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Entries in comedy (9)

Monday
Jun012015

Look At Me Suddenly Giving A Shit About Soccer!?

FIFA's head penis, Sepp Blatter. His name has been all up and down everything you pick up, listen to or walk by over the past few weeks. I first heard of him on my favourite podcast, The Bugle. John Oliver and Andy Zaltsman are both, let's say "keen" soccer fans. Soz, football fans. They call it football even though we know it's not really. it's soccer. Andy and John have been Mad About Blatter* for as long as I've been listening to The Bugle. 

When his name came up, I did not give many brown shits but I did enjoy the vehemence of the hatred. Who can't get behind some o' that? :-) It wasn't the same as their vitriol for Silvio Burlusconi - Italy's own worst person on earth. Blatter had sullied something they loved. Soccerball. Their hatred was palpable. And it was/is delicious to listen to.

Then news broke last week about the FIFA arrests. $150 million in bribes and kickbacks over 24 years for media and marketing rights to soccer tournaments and I could NOT have been more excited. The thought of Andy and John also hearing this news was just too wonderful to anticipate. Especially noting that Blatter himself, had not been arrested. Of course he wasn't. Not now, not before, not then.

In 2002 he was accused of bribery by the then FIFA Secretary General. He said Blatter had paid a FIFA referee named Lucien Bouchardeau $25,000 and promised him $25,000 more for information on a Somali soccer official, Farah Addo, who had accused Blatter of bribery in his first election bid. Blatter didn’t deny the payment but said at the time he was doing it out of the goodness of his heart. Funnily enough, when Blatter was reelected the secretary general was shown the expensive, marble door.

That's some spectacular ball handling skills there. Lugging those giant man-nuts around, indignantly and aggressively denying corruption. "How very dare you, Sir." as he tucks another $10million is his back pocket.  The list of Sepp Blatter's Offensive Tidbits is both long and fruitful. One of my faves included that time he interupted a minutes silence for former South-African president Nelson Mandela, who had died the day before, after just eleven seconds. Eleven. Glorious!

John Oliver called him out, perfectly on his HBO show - you MUST go watch the video. [It is region locked so I suggest using Hola VPN. Easy, quick and smart as nice cups.] 

It will fill you with joy and put you on a righteous path of Sepp Blatter fury. He reminds me of Donald Trump. If Donald loved himself just a little bit more.

Keep your eye on Sepp. Keep your ears tuned to The Bugle. And if you can, your whole head facing towards where the TV rays shoot John Oliver's Last Week Tonight into your house. It's the best medicine. If by medicine you mean blood pressure raising, umbridge poking fury then yes. The Best.  

[Screengrab from Wikipedia]

*Worst sitcom, ever!

Til next time. 

 

fahey x

Monday
Nov242014

The Time I Played Dallas Brooks Hall And Rolf Harris Didn't Offer To Sign My Chest

Comedy incubates some interesting souls.  Awkward, needy, fragile maniacs. I've made the best friend of my life, in this world. It's where I met Ben. Like any good sub-culture, we have some stories. 

I've just spent an indulgently blissful few days with one of my oldest and favouritest. Doug [Stanhope] has provided me with some of the best stories of my life. Some of the deepest laughs and hands down, the wildest experiences! We haven't been in the same time zone or hemisphere for what seems like, a thousand years, so this past week has been unmitigated joy. Doug has been touring Australia. Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide. I got to open for him in Melbourne at Dallas Brooks Hall. The last time I was there, I was 11 and my parents took me to see Rolf Harris. It's ok though, I was in a plaster cast from my chin to my top of my thighs. My parents - intuitives? Time travellers? Suspicious old hippies? Rolf offered to sign my cast - there's a photo somewhere of him signing my pre-pubescent chest. (As soon as I find it, I'll throw it up here and on Doug's twitter feed.) 

This past week has been one of sliding into an old friendship, picking up old stories, kicking them around and remembering. My friendship with Doug pre-dates our lives with our partners. A history that's mucky and hilarious. Sitting around, shooting the shit, drinking cocktails and filling in details for each other. Details forgotten by the passing of time or simple, self preservation "Ohmygod I forgot about that!" "Oh shit, you were there for that?" "I said I'm sorry. I thought it would grow back..." it has been too, too, too much fun. 

