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Thursday 27th April 2006

If I had had sex with John Prescott, I'd keep quiet about it, wouldn't you? I don't care how much money they were paying me. There are some things that must remain secret. I mean we all make mistakes, but we don't go telling the tabloids about them. Thankfully I haven't sunk so low as to let the deputy prime minister have his way with me, but believe me if I ever do I will be keeping my mouth shut. after the event obviously.
And having burned that unpleasant image into your cerebra cortex I shall move on.
I had a gig in a cinema in Greenwich tonight. It was an unusual but relaxed set up. I stood to one side of the screen on what was essentially a poorly lit step, with the audience sitting in nice reclinable comfy chairs. It felt like if things started going badly they would start showing a movie instead. There was no compere and no other acts so I just ambled on and started talking. I was meant to do an hour, but the man on the door said I could do as long as I liked, so I took it as an opportunity to try out some of my new stuff as well as reminding myself of some of the routines from Someone Likes Yoghurt, which I am doing in Cambridge tomorrow.
The gig was a lot of fun and the audience attentive if not always effusive. I ended up doing nearly two hours without a break and threatened to keep talking until everyone left. But everyone seemed to stay so I was forced to wrap it up.
I had warned then early on that if they were appalled by anything I said then I would be pushed on to be more offensive. And they seemed upset about the idea of the magpie song being aimed at paedophile serial killers so I took the idea on in a similar way as I did in Bracknell but to much more amusing effect. It was all about how once you’d had sex with a child then in my opinion you have already crossed a moral line and that you might as well kill it too. Because what you’d done was so bad and similarly when you’d killed a child you might as well have sex with it. Obviously this isn’t something I really believe and is about pushing back boundaries and saying something awful and allowing people to laugh at it in the hope that that robs the awful thing of some of its power. Comedy as a release valve. Also I suppose making some kind of a point about how such a subject brings out a kind of madness in people, where unthinking (though understandable) fury can lead you to make leaps in logic that are not necessarily valid. As many in the audience looked at me with open mouths (though many had enjoyed the trip to the dark side as well) I told them not to judge me. It was their fault. I had warned them that I would go further if they were appalled. It was they who had egged me on, with their disdain.
Then one woman shouted out “like that time with Pocahontas” which was a very specific reference to one gig I had done with Stew and I was able to say “Ah, you came to see us in Gravesend in about 1996” which must have looked impressive. And although that was slightly different (in that the audience egged us on to be more offensive by roaring at us like a unified beast of evil with three hundred heads, all in accord) it was one of the more memorable gigs of my life, which I have already written about here.
But it was really cool to be able to relax and take my time with stuff and find new avenues in old bits and just chat about stuff. It feels like I have taken another step forward as a stand up and I hope I can maintain this calmness and confidence (even though sometimes the calmness is only underneath). It’s very exciting to run with a controversial and horrible idea and have people understand what you’re doing and come with you, even if one bloke did say to me afterwards, “I thought I was coming to see Mission:Impossible 3”. It’s a bad sign if your audience are better at doing jokes than you.

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