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500 Million.

Today I sat staring blankly at an empty show clock. If you're not sure what one of those is it's very easy to explain, it's a list of what's coming up on your radio show. My boss had filled out some ideas for me already but he made it clear that what he'd written was just an outline, "a way of getting the ball rolling". I've no f#cking idea what to do. However, it's good that I'm nervous. If there's one thing my stand-up stuff taught me it's that nerves are always a sign something is going to go well.

One thing we're thinking of doing is getting a few video bloggers on the show. One of them being the bloke I mentioned here. Actually, you could help me out here, blog reader. If you know of a particularly good vlogger post their name in the comments section and I'll try and get them on the new show.

In fact that goes for anyone who you think would be a good guest on the show. We're planning on cramming a few guests into it. One possible is the awesome comedian Wil Hodgeson!

NM

Windows Eat Doors Now.

I'm in a room full of about 30 people. It's the final ever Asylum Show on Kerrang Radio. I'm the bloke who is taking over the show, but it'll not have the same name. It'll be a different show. As I wander around the building I'm constantly aware of the fact that people are curious to know what the show will be like. My honest answer is; "I have no f#cking idea really". I've met the two people I'll be working with. One of them already features on Tim's Show. She's called Amy and she'll be the junior producer. The other person is called Alex. He seems quite similar to me only younger. I'm reminded of myself when I was back at Youth FM, all keen and eager. That's a good sign. I was quite creative at that point.

It's hard not to be intimidated by the spectacle that is a live Asylum show, particularly the last one. Tim Shaw looks like some crazed ring leader surrounded by loads of different far out people. Then, sat in the corner, is me.

I'm still stunned at how nice everyone at Kerrang appears to be. It's not what I expected. I'm also surprised at how busy I am. At points it's fair to say that I've taken the p#ss a little bit with my job but right now I'm working on lots of different ideas. Not long now 'til we go on air.

F#cking sh#tting my pants.

NM

And you know you're only dreaming (Tuesday)

Blam... it explodes across the studio! A man has just obliterated a plastic spoon with a powerful mouse trap. "Now you put your hand in there..." he says to 'Donkhole'. F#cking hell. I'm really sweating for the guy. "Don't f#cking do it man," my brain is screaming as I watch from behind Tim Shaw's shoulder. 'Donkhole' is sh#tting his pants. He's pale as the moon. Tenderly he gently reaches out and pops his hand on the mousetrap. It closes on his hand. It hasn't closed with full force. There's the trick. Everyone groans and I've almost fainted in the corner. I really can't take sh#t like that.

I can't watch anything where I think there might be something bad about to happen to someone...

I'm watching a radio show, the penultimate "Asylum" show. 'Donkhole' later slices his head open as part of a trick involving a guillotine. Seriously.

I'm not going to try and "take over" The Asylum. It'll be a different show and I'm hoping people will respect that. Tim Shaw keeps saying nice things about me and he even talks to me a couple of times on air. All the while I'm sh#tting my pants. I come over as a bit of a dull fish out of water but I'm trying not to 'match him'. I just want to keep out of it and get ready to kick off the new show.

The whole experience leaves me a little stunned and reminds me a little of when we were peaking on the Hallam talkshow and I was just about to can it.

NM

Crumble the pie...

I've only met my senior producer, Alex, a couple of times but each time I've chatted to him I've got nothing other than a good vibe. He seems like a goodie. That's a good thing. For the most part today I sat looking at a "show clock" and wondered what the f#ck I'm going to do on this new show. It's planned out in my mind as being the best show I've ever done, I'm going to try and combine different elements of shows I've done in the past. It should be good. I don't want to curse it too much because it's not on air yet but trust me blog reader, it really should be good.

I did the wander round and meet people thing today. Obviously, loads of names and people to remember. I hardly remember any of them at all. People seem nice and I think my fears about being cool from yesterday were just silly paranoia.

Tomorrow night I will be watching Tim Shaw's Asylum and seeing exactly how the show works. It'll be interesting to watch Tim at work. I remember him from his old days back at Hallam FM and, to a lesser extent, BRMB. What I like about him is that, like me, he seems to have managed to stay outside of the radio mainstream. He's a good presenter but he's just not part of the fold really. That's good.

