07 Oct 2015

Working Class Hero Or Temporary Secretary?

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In his entertaining memoir 'Conversations With My Agent', the 'Cheers’ writer Rob Long talks about Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse, and how they relate to the world of comedy writing in the US. Every comedy writer, he says, wants to write Bugs Bunny. Nobody wants to write Mickey Mouse.

12 Jan 2015


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I've been writing about comedy on and off for about six years. The subject areas are quite niche and rarely relevant to the world beyond our tiny universe of writers, performers and others who seek to make a living being funny.
Occasionally this world has collided with the larger one. I've written about racism in comedy, sexism, misogyny, upsetting religious people and right-wingers, the limits of free speech, and anti-semitism in French comedy,so it would seem strange for me not to address the murders of people who did more or less the same as what I do for a living.

17 Dec 2014

Happy New Year?

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Now that I'm doing an (almost) regular blog, as it comes to the end of the year I feel like the Queen, ready to deliver the equivalent of those Round Robin letters that have been replaced by Facebook as the place where people we barely know tell us every detail about their lives. 
Instead I shall talk about the British Comedy Awards. Last year I attended, when two shows I was a small part of were both up for awards. They were the first two awards to be announced, and we didn't win either, so it was a long long night.

04 Dec 2014

What I Learned At The Big Comedy Conference

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On Saturday the British Comedy Guide held their second Big Comedy Conference, which I helped organise. I love being involved with this, because it means I get to learn masses about comedy - the current situation, how to write it, who's coming up with great content.

23 Jul 2014

And Now For Something Vaguely Familiar

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I watched Monty Python live the other night... okay I was in my local cinema, one of that audience of 60,000 who chose to view the swansong from the cheaper seats. I've seen exactly enough live comedy in a big stadium (one gig) to know I never want that experience again.

10 Jul 2014

Self Obsessed? Self Employed.

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Deadlines and strikes this week so instead of a new piece here's something I wrote last year about going freelance...

02 Jul 2014

Yes You CAN Make A Living Writing Comedy

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Today's blog is given over to Joel Soetendorp, a comedy writer you've probably never heard of but who is very successfully making a living at writing comedy. Joel's main source of income is writing content on the internet, and he clearly has a knack for it. I talked to Joel (the urge to say 'at his LA poolside' is strong but would be inaccurate) about his work. 

How long have you been writing comedy? 

Oh years, but if I go by my first sale of stuff then it’s News Revue 2006. 

25 Jun 2014

Mrs Cohen's Boy Writes...

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There's a film out this week, two more to come, and the TV show has sold 5 MILLION DVDs. Yes, MILLION. Here's a piece I wrote last year about Mr(s) Brown.

When the first series of Mrs Brown’s Boys aired on BBC1 in 2011, I disliked it on more levels than any comedy programme I’ve ever seen. It was as though 30 years of alternative comedy had never happened. All those battles we fought in the 1980s: for this?

18 Jun 2014

Surrealism: There's Something Fishy About It

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"He's fallen in the water... Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!...What's on the end of the stick, Vic?"

Up until about twenty years ago you rarely saw the word 'surrealism' used to define anything other than a certain type of painting, more recently it has become a form of shorthand to describe a great deal of modern comedy. Do you have a flair for surrealist comedy? Would you like to be able to write and perform more of it? More to the point, have you any idea what 'surrealism' means?