Russell Howard: How To Laugh Through Fear, Anxiety & Imposter Syndrome | E109 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Russell Howard: How To Laugh Through Fear, Anxiety & Imposter Syndrome | E109".
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If their laugh in is fine, if they're not, it ain't. This is the Russell Howard we have never seen before. When you're low, it leaves you mentally fragile, but then that makes you work hard and go again because you know the excitement you get from making them laugh. It's an unhealthy treadmill, but at the end of that treadmill, there is this incredible cherry. That's what happiness is. Figure out a healthier way of being the best you without it being so draining to realize what you have. There will always be sort of shimmering lights of hope in the misery, but sometimes somebody has to help you find them. When he died, it was just this ledge hammer to your heart where you just go, Jesus, one of the, one of the good souls isn't here anymore. Russell Howard, I've watched Russell Howard on TV for years and years and years. And of all the podcasts I've done, Russell and this conversation was the most stark difference between the person I've seen on TV and the person I had a conversation with today. I think your mind is going to be blown. He's got a new Netflix show coming out called lubricant. And the reason it's called lubricant is because he believes comedy and laughter is the lubricant that allows us to deal with the pain of life. And we talk about the pain of his life. We talk about everything. And in this conversation, there's more tears. Recently, I did an episode on this podcast with Jimmy Carr and the resounding feedback we got was we've never seen that Jimmy Carr before. I have a suspicion, in fact, I know, that people are going to say the same about this conversation. This is the Russell Howard we have never seen before. And it's an incredibly inspiring, valuable, vulnerable Russell Howard. It's the side as a Russell Howard fan that I wish I'd seen more of. I have a feeling you're going to be really surprised. So without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett and this is the DiR over CEO. I hope nobody's listening. But if you are, then please keep this to yourself. - I'm funny because of my mum and I'm determined because of my dad. - You said that right? - I did say that. Yeah, I felt like that was the beginning of a riddle. Like you were sort of a golem figure. I'm trying to understand, yeah. - Can you explain it to me, please? - My mum is a warm, twinkly-eyed little lady who is inadvertently funny all the time. Has no idea of her power is just naturally bright and joyful. If you ever feel that you're kind of getting used to hotels and the humdrum life of, oh, here we are in another place, take my mum with you, separate rooms. And watch her reaction when she goes into a hotel room because it reminds you of how you used to be. - Oh, really? - Jesus Christ, they've got kettle, they've got teabags. Look, they've got a trouser press, look. - Like she's so excited and happy by the world.
Journey Into Comedy And Mental Health
Your family (03:22)
And my dad is a very quiet, unbelievably determined man who, when we were kids, we'd sort of, he'd have us mixing cement. We'd be sort of like, building kind of walls within plastering as a kid. I remember watching my dad plaster and he was trying to keep this kind of wall up and he screamed to himself, come on, David. And sort of even at 11, I was going, ah, it's a bit much. So I have these kind of two very different dominant personalities that kind of raised me. Who I love dearly both, but they are very, very different. My dad challenged me into a press-up competition recently at a family barbecue and he beat me. He did 68. - Okay. - He did, yeah, and he's 65 years old. And yeah, remember this story, this sums my dad up. I had a school report when I was 11 and the teacher said, what Russell needs to know is that he can't do everything. And I kind of go, and you know, in that moment, you give the report and your dad looks and he goes, well, what's this mean? You go, well, the teacher says, I can't do everything. He goes, why did you say that? Well, I just think that I can. I think I can do anything if I put my mind to it. My dad goes, you've got to go down that school now and tell her that. So I have to walk back to the school. - You do, okay. - Yeah. And I kind of go in and go, my dad says, I can do anything and you're not allowed to say that I can't. Which is a pretty, you know, incredible thing to do, but you know, it made the school tough. So yeah, very different. - What about brothers and sisters? - I have a brother, Daniel, who's an amazing human being, very funny. And I have a sister who is an actress. He's also incredible. They're very different as well. I'm very close to my brother. Not so much to my sister. We sort of, all my brother, we just played football together as kids. And oddly, Kerry is in the same world as me now. And is kind of a baff to nominated actress. She was in "Him and Her," BBC Three, and super talented and yeah, a great human being. There are lovely bunch, but very strange, my family. It's like being in a pog song when you go to kind of Christmas parties around our way. Do you know what I mean? - Yeah. - It's sort of, you know, those, like, I remember we had the "Defuneral of My Nan and Granddad." Separate, sounded like it was packed. But that feeling sometimes when you go to a funeral and you're so proud to have the same blood as the people in the room, I kind of feel that whenever I'm back with my family in the West Country, there's such a lunacy and energy to them that I adore and feel so kind of delighted to be part of, you know? It's kind of, yeah. - Jimmy Carr said something to me, which I've been waiting to ask another comedian. There's a stereotype that comedians are funny because they're depressed. - Yeah. - But Jimmy Carr said that's wrong. He said, "You've really got to ask a comedian who in their family is sick." Because he says that much of his comedic genius or his desire to please people came from trying to make a family member happy or trying to ease moments of tension in the family dynamic and when he was younger. Do you resonate with that at all? - Yeah, yeah, completely. My dad is, you know, is successful and super serious, but used to lose his mind watching kind of Billy Connolly or watching "Have I Got An Oohs For You?" So he would like, "How with Laughter?" And we sort of figured out the way to break dad's serious energy was to make him laugh, you know?