He's been saying nice things about me on air so hopefully the Asylum audience won't totally hate my f#cking gutz when I start.

NM

(Sunday) ...Undermight

The final few Asylum shows are being broadcast this week. I wanted to make it along to the one tonight but it's turned out that I can't make it. Instead me and the lady spent the night together with a little bit of pear cider. Tomorrow I will drive in to my new home: Birmingham! I'm going to make an effort to say hello to all my new work collegues. I'm cr#p at remembering people's names and faces but I plan to do the 'wander round the office' thing tomorrow. I managed quite well to say hello to people at The Bay and make friends. I want that to be the case at Kerrang.

It's tricky though. I'm worried that the people there will all be really cool and I'll stick out. I'm not and never have been "cool". It'll be a ball ache if I have to try to be. It sounds really wet but I intend to be honest with 'em. I'm a geek. I like comic books, Dr Who, and have a rubbish haircut. I also have no tattoos. Oh dear. I think even writing the above entry confirms my lack of cool.

I hope I don't need to be cool.

NM

(Saturday) ... Scrumba the humba

My final night before going to Birmingham was great. I went out and had a drinky with my sister. We got tiddly on wine and then talked utter nonsense about life the universe and everything.

I'm trying to ignore the pressure of the new show by thinking about other stuff. I've got loads of niggly things to sort out as regards actually living in Birmingham. Fortunately I already know a couple of people who live there already, one of them blogs here. I'm excited about seeing him actually, it's good how life throws up little surprises like that every now and then.

The quality of my blog entries is going slowly through the f#cking floor. These notes I'm writing now won't get typed up for ages and I'm guessing that once the new show launches there will be a considerable increase in readership here. I suppose I should try and welcome the new readers....

This blog is about two years old. It has a few hundred readers a week. It's updated everyday. Get back to the first entry and catch up!

NM

Stark bleached fools ...

Me and my Dad went round looking at places to live in Birmingham today. It's a massive place and I was frankly totally confused by the whole experience. We looked at about six places in total. They were all much of a muchness and seen as I don't really know anything about the different areas that I looked at I'm a little in the dark. In the end I was just so sick of looking that I picked one almost at random. Not a bad place but it'll take a while to move in, lots of paperwork to sort out. Looks like in the meantime I'll be doing an Alan Partridge and staying in a Travel Lodge. That's £50 a night I'll be sp#nking. B#ll#cks.

It'll be weird to go and work at a new place, after the pleasant experience I've had at The Bay part of me is sh#tting myself that Kerrang will be a step back into the depressing world that radio can sometimes become. There's no reason for me to think that might be the case though, other than my awful paranoia.

Is it possible to be paranoid about your own paranoia?*

NM

*Yes.

(Thursday) I need a wee.

My final night in the pub with my Dad and his friends tonight. Most social circles have a pub night, Thursday is my Dad's. There's general excitement all round that I'm off to work on a national station. I end up getting really f#cking drunk. It never ceases to amaze me the ammount of sh#t I talk when I have a few too many jars. I can't remember specifics but I do recall thinking I was squirting out b#llocks at a pretty consistent rate.

The bit I enjoy the most though is the wander home when me and Pop's talk about life, the universe and everything. It's odd really to notice the number of things that are simmilar between the two of us. Obviously I must copy his mannerisms and so forth but it's strange to realise the extent to which I do that. Little turns of phrase here and there which I thought were my own are actually things my Dad says.

Being bladdered and in the presence of my parents is less odd than it used to be but still something I don't handle all that well. I become self conscious, not something that goes well with being drunk.

We look round Birmingham soon for a flat.

NM

(Weds) Sleeping giants.

I'm suddenly genuinely busy. I have all sorts of b#llocks to sort out. I'm moving to Birmingham for a start. It's a big, big, big, blo#dy place. I mean seriously big. The roads are nothing short of f#cking crazy and the vibe is different to anywhere else that I've ever lived. All of this is of course first impressions. Most of my time is spent looking at it all in total f#cking horror. It's a huge unfamilliar place. I had the same thoughts about Manchester in the past but now it's somewhere I really like being. I need time to get my head round sh#t. I'm a ponderer.



