Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

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January 1st, 2010

Back to the future

So it is January 2010; two thousand and ten, my God, for some reason that sounds more in the future than when we changed from 1999 to 2000.  This decade just sneaked up on us, didn’t it? No premonition propaganda of viruses, planes falling out of the sky, nothing.

2010 I really thought I would be in a motorised flying suit by now or at least have a hoverboard (like Michael J Fox in the movie “Back to the future”).

So a New Year has begun, will it be full of promise, like a beautiful lady’s smiling eyes that shine with the potential of things to come?  Who knows?

All I know is this year I have decided I will make more effort in everything I do, and I will not miss out on new experiences which could lead me to, well, new experiences.  Well let’s see if that happens Ehh?

Anyway, last night (New Year’s Eve) I had two gigs and yet still managed to get to a friend’s party by 11:45 pm.  The snow was thick and beautiful (please insert your own blonde analogy, I am too tired, it was a late night) so after many drinks we obviously had to have a snowball fight.  I am a big fan of the snowball fight but not the snow down back of collar (a torture technique used by the Russians during the cold war – I may be wrong, I didn’t have the best history teacher in the world).  Anyway, what I am trying to say, is, the first thing I did in 2010 was play snowballs; how great is that?

The snow reminds me I am going ski-ing in the Alps later in the month, with my good friend Charlie Bentley and some other friends of Charlie’s who will be great people otherwise Charlie would not have them as friends.  I said I would go as mid January is never too busy for me and also because it sounds great and a newish experience.  Ski-ing, beers, French food, sun-bathing outside of mountain restaurants, laughing because you can’t get out of deep snow after you crash in full view of ski lift queue, European women smoking yet still looking sexy, beautiful chalets, I’ll stop there should I, just in case you are not going ski-ing.

December 15th, 2009

White Christmas

December has been great so far; if you can remember the bike analogy I mentioned in a previous blog, I would say I was now approaching top speed.  Usually in life all activities fit in with the law of diminished returns, however, performing lots of gigs day after day doesn’t seem to adhere to this law.  I suppose that is why Jimmy Carr does 90 day tours with hardly any days off; well that and the fact he also makes a shed load of money.

One down side is that if you have two gigs in one night you are sometimes on stage thinking “did I just repeat that gag on stage now or was that the earlier gig?”  By the way I am not showing off there, I rarely get two gigs in one night and if I do, I would prefer to pass the gig on to a colleague (most likely Matt as he gave me the Manchester United gigs), in case I am rushing between gigs in December weather.

December is, usually, wrongly feared for its threatening weather but as a rule it tends to be a good month: mild with non raining, grey clouds; like living in a Tupperware box.  But not this year, it is “furkin freezing”.

I have been lucky with the weather; I have travelled in very heavy snow, especially around London, but I always seem to be on my way to a gig with less snow than the previous one.

On a different note, I have decided on my volunteer work; to escape this bad weather it will be in Trang, a Southern province in Thailand, where I will be teaching English to all ages (this is because I do miss my teaching and mainly because Thailand has some great diving beaches for my time off when I finish my volunteer work – oh yes I am that shallow).  Now if I can just get around to booking it.

November 17th, 2009

A Big Thank You

I am really enjoying my gigs at the moment; getting some great reactions.

Also, I think this idea of me travelling to foreign lands is encouraging me to be brave.  Only the other day I tried some new material out at a comedy club; it bombed (it was a “try out new material” evening and not a corporate gig) – but that is good, it means I am not scared to try out new material.  I could’ve convinced myself they never heard the punchline but in all honesty I think they did – so no self delusion.  I will simply try it again, and if it “dies on its arse”, I may edit down the number of words – it may be in the rhythm.  Also, I must remember to give it the confidence all new material needs; you have got to believe in it and sell it to the audience.

