21 Feb 2014

A Little Bit Of Politics

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I’ve had a quick read through Alexei Sayle’s Analysis Of Comedy Today – yes the king hath spoken, and deserves capital letters. I love Alexei, he was the main reason I became a stand-up, and it’s great to see him back again. But his inevitably Lexo-centric view of alternative comedy is a revisionist rewrite of what actually happened, in the long period of 20 years or so when he was largely apart from live comedy.

13 Feb 2014

My Favourite Sitcom Characters Are Lumps Of Wood

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There's a character in every sitcom that rarely gets a mention, yet has the potential to be one of the most useful members of your cast. Every sitcom has them, but most writers don't bother to give them the attention they deserve and require. I'm referring to: the room.

It’s not just any old room, it’s your ‘sit’. That’s already half of what you’re trying to write, so you should give it a good deal of thought.

06 Feb 2014

You Can Be Funny About Anything… Can’t You?

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So now that you’ve decided that a life of comedy awaits – performing stand-up or writing, or both – what are you going to joke about?

Many writers and performers, starting out, look at the blandness of much of what they see on mainstream TV, and reckon they could be much harder, edgier, sharper and funnier. Sometimes they are. I am totally sympathetic to this view – so much of the best comedy, the best anything really, comes from angry people tearing up the old rules and starting from a new place.

30 Jan 2014

The Family Family

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Outumbered by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton is a show I have enjoyed immensely over recent years, it's a show that has allowed people to use the words 'BBC family sitcom' without offending the Gods of cool TV. With Modern Family in the US, new life has been brought into a genre that often felt like it hadn't moved on since the 1970s template Butterflies by Carla Lane.

23 Jan 2014

What The World's Been Waiting For: A New Blog

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Hello everyone, and welcome to this first post on my new blog, offering advice on how to Be Averagely Successful At Comedy.

You may be wondering what purpose might be served by the arrival of a new blog. A blog with tips about how to do something creative, from someone you may not have heard of, someone who may have a long list of writing and performing credits but no certificate of qualification as a teacher.