This video sort of sums it up for me.

NM

(Tuesday) Shrug and shrug and shrug.

I've always been a fan of the film "Withnail and I". I liked it even before I'd seen it. It's one of those ones which, before I'd seen it, people would say, tantalisingly, "I'd have thought you'd have seen that". Almost like you've dissapointed them when you admit you have not. I find that's the best way to get me into something. Just go; "oh, you surprise me, I'd have imagined that'd be right up your street," and then pull a funny face. It's a routine that has worked countless times*. I think one of the reasons my musical tastes are so eclectic is because at points it has been expected of me to like weird sh#t. Thing is, you start of pretending and it ends up becoming true.

There was no need to pretend with "Withnail and I" though. It's an awesome film. My girlfriend smuggled in some wine so we could have a wee drinky during the wine bits of the film: "chin, chin". In total there must have been ten or so of us all sat at the back of the cinema stinking the place out with our red wine. It was a really good night. I was surprised at the level of detail I noticed in the film this time round. It oddly works well as a cinema film, I used to think of it as a TV sort of thing.

"I'm excited for you about the Kerrang thing fella," added a mate of mine afterwards. I felt a little spark of excitement and nerves as I thought about it.

NM

*Just not with football. Pull that routine with football and I'll be very upset.

What's the smell?

I'm moving to work at Kerrang Radio. It's all quite exciting. I'll be doing a late night show with a heavy level of speech. Kerrang Radio is based in Birmingham so I'll be moving over in the next few weeks. The show goes on air on the 1st October but I'll be getting down there ahead of that date to get an idea of what's what.

I've done a bit of cover work on Kerrang before and it's a very different station from all the others I've ever worked on. Everything about this show looks, sounds and feels f#cking great. That's the reason I've signed up to do it. I intend to keep this blog upto date as I negotiate my way through the process but I'm, for the first time in a while, genuinely busy so the entries will not always be up on time.

I get a little mention here.

Keep the faith.

NM

(Sunday) You lord it you bag

Is it a good or bad sign that The Captain* is currently making a lot of sense?



I've got his classic album Trout Mask Replica on my mobile phone. It's getting a lot of hammer at the moment. As usual with these things I feel like I'm a little bit late to the party. I've been aware of people playing tunes on their mobile for ages but never thought it'd work on mine. Turns out it does. Brilliant.



NM

*Captain Beefheart. Previous entries about him are to be found here and here.

(S#itturday) The wheel...

Today me and some mates went and watched Henry V at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. It was absolutely f#cking amazing. I mean really, really, really, f#cking amazing. It blew my f#cking mind into bits. They had a stage which moved open and lifted up, water to create realistic rain effects and loud cannon effects and lights. I had no idea it was going to be as good as it was. I thought it'd be okay, something a bit different. Turned out it was amazing.

If you get the chance to go and see it, do.

WEBSITE.
PROPER REVIEW.

Before watching this we popped to the Urbis and saw an amazing exhibition called "Little People". It was a very witty display with loads of pictures of little people in urban environments. The intention was, apparently, to get people to reconsider the detail in ordinary mundane situations. Another must see if you get the chance.

THE ARTIST'S BLOG.

THE URBIS.

We also ate Sushi in a Sushi bar. Unlike the other two things this was not a life altering event.

NM

(Frirday) The Day before H.C.

I'm still struggling to explain the idea of the fourth dimension to people. My mate has a jolly good go at it here. Whenever I start I end up being totally confused and then questioning if I actually understand it at all. That's not a good position to be in when you're pumping out wise words to someone else but it's the one I found myself in tonight after a few beers. Halfway through I had a sort of 'moment of clarity' which went: "you boring silly b#stard, shut the f#ck up".