Anyway, as we build for Christmas, I would like to thank the following companies who have booked me recently for the Christmas period:

Comedy and Magic Manchester and Lancashire

Manchester United Football Club

Think Magic

Lowry

Renaissance Manchester

Hotel Smokies Park Lancashire

Liverpool magician; Liverpool corporate entertainment

Sefton Park Palm House Liverpool

Angel Solutions Liverpool

Crown Plaza Liverpool

Aintree Liverpool

Hillbank Hotel Wirral

South of England comedy and magic and Corporate entertainment in London

Royal Institute of British Architects

Fredricks Hotel Maidenhead

Brother

The Ivy

Oakley Hall Park Basingstoke

Sheraton Skyline Hotel and conference centre Heathrow London

Bristol Marriott

O2

Sledge

Kingsway Hall London

Hawkwell House Hall Oxford

Oxford Belfry

Birmingham magician (and midlands generally)

NEC

Opal

Berrow Court

The Belfry

North East of England i.e Magician Newcastle, Magician Sunderland and Magician Yorkshire and Scotland magician

Ramside Hall Durham

Seaham Hall Durham

Durham Castle Durham

Little Haven South Shields magician

Newcastle Falcons Rugby Newcastle magician

Newcastle Marriott Newcastle comedy and magic

Prestonfield house Hotel Edinburgh

October 15th, 2009

Sometimes less is more, but not always.

Building up for Christmas now; the bookings are coming in and a lot of dates are already taken.  Actually, that sounds very impressive but it is mainly because one hotel has booked me for all their corporate parties; they are giving me accommodation too.  So, it looks like I will be away for most of December.

I am still looking into travelling abroad in 2010; if you have read my last two blogs you will know this.  I guess my problem is, I always do a lot of research on projects such as travel, however, with too much research comes more decision making (sometimes less is more).

December is my busiest and most exciting month of the year so I have decided to go travelling in the New Year, in my slack time (end of February and all of March).  Well let’s see if that actually happens, Ehh?

I am looking forward to December, it is a fabulous month for people in my business; it is why we are in the corporate entertainment field.  This is a classic case of more is better.  It is never about the money (although this can be a very lucrative time of year) it is about getting back to back gigs.  Stage time confidence improves greatly with back to back gigs and so does your close up magic at the parties; you are simply in the groove.

If you ride a bike fast the steering is effortless, this is what it is like performing back to back gigs night after night.  If you ride a bike very slowly, well, this is what is like to not have enough gigs, it is just a bit more difficult and you are never as comfortable.

Yes you can get cocky and go too fast with your hands off the handlebars and you end up in a heap and that can happen too.  Embarrassment stops me giving you any more detail, but I think you get the picture.

September 21st, 2009

Old Trafford new gigs

Continuing on from my “itchy feet” August blog and (in my opinion) my healthy disregard for the status quo (not the band, although I have a healthy disregard for them too) in life, I would like to say, life is good, but it is only human nature to want new challenges?

So I have been looking into helping out by doing some overseas voluntary work; this would give me the opportunity to learn a language and obviously the chance to perform there.  Well, I have given it some real thought but just when I think I’ll go I get a great gig (or series of gigs in this case) comes in which really excites me (see below):

The only thing I don’t really enjoy about what I do (I was going to call it my work but both you and me know it is not work if you love doing it) is, “alone time”; with some many gigs you are by yourself travelling and then waiting around, again by yourself, for the gig to start (yes you are right, poor me).

So, the very best gigs are when you meet up with colleagues and travel to the gig together and chat afterwards.  How great is this for a gig; Manchester United’s home games, corporate entertainment in Old Trafford’s function rooms: meeting the players, performing close up magic for two and a half hours – then while the match is on, we get to have a meal and watch the game; a bit more close up magic at half time and then further showing off for another hour after the game, then we go for a drink – and we get paid.  So I would like to thank my good friend and colleague Matt – so Thanks Matt http://www.magicmatt.co.uk

Yes that is a link to Matt’s site and I urge you to book him for your next corporate function (well if I am busy obviously).

August 31st, 2009

itchy feet

It has been a good August for my comedy and magic gigs; with close up magic in Liverpool, after dinner comedy and magic in North Wales, corporate entertainment in London, stand up comedy in Manchester and Greater Manchester and then back to North East to be Sunderland magician and Newcastle magician (I have just checked last year’s August bookings and it is very similar – although this year they have been easier to get to – as we have moved to Liverpool). *

So gigs have been similar this year, but excitingly different too, what with the move to Liverpool.  I have mentioned before that Liverpool people are very much like Geordies so they are very easy to befriend, especially after beers.  So, I now have a number of good friends who feel comfortable taking the piss out of me (the benchmark test of any friendship).

