcast of the show and see a host of other political comedy funnies going up on the page.

I’ve provided a link to the podcast BELOW 


And beneath are a list of some our favourite memes. We’ve just started doing these but they will be getting regularly added over the week.



1. Not so much a funny as a pertinent point. This one went viral with 7000 shares. It’s a representation of the closing speech I did at The Edinburgh Festival this year from a pro Scottish independence show called Anything’s Better Than These C**ts….(And yes that title did help sell tickets.)


2. Next is one by one of our regular show contributors Mr John Gibson.


3. We’re having a feminist special this month with three female comedians on the bill.


4. And we like to cover Global issues as well as UK news.


5. We also really hate the way mainstream politics has ended up.

MEME 14.

6. Admittedly some of our humour is quite hard hitting. But hey if you’re going to make an omelette…


7. but we also like to look at the light hearted…


8. Sometimes we can even be quite subtle….




9. This is one of my favourite jokes.


10. And here’s another wee beauty from the aforementioned John Gibson…

MEME 10.

So why not follow us on Facebook. I’ve posted plenty links.



When bigotry goes mainstream.

“Migrants with HIV should be banned from entering the UK” So sayeth the grand pooba of lowest common denominator politics Nigel Farage upon his latest victory in a by-election. No matter how you dress it up this is bigotry.

I did a gig recently for a bunch of trade unionists where I did a routine about UKIP. Afterwards an activist said I shouldn’t portray UKIP as fascists because “if I cry wolf then the wolf may just show up.” I pointed out that as a comedian it’s my job to exaggerate and demonise and if you take jokes literally they lose their impact. But it really brought home to me how mainstream and accepted UKIP have become to both left and right. Let’s not forget it’s only been about 20 odd months since David Cameron described them as a bunch of racist fruit cakes.

Here’s how the routine goes.

“So have we any UKIP supporters in tonight? OK no need to shout out just raise your hands” (I THEN THROW UP A NAZI SALUTE)

“So Nigel Farage actually made a racist comment in the European elections. When asked he said, he wouldn’t want Romanians living next door to him. now, no matter how you dress it up that’s a racist remark. However, next day he got away with it in the press because he said he was tired. And that was that!”

“Really? Is that how you become a racist? look I’ve never driven 6 hours back from Wales, knackered at the end of the day. You know how you’re just sitting there in your chair drifting off?”

(I THEN ACT AS IF IM DOSING OFF) “Oh man I’m so tired…I wish I could just…just go…just go and…round up the darkies!”

“SHIT! What happened there? I’m sorry I was tired! I had no idea what I was saying.” (THEN START TO FEIGN FALLING ASLEEP AGAIN) “I’m just so tired…I just want to…just want to get off…get off…and…and burn the poofters !”

“OH SHIT!I did again. Oh this is dreadful. every time I nod off I become some kind of xenophobe. My God don’t let me go to bed I might turn the sheets into an outfit.”

“What’s happening here? Are we sleepwalking into fascism? Maybe that’s why it’s called YOU-KIP.” 

Now in my defence I don’t really think I said they were fascists. What I hope I implied though is that parties like UKIP may be the perfect breeding ground for much less palatable policies than many of their already fairly dubious standings.

Just in yesterdays Sunday Independent there’s an article on the way Farage dresses. Admittedly the writer of the article fashion editor Alexander Fury points out that Farages  adoption of dressing like a country gent is to reassure us of an old Englishness from days of yore and that what lies beneath is a more mercenary idealist.

The article didn’t cause me any real concern. It was the front page ad for the article that caught my attention. Here’s what it said.

HOW TO WEAR CAMOFARAGE. Nigel seems to be the one to watch, so should the other party leaders follow suit?

Doesn’t this strike you as tonally quite pro Farage? And this is the Independent a proposed liberal broadsheet. We now seem to be on first name terms with the man. the more formal full naming or calling him by his surname is gone. It also could suggest at a glanced reading his policies are out in front and the rest of Westminster needs to catch up.

I’m sure there is many an article written on media manipulation. What’s going on with the Kippers at the moment though is of serious concern. From “racists” to dapper dandies in 20 odd months is quite a leap. Now we’re being told they are to get a debating platform in the lead to the election. All fine and well by me in the name of democracy, but where is the Greens and SNPs platform? Surely they’re also experiencing a political surge as people turn to alternative votes from the Westminster three? Yeah but it’s just not as…err…British?

This is a dangerous game the media are playing. Personally I think UKIP are dangerous and a breeding ground for future nasties. I also think anyone who votes UKIP is a fucking moron. Sorry if I sound a bit bigoted there…but I’m tired.

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Never forget the miners strike.

I come from a mining area and in the past year it has been my pleasure to make connections with the former miners and their trade union representatives in the North East of England.

This came to be after I invited Durham miners secretary Davy Hopper to come be interviewed on a live comedy panel show  I do at The stand Comedy club Newcastle called Sod the Tories and have a nice week. you can follow our Facebook page here…

On the night Davy presented us with an inspirational talk that moved some of the audience to tears while others gave him a standing ovation. As I mentioned it’s been my pleasure to get to know him and his comrades, he’s a remarkable man, with a great wit and a heart the size of a small planet. I’ve also come to learn not just of the driven activist he was during the miners strike but how he and others have maintained a stunning link with local communities that is active and representative of peoples needs as it was during that turbulent year.

