Before Christmas I had been worried that my London dates weren’t really selling, but things have picked up considerably and there were over 330 in tonight for the first night of my London run. It looks like in the four nights that I will be at the Leicester Square Theatre this week (including AIOTM) I will have sold about 1500 tickets. It would not be a very big deal for a stadium comedian (well it would, but very much in the other direction) but it makes all the difference to me. As always the sales on my tours vary wildly, but it’s gratifying and vital that I do well in the big towns and this is a very good showing for London for me.
I was Lemsipped up to the eyeballs, but feeling a bit better anyway, if occasionally a little detached from my body, but as with Nottingham, playing to a large crowd was fun and much easier and allowed me to be playful and skittish and it felt like wall to wall laughs (which a best of show should always be).
Both the people who like what I do and myself are a bit bamboozled about why I am not better known as a stand up and largely ignored by TV. I wonder what I did. When you think of what a lot of the people on TV actually did and still enjoyed lifelong careers then it must be something pretty terrible.
But if I can get crowds of this size without being on TV then in many ways that’s a win/win situation. Even though it’s impossible to entirely subdue the part of one’s ego that craves wider recognition. That part of my ego is a dick though and must be kept in check. It’s the part that I’ve seen expand to ludicrous levels in some comedians and also some politicians. Watching Trump’s extraordinary press conference tonight, I was again struck with the similarities between comics and fascist dictators that I discussed in Hitler Moustache. The self-belief, the sensitivity to criticism, the refusal to believe that you are not right about everything, the selection of “facts” to support this shaky and ultimately doomed world view. I mean, I much prefer the comedians to the politicians, even if Trump is still at the point where he’s sort of funny (in a terrifying way).
But to see Trump’s strange, evil bearded, pouch-mouthed aide refuse to take any criticism and to conclude despite the evidence of all of our eyes that Trump had spoken magnificently, when he’d babbled like a madman… fucking Hell. This can’t end well. But it was like everyone at the centre of government is in a cult where the leader can do no wrong, except the leader seems to believe it too. After constantly sniping at and criticising other people he’s unable to take it himself and like the best and worst comedians believes that he has always stormed the gig, even when there is plenty of evidence that he hasn’t.
I mean Trump was essentially a comedian or at least a light entertainer. And in the world of TV egos can be stoked (and have to be to some extent - hence the 1970s blind eyes), but in the real world the blatant disregard for truth and regard for self…. wow.
You don’t need to compare what’s happening to the Nazis - I’ve just seen people like this before in my life and know that they shouldn’t be given any real power. Syphon them off into the false arena of showbiz where they can feed on the empty adulation of strangers and do no harm (or at least some of them can). You’ve had a boss or a friend or an enemy with this level of narcissism and lack of human kindness. You know it’s not good. I mean I hope America is realising the mistake they’ve made and will find a way to deal with it pretty quickly. Seeing Trump I thought that was likely, though seeing his barefaced liar of an aide, with his cold eyes that revealed his real thoughts even as his slack hole of a mouth said the opposite…
Can we hope to explain to our grandkids (if there are any) how we were in the intersection of a Venn diagram where this was amusing and sickeningly horrific at the same time. The rats have been cornered and feel cornered and that’s what is the most scary thing about it.
Anyway, what I am saying is, come and stoke my ego on tour
, lest I am diverted down another more evil route like Trump, Mussolini and the comedians who they so resemble.
Or maybe I am saying don't come and see me on tour, because the affirmation might turn me into a monster.
So either do or don't. Ah, you are already.
Oh and if you were at the gigs and missed donating to SCOPE (mainly due to me forgetting to bring the buckets) you can do so here.