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thecultofnick

Opie and Andy

So... 28 Weeks later is a f#cking belter. That I did not expect. I'd even go as far as to say it's almost better than the first one*, 28 Days later. Quite a surprise how good it was. I was only irritated by the excessive screentime given over to Robert Carlyle. I understand why this was allowed to happen, the man's a great actor, I just felt it was a little -ahem- unlikely. Yes, that's right, unlikely. In a film about Zombees who come back from the grave and stuff it was his constant re-appearance was the bit which I thought didn't quite add up. Not realistic enough. I give up.

I'm a bit all over the place at the moment. Lot of stuff to sort out. Things are suddenly getting quite hectic. Not in a bad way, it's all very exciting. Just that I seem to be driving about an awful lot and therefore not consuming much of interest to spurt out into my blog.

I'm excited to learn that the fantastic video podcast This Is A Knife has returned to life. Unlike most video podcasts this particular one has the added bonus of not being sh#t.

Talking of podcasts I'm working on my new episode of Homemade Nonsense III. It'sa bit of a f#cker getting the clips in the right order. I suspect it'll be way behind the deadline I've set myself. Don't forget you can still download the 30 minute chunk of the old phone in show there now.

NM

*As soon as I'd written this I felt like a c#nt. It's only almost better. You know, as opposed to actually better.

Slurping the leftist braintubes.

I'm wrestling with my beard. I think it might have to go. I'm sort of bored of it. The only problem is that when I remove my beard I appear to have a big wobbly chin. If there's one good thing about beards it's that they give a chubby featureless face a bit of definition.

My girlfriend forwarded this website to me recently: www.beards.org. I'm not sure I've quite reached the dizzy heights that some of those chaps have with their facial hair. Mine's too patchy and uneven.

Me and the lady tried last weekend to stratigically shave off most of it and just leave my sideburns. Once we'd finished we were confronted with the fact that unlike most people I've only got one sideburn, as opposed to two. The left hand sideburn is patchy at best and non existent in a strong wind. I'm dissapointed about that, I always had enormous respect for a bloke called Gaz Coombes, he managed some of the 90's most respected sideburns. I've always wanted that look but it's beyond me. Unfortunately whenever I try it I look more like a confused tramp who tried to shave without a mirror.

NM

(Tuesday) Chop it out and

I'm stuck fast in the world of The YouTube... I've discovered a great site called www.stumbleupon.com which is providing me with loads of video delights. Like this one below "Simpsons Censored":



Or this one of Jessica The Hippo:



Or this one which is better than it looks at first glance:



Or this one with Eddie Izzard's Death Star Canteen routine:



Or this beauty... Simpsons Star Wars intro done by a fan:



Brilliant.

I'm still recovering from last night's comedy excitement! It'll all be podcasted soon.

NM

Snort a big fat one.

I now have all the audio I need for Homemade Nonsense Volume III. The podcast is going to tell the story of what exactly happened when I did my final comedy gig. This one is the last one because the nature of my workload is about to change quite dramatically so I won't realistically be able to keep up the stand up. It'll have to take a backseat for a bit. Shame, but there we are.

So, as a consequence I'm going to leave off news of exactly what happened at my final ever Beat The Frog and put it all in the podcast.

How exciting.

See how I'm forcing my readers to download it? They have no choice.

Don't forget you can still get the half an hour long chunk of the phone in show I made available a bit back. Go there now and download it. It's great. You'll love it.

I look forward to explaining why exactly I won't be doing stand up anymore very soon on this blog.

NM

R Dawkins: "Open your mind but not so wide that your brain falls out".

I've always thought that Youtube entries were cheating a bit...



I've always loved Alan Watts and this animation of one of his concepts is cracking. It's allegedly by the same people who do South Park.



Then there's this bit of fun. Really well made. It's a totally different vibe:



Leading me on to this fantastic video:



NM

(Saturday) Ar#e sandwich.

I am rubbish at smiling. Today, in a pub, I learned that the trick to smiling is to pretend that you're about to bite and apple and then hold that expression and look into the camera. It worked really well with my girlfriend but I just look like an angry loony tune.

I get nervous with cameras. I always think they've taken a picture, just before they actually have, so I manage to drop my features into a sort of "mong face" for the actual take. I've never seen any other bit of evidence for the mong face aside from pictures. It never happens on video or even in the mirror. Only ever on a picture taken by a friend. Look at this one of me at Beat The Frog recently. What the hell is going on there? I'm trying to smile, I think, but I've gone cross eyed. I'll guarantee that both the second before and after that was taken I looked normal. Unfortunately as the camera flashed, that happened.