Once I'd finished confusing both myself and my fellow drinkers I glanced out of the pub window and saw two scratty kids stood near a taxi. "How odd," I thought, "it's a bit late for kids to be out". The door to the vehicle opened and out stumbled a short, squat, ugly, woman with a purple face. The kids ran to her as a tall, thin, sharp-faced man with missing teeth came round from the other side and swore a few times at the driver who pulled off from the kerb with a two finger salute. The man then cracked open one of the two beer cans he had with him and led his bizzarre looking family off into the night.

It reminded me of a time when I was about 14 and catching the bus towards school when a woman with a couple of large bags loaded with stuff pushed her way onboard. She was followed by a couple of ruddy faced toddlers who'd clearly been crying. They then went to the back of the bus and in typical toddler style started asking questions like "will we ever see Daddy again?" and "what was Daddy upset about?". She answered their questions by sobbing loudly. Everyone else on the bus sat there in stony determined silence.

NM

I think I've kissed something

My old flatmate Matt Mackay is off on a round the world trip with another mate of mine, Captain Ginger Dave. Their blog is here. I remember when another group of my mates went off to India a few years ago and they came back bragging of how much the experience had changed them. I couldn't stop thinking how absolutely awful the whole thing sounded. I really do not like travelling, particularly not abroad. It's ironic that as they returned from India I finished reading the book 1984 by George Orwell. Now that changed me without a doubt. Probably more than going to India ever could.

I need to stop telling Matt and Dave to be careful and encourage them to have a good time instead. I just can't help but worry about it. I'd be sh#tting myself if I were about to go off like that. I feel uncomfortable in a country where I can't speak the native language. Look at what happened in Amsterdam. Listen to how it all kicked off on my first ever plane journey. I'd be a total f#cking wreck.

Still, I'm sure they'll both be fine. And I'm sure that their blog will be a great read: www.mattanddavesworldtrip.blogspot.com

Drop the pill...

My newest comedic love is The Larry Sanders Show. I spent about two hours looking for them on DVD. Turns out they're not all out on DVf#ckingD yet. B#llocks! That's so annoying. Fortunately it turns out that they are all on YouTube: here. It's a classic example of how the internet is allowing great work out into the open. Without the internet you'd not be able to see some of this stuff! Crazy!

Talking of great work which wouldn't usually get an audience:



Devvo's ace. It annoyed me that Channel 4's attempt to put him on air was such a f#ck up. He just wasn't as funny without the graphic use of class A drugs. Make sure you look at the website: www.fat-pie.com. It's the site which brought him to fame.

It's so cold in the middle...

I had brutal confirmation of my thoughts regarding the no smoking ban in pubs last night which came back to me today in the guise of a drunken flashback. I'm stood at the bar waiting to be served when I let fly the biggest fart you can imagine. I thought it of no note. People never notice farts in pubs. It's a farting alloed area. Or at least it used to be...

"Urrgh... who's pumped?" groaned the bar maid.

"Urm... I can't smell anything," I lied to her.

"Yeah, that's horrible," added a couple of women who were stood nearby.

Suddenly I'm back at school bluffing my way out of a crime which I clearly committed. I raise my eyebrows and try my best to make it look like it wasn't me but it clearly was. All the while my drunken brain is firing up on a rant about how much better the world was when smoking was allowed in pubs. You couldn't smell people then. Now it's actually become an issue. My mate comes over and chips in with "yeah, that's a bit of a smell, who did that then?".

I'm still bluffing, "I dunno, those girls smelt it first, lets get out of here".

My flashback from last night reminds me of a valuable lesson: don't fart in pubs.

NM

(Monday) Boil down Tall here.

Tonight I went out on the lash with the team from The Bay for my leaving do. It was an assorted gathering of people I've only known for a short while but come to like a hell of a lot. I felt a little emotional as I handed in my keys and was blown away by the fact they'd clubbed together to buy a leaving present. It's a metal-plated belt which cost £30(!), accompanied by a box full of stuff related to my short time there. I was made up to see the card with everyone's signature on it, alongside nice little comments like: "How Are We? Good luck in your new job xxx". What a contrast to the last time. The vibe at The Bay has been a huge contrast to the one I was used to before and I think the shows I did there reflected that positive atmosphere.