Why you ultimately became a comedian (07:10)
So definitely, it was kind of, there's no tension if people like, I've got a line in my new special, which is, "Laughter is the lubricant that makes life livable." And it really, it soothes tensions and it's a bandage that gets over cracks, definitely, you know? And then it's sort of this thing that you, when you discover you can make people laugh, it's so addictive and you can literally create your own energy and like you do an arena, there's 15,000 people there, you're orchestrating this almost societal orgasm where they're kind of like lost in laughter together. You feel like a necromancer, man, it's the best. And I think Jim's writing that that initial spark comes from probably, I'm thinking of other comedians as well as myself, it's sort of that sense of, you know, like I've got a lazy eye, so that was, you know, so I became funny to deflect and to jokes about my eyes to stop people looking at them. And then you kind of realize, "Okay, this is kind of cool." Or if you're a bit thick, or if you're not good at football, or you don't fit in, you can kind of sort of rebrand yourself in a strange way through humor. And you can create your own kind of energy. That sounds kind of wanky, but you know what I mean? - Of course I do, 'cause there's also another stereotype, which is that people who are slightly bigger tend to be really bubbly and have funny personalities and comedians as well, which is, would fit that kind of idea that it's a tool of deflection from something else, you know, they don't want to focus on. - Hmm. - You talk about it being heavily linked to self-esteem as well, and you're... - Yeah. Yeah, well, what's odd the further you get into it, you realize that it's so much fun doing stand-up. And it's such a wild drug effectively, 'cause you're doing this massive gigs about 2,000 people, and everyone's laughing, or 15,000 people, you're in New York, you're doing a gig in Finland, and you can't quite get over it. And then it's a consequence, it's quite hard to sit down and watch the TV, and be normal. And so you're kind of chasing that sort of high, and it's about the real skill is trying to figure out the sort of work-life balance, you know? I'm speaking to somebody whose house is above work. But you know what I mean? It's like, the only way around it is to sort of integrate it, really. But like, I don't know, I've been doing stand-ups since I was 18. I remember doing the first gig, and it felt like it was, you sort of discovered a mechanism through which you can do life, but everything, sad, good, happy, weird, peculiar, can go through this sausage maker, and you can then understand life, figure it out. But also that's a very strange way to do it, because you're using the stage to kind of dissect yourself. But the aim is always funny, but I don't know of a better way to do it than to kind of make sense of the world. And the funny thing about all comics is guaranteed. If they find themselves in a strange situation, sometimes a heartbreaking situation in life, there's always a little part of your brain going, could be a bit in this, and it's that horrible sort of disease that we have that you can't ever truly be there, because there's always a little bit of you, whether you're Seinfeld or Taylor-Thompson or Bill Burr or Chappelle or whatever, your brain is going, yep, there's stuff in this. Do you know what I mean, as you're having the, as you get beat and arpere or whatever, your brain, I remember getting mugged in Brighton when I was 18, and this guy shouting at me, "Come back, I'm a police officer." He clearly wasn't. And I said, "No, you're not, you're a monster." And as I said it, I went, "That's gonna be quite funny, I reckon." But I'm literally running away and terrified, but my brain's going, "Yeah, probably build a little bit "about that." And it's, I think all comics that I know have that thing where reality is always auditioning to find its way into your set. - Wow. I could get out of hand and you could start willing misfetching. - This is the weird thing, yeah, but, well, exactly, but that's the problem, yeah. We haven't got any jokes, but if you're just walking around, dressed as a clown going to like a fucking zoo, there's gotta be something in this. But yeah, you're right, it's sort of about keeping life open. I bit and keeping the third eye open, really. Probably that's the same of all creatives where you kind of, or all people really, like you have to notice the things that niggle you. And if you're talking about them, whether it's, you know, like in my last special, I had a big bit about kind of young women self-harming. I couldn't, I was like, what, like one in four women self-harm? And I was like, I couldn't get my head around that. And I just knew I had to talk about it on stage. And yesterday I saw this lady complaining because the foam in her cup wasn't at the top of her cup. And for the rest of that morning, I couldn't, I couldn't get me around it. Just how do you get the confidence to complain about your foam not being there? And I know somehow that's gonna end up in a show somewhere. That's the way I kind of operate, really. I sort of see these little things or, and they kind of make a note on my phone and they gradually kind of make their way. - You know, - Interesting. - Like collecting dots from society and then figuring out how they form. - Well, I think that, I know Chris Martin does a similar thing where you just make little notes of lyrics. And Woody Allen does a similar thing. Woody Allen will just write a load of stuff and then he puts it in a drawer. And then when he comes to write a film, he just gets the drawer out, empties all these notes that he's been making for the last six months and figures out what the film's gonna be. And that's a lot easier than sort of writing from a blank page because you can then finesse your kind of thoughts in the field when you're in the laboratory into work. - You said something there which I find really interesting and I think is there's kind of almost analogies for life within, which is after you've come off stage to thousands of people in an arena, you then go home and have to like sit in front of the TV. The anti-climax, dealing with like that consistent, high, then low, feels like a lot emotionally 'cause that's like a huge adrenaline surge and then even like physiologically that, it feels like that must be not natural. - Yeah, have a consequence. - Yeah, Christ, that's deep and that's hope it doesn't. But yeah, you're right, it's, it's, yeah, every comedian when they're in the middle of a tour needs a really, really good box set. Like, it should not have made it so you need succession, you need mad men, you need something to get you through because yeah, it's sort of otherwise, like if you're trying to maintain that high, you know, if you're sort of drinking and you're doing drugs or whatnot, it's gonna make it harder to be that version. It's kind of like, whereas if you're a musician, you can still sing the song that they want you to sing if you're on kind of Coke or like, or you're pissed up.