A top tip for moving to a new area is to join a club; I know it sounds all “jolly hockey sticks” but really, it is a good way of learning the geography and making new friends; it was the first thing I did when I arrived.  In fact, I have travelled to nearly all parts of the North West of England with my successful tennis team (we won the league in 2009).  I would have loved to say we stayed up late drinking beer and champagne but No, apparently the matches are on weekdays so they (doctors, computer types etc) had to be up early the next day – bloody losers, I mean what is the point of winning if you can’t get hammered – in fact, I take it back you are not like Geordies at all.

You would think I would be sick of travelling now, but strangely I have a childlike love to travel; anywhere.  I love the whole bag prep for the journey; the weeding down to the lightest of suitcases, everything.  Going to gigs, days out, tennis matches or holidays, I can’t get enough of it.  In fact recently I have started to get “itchy feet” and have started to dream of foreign travel; performing in a country whilst at the same time learning a new language; it just seems very challenging and exciting; so watch this blog ehh?

July 31st, 2009

Sir Bobby

 

I am a Sunderland fan, however, I didn’t really relish the Schadenfreude of the last day of the season when Newcastle and Middlesbrough were relegated.

The Sunderland fans did take particular delight in their parochial hatred of Newcastle, which I can’t say I am too proud of, being a Mackem myself.  So, it was good to see the North East as a region get together in their respect for Sir Bobby Robson who died today.

This picture was taken last year when I was performing my after dinner comedy set at the Ramside Hall Durham.  Sir Bobby was very charming and laughed in all the right places during my act.  We need more people like Sir Bobby – I have just realised, it sounds like I need more people to laugh at my act – anyway you know what I mean.  He was a great man and he will be sadly missed.

June 15th, 2009

The Seagull has landed

I am going to see the Eric Cantona movie tonight.  I know nothing about the film, other than, Eric Cantona is giving advice to someone; what a great concept for a movie.  Of course, it is obvious now, who wouldn’t take advice from the great man; anyone who is moody and wears their collar up, surely has all the answers, the possible exception being Elvis and his nutritional advice.

Super confident people have always fascinated me – by super confident, obviously, I mean arrogant.  Mohammed Ali was like a jolt of colour on our puny black and white giant dice shaped tellies; tellies which had previously only broadcast gentlemen news readers with home county accents.  And then there was Eric with his karate kick and seagull trawler analogy, which strangely did not confuse me at all.  I even like super confidence when it over shadows the talent slightly as in Robbie Williams.

 

We mere mortals would think first but not these guys.  By acting so spontaneously their names are forever remembered, even when years later they apologise for their actions (I presume Robbie will do soon).

 

I know from my last two months that people may help you, but ultimately life’s answers will come from yourself.

As I said I don’t know anything about the movie but I am assuming the guy in the film sorts himself out and Eric is just the catalyst, because that is how life operates.

 

Just saw the film last night, Eric Cantona was fabulous, as was Justin Moorhouse (a stand up comedian from the North West of England) – won’t spoil it for you; but very good 5 stars).

May 10th, 2009

Perspective

We have now settled in Liverpool; a very leafy part, equidistant from Sefton Park and Calderstones Park; almost like being in the country yet only 10 minutes from town.

As I mentioned in my news, Scousers are very much like Geordies, they don’t put up with nonsense; when I ask in Tescos, if they have tofu, I want that look of disdain, as if I have watched too many Fraisers on Comedy Central.  I also love their Geordie type humour and friendly rivalry; for example, a new shop for Everton Football Club merchandise is opening in the trendy new Liverpool One shopping centre, it is called Everton Two  just so the address will read Everton 2 Liverpool 1.  Great stuff; ranks up there with the Sunderland shirt on the Jackie Milburn statue in Newcastle.

As my friends know, we have moved for my wife’s job, and geographically, I am finding it pretty good for my travel in the UK; my diary is now filling up with bookings in the North West (so I am a North West Magician working mainly Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham).  Having said that my diary was already full of gigs back in the North East of England so I am still travelling back to be a North East Magician, as well as to London to be a London magician / comedian (I do know I am over-explaining, but it helps with the Google searches apparently).

April and May have not been my best months – now, I do know there is a magazine industry out there which is based on bad things happening to people, however, I am not famous, so I won’t bore you with the details.  And as I get older I prefer to ignore bad news and try to be upbeat, as I do know that other people have problems too, and these people are probably not even interested in my testing times.  W.H. Auden explained this best in his poem “Musee des Beaux Arts” when he pointed out: that’s how personal tragedy often goes: unnoticed and uncommented upon. YOUR life-defining moment is someone else’s incidental backdrop.

