B0ring Tweets vs Ricky Gervais; my appreciation, your treat.

Adapted conversation from when I introduced funny guy The Bunnybeater to… @b0ringTweets Versus @RickyGervais

Here’s Episode 6. It’s a particularly good one. Episode 7 was a bit of a let down after that, to be honest.

B: “I don’t understand.”

A: “You don’t understand?”

B: “I…I’m starting to be entertained by them, but I’m not sure why. But, not hugely entertained. Just a little.
“It’s odd. Perplexing. It’s like a joke I can almost grasp, but not quite.”

A: “Exactly! … When you actually laugh, that’s when you’re in trouble.”

B: “…You’ve actually laughed?”

A: “Right. So. If you read Boring Tweets you’ll see how its funny Gervais is trying to push his limits. Like a test of will. He caaaan’t keep up boringness. And Boring Tweets takes his time, it’s tense… Its like. That can’t possibly be manouevred to be more boring. But he trumps Gervais every time! The Olympics of being boring, as it were… And humour is basically playing with expectations, after all?
…Not that im really into it and thought about it much or anything.” *whistles*

*serious silence*

A: “It’s just so unfunny its funny, okay!”

B: “Oh you’re so very English.”

A: “How’s that very English?”

B: “The ‘so unfunny it’s funny’, the actively trying to find humour in being deliberately mundane. It’s a very specifically English trait.”

A: “Well… it is! I suppose Gervais captured that awkward social small talk unbearability in The Office. I love it because, well, it’s… kinda soothing. Reassuring. The mundane. Yet also so irritating. And that tension is the funny. You want it, but you don’t. You realise what a waste of time this is. You feel – really feel – the futility of life, spent in these boring (but not bored) moments watching the trusty monotonous photocopier machine repeat in The Office’s cuts or the pregnant pause for thought as Boring Tweets is warming up to say something utterly, resignedly, but addictively and hypnotically, pointless.
Isn’t this the very tragi-comedy of life itself?!”

LOOK. I’M DEEP.

A: “You know what else is pointless?
.. A blog post on this conversation! Yes! I love pointless blogging! It’s reassuring!”

*30 secs later*

Afterthought: Ya know, it’s not just the genuine believability of boring tweets, it’s the consistent cadence and right rhythm perfect for Twitter. I did linguistics of dramatic script at University for one semester and that paper would have had a field day on this.

Shappi Khorsandi = captivating comedy

When Top Secret Comedy Club unveiled Shappi Khorsandi as the headline act, I spontaneously ran to Covent Garden on Sunday. Here’s my spontaneous review of the entire night…

Shappi Khorsandi at Top Secret Comedy

Shappi Khorsandi at Top Secret Comedy

SHAPPI KHORSANDI

The star I’ve admired ever since my friend and I scoured all available YouTube videos of her. And she’s back! She’s as lovely as ever… with stumbles and stutters and cute moments where she is unsure of herself.

She draws attention to her baby brain – she’s a new mum, 6 weeks – and how it’s like being stoned; appropriate for the Latitude Festival the day before. This sets the tone for her signature rolling of her eyes at herself as she jumbles words and noises mid-sentence. She’s absolutely right in her observations, particularly about the lack of talking on the Tube.

Her natural presence and intimate tales of her mid-life crisis the year before are hugely entertaining. She is  captivating to watch on stage, particularly the part where she ran off in her own world on a rant about a 5 year old who picked on her son and the kind of man he’ll grow up to be. The onslaught was stopped in a pause, she breathes, and the beautiful insight into her bitterness and mind is overcome with:

“Shappi, what are you doing? You’re on stage calling a 5 year old a dickhead.”

“And… I’m back in the room.”

This bitterness towards men is perhaps understandable, as her anecdotes about the opposite sex continue and the audience warms to her mid-life crisis. I mean, who would mistreat SHAPPI KHORSANDI? Her vulnerability and sweetness, particularly when she said she’d go out with anyone and she went out with a girl last year, endeared her to me. How can anyone not love her?

She often said she lost confidence mid-rant and mid-sentence, and her self-awareness and corrections to her internal monologue were beautiful to watch. It was too hot to think anyway. She did ask us if something was ironic when we had already got the irony, but otherwise, she was completely on form with great perceptive observations. If she did lose confidence, she will get it back – she’s on form and if this is her comeback, I can’t wait for her next tour with plentiful material from the last year.