In other news my Constant Comedy.com debut hit the site today. Unfortunately it's not very good. It suffers from both poor delivery and material. However it looks quite good, thanks to the talents of Jett Loe.



I was right to ditch this material when I did. It's only got one joke in it. However it's a bit of content which is unique to Constant Comedy.com, a site that is improving all the time. My two current favourite posters are these two:



They're almost my polar opposites in that their delivery is excellent and their material is ace.

NM

(Friday) Listen to the bird song and write it all down.

One of the odder but more compelling stand up shows that we saw while in Edinburgh was Martin White's "Do Something Martin!". It was a show which picked up on the universal theme that wasting your time in a go-nowhere office job isn't good. Even if you're earning a lot of cash, it's not what life's about. It followed the journey made by the performer, Martin White, from office worker through to the accordianist/commedian that he is today.

There were four people in the audience.

Now, to me that's a f#cking bonus but to most it's a sign that they've wasted their time. "Wahh, I wanna see The Ricky Gervais like everyone else is, this guy's not famous!! Waaahhh," I imagine their logic goes. It was always one of the attractions of the Zumebar comedy club [internal backlink to a random review] that no f#cker ever seemed to turn up and so you'd get first class acts literally performing to you alone. So, "Do Something Martin!" was unintentionally intimate. However, on the other hand, it was also intentionally f#cking brilliant. I mean, really good.

The fact no c#nt had turned up added impact to what he was doing. The story/musical he was performing explained how he'd quit a well paid office job to do what he was doing; stand in a large, almost empty, room singing songs and making jokes. There's a thin line between pathetic and heroic. I use pathetic in it's truest sense, pathetic as in travelling with pathos and meaning towards tragedy. All heroes need pathos. How is it anything other than great that he was following his instincts?

Unlike some of the other acts we saw he was a professional in that he gave his performance everything he had. I got the impression he was doing it because he loved it and as a consequence I enjoyed it all the more. I was transported away, straight into the story he was telling. I was with him every step of the way and I'm convinced that in two or three years hundreds of people will fill that room every day he plays. What a story that will make.

I'm nervous about doing my stand up. It's on Monday.

NM

(Thursday) I need some more proof that this Dawkins bloke exists.

I hate hecklers*. I remember some time ago watching Justin Moorhouse doing a corporate gig for a radio station I used to work for. It wasn't going very well. The audience were a mixture of p#ssed c#nts and tw#ts, none of them were interested in seeing any comedy. The poor bloke was dying on his ars#. Justin's claim to fame at the time was the fact he'd appeared in Phoenix Nights. In the first series one of the comedians they book at The Phoenix is heckled with the following line: "Tell us a joke we know son". Now, being an uber geek I know that this line has been lifted from a real life incident when someone shouted it at Peter Kay** when his act wasn't going to well once.

I was drunk and bored so I shouted out the line from the show. He looked me right in the eye and replied: "yeah, it is a bit like that isn't it? Look, I'm sorry everyone, I'm not really a comedian. I'm going to put my fee behind the bar and get out of here. Sorry."

Off he went, a broken man. I was horrified. I hadn't ment to garner that reaction.

While we were at Edinburgh me and the lady watched the fantastic Sarah Kendall doing a stand up set at The Stand on Saturday night. It was a boozy atmosphere but the context was totally different, here people had paid to see comedy. She opened with a few observations after which a bloke sat next to me went "bang!". She looked over at him and asked "bang?". He was sat at a table with three girls all of whom looked very embarrased to suddenly be sat so near someone who had drawn all the attention of the room upon their table. "Huh, yeah, bang". He replied slightly less confidently.

"Sorry everyone but am I missing something here? Bang? That makes no sense at all. Does that make sense to anyone else? Bang?"

AUDIENCE: "NO!"

"So, it's him that looks like a c#nt not me?"

AUDIENCE: LAUGHS.

"Just so long as we've all got it clear, he's a c#nt."

AUDIENCE: MORE LAUGHS.

Beautiful. The bloke in question sort of slumped into himself. He was drunk but now he was an annoyed drunk. He'd been put in his place by a woman. You could see he really didn't like that. She stormed the gig and yet all the way through it he refused to smile. I caught his girlfriend nudging him and asking what was wrong; "she's just not funny" he tried to say over the sound of huge laughs coming from the audience.

Ultimately he passed out and was carried away by his girlfriend. I like to think that she destroyed him with her comedy.

www.sarahkendall.com

NM

*Does this mean I'm admitting to a certain ammount of self loathing? I think it does. I hate it when I do that.

** READER'S VOICE: Hey, wowzers Nick, how do you know that? are you mates with Peter Kay?
MY REPLY: No. Quite the opposite is true. I'm a geek with no friends who watches DVD commentaries.