I really do have to stop watching Fraiser.

Anyway, you probably want to know the answer to every thing in life.  Well, the answer is perspective: don’t forget to donate to global angels.

April 10th, 2009

Circque du so late

This blog explains: How to get a free hotel room by using the power of the open question (a technique employed in sales and in magic).

Travelling around the UK, as I do, I tend to vary my accommodation (and on occasions I will “push the boat out” so to speak).  Recently, I was in the North West of England and decided to stay at a cross between a top hotel and a luxury apartment.  The lounge area alone made me feel a bit special; 5 stars living, indeed.

Now, before you think “Oh hark at him, lardee dah” I should point out that this was an end of tax year treat to me.  I have saved the country a fortune by staying with friends in London (if I had stayed in London hotels, the hotel costs could have been offset from my profit and I would have been able to pay less tax – a kind of Jacqui Smith’s husband in reverse).  Not to mention the savings the country made by my booking early on £29 travelodge rooms (which by the way are not great, sometimes very cold and more often than not have a dubious hair behind the door).  Ok, that is enough justification for one blog.

Anyway, I finished my prep for the gig (it was a Thursday night and my gig was on the Friday evening, however, I also had an early Friday morning meeting with a company for an exhibition project later in the year, so I wanted to be fresh) and I went to sleep at 11pm (oh yes rock and roll).

 At just past midnight I was woken by a noise from the next room.  No problem, I’ll just go back to sleep – I thought.  1:13am more noise this time much louder; the voices (there were a lot of them) I noticed, were Eastern European.  Again, I thought, it is not too late, and surely these guys will “turn in” shortly; my stereotyping had kicked in and I now imagined them to be plumbers crammed into one room to save money.  3:34am more noise; I was hacked off. 

Now, what you have to understand about Geordies is that one minute we are all “Ant and Deckish”, the next minute we just want to deck someone; think, Cheryl Cole reading The News of the World.  So, I got changed and went out in the corridor; their door was open.

Inside the room there were about 12 guys playing cards and, strangely, one bloke standing next to the door.  “Hey, lads, could you keep the noise down” I said firmly but friendly.  The guy at the door said a very loud NO, to which I replied “You ****ing what pal?

The largest guy stood up and walked to the door.  Unbelievably, I was still furious at the guy at the door and not the least bit scared.  Obviously, “extinction of the stupid” had overridden “survival of the fittest” as my default setting for danger (read this blog to find out how this has got me into trouble in the past).  Luckily for me, the guy was very calm and apologised for the noise and claimed “they would keep it down”.

The next day I asked reception for either a refund or a night in lieu (I was returning to the North West the next week, so, either option was good for me).  They offered me the latter and they also apologised for the guys who were the Cirque du Soleil troupe who all had separate rooms and had been winding down from their gig in Liverpool.

Thinking back, I am glad that I kept my voice down when I rang reception after the altercation with the guys in case they were holding a tumbler to the wall (…think about it..Oh come on, that was a good one!).

March 25th, 2009

Happy Days

This is a purely informative blog; so you can stop reading now unless you want to read a joke free blog.  Ok, I did warn you.

To a performer, a day job just seems wrong, yet strangely, I love them.  Weekday work means being away from home, staying in great hotels from Monday to Thursday (as a rule), which fits in well around my weekend performances (although not that well with my wife).

So, what is this weekday work?  Well, the Americans call it trade show magic, I suppose, we call it exhibition work, and it is the closest we get, to having a real job.  The idea of an entertainer performing at an exhibition is, simply, to get more business for the company he is working for; end of story.

Last week, I enjoyed working at the Convergence Summit North in Manchester for the lovely Opal people.  It was a real pleasure to work alongside such enthusiastic staff.  I knew they would be great guys, as I had met with the directors and the exhibition staff the week before the show to receive my education on their products.  At the meeting I also suggested ways I could assist the staff during the show.

It is vital you do your homework for exhibitions, and it is also vital to know the reason you are there, and that is, I repeat, to get more business for the company you are working for.  So, it is just as important to be able to read body language and facial expressions, as it is to deliver the company message in your magic effects.