Tonight I also managed to get very drunk without spending any money whatsoever because everyone bought me a drink and wouldn't let me return the favour. My final memories are hazy but involve me and local radio legend, Tony Simon, declaring that we need to do this kind of thing more often, after spending about an hour debating the idea of going clubbing.

I can't disguise that I'll be sad to leave The Bay and I've already turned down offers of work on 'bigger' stations for more money on the principle that "money can't buy happiness"*. The show I've signed up to do will be better than anything I've ever done before and it's for that reason alone that I'm involved with it.

NM

*Perhaps I was wrong about that last bit though, eh?

(Sunday) Stand up

"I'm having the best day of my life" squeals my girlfriend as she recounts the day that she blogs about here during the World Beard Championships. Stuff like that is brilliant and surely what life should be about. I was amazed when I trotted round The Scorton Country Fair this year. It was a Country Fair which showcased tractors from years gone by. F#cking wicked. I have a theory that people who have an interest in something become interesting. It's like geeks who love Dungeons and Dragons and/or comic books, war games and Dr Who. Traditionally people like that are looked down upon as not being cool, mostly though they're the most interesting person in the room.

The comedian Stewart Lee does a great riff in his current set about being asked to perform comedy at a festival which celebrate insects called Pestival*. In the riff he explains that their enthusiasm for such an ecelectic thing was infectious and equally confusing. Looking round their website I'm equally baffled: www.pestival.org.

I guess that's what I enjoy so much about Louis Theroux's TV shows. You get a glimpse at sub-cultures who are really excited about something you might never have considered before.

NM

And the last one goes here...

There's nothing better than getting drunk with some mates and watching Flash Gordon and that's exactly what I did today. Actually, there are of course some things better than doing that... here's a list:

1, Getting drunk with your mates and then going to watch Flash Gordon at the cinema.
2, Getting drunk with your mates and then meeting a load of new people who are equally interesting and going to watch Flash Gordon at the IMAX.
3, Having all your drinks bought for you and all your mates at a free bar before going to watch Flash Gordon at the IMAX followed by a talk given by Brian Blessed about the film.
4, Free bar and food, with all your mates, then Flash at the IMAX with a sound track which is augmented by live music performed by Queen. This is followed by a night on the p#ss with the entire cast.
5, You actually become Flash Gordon and act out a real life version of the film before returning to your normal life whereby you do everything outlined in #4.
6, Everything outlined in #5 but at the end of it when you wake up the next day you are surprised to discover that you've become a multi-billionaire.
7, Everything in #6 plus you're physically perfect in every respect.
8, All the parts outlined in #7 as well as an end to violence in the world.
9, A really satisfying sh#t. And everything I said in #8.
10, Add #9 to a night out at the cinema the next day with your mates to watch Flash Gordon.

Etc.

NM

Ogle the ogre

So, my last evening show is finished. I have one more show on The Bay and then I've got my leaving do on the Monday. I concluded the long running Britney Spears feature where I've been playing a clip of a song and people have been ringing in to try and suss out what tune it is. It's a quick four second clip and although everyone instantly recognises it oddly no one has got it right. "This feature is being done purely to wind people up, there's no prize, nothing like that, you call me and tell me what this song is..." then I play the clip and take a few calls.

They all come up with far out answers: "Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention? Tubular Bells? The Wombles?". No one gets it right.

I announce that it'll have to remain a mystery and then press on with the show. Five minutes later I take the following call:

"It's Britney Spears isn't it? Everyone knows it but it's a wind up isn't it? They're all in on it"

"I'm sorry luv, I don't know what you're talking about. Did you want a request?"

"No! It's the song thing. I've just realised. It's all a big wind up isn't it?"

"Ah - the song clip you mean? Well we've finished that now I'm afraid. It'll all just have to remain a mystery."

"Ha ha ha. I've just got it. It was a wind up all along. All those people. Ha ha ha."

"Right well, I must crack on luv. [cut her call] I'm not quite sure what she was on about there. I think she was ringing in about that song clip. I forgot to ask her what she thought it was. Tsk! It'll have to remain a mystery."