Shoot the burgers and then lick the fries.

I pulled in at a service station garage to fill up on petrol. "Amazing, that's almost a pound a litre" tutted my brain as it listened to a podcast on my mobile via some headphones*. An angry looking bloke pulled up alongside me in his sports car. I correctly guessed he was a pr#ck.

"'Scuse me mate, do you know if I'm at the right junction for Warrington?"

"Ah, no. I'm sorry I don't really know."

"It's round 'ere though innit?"

I decide to adopt a blokish demeanor and go "aye, yeah, it's not far off, maybe ask inside and see what they've got to say," as I wave in the direction of the service station garage.

The bloke gets out of his car and strides off ahead of me. As he goes I hear his voice trailing off with the following sentence;

"Aye, good idea mate. He'll have a map or somethink. Oh f#ckin' 'ell it's a f#cking P#ki! I won't be able to understand a word he says".

I was shocked. I took my headphones out. I couldn't believe what I'd heard. I was dumbstuck. I've long thought racism was on the rise in this country but I've never bumped into such naked casual c#ntishness. He seemed to say it in a manner that suggested, as another fat white bloke, I'd agree with him. But he was out in the distance now, already talking to the man in the garage. I really didn't know how to react. Should I challenge him inside the garage? What would I say? I decided to go into the garage and dish out some subtle retribution. I walked right up to him and said as confidently and clearly as I could:

"It's all the way off down that way mate, five junctions down. You're way out of your way here."

"Really? Blo#dy 'ell. I told her".

Unfortunately the garage attendant chipped in and corrected me, giving concise and clear directions to the racist. As I watched him drive off I hoped that his bigotry would force him to follow my false directions in preference to the garage attendant. Surely he'd trust me, a fellow whitey? Unfortunately his racism didn't extend that far and he turned round on the slip road back towards Warrington. Ruined.

I'm still shocked though. Perhaps I live a sheltered life. I'm reminded of Stewart Lee's frequent attacks on the "political correctness gone maad" brigade. He's right. Political correctness is a good thing. C#nts like that bloke in the sports car are the only ones who rejoice when it's pulled down. After all who gives a b#llock if it's called a chalk board?

NM

*Talking of podcasts don't forget there's a new one up at: www.nicholarse.mypodcast.com.

(Tuesday) Just not yet.

I've posted up half an hour's worth of the old phone in show on MY PODCAST SITE. Don't forget it's a piece of p#ss to subscribe if you go over to that page and click the correct button for your preferred podcast software. I'm an iTunes man myself. In fact I've today discovered that my new mobile phone has enough memory to store loads of podcasts. With the loudspeaker option it's almost like a portable radio! Brilliant news. I've been listening to a combination of rubbish comedy and Tony Robbins as I drive around in my car.

However, despite the fact that I've posted a new podcast, it's not correct to say that Episode III of Homemade Nonsense is ready because it's not. It'll be out the end of next week and will tell the tale of my final attempt at Stand Up Comedy as my last ever gig looms at the start of the week. I'm nervous as f#ck and am practicing as much as I can. It'll be weird to know that it's my last gig for the forseeable future. I look forward to being able to tell you why.

Go and listen to the podcast. Remember the days when I talked both b#llocks & profundity to South Yorkshire and The North Midlands. CLICK HERE NOW.

NM

(Monday) I'll post some review

The internet is amazing. I mean, really amazing. It blows my f#cking mind how amazing it is. Watch this bloke:



Not a bad little tune. Now watch him as he jams along with his mates who are all over the world. They've never met up. They've not even spoken on the phone. They're just email - YouTube buddies. Watch 'em playing along with each other!!



Amazing. Totally f#cking amazing.

I've still got post-holiday blues but these videos went some way to cheering me up. Genius. Total genuis.

What do you mean?

Holidays aren't really my thing. I still refuse to go abroad. Why bother? A mate of mine is going travelling soon. I really don't see the attraction of that. Either it'll be great and you won't want to come back or it'll be sh#t and you'll wish you'd never gone. My girlfriend gets very annoyed at this attitude but I'm not sure it'll ever change.

Going to Edinburgh for a week was a sort of compromise holiday I guess. This brings me to the second problem I have with holidays, I like them at the time but they have to end at some point and when they do you get a big fat dose of: POST HOLIDAY BLUES. I can feel them kicking in as we draw away from Edinburgh. It's as if colour bleeds out of the world the further away we get from the festival. It's even more irritating to think that for everyone else it just carries on. As if to emphasise the point I get a text from Jett Loe asking if I want to hook up and shoot some stuff for Constant Comedy.com. I explain that we're off out of Edinburgh.