What I mean by this is, you should not only be knowledgeable about the company’s products, you should also know about, who would be a potential client for a particular product. 

This ability to spot a “hot lead” by asking the right questions is vital to your success at the exhibition.  Magic is, indeed, a great opener, but, this is the important work – i.e. the ability to spot the “hot leads” and pass them over to the sales staff on the booth.
You have to act a bit like a G.P doctor; by that I mean, you have to ask a series of questions until you work out how you can help them.
Anyway, that is my opinion I could be wrong.


There I did warn you.  Not one joke.  “What? Not even one about acting like a GP, by cupping and asking the guy to cough?” – NO, not even a crap gag like that.

February 12th, 2009

Slum Dog Millionaire

It was great to see that “Slum Dog Millan-aire” won so many awards at the Baftas – by the way, I haven’t miss-spelt it, that is how the actor, playing the Indian Chris Tarrant, says the word in the film.

I saw the film when it came out in January and I thought it was fantastic.  I had been dragged to see Quantum of Solace, but, not this one. 

My logic for going to the pictures is always the same: has the film picked up lots of 5 star reviews in early showings, and does the very last sentence of the review, sound like a film I would enjoy?  I never ever read a review, just the last line; in fact, at the time, I didn’t know anything about the film – not even, that it involved the TV game “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”.

Like most great films, the scene has to be set to allow the final payoff to have impact.  However, this takes time, as we have to witness and endure a vividly cruel Mumbai; no one wants to see children suffer this way.  After thirty minutes of the film a couple of teenage girls walked out and never returned to the cinema.  I would have liked to have stopped them to say, just give it time.  I didn’t do this, because the image of a middle-age man saying to young girls “No, please don’t go, you will enjoy it honestly” in the darkness might be misconstrued (damn this raincoat).

After the film I wondered why the girls had left.  Was it a case of “Well, there is obviously no immediate gratification here for me” or was it a case of “I can’t sit and watch “man’s inhumanity to man” in this way”?  If you have seen the movie you will know the exact point at which the girls walked out.

Hollywood often suggests that movies affect us, but do they really?  Can we be changed to live better lives, by the morals in a movie (seen right through to its’ end, obviously)?  Did the girls miss out on a life changing moment by not staying to the end?  If they had stayed would they have discussed the point, that the winning of the money was not even the real success story of the film?

The film industry would say, yes, you can be altered at the end of a great thought provoking movie, but in reality aren’t our post film thoughts simply ephemeral.

For example, would someone walking out early during the film “Trainspotting” (another Danny Boyle movie) be less likely to take drugs because they didn’t see the final scene, when Euan Macgregor runs off with the money.  And for heaven’s sake (literally) we have all seen the film “Ghost” with its’ crystal clear, right / wrong, good versus evil, message, yet, crime is still around.

Anyway, all I know is, the girls missed one of the best films ever made.

***** 5 stars

February 6th, 2009

Assuming the crunch position

Now, I like to think of my wife and I as quite calm people, but, in reality, once we are out of our comfort zone we usually resemble Laurel and Hardy in a flap; I’m the one playing with my tie and crying.  The reason I say this, is because the media have just released the audio tape from the heroic plane landing in New York last month. 

How calm was that bloke?  If you haven’t heard the tape, it is like a conversation between two very relaxed people trying to fix a lunch appointment.  “No, can’t make it” “We’ll go in the Hudson” “Ok that sounds reasonable”.  I am paraphrasing but the transcript was not too dissimilar.

Capt Chesley Sullenberger (Sully) was so calm; I reckon he could have told the passengers “Before we assume the crash position if you look out of the right hand side windows you will see the Chrysler Building”.  As in contrast to, if a greedy banker was the pilot, he would have said, “Before we assume the crash position if you look out of the right hand side windows you will see a small yellow dinghy, I am speaking to you from that dinghy”.

I was hoping to do a play on words about “Sully” literally having morals and a compass, where as most people these don’t have a moral compass, but I have stuff to do today, but I am sure you can come up with something.

Anyway, as Rudyard Kipling said “If you can keep your head, when all about you, people are losing it BIG style” – again I am paraphrasing.
I think what I am trying to say is, Sully was so incredibly calm and modest in his media interview in January.  And yet, when a calm and modest Gordon Brown says “we can fix the economy”, suddenly, we are all running backwards and forwards, scratching our heads and adjusting our bowler hats.