My last evening show over I drive home feeling quite happy inside. The shows I did on The Bay were ones which I was allowed to do well. My leaving do is on Monday and I've got some pretty exciting news, which I'll post here soon, about what I will be doing next. Things look like they might be about to take a dramatic turn for the good.

NM

Ticking clock don't laugh at me. Ticking clock don't scold me so. Ticking clock, - learn to listen! Only then will time you know.

I've given the blog a re-vamp! As I'm about to enter a new stage in my life I thought I should tidy this thing up a bit. I'm even toying with the idea of putting a picture of my cheeky face up somewhere. Maybe not.

Black. That's the colour I've gone for. As you can see. It's slimming. That's the main reason I like it so much. I'm not sure I needed to make your monitor look slimer though. Also, it might be hard to read. If it is please whack a comment under this post and I'll look at making it a different colour perhaps. I dunno. I feel quite precious about this blog and I'd hate to f#ck it up with a sh#t re-vamp. So, you know, rather than just not reading it make sure you give me your thoughts.

I'm being more than a little paranoid here. It's just a background colour.

In other news I don't think I've yet posted this fantastic video I found a while back:



The idea of extra dimensions is something which feels very much in the zeitguiest at the moment. I think this video does a good job of explaining the theory and I understand it for a few seconds when I watch it but I have enormous difficulty articulating it afterwards.

NM

Tune into the blue light and listen for the future...

I don't intend to mention on the air that I'm leaving The Bay. "Hey guys, goodbye everyone!" I'd be saying as half the audience wondered who I was anyway. I've often had callers ring in convinced I'm Darren from Darren and Lorna fame. A "goodbye" would just feel silly and it might also make me feel a bit sad. Rather just wrap up the show and then not turn up for work next week. Easiest way.

Unlike the last place I've decided to organise a leaving do which will take place next Monday. I'm a bit nervous about it. What if no one turns up? Just me on my own in a pub looking glumly at a wall. That'd be grim. I always feel nervous for other people when they organise their leaving dos. If there's only one thing worse than a leaving do where no one is there it's one where there are only two people. This has happened to me before. You feel locked into a strange pact where you both feel like you should at least try and pretend. Couple of drinks. Few polite words. Field a few polite and frankly bullsh#t excuses from people who should be there but aren't and then wonder when you're going to make your own and leave. Not good.

Meanwhile I'm stuck in the world of Celebdaq. I'm making more money than an American arms dealer on a sales trip to the Middle East. Unfortunately it's fictional money that I'm making. Ruined.

NM

Hey sister soul sister roll sits there ho mister.

I've been drawn right into the world of The Larry Sanders Show... turns out it's one of the most amazing TV shows ever made. I had no idea how good it was until literally a few days ago. It has turned my head inside out. I'm almost spluttering with amazement as I watch it. I can't get over the fact that it's almost a decade old and yet feels so fresh. There's a raw authenticity to it which I've only ever encountered before in Alan Partridge.

Madness. I feel like I'm raving about the internet or ipods or something though because everyone I tell about it seems to already have an appreciation for it. "Welcome aboard a ship which sailed many years ago," is just one of the comments I've had back as I send out text messages to people telling them they aught to watch it.

I think my problem is that when I find a TV show I like I become hugely obsessed with it and am able to watch it non stop for a few days. Then it gets a bit of a rest and I'm back on it before the end of the month consuming and digesting it into little quotable chunks. And watching any available commentaries as I cross reference trivia and facts relating to it on the internet.

In short: I'm a grade 1 comedy geek.

Which means: I know my sh#t. The Larry Sanders Show is f#cking good.

NM

Up town and out of sight.

So, I'm leaving the Bay and this is my final week. I've had a fantastic time there and I feel sad about leaving. It's weird to go into my final week not being able to announce what I'm going to be doing next but such is the way of the industry I'm in. It's important to point out that I'm leaving The Bay in such a way that, unlike the last place I worked, I think the boss will still return my calls.

I enjoyed reading out some of the love letters on The Lovezone tonight, mainly because I wrote some of them...