Gutted. My P.H.B will probably last for about a week or so. You don't get that if you don't have a holiday. Take a week off and you've lost two weeks from your work schedule. It's impossible to concetrate at work with P.H.B.

My mind spits bile at the human race as represented by the tabloid newspaper I'm reading. I'm hungover, I feel fat and my holiday has come to an end. Ruined.

NM

Sting the bee.

It's our last night in Edinburgh and I meet up with my mate James Piekos who's over for the weekend with his better half. After watching an amazing and incredible show about marketing* we sink a bottle of wine and tear it up at the legendary venue "Late and Live" which Richard Herring blogs about here. It's good to see James but I get riotously p#ssed and talk utter sh#te to him**. I'm excited about various things*** and it's a quality night.

I'm stumbling from the table we've got at 'Late and Live' to the toilet. Full of wine and beer I push my way through the bacchanalian hordes towards the little alcove near the door. There, stood back in the shadows, is a smallish but familliar figure. I recognise him like you would a friend but can't quite place him. He's looking up at me fearfully. Suddenly I realise who he is!

"Holy f#ckballs! It's Phil Nichol!!". Now, remember, I'm quite drunk at the moment and I'm a massive fan of this guy having seen his show twice. He more than a little confused by me and timidly asked: "Hi. You're not going to hit me are you?". Now he might have been joking but I really felt that he was being serious. "What?" I asked him. "You're not going to punch me or anything?" he confirmed. "No man! I'm a massive fan, why would I do that? No way!" I projected into his face as I gave him a big hug.

I pulled him into the hallway and ranted at him about how great I thought his show was: "better than your last one man, it's got a filmic quality to it!". Only to get the following response; "the critics don't think so". He seemed to be in quite a weird mood but in retrospect I was utterly w#nkered and perhaps I was just harrasing the poor guy. This thought occured to me a bit at the time so I straightened myself up a bit and tried to go into business mode:

"Erm, yeah well, I'm a radio DJ and we're looking to do interviews with good comedians like yourself so, err, let me get your number here and we'll get you on the show at some point.."

"Ok, it's 07*****."

"Cool, I'll, um, get my producer to give you a call in a month or so. Enjoyed the show man (my business demeanor starting to slip a bit). Seen it twice actually. In fact I bootlegged it!"

"Wha'? You bootlegged my show?"

"Um. Yup. Erm. Or no. I don't know. Anyway, see you later for that chat."

We said goodbye and I wandered off to have a p#ss thinking to myself that perhaps I shouldn't have admitted that I'd illegally taped his work. The logic at the time was that if I could prove I was a real fan of his work I'd be able to impress him or something. Then maybe he'd stop looking so f#cking frightened of me. Madness. It reminded me a little of the time me and the lady saw Johnny Vegas in Manchester.

I wonder whose phone number he gave me?

NM

*Both "amazing" and "incredible" because it was so profoundly bad. Really f#cking awful. Worst show we saw! I'm not going to give any more detail than that. It's not fair. But it was a really p#ss poor attempt. The only good bit was he gave me a little bit of a deep fried Mars bar at one point. That was nice!

**I always talk utter sh#t under the influence of alcohol. Some people think you're more honest after a beer or three. Not me. I'm astounded when people remind me of what I've said when drunk.

*** Of which more later.

Blew my big greens and waiting for the news to filter

Last night I placed my tape recorder on the table at the comedy club we were at and recorded an American bloke who was chatting to two Australian women. The American was a one of those blokes who is "uber cool" and therefore really annoying. You know the type, good looking, goes to the gym a lot but well into his 30's, maybe even touching 40. The woman were about 10 years younger than that, say in their early 20's but they were clearly in awe of him. "Woman 1" was sat next to him whereas "Woman 2", who was the prettier of the two, was slumped in the corner looking quite drunk compared to her mate. It seems they'd just met and he was doing a pretty good job of chatting them up.

I found their conversation fascinating.

I'm not sure if taping it was wrong or not? I'm even less sure about transcribing it to a few hundred people via my blog.

Woman: Oh God, you must have been saving for a bloody while?

Man: What?

Woman: Saving. Money.

Man: Ah - I sold my business. Well, I had a deal where a guy was paying me eighteen times once a month. So I could just stay in L.A. and spend the money there or I could close up my deal and get my boxer with somebody else and take my advance pay. And no bills. Take the money, take the money, take the money, travel for twelve months. It kind of works out the same.

Woman 2: (Gasps) Cool. That's awesome.

Woman 1: I wish someone would pay me like that, in advance.

Man: Yeah, well I could have done something else with the money, you know like invested it or something but I just wanted to: Go! Go! Go! So I did: I went! Went! Went!

Woman 2: Ohhh, wow that's cool.