That is just my opinion; I could be wrong.

January 3rd, 2009

Mum

sunset-and-mum.jpg

I’m on a flight back from Southampton; we’ve just taken off.
Early morning travel is always exciting, all coffee and bad breath; those three hours of  darkness before the sun comes up are always special to me, it is as if I have stolen some time from the day.  At  the airport I was able to write up the gags that worked at last night’s gig – Yes, I know, it didn’t take long. 

I love quiet time.  I am not one of those performers who is “on” all the time, and I really do enjoy my privacy.  People who know me, understand, I am often alone but never lonely.  However, sometimes I do wonder if this is normal behaviour.

The South of England looks beautiful, all lit up, no wonder sixty-two million people choose to cram on to our small island.  Up through the suspiciously flat clouds, I look around the cabin.  I notice a very elderly gentleman, I saw him earlier at the airport; the flybe staff had made a fuss of him and he was very polite in return.  I imagined he was off to see one of his children – I remembered at the time thinking, I hope his children (offspring, is probably a better word, as the children in question would be about my age) are good to him and treat him with respect.

He trembles as he takes a drink of his tea.  We have just taken off, yet they are serving drinks; it is a very short flight, especially today.

Ten minutes in, the pilot announces that the plane will have to return to Southampton, as the door is not closed properly.   The captain uses his relaxing, Home County’s accent to imply this is a routine procedure – as in a “no problem, you sit back, I have this one covered” tone.  But everyone suspects, by the speed of his return, and the fact that the plane was quickly overrun with Fire staff, that it was probably not a good idea for the captain to dally too much.

Anyway, the door gets fixed by a professional-looking guy.  Thinking back, I am glad he looked professional, and that he didn’t just open it a couple of times and slam it really hard until he felt it was closed and then ask me to hold the handle to “make sure it doesn’t come loose again”; things have moved on from my Dad’s 1964 Triumph Herald.

Now, there is a part in the movie “Ace Ventura” when Jim Carey is on the telephone to Courtney Cox and he says “if I am not there at 9pm” pause “just wait longer”.  The reason I mention this, is because immediately after the  refuelling, almost everyone, except me, started using their phones to say, well basically, “just wait longer” to whoever was expecting them.  Some people even started complaining about the inevitable delay.  I was going to be working at a function much later that evening, so I was in no hurry.   

Anyway, the cabin crew were not happy; their smiles only just about covering their contempt for all on board.  An attractive stewardess addressed the passengers with the words “Could you please stop using your mobile phones” and as a seasonal after-thought, she added, “And could we all smile, it is Christmas Eve you know”.
As I sat there smugly, I suddenly realised it was Christmas Eve and that I too, wanted to make a call to a very special lady.  So, this is what it is like to be lonely.

In Loving Memory of Vera Lugton

December 6th, 2008

A Touch of Class (part 2)

I remember an expression / joke from years ago:
 ”Democracy is too good to share with just anybody.”
Obviously, the person who came up with this quotation was making a joke, and hopefully not manifesting his right wing tendencies.  But as they say, it is funny because it is true.  I find the quote amusing, and I like to think of myself as left wing-ish, but some days I do wonder about people.

Yesterday, I saw a “Best Mum in the world” sign in a car (makes a change from “Baby on board”).  I was at traffic lights, so being nosey I decided to check out whether the hubris of the sign was justified.  Today was also the day of truth on the Karen Matthews case highlighting the very worst of parenting, so I was probably more interested than I would usually have been.

I saw two ladies in the front seats and two children in the back seats.  Both ladies were smoking and the windows were up.  If it was a TV comedy programme, it would have been the start of an ironic sketch.  Then it occurred to me, some people just don’t get “it”.

To most people, programme like the “Royale Family” and “Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps” are funny because… wait for it…… they are comedies and NOT documentaries.  Could it be that some people can’t make the distinction?  Wasn’t the Shannon Matthews kidnapping inspired by a plot on the comedy (there is your clue) programme “Shameless” (another clue in the title there).  And everyone knows it is cruel to hit your kids, which is why Biffa Bacon’s Mum and Dad beating the crap out of Biffa, in the comic Viz, is funny because you would never do that to your children – got it yet?

