If there's one thing I'm bored of hearing when I ask to be treated equally to a man, it is 'you take yourself too seriously'... Humour, we're told, is a boys' game. Men are taught that their friendships should be forged in pranks and banter, while women are instructed to take the serious stuff - problems, worries and secrets - to their female friends.
The worlds largest arts festival, The Edinburgh Fringe, is kicking off tomorrow and Benny, Lee and I are back for our sixth year with a show called Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas. In the weeks leading up to the festival we've been interviewed by a number of publications and I've found that some of the questions we've been asked are a little stale.
Taking a show to the fringe is the biggest source of anxiety you can imagine. It involves terrifying creatures like 'press releases' and 'flyers'. Mythical beasts called 'reviewers' might come and see your show and say bad things. Or worst of all, they might not come at all...
Setting up awards to recognise achievements by women or minority groups does a disservice to the gifted female and ethnic minority talents who are more than capable of competing with the crème de la crème of their chosen fields... I can assure you, the best neither need nor want such well meaning, but ultimately patronising, "positive" discrimination.
I feel under siege, everything feels like an emergency from the fear we're on the cusp of a World War to the fact I missed my dentist appointment and he's going to charge me for it. Why am I so strung out? I'm sure in the past I wasn't this panicked...
What on earth do I have to be afraid of? 1) Nobody will show up. The average audience size at the Edinburgh Fringe is four. Four people. My venue seats 200. With 196 opportunities to fail, nightly, this season is going to be downright sacred.
What is it about rock stars that won't make them quit while they're ahead? ... I mean, just think of some of the more hedonistic behaviour - eating bats (Ozzy Osbourne), the shark episode (Led Zepellin), urinating on the Alamo (Osbourne again) - if any of them behaved like that in a nursing home then they'd be dosed up and diagnosed with senile dementia.
The problem with female comedians is that they ALL talk about their periods all the time. It is literally their whole sets. Periods, blood, tampons, ladydiapers, period, period. Period. Eurgh. It is disgusting, am I right, guys?
When you like a guy and he is unavailable and already committed to some other girl, it can get really frustrating and quite disheartening. In your dizziest day-dreams, your mind can go down a slightly dark and twisty route thinking of ways to eliminate said girlfriend.
I implore to you all: Harry Styles must be stopped. There is some hypnotic gaze that the hairstyled individual holds over young girls in order to do his bidding. This month, I will be taking the show to London and Edinburgh. Please grab your bottle of Frizz-Ease and lucky dead cat and come join me in finding out how to stop all things One Direction based.
When I'm not onstage, I co-produce the independent Noodle Palace and Midlandia venues during Western Australia's Fringe World festival, so I'm out seeing a lot of shows come Australia's festival season from February through April. A lot of these end up at Edinburgh come August. Here are ten of my favourites. OK, eleven.
Apparently, The Gaza Strip isn't just a lap dancing club in Golders Green, nor is it a new waxing technique adopted by Israeli women. Believe it or not, it is in fact a place where stuff has been kicking off for a long time...
'Perhaps we should sit down,' WHY DID I SAY THAT? Now he thinks I've killed someone he loves. Great start. With all of the calm of a fully charged vibrator I continued: 'I have something I need to ask you, I was wondering how you would feel, if you would be okay with, if you would allow me...(yep that's all the ways to say that sentence - must get to the point) if I asked Phoebe to marry me?'
I cannot actually remember where this particular bit of advice began and believe it to be deep rooted in my childhood somewhere. It is very simple - 'improvise your way through life'. I remember my late father saying things like 'You hum it and I'll sing it' when I came to him with a challenge. This was his way of reiterating the art of improvisation and no task was ever too large.
I asked some well known friends of mine if they would read it and give me their thoughts. Ricky Gervais said it it was; "funny from beginning to end" David Baddiel said it was; "Very funny" and Jimmy Carr said; "It's the perfect romantic comedy, I loved it". It has been suggested I use a female pseudonym to sell the book, or have a sex change - but I'm not going through that again.
Another month, another comedian goes out to Africa... Thus far I respond to human suffering with my head not heart. I'm a professional and cynical observer of life after all, aren't I? Well I've brought my wife and daughter as human shields - they can shed tears for me. We're escorted by the director of a small charity, and a photographer.
I had to change. I'd reached rock bottom. It was time to get a life and Groupon was my tool. A Narnia of discounts, a wardrobe into a magical otherworld full of adventure. And since then I've become a Lord, changed my name by Deed Poll to "Max Groupon", and bought property on the planet Mars.
I was not a 'natural beauty' per se. Ahem. I was... gawky. I had pointy teeth at the front. I was whooping cough skinny. I had a big nose for my age. It's a shame it doesn't work for noses the same way it works for IQs. "My daughter has such a big IQ for her age." "Well my daughter has an enormous nose!" *awkward slow nodding.*
It was an arresting image - to see the faces of our comedy elite with the coffin of such an iconic figure. An unintended tableau of England's great and talented comedy pioneers - who have shaped the 80s. And it was weird seeing people you know a bit - only a bit mind - with the coffin of someone who means a lot.