Dear Jenny,

Our love is like a Rose, it has pretty petals and yet carries sharp thorns. It takes root particularly well in temerate climates and is often cultivated for its natural beauty. Also, like most shrubs it is particularly vulnerable to aphids.

Love Johnny.

Dear Nick,

I used to think love was a game that only other people played. Like a massive game of british bulldog or something. A game where you needed to be invited in. Now I realise that it is more like a game of Chess. You can invite other people to play but you'd better make sure you know the rules. In Chess if you're not sure on the rules you'll get beaten pretty quick. I reckon actually it's best not to play Chess at all until you've had a chance to watch other people playing it so that's what I'm doing now. I'm avoiding the game of love for the moment and watching others instead.

Yours Sincerely,
Neville.


And so forth. I really will miss working at The Bay but what I'm about to do will be better than anything I've worked on previously, if it all goes even slightly according to plan.

NM

(Sunday) And it all goes well.

There's a massive and still raging debate on the internet at the moment as to whether or not this interview is a wind up or a genuine awkward clash of personalities. The video is about 50 minutes long so if you're reading this at work make sure you've got a good chunk of downtime on your hands...



The evidence for and against it being a wind up is as follows...

It's a wind up:

25 minutes in they're talking about uncomfortable moments and the way in which they fuel comedy. This immediately preceeds the show's "set piece uncomfortable moment", the moment where Ricky Gervais swears under his breath in amazement at Garry Shandling's rudeness in not making him a cup of coffee.

It's for real:

They both come out of this looking pretty bad. Ricky Gervais comes over as slimy and Garry Shandling appears unnecessarily confrontational. The broadcast of this piece was put off countless times and then put out almost without warning. "A source" said that the experience put Gervais off doing another series of 'Ricky Gervais Meets'.

I think that the evidence for it being a genuine clash of personalities outweighs it being a wind up but it's hard to say. Very hard.

As a consequence of this video I've massively got into The Larry Sanders Show.

NM

(Saturday) Don't know if they got that.

A little bit drunk me and a couple of mates hack a random tree with a f#cking great big Samuri sword. We're p#ssed, we're grown men and we're still f#cking stupid. Wootey takes a proper whack at the branches of the tree as I try and film this historic moment on my camera phone. Big Ears has already stuck the tree a gudden and my turn is coming up. I'd be dissapointed to think that I might ever not think this kind of thing was a good idea. That moment might come in a couple of seconds from now when I clumsily swing the sharp sword and lop off one of my mate's fingers by accident. I'd go from wacky funster to f#cking wanker in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately that doesn't happen and I just tw#t the tree like the daft c#nt I am. For a moment I think I've broken the sword but I haven't. We return it safely to its rightful place and then scamper back drunk and excited.

Life is always stupid and often good.

NM

(Friday) I'll fight you... and you.

I'm off to a mate's wedding tomorrow. It's one of those ones where you think "ahh, that's nice" as opposed to "f#ck really, when's it due?". In fact all the weddings I've been to have been along the "ahh, that's nice" lines. It's only the ones in soap operas where you've got your doubts. Actually, scrap that, it's only the ones in Eastenders and Coronation Street. I wouldn't want to tar every fictional character who ever got married in a soap opera with the same brush.

For example, I f#cking loved it when Scott and Charlene got married in Neighbours. I had no doubts about that at all, despite their tumultuous relationship. I'd go as far to say that it was a magical moment in my life. Even Mrs Mangle shed a tear!

It blows my f#cking mind though, that there are some people who don't remember that moment in history! It's a generation defining moment. I cried at Scott and Charlene's wedding. The generation above me thought I was mad and the one beneath me hasn't got a clue what I'm on about. How strange that such trivia deftly exposes the mercurial nature of our mass media defined culture*.



Actually watching it over again I've discovered that Mrs Mangle doesn't shed a tear. She was a great baddie. Apparently she went into hiding in Australia because people were picking on her, they thought she was evil in real life! F#cking idiots.

NM

*Looks like a great sentence. I'm proud of both myself for writing it and you for reading it. Well done everybody.

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