My parents have had the same stalwart group of friends since their 20's. They still get together occasionally and pretend it's the 70's. Eating and laughing. Drinking to excess, listening to shit music. I recall many a night from my childhood, being piled on a bed with the 'other kids' like discarded girl children in a Bejing orphanage while our parents, 'partied'. Being woken at 3am, driven home by what positively-was a parent waaaay over the National Blood Alcohol Limit. Now when they get together to punish their livers the conversations are about their grandchildren and their mis-spent retirement plans all yelled at a level which compensates for the hearing damaged by the decades of shit music. When they're together, they don't quite seem like a bunch of geriatrics sharing stories of youthful bad behaviour. Reminding each other of the details of stories long forgotten by the passing of time or simple, self preservation. They grew up together in the 60's and 70's.  I shudder to think what they got up to.

Just as my kids will go in to years of therapy from reading my blogs. Seeing photos of their mother, sitting in a kiddy pool filled with dildos and beer cars from those times she went to Death Valley with Daddy, Uncle Doug and a bunch of other drug-taking, self indulgent, hilarious comedians. The stories about finding a hotel manager to break into another friend's room cause "no one had seen him since the night before and he did leave with woman who might have been a hooker. He's probably dead." [How are you, Rouse?! I miss you, too!] The footage of stand up gigs, back when they played to rooms of 60 disinterested punters to the sold out theatres of a couple of thousand, all baying [Doug's] name. Scream-laughed memories of unchristianful christmases spent drinking Appletinis, watching Badder Santa and Leaving Las Vegas in a beach house in Playa del Rey. In-jokes passed around a party about the time repugnant sub-human Girls Gone Wild honcho Joe Francis invited himself over but sent a body guard ahead to 'sweep the scene' for trouble, first. The parties. The substances. The situations. The people. 

Good luck, boys! My hope for your future is that you make inveterate friends that will shape your lives into a mental pretzel of abundant love, belonging and laughs. I've been lucky. Stupendously lucky.

My best friends have come from comedy. Thanks Doug. Linda. Adam. Ben! And the rest of you. Thanks. 

 

_________________________________

I did Doug's podcast while he was here. It gets pretty intense. Make sure you're following him. Twitter. Facebook. Web

I'm doing the regular open mic thing around Melbourne town. My twitter is here. And Linda and I are getting ready to throw ourselves at MICF again. Miss Itchy's twitter and web here and there.  

Thanks! 

Sunday
Sep082013

#AusPol - Federal Election, Australia

For those who voted for "CHANGE" - which of these do you want to change? 960,000 new jobs since 2007, interest rates fallen from 6.75 to 2.75. Those low income earners who deserve a tax break, got it with the raising of the Tax Free Threshold - that's the VERY definition of helping those at the bottom.

Our economy has grown 13% (the US 2%) Inflation contained at 2.4% and a AAA credit rating.

Comprehensive education reform. World envied Disability care and Dental & Mental Health reform - it's like we give a shit about our vulnerable?! Anyone who thinks a price on carbon is a bad thing - you really must go and live in China - just for 6 months or so. The NBN, the abolition of WorkChoices and a minimum wage that American's can only dream of.

That stuff? THAT is the stuff you want to CHANGE? I'm truly asking. Please help me understand...


 

Wednesday
Mar272013

MICF ~ How Does One, Do One?

                       

   *This is an updated post that goes out in April. It's Comedy Festival Time.

It's that time of the Gregorian calendar again. That time of year when Melbourne's inner city is awash with Leunig Flags, a higher percentage of talented Street Performers and Desperate People thrusting hard worked for fliers at you. Fliers that you're just going to throw in the bin. Admit it. You horrible, terrible person you.

Every year I hear the same thing. EVERY year I try to shout from the rooftops.

You Guys : "Who do I go see?  There's so much on. Tickets are so expensive, the comics must make an absolute fortune!"

Me : "GO and see TWO local shows - someone you've NEVER heard of for every hardcore, heavily promoted International/National act. And, about the money thing...."

Simon Munnery, Flym-MakkerTo answer the first question, MY TOP PICK is always the same - go see Munnery, even if he's not here, go see Munnery.  Simon Munnery is not for beginners. He's an out there on his own comic, sailing through utterly uncharted waters.  He does it all with one leg in the boat, the other in an elaborate donkey suit, but this is no ordinary donkey - this donkey sells real estate while he turns ordinary household objects in to mineral rich homewares.  Or something WAY better than that. One of the most beautiful reviews of ANY comedy show I've ever read was for Munners. "If you want to see what other comedians will be doing in 5 years, go see Munnery now."  That about sums it up. (can you tell I think he's a bit ace?) 