Yesterday I was invited to speak after a commemorative service to celebrate 150 years of trade unionism since the death of Thomas Hepburn.  I was expecting to turn up to a well attended but smaller event than what I walked into.

St. Marys church in Heworth was full to capacity. The mayors and other gentry were in full attendance from all local cities as were a couple of hundred trade unionist and political editor of the Daily Mirror Kevin Maguire. It was a great service and Kevin gave a stunning speech referencing the exploitation of child labour that existed in the pits of the time with the current problems we still have with child labour and exploitative employers now 150 years later.

After the service we headed to a workers club and I did my turn as comedian for the afternoon. I had to work a wee bit but I’ll take pulling the audience up to three rounds of applause as a win. During my set a bit chatter started and somebody pointed out it was the mayor, to which I remarked “fuck the mayor” much to the audiences delight and his general chagrin…I’ll take that as a win as well.

Sadly I had to leave early to attend a work commitment. I could happily spend a fortnight sitting drinking and talking with these great folk.

During the day it was discussed as to why my comedy has taken this more political direction and my affinity with miners in general. As mentioned I am from these areas. Earlier this year I was asked into a debate on BBC radio asking the question “isn’t it time we let the miners strike be a thing of the past.” …Never was my answer.

If we had won the miners strike workers in this country wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. When was the last time you had a decent holiday? Yes it’s been a while for many of us. Economic inequality has grown more in the past 30 years in the UK than in any other country on the PLANET! (I got that wee fact off Wikipedia.)

But there’s another reason I’ll never forget. I had a cousin Michael. He was among the most gentle, mannered and decent of people. During the miners strike he was found to be secondary picketing and was blacklisted. During the 80s if you were a blacklisted miner that meant you would not get work. He spent a very long period unemployed. While on the dole he took up a days work on the side picking potatoes for a local farmer. I imagine he probably worked a full day for a pittance. Some money to get some food perhaps. you can argue the rights or wrong but what was done to him next was inhuman. He was discovered working had all benefits stopped (remember he was seeking work but wouldn’t be employed) and was put on the street…homeless. after a period he took his own life. I’m crying now just thinking of him. He was a lovely man.

So if you’re ever asked “shouldn’t we just forget the strike and move on?”  Please don’t. If for nothing else at least for the memory of my cousin.

There’s a new film titled Still the Enemy Within screening at the Tyneside cinema on Oct 22nd. I urge you to see it if you get the chance.

Life as a U2 “fan?”

When they were first coming to prominence I hated them. All this nonsense of “There’s been a lot of talk about this next song. This is not a rebel song. This is Sunday Bloody Sunday” Tosser! Me and a whole world of other indie kids thought. If you’d said it was a rebel song I might be interested.
But the bastards wouldn’t go away would they. Pride (in the name of love) came next and me and a whole world of other indie kids quietly said to ourselves actually that one’s quite good. But you’re still a tosser…and the mullet is getting worse.
The first time I read about The Joshua Tree was in the NME. The phrase that sticks in my mind is “they’ve finally released the album we all thought they might be capable of” 5 stars.
I certainly wasn’t convinced by the opening single With or Without You. However that third single Where the Streets Have No Name…Ah now wait a minute…that sounds like one of the best songs ever recorded. A Space Oddity or Mr Blue Sky for the 80s…but fuck em. They were really tedious at Live Aid. And you still need to fix that mullet…oh hang on he’s grown it out.
Next comes Angel of Harlem, “Edge play the blues” and let’s face it a stunning rendition of Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For with a full blown gospel choir. At around this time I win ten grand on the pools. Bugger it, I think I’ll get The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum…I’ve got a few grand to spare. I can maybe allow myself the odd frivolity.
Move on a year or so… I love these albums. There’s a lot on their other albums I like too.
So Achtung Baby is their first release under me now having become a “proper” fan. It’s a masterpiece. The bastards, I’m in too deep now. I go to see them live on that tour. It’s phenomenal and they seem to be taking the piss out of themselves and any over sincere fans that might be left.
More experimental albums follow. Mixed but good. In 2000 they release another belter in the shape of All that You Can’t Leave Behind.
Next album treading water, album after that dull as dishwater.
Get up the other day to find their latest thing has been snuck under my pillow by the U2 fairy. I can only feel a tad sorry for the other half a billion folk probably not too happy about the fact the U2 fairy has indiscriminately been invading their personal space. How corporate are you guys going to get?
Finally sit down to properly listen to the album on me I-pod. The second half produced by Danger Mouse is excellent…and there’s stuff in the first half that’s getting under my skin. That makes it a good U2 album (in my own personal U2 journey) Have now been listening to it for a couple of weeks and think it excellent.
 Tossers. Even as a fan I could have lived with it being all over. They’re like Coke. You either drink it or you don’t.
Tip for the future… grow the mullet back. Might make you retro chic.

Do they have a future? Probably. Bloody hell…here we go again.