17 Dec 2014
basac's picture

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to the end of the year I feel like the Queen, ready to deliver the equivalent of those Round Robin letters that have been replaced by Facebook as the place where people we barely know tell us every detail about their lives.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.
This year I failed to both attend or watch the British Comedy Awards, but was a little surprised to discover that the Writers' Guild Award had been given to Brendan O'Carroll, the man behind Mrs Brown's Boys - not least on the grounds that most of the jokes that appear in that show were written several centuries earlier.
I've written before about my animosity towards Mrs Brown's Boys, but even then I tried to work out what it was about that show that made it so successful. And now I've read something which is forcing me to take a step further and declare that from today I shall cease all hostilites towards it. What changed my view was a review by Simon Callow of a new book about pantomime. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/13/the-golden-age-of-pantomime...
With so much comedy on TV and at the movies, it's easy to forget that in most cases, comedy works best when you're in the room that it's happening in. Not just because going to see a live show is always more exciting than seeing it on the telly, but also because anything can happen. We sometimes forget that comedy is the great democratic art form. If the audience aren't laughing at your comedy play, it's not the end of the world. if they're not laughing at your comedy comedy, it is. 
Mrs Brown's Boys makes millions of people laugh their heads off, and it keeps comedy alive. I still don't like the show, but I have to accept that just because you don't like the shows I like that doesn't make you a bad person. You're wrong, of course, but then so am I.
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Last year's awards was the last time I saw the late Addison Creswell. We were both queueing for the toilets and were about to start a conversation when a sharp-eyed young lady with a clipboard and headset spotted him and had the presence of mind to say "Addison? VIP toilets this way." And off he went, leaving me to pee with the drunken mortals for whom comedy remains a daily if enjoyable struggle to make ends meet. At the time I was amused by the moment, it felt like the perfect metaphor of our comedy lives. I was looking forward to recounting the story, knowing a number of people who would have loved it. Then a few days later, Addison died, and any urge I had to tell that story disappeared.
Well, a year has passed, I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you now.
I hope you had a happy and healthy year, as I tried to do most of the time. I have one new year's resolution, which is to try and write more and better jokes. See you in 2015.