The writing of this post finds me well and truly back in the United Kingdom Kingdom Repeated.
And that, dear friends, is the extent of my justification for my title.
I feel like I ought to write a proper blog for once, one in which I actually regale my patient reader with reflections on my activities, rather than simply advertising my latest gig behind a thin veil of over-short sentences and mildly amusing non-sequiturs. Unfortunately, I’m not a natural anecdotalist. I know that that sounds ridiculous, given my chosen profession, but it’s true. Even the most exciting events in my life can be rendered completely suburban in my retelling. However, there has been a small wave of requests for details about my US trip, so I’m going to try.
We flew to New York in an aeroplane. (Or as the Americans call them “Airplane”! Huh! Hahaha! Airplane! Hahaha!!! Crazy Americans!!). The driver who took us to our hotel asked me what I did and I told him I was a comedian and THAT is a mistake I will never make again. He told me countless jokes on that seemingly eternal drive, my favourite of which was, Why did the rake break up with his girlfriend? Because she was a ho., and my least favourite was something to do with Mexicans at airports. I didn’t understand the latter, because I’m not fully versed in the subtleties of the local racialist oral tradition yet. I will be though. Bloody Mexicans with their… hats… and their… outdoor parties with
The hotel we stayed in was nice. The restaurant downstairs was said to be owned by that irascible British gastronome, Gordon Ramsey, but I heard no foul-mouthed rants from the kitchen nor caught sight of the famous leathery scowl even once. I did however pay $US110 for breakfast on our first morning there, so I believe the rumour to be true. After that morning, I chose to break my fast at more economical eateries.
The venue in New York was called Ars Nova. That’s Latin for “New Arts”. I assume it was named thus because they were trying to target a Latin-speaking audience – in a country like America, it’s all about cornering a niche market. Unfortunately, it’s more likely to be translated as Butt Star by the average punter. Assuming, that is, that I am the average punter. Which I think I am. I punt mean. (That’s a pun. The mean bit, I mean.)
Language barriers, quotients and flat-bottomed boats aside, it was an amazing room. Only tiny, but the piano was great and the gear was great and the people were fantastic. Such a cool venue. The shows went great. There was clapping and drinking of wine. I met a couple of people who had traveled large distances to see my show, based only on my youtube presence and the enthusiasm of my UK and Australian fans. They were nuts and extremely nice. Just like my UK and Australian fans.
New York City is cool. If you like feeling you’re watching a TV show from the inside, you’ll like New York. I don’t like that feeling, but once I’d shaken it off, I liked the city very much. The people are nearly all Americans there, and for the first 24 hours I just wanted to shout, EVERYBODY JUST STOP FUCKING SMILING AT ME AND TELLING ME TO HAVE A NICE FUCKING DAY, but I didn’t which was good because you get used to it pretty quickly. I went up the Rockefeller centre and looked off the edge. It’s high. I like the Chrysler Building best.
We caught an airplane (when in Rome etc) to Las Vegas next. Everything that can be said about Las Vegas has been said. Oh except this: It’s a place where if you leave your ipod in the ipod dock in the obscenely massive hotel room, you won’t ever see it again. And maybe also:
It’s ridiculously hypocritical for I who, like all of you, live in the unprecedented luxury of the western world surrounded by everything I want or need and with more wealth than 96% of the earth’s population, to get on my soap-box about affluence, but. Vegas is fucking awful. I struggled to have a sense of humour about it. Perhaps the best symbol of the… discardability of the place is the “Colosseum” – a 5000 seat venue which they built for Celine’s show and which apparently is now to be torn down. And named after one of the most permanent and extraordinary human-built structures on earth. I dunno. When is irony not funny? About then I reckon. The whole place feels exactly like Sideshow Alley did at the Royal Show: a simultaneously cheap and expensive oversupply of crappy, shiny, colourful ephemera. Like an extra-marital one night stand or a Big Mac: even while you’re digging in and enjoying it, you’re suffering from premature remorse.
I did one 40 minute set in Vegas as part of the HBO Comedy Festival. It was OK. It was in a ballroom at Caesar’s Palace and I didn’t like the vibe of the room at all. Spoke to Mr Izzard after he had done a gig later that night in a (much bigger) ballroom in the same Hotel, and he hated it too. So Eddie and I have that in common, at least. Jerry (you know who I mean… my mate Jezza Seiny) was doing the Colosseum on the same night. I didn’t chat to him about it, but I think he went OK. Obviously he would have struggled to sell tickets, but I hope he doesn’t resent me – it’s not my fault we were billed at the same time.
So from Vegas, we went to LA. We hired a big car and I played some pool at Roger Taylor’s house. Not THAT Roger Taylor, the other one – the drummer from Queen. Cool huh. He wasn’t home, but I don’t think he would have minded. Oh and the shows were pretty good. And I had loads of meetings with people. And they were nice. I signed with an agent called Richard. He seems good. He’s going to either make me a movie star, or not make me a movie star. Huh! What are the odds on one of those things happening? Crazy Americans.
And then we took an aeroplane to Australia. We were on the same flight as Damon Herriman who was previously my hero and is now my friend. For you Australians, he played George on Love My Way. And he’s brilliant. Oh and he was the weird hick guy who picked up the dude and the chick in his pickup truck in House Of Wax. Huh. I liked the bit when Paris got the thing through her head. Huh. Huhuh.
I had a fine old time in Australia. There was a beach and I chose to go to it quite a lot. I got a tiny bit brown. My baby went in the ocean and that is good. I saw my mum and yes, I drank white wine in the sun y’all.
And so, on we go.
Some of you reading type people will now know that my next big coming-up-thingy is a 6-week run in New York, starting on March 3rd. I’ll be performing at the New World Stages six nights a week until April 12th. Unless, of course, I don’t sell tickets and we have to close the season early, but that will never happen because everyone in the whole of New York is going to be rushing for tickets. “Why”, you ask? Because if they don’t, I’ll have to close early. And that, my lovelies, is an example of Petitio Principii, or begging the question. Sort of.
You may encourage your buddies in New York to click here to buy tickets. If you are actually in or around New York yourself and would like to buy tickets, then you my special friend, should click here.
My Edinburgh and Glasgow shows this weekend have sold out, which is very exciting. I do hope you enjoy yourselves, you Scots.