Man: Once I've been down to London for a few days I'm off to The Burning Man festival for two weeks. It's like a cool, great festival. And, uh, then I'll be home again.

Woman 1: Yeah.

Man: Get a job, get a place. And uh, yeah. Like, it's cool. But, err, it turned out great.

Woman 2: Wow.

Man: So you guys from Australia?

Woman 1: Yeah, we're from Oz but we took, like, a year out as well.

Man: Oh, right, uh, that's cool.

Woman 1: But yeah, we went, we started off, we went to, Thailand as well.

Man: Oh cool, going down the river?

Woman: Yeah.

Man: Swimming around?

Woman: Yeah, and then we went, we flew, to England. And then we did a tour of, sort of, like, places in Europe and then we just travelled ourselves up to Western Europe and then, what else did we do? We went to Ireland.

Man: Dublin?

Woman 1: Yeah.

Man: Spain?

Woman 1: We only got to Barcelona.

Man: Oh, but that's cool.

Woman 2: But the food poisoning?

Woman 1: Oh yeah, we got food poisoning there.

Man: Too bad, it's good food over there, amazing tastes.

Woman 2: There were good ones and bad.

Woman 1: Yeah, but anyway, but yeah. So then we came to Scotland.

Man: So that's a year?

Woman 2: No! We've only been travelling for two months.

Woman 1: Yeah, anyway, yeah.

Woman 2: We're going back in a week.

It was a joy to listen to. I've got about 10 minutes of their yabbering on tape but the audio quality is awful. I was half thinking I could use it somehow but it's really terrible. Loads of other people talking and drinking as they waited for the show to start.

NM

(Thursday) A little bit of banter on the side.

I love it in Edinburgh. It's an amazing place when the festival is on. The City itself is incredible and if you add to it, the best and biggest arts festival in the world, you're on for a sure fire winner. The first show we go to see: Free Sex and Violence featuring the combined comedic talents of Nick Cohen and Nick Pettigrew*. The show is basically two stand up sets, one from each performer, loosely based around the two themes respectively. Nick Cohen gets in a great joke about the reasons for invading Iraq being the same as those given for not invading Korea. What's particularly good about the joke is that it wouldn't really work in print. Find him, go see him and make him tell you it.

Following on from this free show we went to see Simon Munnery's AGM. Now, I've been a fan of his for a while now and have even used this blog to preach to people about how good he is, however, this particular performance felt a little flat. After the lukewarm reception he got at Glastonbury I'm starting to think perhaps all is not well in the Munnery camp but it could just be that I've raised the bar too high for him. I dunno. I felt confused after seeing him. He made no secret of the fact that he didn't really know his set very well and he kept fumbling though his notes and mumbling punchlines. It annoyed me because he had a lot of good material in there, just he didn't seem to really want to be there himself.

As is the usual deal with his AGM show afterwards the audience are invited to hang out with him and it was this bit that I enjoyed the most. Particularly as he gave us a performance of his Sherlock Holmes monologue which I find funnier each time I hear it.

I hate to give a bad review of one of my favourite comedians though and he's still more interesting to watch than most.

What rubbed salt into the wound was the fact that Phil Nichol on the other hand was f#cking unquestionably amazing. I loved every second, despite the fact this is the second time I've seen his show. In fact it was quite interesting in that respect to see how the show has evolved and improved in such a short space of time. It's a better show than The Naked Racist was, no question about that. Hence Phil Nichol now fills the top spot in my Nick Margerrison live comedy Top Three:

1 Phil Nichol
2 Stewart Lee
3 Simon Munnery

After that we watched The Best In Stand Up which was a free show showcasing four or five comedians. There was a fantastic atmosphere there but unfortunately by that time I was far too drunk to remember names and places.

NM

*I think that's how their names are spelt.

Singing songs into the silence and being excited by the echoes which come back

Yesterday me and the lady went to see Robin Ince's show. It was an odd experience, he seemed distracted and kept commenting on jokes which he felt hadn't quite worked. I've noticed that the more comedians critique themselves onstage the more the audience feels stupid for laughing at things and the worse the gig gets. I've even seen comedians in the past totally f%ck up their own gig simply by occasionally hinting that things aren't going as great as they'd like.

I like Robin Ince's stuff, he's a good comedian. This particular performance though wasn't really up to scratch.

The next thing we watched was one of the "So You Think You're Funny" heats. While there we bumped into the Jett Loe who was very excited about everything. He was with his mate Ben, the man behind Constant Comedy.com. Amusingly we kept being told to be quiet as we waited for our show. It was really surreal. We were stood in a crowded room, loads of people were talking and every now and then a woman would come up to us and tap us on the shoulder and ask us to be quiet. I couldn't work out why she was singling us out specifically. But she did. Everyone else, it seemed, was allowed to talk and shout as much as they liked. Just us four had to shut up.