And I'm deadly serious about the TWO LOCAL SHOW caveat. Which bring us to the money thing... There is a perception that local comedians get paid to put on a little 'skit' (my favourite word for comedy production), go drinking with their buddies all night then sit around enduring endless self congratulating breakfasts in the morning.  Let me hose the untruth off that for you.

Putting on a little skit, for a month takes a LOT of work.  A lot of work and a LOT OF MONEY. You see, the majority of the acts present for MICF are risking their OWN bank accounts, personal lives and sanity. You don't just rock up to the Town Hall in March and put a sticker on the door of the venue you'd like to play in. Although this is a policy I'd like to initiate.

Eddie Pepitone, Solo Show 5th April. (See program)

No, the work starts about October the year before. You fill out your MICF registration and find the $500 you need to register your show.

Let's keep a running tally, shall we?


Registration, $500


This is of course a show you have already written the bones of, at the very least. You need a show title and 60 word synopsis. You need good quality show images.  (I think this guy is the best. James Penlidis) Lets call it a conservative $500 for the shoot, then more to get your stuff Art Directed and on to a poster and printed... but I'm ahead of myself. A great image is going to help. You're not going to get away with that pic of you and your bestie drunk on the beach at Surfers, but professional images which relay the tone of your show. There are going to be HUNDREDS of images/posters vying for spots on lamppost, walls and cafe racks. Most of shows with a much bigger budget than yours so how are you going to stand out? 

*poster costs, assuming you've done most of the art work yourself, or you have a friend who's handy with photoshop/adobe. Let's call it $1,000. P.S., do you know the difference between semi gloss, matte, and universal gloss paper? Do you need A4 A 3 or A1 size posters?  Have you thought about postcards?

Rich Fulcher - Tiny Acts of Rebellion


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 


Now you'll need somewhere to put on your little dog and pony show and unless your Dad's got a barn, you're going to want a centrally located CBD venue. Town Hall venues are prized hubs. Being IN the Town Hall does NOT always translate to ticket sales but you're still going to want to be there. Conservative estimates for the venue and tech - oh yes, you'll need someone to run your lights, sound and whatever else you've skillfully woven into your increasingly elaborate pastiche. Conservative estimates will put that charge at around $1500 a week for one of the smaller 30 - 50 seat venues.  The bigger the room, the more the cost.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 


Dave Callen - The Psychology of LaughterIt's getting a little flop-sweatish now, isn't it? Ooh! Don't forget your Entertainment Liability Insurance. You don't want your confetti cannons going off early and taking out a pensioners eye.  Or your mic stand to fall off the stage and kill a Seeing Eye Dog. Let's guesstimate, $350 (it's been a while and I can't find any receipts of the insurance we've had to buy) but that seems tame.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350


Advertising! How are you going to let people know your tiny little show is on, in amongst the throngs of Hughsies, the heavily promoted International acts and the locals being produced byToken?  To be honest, you're not. You're going to rely on Word of Mouth but you're still going to buy a little advertising space aren't you? Buying ad space translates to editorial space. (you're buying ad space, the paper are 'giving you' editorial space). A 1/8 page, a 1/4 page, a 1/2 of full page ad?  How much money have you got to burn? You can spend anything from $500 for a tiny corner in something like Beat or InPress for the run or thousands on a Herald Sun 1/2 page. We'll call it a conservative $800 for advertising and flyering - the aforementioned standing outside your venue handing out those precious posters/postcards/flyers you had printed as a way of luring people into your show after they see the show they wanted to see is sold out? You can do that yourself or pay/beg/blackmail someone to do it for you.

Debra Batton, Catherine Magill - She Knows Too Much


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350
Advertising, $800 


If you want a publicist, you can hire one now. If one has room for your show. It's gonna cost ya. $2,000 is a very conservative estimate.

 

Let's have a closer look at those locals, in particular. How many of them realistically make a living from stand up? If your guess is in the double digits, you're very probably wrong. SO, if you want to put on a show, you're going to need to take time off work. You won't have time to wait tables, or nurse, or be the funny accountant.  You've got some holiday time coming up - best use it. Insert your own lost wages estimate here. $Umpty dollars.

Frank Woodley, Simon Yates - InsideOk, so there are hundreds of shows to choose from. The tickets cost anywhere from $10, Tight Arse Tuesday tix to $45 for (example) Wil Anderson or Judith Lucy & Denise Scott.

Well, you're thinking. Let's shoot at the centre of that range and sell 20 tickets a night, that's $440! See, you guys are raking it in! TicketMaster take half that ticket cost as their fee. What?! Hmm, still $220 a night, where do I sign up! Let's also look at the guesstimated average audience size for a local (unknown quantity) show is on a good night, 10 people. 10. I'm being generous here. It's only going to be 3 or 4 some nights. Have you dampened your trousers yet?

