Blog 78

Happy New Year everyone.  Since the tour ended one I haven’t really felt like posting because I haven’t got anything to say but it was a remarkable experience and I’ve only got a couple of regrets-that we didn’t fit in a Liverpool gig and as one of the OGs on this site that Evelyn didn’t get to see the tour.

I’m not sure that I want to tour again though not single gigs anyway, certainly until say the summer I want to carry on writing.  At the moment the volume 2 of the memoir is going well- provisional title “Thatcher Stole My Trousers”.  Then maybe I was thinking of a longish residency in London.  Starting out with the old material from this tour plus working out new stuff then maybe I could see me doing sort of five day stints in small venues in towns out of London but it is all theoretical at the moment.


Blog 77

Well that was exhausting, I’m glad I did the tour but I think I need a long rest now.  To answer a few questions-I’d thought I would never film the show and I didn’t this time and I always thought I didn’t like that idea that you threw your entire show away after a year or two but now maybe I will remount this show next year, do maybe ten dates, hopefully including Liverpool, and film it at some point then release a DVD and then start again with a whole different set.   We’ll see.

Somebody asked about touring Australia, which I used to do, but I think that this show is so much about UK politics and class that I can’t see that a lot of  it would work outside Britain.  I don’t know maybe I’ll go through it at some point and see what would work outside the UK and what wouldn’t.

Blog 77a

I agree that a DVD can never really capture the experience of attending a gig but perhaps it can go some of the way to evoking the performance on the night.

If I do make one I certainly won't make the mistake that I made with the "Alexei Sayle Pirate Video".  My manager at the time, a somewhat wayward character, had the brilliant idea of putting the VHS not in the conventional box but in a paper bag so apparently replicating a pirated vinyl record.  In the few shops that chose to stock the video it would constantly fall on the floor due to the paper bag.


Blog 76

Hello, sorry not to have posted for a while but I’ve been recovering from Edinburgh and getting ready for the tour which starts on October 4th.   I have to say that Edinburgh was a triumph, I got all four and five star reviews and one reviewer wrote-  ”Let's get this out there straight away: I’ve been watching comedy at the Fringe for around ten years now and this is the best hour of stand-up I have ever seen.”  From now on I want all reviews to be like that or I’ll get upset.

Once the tour finishes I will have done 64 standup gigs this year plus I think 4 book readings.  That is a lot more performing than I ever did when I thought of myself as a full-time performer!  I think I’m definitely going to take some time off once its done.  Its also been three years since I wrote anything longer than a newspaper article so it would be good to get back to work on a new book-I have some ideas.

In other news Wilf got so much media exposure when he was missing that he is now looking for an agent and is already talking to Radio 4 about his own 15 minute series.


Blog 76a

Hi John,

Thank you for your question about there being no Liverpool date on the tour. I'm really unhappy about this but we tried everything and just couldn't get the right venue (The Royal Court or the Playhouse would seem the obvious choices) on the right date.  Hopefully I'll do some more dates in the new year and then we'll definitely do Liverpool, though I would really have loved to have played it this year.  Apologies.


Blog 76b.  

How's this for service, I'm on at 8.00 at the Lowry and there's no support.


Blog 75

Hooray Wilf has been found!  He turned up outside a posh block of flats in Primrose Hill (about 3 miles away!) bothering a very nice Kuwaiti family.  They took him in and then managed to contact us through a missing pet website, we went and got him on Monday morning, he's very thin and a bit sleepy but OK otherwise.  I actually found myself talking to the other Wilf Mbanga on the World Service on Saturday just in case he'd got beyond the borders of the UK.

Edinburgh is sold out more or less, I think it could be a really exciting event but plenty of tickets for the Autumn tour.


Blog 74

Sadly Wilf's not come back yet but he did make the front page of the Camden New Journal so we're still hoping.


I noticed this the other day on the Chortle comedy website.  It’s from a report of a  Q&A session at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal with Arrested Development  creator Mitch Hurwitz.

“....He also discussed how Alexei Sayle was mistreated by the Hollywood machine, after being signed up to reprise the Eastern European persona he had employed as the landlord in The Young Ones for the 1992 Golden Girls spin-off Golden Palace.

Hurwitz, who was a writer on the series, told how executives fired Sayle before the pilot had been shot.

‘Everyone just decided, as they do when there’s a lot of executives, “He can't do it, he's not funny. We gotta fire him.”

‘So he’s fired. And then we shoot the pilot. And he storms it like crazy. The crowd loves him; he gets a standing ovation at the curtain call, but he’s got fired.’

The network then got Cheech Marin, of Cheech and Chong fame, to step into the ‘funny foreigner’ role. But when he got on set he refused to do the comedy Mexican accent he employed in his stoner double-act, telling them: ‘Oh no, I don’t do that any more.’

The sitcom got cancelled after one season.”

Though its 20 years ago now (they actually fired me on my 40th birthday) It gave me a really strange feeling to read that, to hear about a seminal episode from your own life being related by someone else and if Mitch would like to make it up to me I’m available.