In the end they seemed to finally notice we were all being noisy and the woman stood on the steps and asked everyone to be quiet as we waited because other shows were also taking place nearby.

Fair enough.

I suspect Jett is just one of those people who attracts situations.

Today we went to see Ivan Brackenbury, as orchestrated by my mate Tom Binns. It was a sold out show, the venue was packed and it went down a storm. Fantastic! I was, as usual, a bit nervous about it before he went on. I've known Tom for a while and have watched the Ivan thing change and develop over the past few years. But it's a class act and it hits every note perfectly. There's a video of it here:



It's the first of three, so if you want more follow the link by clicking on the screen twice.

We had a quick drink with Tom afterwards and then we ran off to get some food and watch Josie Long, who was fantstic. She's the sort of comedian who makes you want to do comedy. She reminds you that it's possible, like Bill Hicks did, to squeeze philosophy into stand up. She was brilliant.

After that we watched Jerry Sadowitz. He was good. But I felt a little like I was watching Bernard Manning at points. Or once, when he used the word "paki". No need. Still, he's getting old. That's what happens to people I guess. They become a bit embarrasing.

NM

(Tuesday) I'm not convinced.

Y'know, I just don't like lefties. I used to. I used to be one of them. Now I've drifted. I'm not right wing, far from it, I just think there's an unpleasant smugness to lefties which I simply can't stomach nowadays. I always forget how much they annoy me and it's situations like this one which remind me very forcefully.

I'm sat in a bar listening to some santimonious video called variously "Anthropology 101 - the ultimate lecture" and/or "Anthropology 101 - The 'end of the world' lecture". I've searched The YouTube but can't find the thing anywhere. It's a little bit like the rather smug "aren't people just awful everybody" video I made a while ago.



Only longer and more sanctimonius. During one of the longer 'deep silences' where people were forced to consider their own awfulness I couldn't help but say in a loud clear voice: "f%cking hell, I'll never vote Tory again".

Oops, they didn't like that. I get a couple of dirty looks. It's the extent of their rage. Nothing http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifmore happens. I carry on watching the nonsense.

I should be grateful, it's a cheap stand up gig organised by WMD awareness called Get Up Stand Up. We've just watched two great acts, Nick Doody and Ivor Dembina. On soon is a bloke called Marcus Brigstocke, he's good. He made us laugh at Glastonbury. We wait as a woman gets up and sings in an Irish accent as loads of the audience look deep and mournful. She's singing about how tough prostitutes in Amsterdam have it these days or something.

Then Marcus Brigstocke gets up and does some of his material. He's quite lefty himself and the crowd are enjoying things then he unfoots himself with the following question "who here is scared of Muslims"? People are too frightened to respond. "Seriously, is no one here scared of Muslims?" this time a couple of people pluck up the courage to answer; "we're not scared of them". He moves on. We never find out what he was going to say. I'm a little dissapointed in myself. I was happy to annoy lefties earlier with my vote Tory comments but didn't want to express this viewpoint here infront of people.

Overall it was one of the more interesting moments of my life.

Oh I wish I was a hunk pocker with a safeless grin in my pose

My liddle lady arrived today in The Edinburgh. We've got ourselves a nice flat in Edinburgh for the week. The first act we went to see was a bloke called Andrew Maxwell. I didn't have high hopes for this guy, he's often a little bit too blokey" for my tastes. Tonight though, we were pleasantly surprised. His set was well delivered and contained a lot of worthwhile material. I enjoyed the friendly sort of "I'm your mate" style which he had. Previous performances of his have failed to deliver that for me so it was nice to sort of feel part of his gang.

After that we watched a bloke who I'd not previously been aware of, Will Hodgeson. Now he was f**king great. Seriously, f**king great. He dished out a long monologue without any real concession for the laughter of the audience, pausing only to look like he was going to cry here and there. What was great about him was the stuff he actually said. I found myself in a room full of people all agreeing on things I thought most people wouldn't. Great. Really, really, great.

After that we went to see The Improverts. They were a comedy group who improvised according to audience suggestion. I thought they were okay but wasn't blown away. There was a feeling of "school play" about them. However, the show was sold out and the audience f**king loved it.

We only went because we were off to meet up with Podcaster Jett Loe. He and his mate who are working on Constant Comedy.com were looking around for hot new comedians, I think. It was good to see them, Jett's a fun bloke. He reminds me of a sort of Tom Green figure.