As the MICF website says, "Producing a show involves everything from organising venue hire, marketing and publicity, travel and accommodation, sourcing props and equipment, budgeting, ticketing, obtaining insurance and licences and much more. As part of your registration, the Festival provides information packs and workshops to assist you, but it is up to you to make it happen."

Harley Breen - Some Kind of SomethingMICF is an amazing festival. If not for it, I would not have had 3/4 of the life experience I've had. I would not know who Simon Munnery was. Or Daniel Kitson. I wouldn't giggle every time I heard the words, "Rapper with a baby" (curse you, Rich Fulcher!) I would not have smeared chocolate cake on Adam Richard's head (ok, that probably still would have happened, just not in front of 3000 people) nor would I have laughed so hard at Bill Bailey that I hawked up a lung. I'd also probably not have the sight of a bare chested Sam Simmons smashing taco shells into his pigeon frame burnt into my retinas, nor would I have... ok the rest of that sentence is now redacted. You know why, Festival of 1998...

It's SO important that you get out there and support local acts. They're literally selling their souls for you.  Go see Harley Breen, go see Jennifer Wong. Go see Geraldine Hickey and why not make a night of it and see Wes Snelling and Kate McLennan - their show is held IN a hotel room!  Come on! I know you're probably already planning on seeing Wil Anderson, why wouldn't you? He is brilliant but please, take a chance and see someone you've never even heard of. 

They've got an average of $8,000-$10,000 on the line for you. Can you even imagine doing that for the love of your job? You can't, can you? And don't think, "oh I can just see them in October after all this festival stuff has died down." You can't. Festival is special. Festival is very often the only time of the year you'll see any one of these comedians do a solo show of 1 hours duration, packed to the gills with lights, props and a small Bolivan Lizard (WHAT a show!). Go. What are you waiting for?

fahey xx

(a tiny selection of those acts you really need to squeeze on to your wish-list)

 

Geraldine Hickey - Love Or A Slab Of Fudge

Jennifer Wong is Spineless Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling - Standard Double

Lessons With Luis - Famoucity

Ross Daniels - Graham Clone, The Future Is Incorrect Sam Simmons - Shitty TriviaSlutmonster and Friends

Wednesday
Feb132013

Who's A Pretty Girl Then?

Girls is a gutsy little show that's running on HBO in the US and on cable channel Showcase in Australia. It's written, executivly produced, directed by and stars l'enfant terrible, Lena Dunham (3rd from the left).

Lena portrays a self involved, self assured, warts and all character, Hannah. The show revolves around Hannah and her three 20 something friends all trying to live and grow up in New York City. Yawn. I know! Doesn't it sound utterly yawny? It's not! There will be NO yawning.

The New York Times wrote a beautiful piece about the show so if you're not familiar, I'll direct you here. For those already fans, lets plough on...

Since the first episode, critics have fallen over themselves and many have trampled their own mothers to wax lyrical about the bravery and the bravado of the show. "brilliantly raw and raunchy Girls [is] a true breakthrough series." "It's a raw, ironic, occasionally touching comedy of post-millennial manners." "It's raw, audacious, nuanced and richly, often excruciatingly funny."  Do you get that it's raw?  

Lena's character, Hannah gets her kit off, a lot. She's a pear shaped, dimpled ass having, tattooed minx. We see her topless, bottomless, and fully clothed in tiny shorts and midriff tops. Had I replaced the words Angelina Jolie with Lena Dunham we'd perhaps be reading reviews that contained the word "hot" instead of "raw" - but you get the idea.

The show is balls out touching, funny and really... unrefined. Everything that Sex In The City was that made me want to stab adorable kittens to almost-death (I'm SUCH a, what's the name of the uptight prissy one?) Girls is the antidote to. Honesty, Op Shop clothes and ugliness. It's virtually British! Give. Me. MORE!  

There's no Carrie's being adorably Yellow Taxi Cab splashed with mud, all over her impossibly tiny couture tutu. No, instead, there's Hannah talking disturbingly dirty to her weird [eventually endearing] fuck buddy/boyfriend who masturbates on his filthy mattress on the floor in front of her. No tutu's were harmed. She wasn't wearing [anything] one.

Series One was hoisted on to its deservedly lofty pedestal. We all stood around and admired it. Ooh and ahhed at its nakedness. The show has won Golden Globes, Emmy's and Lena won a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievment - the first woman to win, ever. 

