THE BLOG
06/12/2013 12:11 GMT | Updated 05/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Comedy, Crowdfunding, and Chutzpah...

Hello. I'm Arnold Brown. I've been referred to as 'the grandfather of alternative comedy'. Right now, I find myself at the early stages of both a film project and a crowd funding campaign.

I like to think our film will turn out to be the patisserie version of Trainspotting...

At my age, I'm not so much hip; I'm more hip replacement. But here I am, embracing social media - and even selfies. And why not?

I've been musing a lot recently on life's really big questions. Questions like: Why are we here? Where are we going? Who is going with us? Are we coming back? And above all, shall we be taking sandwiches?

With this in mind, I am developing a film, which explores the pivotal moment when I escaped from a life sentence in chartered accountancy. The epiphany came when I walked on to the stage at the opening night of the Comedy Store.

On that first night, I was gonged off, but I came back the next night, despite public demand. Slowly, I began to develop a cult following. And the cult still following me is the Hare Krishna movement... I wish they'd leave me alone.

People have been trying to encourage me to try out social media for years. But it's only recently that I succumbed and joined the ranks of the Twitterati.

For my inaugural tweet, I wrote: "Can I really tweet from my mobile phone? I still remember the excitement when we were the first family in Glasgow to have cordless pyjamas..."

Within a couple of days, I was surprised to find out that I had more than a thousand followers. I was overwhelmed by the welcoming tweets from the comedy fraternity, including Lenny Henry, Jack Dee, Jeremy Hardy, Matt Lucas, Chris Addison, Adam Bloom, Isy Suttie, Al Murray, Armando Iannucci and even the Twitter King himself, Mr Fry. Sorry for the name-dropping. I'm afraid immodesty is de rigueur in this tough show business world.

Twitter is a great showcase for one-liners. I've always enjoyed writing jokes in a laconic style, even in the days when I was an accountant. Every Friday morning before heading to my office, I used to drop off hand written one-liners at Broadcasting House for a Radio 4 show called Week Ending - and they occasionally even used them.

A good one-liner is so satisfying. I must say I still love tinkering and honing the line down to its bare essence. The neighbours complain about the noise, as I often hone into the small hours... Nothing compares to the excitement of delivering a one-liner before a live audience and getting that immediate feedback, but seeing it retweeted by your peers and fans is also very gratifying.

I've just started experimenting with Vine, too. I began with a corny joke where I stand at one side of the stage and say: "I like it here". Then I move to the other side of the stage and say: "I also like it here..." I do like to tease the audience.

When I first heard about crowd funding, I didn't like the idea of 'creative begging', but it's proving to be much more fun than I expected. And perhaps people who like what I do will be good enough to pledge whatever they can afford.

We have to raise £9,000 by the 12 December - and if we don't reach our goal, we won't get a penny. So if anyone out there has any money they want to launder, we're not fussy where it comes from.

Do have a look at our Kickstarter campaign. We hope you'll agree that this could be the funniest film ever about a Glaswegian Jewish former accountant. And why not?

Arnold Brown will be doing a live Twitter Q&A on Monday 9 December from 3-5pm from a secret London patisserie. He will be fielding questions about the film, his life, or even almond croissants. You can join in the discussion at #AndWhyNot? follow ArnoldBrownYnot on Twitter.

www.kickstarter.com/projects/arnoldbrownynot/the-arnold-brown-film-project-and-why-not