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Are You 'Avin' A Laugh?: Punchlines On Demand

HaHa HaHa HaHa, I hear you cackle, because you see what I did there? I opened with a very funny acerbic and yet old school catchphrase.

Get to the fucking point, Brian. Well, dear readers, I am not, nor have I been, recently having a laugh. Indeed, I have been sans humour for quite some temps. Fuck off, Brian. Foreign isn’t funny or clever or big.

That’s my point. Funny is funny. Just because Netflix gave you a special, it doesn’t mean it’s any good. Indeed, if recent examples mean anything, quite the opposite.

Just have a look on Netflix. It’s utter fucking dross. “Yes, you’re standing up, vertically, and you’re human?” BANG! You’ve got a Netflix special.

You know the saying: If you’re in a major city, you’re never more than 10 feet away from a rat? It’s the same with stand-up comedians.


You get the picture? There’s just too fucking many, like everything nowadays. It can’t all be funny, can it?

I’ve seen reality TV programmes, Come Dine With Me and the like, where so and so says, “I’m a stand-up comedian!” Well, so am I. So am I.

You might say, “Brian, you are a miserable cunt, out of touch and obviously a Stewart Lee fan”.

“Imagine an X Factor style comedy show. The family are all backstage, judges are Joe Pasquale, Jim Davidson and Tommy Ball. Yeah, ironically Tommy Ball is playing the straight man.

“I love this 12-year-old. He’s got the zeitgeist,” says Tommy. Someone explains to Tommy that zeitgeist doesn’t mean Nazi. Tommy says, “Won’t go down well in the Northern clubs”.

Oi! I’m talking to you in a very loud, shouty voice – maybe in an US of States accent. LAUGH, you fuckers. Rewrite that: ‘motherfuckers’ is funnier HAHAHAHA.

Of course, I get the point that comedy, like any other art form – and stand-up is an art form, by the way – is completely subjective. I mean, who is standing up for the custard pie in face? Where are the custard-pie-in-face social media warriors? Hmmmm? Victims? Perpetrators? Their silence is deafening.

I remember the old Channel 4 breakfast show – fuck knows what it was called. Anyway, they asked viewers to nominate people where they worked who were funny and they’ll be put on air to do their shtick. Result? The most annoying fucking mothers you will ever have the displeasure to be aurally assaulted by. HAHAHA aurally.

Of course, that’s what happens: “Hey, you’re funny. Let me set this camera up and… Go! Be funny! Now! Do that thing. You know, that thing?

Cue disappointment and years of endless torment, where the so-called funny guy at work struggles to live up to his early promise and collects ceramic pigs.

So, dear readers, am I going to leave you on a sad vision of a man gone bad? No, there is hope. Ironically on the Netflix, please search out the wonderful James Acaster. It’s four or five episodes, each 40+ minutes long, of pure, original joy. I think that adds up to two and a bit hours – to write that much material deserves a round of applause in itself, but it’s also fucking hilarious.

Also, as I write, on the 14th of September in the year of our lord – whatever that means, the great Norm McDonald’s new show starts. Where? Yes, you guessed it: Netflix.

Funny, eh?

Next article in issue 59

Brexit: A Philosopher’s Tale

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