So when did things really start to go cumquat-shaped?

Last Sunday's episode, it seems. 

Hannah, the same Hannah that has been celebrated in past episodes for being daring, brave and you know, the R word.  Well that Hannah meets hunky, rich, Doctor Joshua (as played by totally real-life handsome Patrick Wilson) in the coffee shop she works in.

 

SPOILER ALERT


He comes in to complain. Her boss, complains back. Everyone, except the boss is embarrassed. Dr Totally Hot leaves.  Hannah follows him home to expand a plot point and one things leads to another and quicker than you can say, "By jingo Mrs Abanathy, what's the attractive man doing astride that frumpy woman?," everyone's naked and doin' it.

To reiterate, this is not a new thing. Lena's Hannah is definitely NOT a virgin in any sense. Nor are her castmates, Shoshanna, played by the gorgeously ditzy Zosia Mamet. Beautiful Marnie, played by the daughter of Newsreader Brian Williams, Allison Williams. And I guess I don't need to tell you Jessa's been round the block once, nay twice? As played by the eminently bangableJemima Kirke.

I watched the episode last night (later than it's air date), I loved it. In it's face. It was awkward and fanciful. The shots were equal parts gorgeous and unflattering. The dialogue, as always, confronting, real, immensely self obsessed and ridiculous.  "Great show, you fabulous little Moll", I sighed as I turned it off and went to normal bed.

This morning I wake to find the Opinion Machine has been wacked OFF it's hinges and people are pissed!

The Why Exactly They Are Pissed plays out to be - how dare a frumpy, thick thighed fatty in bad shorts and cellulite seeking, back fat displaying shirt have consensual sexual relations with the obviously above her station, handsome, be-six packed, Doctor Stranger and expect us to believe it?!

Yes, how very dare She do that to We?

Esquire spazzed out for all of us,

Remember the episode of The Cosby Show in which Cliff, Theo, Elvin, and Martin were all pregnant? Martin fathered a sailboat, Theo a sports car, Cliff a hoagie and soda, and Elvin, well, nobody ever cared that much about Elvin. He probably had another rattail. At the end, Cliff woke up from his dream.

This week's Girls was a lot like that Cosby Show, except Hannah never woke up from the fantastical, implausible story she found herself in. And there's a good chance I fell asleep.

Slate Magazine fairly coughed up a lung with their, 

Was that the worst episode of Girls ever? 
Why are these people having sex, when they are so clearly mismatched—in style, in looks, in manners, in age, in everything? Why is he kissing her and begging her to stay over? Seriously.

And further, 

Hannah would not, in any world that resembled our own, get [such as] Patrick Wilson, for instance.

Don't buy now, because wait, there's more!

How can a girl like that get a guy like this? Am I small-minded if I’m stuck on how this fantasy is too much of a fantasy and remembering what Patrick Wilson’s real-life partner looks like?*

Yes, yes you are.  Infinitessimal of cranium.

Especially as, I'm fairly confident to assume, you have NEVER had a problem with how hot Kevin James' wife Carrie is in The King of Queens.  I know, it goes way back to the Honeymooners and beyond. Even the Simpson's relentlessly dull, borderline alcoholic incompetent Homer and his long suffering dutiful Marge. Sweet but definitely pudgy Mark Addy and super hot Jami Gertz in Still Standing. Or any woman with a lousy agent who gets to play wife to one of Jim Belushi's many interchangeable sitcom characters. 

Of course those [varying degrees of] catastrophic men can have uber hot wives, it's just how it's always been...

Now finally, we're getting some proper telly. Like FX's darling, Louie, written, executively produced, directed, starring and edited by Comedy's good god, Louis CK. This is another show that's very definitely the R word.
The joy of Louie is its honesty. Its warts and all vulnerability. Its complete and utter disregard for the politically correct yet, I can't recall anyone being the slightest bit miffed that Louis' Louie was bonking the much hotter, Posy Parker. The crazy but totally babealicious Maria Bamford. And as testament to the show's realism, super cute Pamela Aldon wouldn't couple up with Louis cause, ew, look at her and look at him! Exactly my point! Nope, that's never come up.

So, to my friends at Slate and Esquire. The many minions on Twitter, I'm sure you're on FaceBlech too - You go right ahead and get confused/mad. Damn that upstart, little Ms Dunham!  She has certainly flipped the table over.

You better stand back. You just know she's gonna fuck someone better then you, on it.

Watch GIRLS.

And LOUIE,

TV's not just for the pretty people.

fahey x