Presented without comment (except that I’m geeking out right now!) [via]
Growing up in Ireland wasn’t too bad, but having the sword of damocles that was having to pass Irish to get into University was some thing that filled me with dread (and still does). I personally think that the government places too much emphasis on Irish and not enough on other languages that they might actually use, especially now that Ireland has moved back into the exporting it’s talent overseas.
One thing that I thankfully dodged by downgrading to pass Irish for the leaving was Peig, her shadow loomed over our lives. Kevin Myers column recently captured the sentiment in a way I never could:
Several generations of poor blameless citizens had their childhoods ruined by the imposition of the demented reminiscences of Peig Sayers, a pipe-smoking old mad woman from the Blaskets.
This female Fred West, not content with having her own life filled with misery, was determined to spread it as far as she possibly could. In this ambition she was assisted by a lunatic from England named Robin Flowers and several Scandinavians with straws in their hair and a berserker look in their eyes, who between them turned her geriatric babblings into an educational purgatory for hundreds of thousands of children.
There is a bit of a bru ha ha going on. In a recent episode of Australia Got Talent a guy doing stand up got through to the semi finals. It came out pretty soon after that some of his material was lifted whole from other comedian, ones as it turned out were more well know than him.
I have covered the concept of Joke copyright before, it is a strange one. It is surprisingly self-regulating. I managed to secure and open mic gig in Berlin, Germany. It went well, thanks for asking, but towards the end of the gig one guy started doing a Sarah Silverman bit, the one about how you can’t smell yourself. After he said the word “yourself” the whole room went ooh, and you could see on his face he knew he’d been caught out. Though I was at another competition and a guy lifted Bill Hicks word for word, inflection for inflection, even down to saying the word dinosaurs the same way and no one noticed. However if you want to step up to the professional level no-one seems to able to get away with it, Denis Leary/Bill Hicks non with standing.
There is a big comment thread about how right or wrong it is, I just hopes it gets Aussies thinking about comedy and going out there looking for it, as right now, there’s not much comedy going on because no one is looking for it
Any way here is a blow-by-blow of the copied material.
AGT contestant, Australia’s Got Talent, May 2011
”A few years ago I went and saw Robbie Williams … what I noticed is, Robbie only sings like half a song. (Sings) ‘Come on Australia you know this one,’ (points microphone to audience). I was like ‘Yeah we do Robbie, it was 150 bucks to get in mate, any chance you could sing it for us?’ That’s like me getting up here going ‘Oh gee, a funny thing happened to me on the way here tonight guys. Come on I think you know this one…’ (points microphone to audience).”
Lee Mack, Live at the Apollo, December 2007
”Can someone tell Robbie Williams that this doesn’t constitute entertainment: ‘Come on Glastonbury you know this one,’ (points microphone to audience). ‘Yeah we know it Robbie, it was 150 quid to get in, any chance you could sing it for us?’ I couldn’t get away with that could I, I couldn’t come on here and go ‘Hey, a funny thing happened to me on the way here tonight, come on you know this one…’ (points microphone at audience).
AGT contestant, Australia’s Got Talent, May 2011
”I’ve only got three requirements when it comes to girls. Number one, are you a girl? Number two, have you always been a girl? And number three, if not, can you keep a secret?”
Geoff Keith, posted on Comedy Central in 2007
”I only have three requirements when it comes to girls, ready: One, are you a girl? Have you always been a girl? And if not can you keep a secret?”
Last night saw the debut of Oprah in Australia. I had it on the TV, eh the wife was looking at it… Any ways I thought it was humorous when Oprah was driving around at the start and some dude was already asking her what she thought of Australia and here response was, quite rightly, was “I’ve only been here for an hour. So far? Fantastic!”. This reminded me of a bit Billy Connolly did way back in 1995 while in Oz, you can hear it here:
Here is a talk by Tom Wilson, Biff from Back to the Future Butthead! He has been working as a stand up for 30 years and says some interesting things about trying to become a stand up comic. It is in two parts.
I found this interesting article on the SMH. I had been thinking that more and more internet is not necessarily better (Full disclosure: I am a big consumer). I was taken, a while back, when my reading speed accelerated, so that I was reading decent sized books in a few days, the only problem was, I had diligently consumed the words, but the nuance of the story was completely lost on me.
There are many things in the article I can’t even attempt to compete against. The closest I get to being non-internet ready is when I go out for a decent cycle on my bike (is there any other kind? Yes!), man I feel significantly creative by the end of it, I just don’t know who is topping google trends at that very moment, so it is a dual edge sword.
You know an article like this is cool when it quotes the Roman philosopher Senaca :
”To be everywhere is to be nowhere.”
This may sound like a joke, and that is my style, but it did take me at least three separate attempts to finsh the article (sadly true)
One of the hardest things about trying to be a comedian is the quiet nights where there is nothing but other comedians in the audience. They are usually very supportive, they just don’t laugh. It is not that you are not funny, it just that comedians are usually analysing what you are saying. That’s why I love whenever Dana Carvey turns up on the Dennis Miller radio show, say what you like about Miller’s lean to right politics, every time he has a comedian on he lets them run wild and free and none so as Dana Carvey. Laughter, unlike applause, must be earned and is very hard to fake. Here is a snip from that show where Dana is imagining the next celebrity sex scandal and it is Regis Philbin, Dennis is on the ropes! Awesome! There is nothing as contagious as true laughter.
Here is the full 16 minutes, it gets a little weird in the middle.