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Friday 28th April 2006

A really wonderful “Someone Likes Yoghurt” gig at the Junction in Cambridge tonight. It was pretty much sold out with more than 200 people in, which is another positive sign that perhaps things are turning around in the right direction on that front – hard to know why my audiences have been getting bigger again recently: because of this blog? Because of Banter? Because of me doing more stand up and reminding people I exist? Maybe all three or maybe something else, but whatever the reason it’s very encouraging. As always seems to be the case with my Edinburgh shows it is only now that I am getting near to the end of ever doing them that they seem to really get into their stride. I messed around a lot in the first half, coming up with half a dozen new directions for stuff, making myself laugh at a new idea (and then of course instantly forgetting what it was I’d done – hopefully it will come back to me the next time I’m doing it, but maybe it’s nice that these unscripted bits only exist the once and then disappear into the ether). I did 75 minutes in the first half and had to drop a bit. Given that the Edinburgh show was about 65 minutes including the yoghurt routine that is now in the second half and that there aren’t any additional routines in the show, this demonstrates how the project has progressed. It’s great that there is still room for it to grow, though a lot of it is about me taking the time to allow the strange flights of fancy take root in people’s minds.
At the end as always I plugged the free programmes and the fact that I was collecting for SCOPE. And as always I said, “You don’t have to make a donation, but whatever you do could you check out the website on the advert on the back page.” But then I made a slight mistake by saying, “It’s for the time to get different campaign.” Of course it’s actually for the time to get equal campaign. I stopped, corrected myself and laughed at my error. “Yes well done Rich. The exact opposite of what you’re meant to be promoting. That’s a different website,” I said, “trying to maintain a divide in society.” Then I leant in conspiratorially and said, “They’re not like us are they?”
Thankfully people understood the joke and that it was at my own expense and I gave them the correct information. As so much of the show is now about me saying obvious things as if they are controversial opinions – eg “I think paedophilia is wrong. I don’t care what you think. I will have my say.” Or “I think terrorism is wrong and would advise any terrorists in the audience not to do terrorism. It’s bad. Though if you have to do it, I don’t think you should, but if you’re going to anyway, could you try and achieve something useful with your work. Could you do your next bombing on the 24th of July. Which would at least mean that no-one will be able to use the phrase 24/7 anymore”. So I now say that people should go and sign up at the time to get equal website if they believe that disabled people should have equal rights in society. Which is what I think. “But if you don’t agree with that, don’t go and sign it. I’m not telling you what to think. If you don’t think disabled people should have equal rights then obviously don’t sign it. There’s another website you can go to. It’s called I hate disabled people dot com. There’s another petition on there you can sign saying disabled people shouldn’t have equal rights. Embarrassingly it’s doing better than the time to get equal campaign. I feel a bit bad. It’s mainly my fault for giving it the oxygen of publicity, but I can’t tell you what to think.”
Luckily the audience seems to get my point. I am sure that someone reading this will fail to and email me to complain, because this usually happens when I employ irony in the written word. And of course my comments in a previous show did lead to a bit of an altercation with Laurence Clark and it continues here (we’re friends now I think though and at the very least that controversy provided a lively debate on the subject which I hope got people thinking – this is often the only reason for me making what might be seen as offensive comments). This bit works on stage anyway, not least I suppose because people are aware that my ultimate intention is to draw people to the time to get equal campaign and not to the fictional Ihatedisabledpeople.com (fictional at the moment, but if you feel strongly about it then why not set the site up. It’s up to you. I think you would be wrong to do that, but it’s a free country and you are entitled to your point of view.
All this I mention partly because I got an email yesterday about .
this website - the diary of a Goldfish (not literally I don’t think)
. On May 1st at least 100 bloggers will be writing about disablism, so why not take part or put the link in your blog or at least read what these 100 people have to say. I have got the ball rolling a bit early with the above discussion, perhaps misunderstanding the project by actually being disablist, but all publicity is good publicity hey? And if it leads to debate of any kind then that's a start.

Also you can vote for me in the Channel 4 poll of best stand ups. It's ridiculous that I am even included in the long list and I am in no way in the top 100 stand ups of all time, but don't let the truth get in the way. Let's use my internet prescence to skew the results and see if I can sneak in at 99! I suppose you could vote for Stewart too, but I feel he won't need the help given that he genuinely qualifies.

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