About a third of the way through the Fringe and so far feeling pretty relaxed and happy. I had to have a quick nap on the sofa this afternoon, but that was to do with having got up early and hauled ourselves across town to see a kids’ show about a giant jam sandwich, which was a bit childish for my sophisticated tastes. Phoebe watched it without much emotion either way. I think she was a touch young for it. It was in the same room where 20 years ago I performed Excavating Rita. I didn’t tell my daughter that I had taken my cock out 26 times just metres from where we were standing. Not that she’d have cared. Like her father she loves to do the nudey dance. Even when she has her clothes on.
Remarkably I discovered that I had won the semi-final of the meaningless Radio Times competition to see which comedian has the most tech-savvy and persistent fans by an 85-15 margin. If only Brexit could have been such a clear victory. But at least now democracy has proven that I am a better comedian than Ricky Gervais. Now all it takes is for the world of economy to realise that too and to give me all his houses and money. I am taking on Jason Manford in the final, but regardless of what happens now, the semi-final was my final. I can’t lose. If I win, I win and if I lose I continue the Herring tradition of unlucky runner-up. I started well, with an 85-15% lead, but then in a moment the result swung back the other way. Which isn’t really possible. So either I had mistakenly been given Manford’s votes and they realised their error or Manford was mistakenly given mine. Either way, the whole competition has been shown up to be a ridiculous scam that means nothing. It’s almost like the Radio Times don’t really care and are just after the clicks - especially given they don’t have a problem with people voting multiple times. This system works well for me, given I have only a few supporters who are all prepared to sit by their computer voting again and again just to see my percentage slowly rise.
By show time, remarkably we were back to being 50-50 again. Manford’s fans are at least putting up some resistance to the tide of IT nerds that I am surfing on. It’s anyone’s to win. The comedy champion will be crowned on Friday. Vote early, vote often.
After my nap I had a fun chat with Phil Ellis for the BBC podcast
and then popped across to the Udderbelly to do 7 minutes of stand up for Stand Up for Shelter. It was cool to be playing to a packed venue on Black Wednesday (the day all ticket offers end and so big audiences are replaced by decimated ones). I stopped off for a pizza after the show and the man at the counter recognised me and gave me one for free because he likes my podcast. What with this and my one pound off key cutting last month, this comedy lark is finally starting to pay off. To temper the accolade the bloke he was working with thought I was Charley Boorman. It took a couple of minutes to work out if he was joining in with the joke as he went on about motorcycling.
I bumped into the wonderful Sarah Kendall on my way to my gig. I miss sharing a flat with they sardonic and hilarious human being. She said it only felt like 3 weeks since her last Fringe and I had to admit that even though I haven’t been here for three years, it feels the same for me.
My show was about half full, but they got my favourite joke (which doesn’t always happen) so I was hopeful it would be a good show. I was making a few tiny unforced errors along the way and the early promise seemed to be dipping slightly. I got heckled by a drunk sounding man when I mentioned Spangles. I had given the Pleasance crew permission to eject a man who was being drunk and abusive in the queue and I wondered if he had snuck in regardless. I put him down as quickly as possible, even though his partner shouted out that he loved me. I didn’t want the show constantly interrupted. Luckily that was the last I heard from him, though he did, of course, want a photo at the end. He was a nice enough guy, who had maybe had a bottle of wine or two more than he should have.
RHEFP on Friday is nearly sold out, so if you want to see me talk to James Acaster (it might just be him or I might book another guest, I haven’t decided), get your tickets now.