See her work in progress 12-17 August at Soho Theatre!

And here’s who else was on:

Host Josephine Lacey was loud and proud, harsh and strong, scathing and Jamaican-Irish, and had the audience whipped. I believe she struck fear into the guy at the front who called her ugly with fierce Jamaican wrath. She’s sexy and sassy with sweet, softer tones. She’s a formidable woman.

Niko Yearwood

Niko Yearwood

Nico Yearwood ran through a classic three-act set with well-developed, well-written concepts that were seamlessly connected. His rant about phones was brilliant and plenty told him so after the show, complete with his great Dr Dre song re-make. He flew from dating to sex to Facebook to art and his stories were all relatable and all funny. I remember his face and he’s impressively improved within a few months.

Lynn Ruth Miller, self-aware and crude ‘granny’, gave us a preview of her Edinburgh Show Grannies Gone Wild. Her initial, very funny one-liners gave way to cruder and cruder, and unrelenting, jokes about mistaken definitions of rude words. She’s very American, very adorable, and plays on our expectations of sweet elderly ladies – but she could tone it down a little. Says a 25-year-old to a 78-year-old. Blimey.

Jason Patterson … Which isn’t a very ‘black’ name.

Clever word play and suspense in story-telling with two amazing stories in particular that were amazing – starring an original, beautiful and articulate commentary on immigration through the character of his eccentric and lovely Nan. His Michael Jackson vs. Prince rivalry skit might be out of date but it was a great ending to excellent stories.

Joey Page: Imagination suits him

Joey Page at Top Secret Comedy Club

Joey Page at Top Secret Comedy Club

 

Whether it was the heat or nerves or the lack of audience goodwill, Joey Page’s usual whimsical and playful energy was a little subdued last night at his Edinburgh show preview at Top Secret Comedy Club. But then, he did decide to wear a suit to ensure he sweated more for us, to show his gratitude to us for choosing him in a dark basement comedy club over spending the beautiful Sunday outdoors.

His PowerPoint presentation of ‘Things I Haven’t Seen This Week’ – an old school slideshow of handheld childish drawings – acted as an introduction to the UK’s first ‘unobservational comedy’. The unpolished preview wasn’t up to scratch but he was full of charm, as his tales leapt within 60 seconds from Tesco pizza to Eric Cantona to a girl coming out of the shower to a punchline that needs work.

He explains a conflict between his head and his imagination (with an office just how he imagined it) and a dinosaur that’s a metaphor for his comedy. It’s random and funny and silly – and I love it. He starts with a joke that his head wrote and then develops a wildly imaginative story to back it up for greater laughs – but his awareness of the audience’s slowness is endearing when he chastises himself with a “too cocky, rein it in”. His story about the lengths he will go to appear charitable in front of chuggers is a fast-paced treat.

But then, it is hard work. He sweated and struggled valiantly to win over an audience who didn’t, at first, appreciate his mental leaps and bounds. His story about a burglar flopped; “unobservational comedy is hard, as you can see from that joke that just died” he admits, lying on the floor in the expectant wake of no reaction. Perhaps the audience was just too hot and tired to think. Is a review of a live performance really a review of the audience?!

He is quick witted and quick to smile and when bar staff dropped a glass he said, instantly, after some badly pronounced French: “Yep. They smash a glass every time I get my French right.”

Research on the comparisons to Noel Fielding took me on a 25 minute digression to watch an episode of the Mighty Boosh. Joey Page is better than that. I don’t see that influence as much as a Pixie Fairy Tale hipster character who writes fantastic jokes – some of them real, but most of them are imaginative leaps and bounds and he proves himself a fictional adventurer.

He leads up to his quiz show which is really, really good. Answers are unknown and picked from the hat of destiny; the questions are perfectly timed, clever jokes. But don’t lose the quiz show, Edinburgh, or he’ll eat his Caramac!

JOEY PAGE: REALITY IS OUTSIDE, PARADISE IS IN YOUR BRAIN 

Edinburgh Festival, Comedy: 31 July – 26 August, Pleasance Courtyard, The Cellar 8:30pm – book tickets up to £9