NM

knocked one out and that

Yesterday we watched a bloke called Jason Cook who occasionally comperes at The Frog And Bucket. It was okay but not as good as he usually is. I felt it was a bit like watching a 'censored for telelvision' version of him. I've seen him be much funnier when doing his 'club' act. However it's a show which has left a real impression on me and I can't help but stop and remember bits of it as I've been going about my day today. The more poignient stories have left me thinking, particularly the stuff about his Dad. I felt like I'd seen a bit of theatre when I left. Odd, but good, but he's usually funnier.

I think perhaps my opinion of him is overshadowed by the herculean comedic powers of Phil Nichol. Holyf*ckballs he's good! Ain't no doubt about that. This was a new show, so I had my doubts that it'd be as good as The Naked Racist but they were'nt needed. This show is even better. It's more mature, more interesting, more profound. Blo*dy awesome. He's easily one of the best stand ups working in the UK. He might even be shifting into the top spot as far as stand ups go. I reckon this show beats Stewart Lee's current show, I'm excited about Simon Munnery's latest offering. He'll surely top Phil Nichol?

We then went and saw Reginald D Hunter. He was good. It was more straight stand up than the other two but it was good. There was a great bit where he explained the genius of the phrase "I'm sorry, I made a mistake". I've since used that wisdom to great effect with my girlfriend. There's no comeback to it. Do something wrong, look at the person concerned and say as calmly as possible, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake".

Other than going for a jolly nice curry and doing 'the truffle shuffle' in a bar we didn't get up to much else yesterday. I then spent most of today sleeping and waiting for my little lady to turn up so we can do The Festival in earnest.

NM

(Saturday) Backs of my legs are burning.

As soon as I arrived in Edinburgh yesterday we were straight in to watch Stewart Lee's show. It was great. Oddly though, not as good as it was when me and my girlfriend saw it in Manchester. Perhaps it was a trick of the venue, Bar XS is a pretty special place, or perhaps it was that he'd "refined" his set and left out a couple of bits. Nothing crucial but there were a few nice touches which were no longer there. I'm not sure. I was tempted to bootleg it on my fantastic recording device but right at the last minute I bottled out. It'd only be for personal use but it's naughty. I might do it next time I go, when my lady arrives here and we see him again.

After we watched The Stewart Lee we then went to watch The Jim Jeffries. He was good, although the bit at the end of his show when he talked us through getting punched in the face at the comedy store felt a bit tacked on. I'd have actually preferred it if he'd left that bit out. It knocks the flow of the show out a bit. Still, it was a great show.

We also went and watched Tony Lee's XXX hypnotism show. I'm not a big fan of stage hypnotism and this show didn't really convert me. People onstage making an ars# of themselves is nothing new. The only thing that elevated it was that one of our crowd got up onstage and got his ars# out. That really was the highlight of the show. Puts my little review in context doesn't it?

More beers flowed.

We then witnessed a brief but vicious fight in a pub, the details of which are sketchy. Someone shouted something like "you don't know who you're f#cking winding up" before breaking a bottle and knocking ice and glass all over the room. Then a security guard flew in and grabbed the bloke in a headlock and rushed him out. The students who'd fallen foul of his anger then looked shocked and confused for a while and one of them started crying. It was a brief and ugly moment which I didn't really take in because I was drunk.

Unlike an earlier incident of naked human unpleasantness which ran like this. Crowd of people, tall blonde aryan woman with curly hair striding along with her boyfriend hopping behind her. Little young student bounces infront of her without seeing her. Blonde woman grabs her by the shoulders and flings her callously to the ground. Like a 4x4 on a rabbit. Her boyfriend hopping behind apologises on her behalf as the blonde carries on down the street, not a trace of emotion on her face. It's one of the most f#cked up things I've ever seen.

NM

(friday) and then you just peel that off and pop it in the bin.

Here's the YouTube video of my stand up:



Actual real people, laughing. Not booing, not talking and getting bored, laughing. It's impossible to understand the significance of this to someone who was once booed offstage for being unfunny. Not controversial but simply unfunny. In my imagination this set was the best in the world. In reality it just went pretty well and there's still plenty of room for improvement. For the moment I'm happy.

Off to Edinburgh now, on a stag weekend with my old flatmate. It'll be odd wandering round a place like Edinburgh during the festival when on a stag weekend. Hopefully it'll be like all the others I've been to and NOT like the stereotypical "wahey the lads man" jaunt which I always imagine. I've never been on a rowdy stag weekend, it's something I want to avoid. I'd be surprised if this one was like that.

Hopefully I'll find an internet cafe and keep this thing updated.

NM

You've got a girlfriend? That's so gay.

I'm still recovering from the shock of what happened yesterday. I didn't expect that at all. I've listened back to the tape I made of it and have decided to cut it into a YouTube video as swiftly as I can. I'll refrain from blogging any further about it for fear of overhype. I'm still not the world's greatest stand up comedian but I really wasn't sh#t. I've been told I can probably get another gig in Worksop off the back of it. Madness.