I have dipped into programmes like the “Royale Family”, “Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps” and “Shameless” but I have never watched a whole episode.  I am sure they are funny, but to me, they seem very pessimistic and not very subtle.  The script seems crude for effect (to prove, no doubt, that it is an edgy comedy – God I hate that).  The gags are always sledge-hammered home, just in case you didn’t get the first hint of the telegraphed joke coming along.

You could argue, and I would agree, that it is true to life – but I ask you, do we really want that?

Contrast these programmes with “Friends”, “Seinfeld” and “Scrubs” where the comedy writing is subtle, and above all, there is always hope and aspiration.  Good human traits show up nearly every week as the actors in these shows give in to their better selves.  Yes, they are flawed characters, but that just makes us identify with them, because like all of us, we try to do are best, but sometimes we do mess up.
By the way, the “best mum in the world” did eventually wind down her window.  And at that point, I felt ashamed; I thought I really shouldn’t be this judgemental.  Who am I to suggest that some people are watching the wrong TV shows?  Am I really saying people are not savvy enough to know that something in a comedy programme is funny, but to copy it in real life is certainly not funny, as the irony is replaced with cruelty?

As I was thinking this, and I swear this is true; “best mum in the world” spat out of the window and put the window back up.

Like I said, I really like the “democracy not for everyone” quote.

For an example of subtle comedy writing watch this clip from the early 1990’s

December 3rd, 2008

A touch of Klass (part 1)

Yesterday, I heard a Geordie lass utter the words “je ne sais quoi”; and I wondered if somewhere in France, a French lady was saying “EE pet, I divent narr, Ah canna put ma finga on it like!”

Je ne sais quoi is such a lovely expression (Geordies say lovely all the time, get used to it).  Much like the bewildering concept that is love, the phrase, “that certain something which is appealing” (you’re right, the French version is better) is an enigma.  Just like love, we can’t explain “that certain something” moment, but we know instantly when it happens.

It can be a multitude of things, working independently or together; such as, the way a lady with high cheek-bones, elegantly curls her hair around her ear, or the unaffected laughter of a stylish forty year old woman, and it is always, without doubt, just the right amount of cleavage.

The reason I mention this is because I landed on ITV last night for ten seconds only.  It was only ten seconds because it was “I’m a celebrity get me out of here”.  I am sure you remember the “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” movie, when the Germans get melted, because, even though they know they shouldn’t look at the opening of the ark, they feel compelled to do so – Well – that is how I feel about IACGMOOH; as in, I know it is not good for me and I don’t want to be drawn in.

I looked for the ten seconds as a woman in her twenties was doing the Myleene Klass shower scene.  After two seconds I knew her breasts looked strange, after eight seconds she announced the breasts were one year old, ten seconds in, my TV was switched off.

Recently, I have encountered many ladies (mainly at celebrity functions) who have “had them done”, many of them are proud of their cosmetic enhancement and will candidly announce this fact to all and sundry (sundry is a little Asian guy who follows me round).

I may be out on a limb here, but I never like them (that’s breasts, not small Asians, I love them).  First of all, they are nearly always too big, and secondly, they seem to be based on comic book sketches, or women in football cartoon strips in the Saturday Daily Mirror (I buy it for the TV details, OK?).  Some of the fake boobs are about as appealing as Gazza’s comedy “plastic joke shop” breasts he donned for the team photograph in the 1990 World Cup 3rd and 4th place play off match (God I am such a nerd for knowing that fact).

The ladies always say they “got them done” as a present to themselves, but to me, they look more like the prefect gift for a fourteen year old boy.

I have a very strange reaction to false boobs.  My first reaction is to go “Wellll hhhello”, (think Leslie Phillips in a “Carry on” movie).  And yes, I do say it out loud; always best to verbalise your thoughts I think, and let’s face it, this must be the reaction the ladies are after, or they wouldn’t have had them done in the first place.  My next reaction is to look confused as my cognitive brain kicks in.  My confused look seems to be saying “you are about fifty and they are just under your chin, defying gravity”.

Apparently, if you put butter and margarine out for the birds, the birds will only eat the natural butter and leave the manufactured margarine.  That is how I feel about fake boobs; initially, I am interested, but then decide they are not for me.  Yes, I do know the analogy breaks down; I don’t actually rub my nose in first to test them.
Of course, that is my opinion, I could be wrong.


Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.