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

Archive for December, 2008

Saturday, 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

Wednesday, 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.

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The Very Best of God

I recently watched an episode of Alan Partridge where Alan was asked for his favourite Beatles Album.  Alan replied with, “The Best of the Beatles”.  (Hold on, I have just found the clip on youtube – have a look, it is very funny.)

To someone my age, it is hilarious because as a teenager that answer would have been so uncool (by the way, saying “uncool” years ago was something your mum would say, and so was very uncool).  As schoolboys, we all had our set answers to such questions, e.g. “Beatles? – that’s easy White Album”, “Bob Dylan? got to be Blonde on Blonde”, etc.

Alan’s answer, although uncool, is probably the most logical and yet childlike answer to the question.  So, why am I mentioning this?  Well, the other night I was in Manchester in a lovely hotel watching a lovely hotel in India under siege.  I thought to solve this problem, we should really just have one religion for Planet Earth.  We should get all the different world religions around a table and come up with “The Very Best of God”; a compilation of all His best stuff from over the years.

You are probably saying, “No Don, the dispute is not over religion, it is about border disputes”.  Bull-poopoo, I live on a border, but I have never read a Berwick newspaper with the headline “Englishman gunned down for wearing “see-you Jimmy” hat.

No, we have got to get around a table and iron this thing out once and for all.  We need to agree on, and vote in, all the very best bits of every religion*.  I would love to hear the negotiations from that meeting:

“Well, ten is a suspiciously round number, can’t we at least upgrade “the coveting of the neighbour’s oxen” to Tractor style lawnmower?”
“You do realise, that after two and half months they wouldn’t still be virgins?, just so long as you know”.

Yes, then, and only then, can we united as a planet and start to build up hatred for aliens from far off galaxies; yeah we hate you, you stupid green bastards.

Of course, that is my opinion, I could be wrong.

*Best not invite Scientists; we don’t want the meeting to go on too long.  Also, best not ask Richard Dawkins for the same reason (ironically, I haven’t read “The God Delusion” as I don’t want to be indoctrinated by a book).  I notice that Amazon are able to deliver the book before Christmas; I am sure this is important to the recipient.

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.