I'm still hooked on CELEBDAQ. I've bought a sh#tload of shares in Mel B out of the spice girls. I'm also stocked up on some Angelina Jolie shares. I reckon if I leave that ticking over while I'm at The Edinburgh Fringe I'll make a pretty packet of pretend money. Perhaps I'll make so much that it'll somehow turn into actual real money. Probably not.

My Tony Robbins training suggests that I should buy real life shares in actual real life. I'm toying with Celebdaq as a sort of stepping stone to that. The other bits of advice that he gives seem to give fruit and I really do need to sort out my money sooner rather than later. I'm just so disorganised about it all. I've always used the "ignore the problem and hope that makes it all okay" technique. It's not very effective.

I don't yet feel excited about going up to Edinburgh. That's annoying as it's going to cost a fortune.

NM

(Wednesday) I've been going out with Taz

I didn't feel all that nervous about my gig at The Takapuna before I got there and that's always a bad sign. I felt a little bit of nerves as a stood in the actual venue, it seemed to fill up quite quickly and there was a little poster which said "Hallam FM's Nick Margerrison" stuck up on the door as you went in. However, my names was rightly overshadowed by the moniker of Roger Monkhouse who is a massive comedy star in the North of England. He was in our comedy hall of fame back at the flat I used to share with Matt Mackay and some of his performances at The Lescar in Sheffield were the stuff of legend.

I started to get a little more nervous as I sat opposite a bloke called Killian Monson who I've seen perform a couple of times. He went on first and as I watched him I kept thinking; "f#ck I've got to do that soon". Then I started having, "f#ck it, I could just pull out" thoughts.

"I don't have to do this after all. Just run off. Big John's having a BBQ, I could go to that. Yeah, I could just do one. I'm sure the organisers wouldn't mind. After all this is my penultimate performance. I'm a radio DJ not a stand up comedian."

It's a sign of real nerves when you start worrying that if you drink too much diet coke perhaps it'll make you burp onstage and you'll ruin a punchline because you can't suppress one in time;
"I grew my hair long to look like John Lennon and I ended up looking like Meat-BURP". Not good. My imagination is starting to run away with itself a bit. I avoid talking to Matt about my nerves because it just makes them worse. Instead I just say that I'm a bit nervous as my mind races away:

"What if my mind just goes blank? Oh dear. I can't do this. I think I'll go and have a poo."

So I pop to the toilet and sit there. Then someone else comes in.

"Man, I hate this. There's nothing worse than someone else being a party to your noises. A man's toilet based noises are his own private and personal business. They're not something designed to be broadcast" - PLOP - "to strangers."

It's stage time! I'm up. I do my stuff. They laugh. I carry on doing my stuff. They carry on laughing. I start to realise that this is actually going quite well. I carry on doing my stuff and stick to the script. It keeps going well. I resist the temptation to f#ck about too much and carry on with what I initially planned. It continues to go well. I'm looking at an audience of people who are enjoying themselves. I keep going. It still goes well. My mind races:

"Holyf#ckballs this is actually going really well".

I continue doing my set and don't deviate at all. It goes well. I'm finished. They loved it. It actually went well. No catch*. No joke. I'm in a state of happy, giddy, shock.

NM

*New readers may not understand the significance of this. If you want to compare and contrast my progress read this entry.

A lesson I learned.

I did two radio shows today. One of them went out live and the other now lies in storage for tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of "voicetracking" but without it there's no way I can keep up my other passion, performing stand up comedy. This date was booked before I signed up with The Bay on a full time basis and my boss has been good enough to allow me to still honour it. Unfortunately though I think I'm going to have to cut back on gigs soon and it's possible that the one tomorrow will be my penultimate performance. I've got another booked on the 20th at The Frog And Bucket and then that's it for the forseeable future. It pains me to think I might have to leave it for a while but I can't keep voicetracking shows, the audience will cotton on to it in the end.

I intend to tape this performance on a little mobile mic for my podcast, Homemade Nonsense Volume III. Click here to subscribe to Homemade Nonsense. This episode is intended to tell the story of what it's like doing a stand up set when you're new and a bit sh#t at it. Should be a gudden.

Thanks to all the people who texted and called my show today. I read out one of those scam emails and osetensibly took it seriously on air. "Ooh, I've got an email here from someone who wants my bank details so they can deposit $150 million. What should I do?". The listeners rang in and warned me it was a scam with one caller admitting that a mate of theirs had fallen foul of an email like the one I'd described and lost £5,000! Madness.

All in all it was a good show.

NM

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