Dealing with the high of comedy shows compared to normal life (14:21)
It's kind of hard to be a good comic for a long time if you kind of, you know, on drinking drugs. So yeah, you have to sort of develop this kind of way of like reintegrating your life. But also it's nonsense as well. It's just, it's fun make-belief. Like, and also what's important is kind of, you know, going for a meal with your wife and hanging out and seeing friends and there's joy in that, you know? And you see it, you have to try, you have to plan fun, I think, that's the crucial thing. You have to go and write, we'll go on holiday and we'll go to that restaurant and we'll watch this film because I think like you say, it's the sitting and the waiting is very difficult to compete with the innate rush that you get from stand up. - Because of what you do professionally, do you find it harder to enjoy the sitting and the waiting in the meal where you're sat there, just, you know, and the holiday where you're sat on the deck chair? - Not like, I normally, what I love about holidays, I don't know what your feelings are about them, but by the end of like 10 days, I'm ready to go back to my life because holidays remind me of how much I love my life. And that's the thing, so you need to have that kind of, I'm a real sit in the sun, you know, read some books, listen to podcasts, whatever, and then kind of go again, but I like the recharge of it. If there was a thing where you could literally plug yourself in like a mobile phone and I would happily do that on a beach, do you know what I mean? And then kind of go again, but I'm not really, when I'm in holiday mode, I'm not really a culture vulture, I'm kind of a sit down, plank book, sun, relax, get ill because I've been putting it off. Do you know what I mean, you body just kind of gets a bit sick and then you kind of go again. How about you? Do you, you were a relaxer? - I think I'm a forced relaxer. - Right. - Yeah, I think my girlfriend is the reason why I would go on holiday and I think she's also the reason why I would be present on holiday and she's the reason why I'd go and look at like a castle or something. - Okay. - Like whatever she would want to look at. - Okay. - I think if it was just up to me, I wouldn't go and I wouldn't do it. And even if I did go, I wouldn't leave the hotel room. - Yes. - There's like strong evidence for that because whenever I've gone to speak in a country or whatever, I don't leave the hotel room. I don't desire to do anything but just be on my phone or laptop. So pretty sad, but I think, you know, that's why it's fortunate that I have a girlfriend. - Yeah, but it's also not that thing as well of like you clearly, with the job you do, you clearly love it as well. - I love it, yeah. - So that's the thing. If you're fortunate enough, there are so many, there are billions of people who are, who are, who, you know, live for the weekend. Do your job punching, job you don't like, get your money, smash your weekend, try and find your fine. If you're one of the, there are so few people in this world that truly have a thing that they do, that they get paid for, that they adore, you just got to get old of it, man. And just like, there's no shame, but it just seems peculiar to the outside. - So you got to be how obsessed you get about your job, or I would get about stand up, or there was a documentary about the comedy store on Sky recently, and I watched it. It was incredible. It was a beautiful kind of summer's day, and I smashed the whole thing. It was one of the best days I've ever had in my life. Because it was incredible, and it evoked this kind of the comedy store from the sort of the '70s and the '80s, and Jay Leno and all this. And it just, you know, I was like, we need a time machine. We need to go back to those times at the comedy store. But this, because I love stand-up, and I kind of, you know, it's, you have to be with people that understand your passions, because you can't fake it. You can't go, let's go to the castle. If you're not, I'll go to the castle, guy. Do you know what I mean? But you're right, you can be, you can have help to look at the castle. - And then you realize when you get to the castle, that's just really nice castle. - Yeah. - I wouldn't have come had you not done it. - Completely. - Yeah, yeah. - We're not staying for ages at the castle, right? - I don't wanna look at you. - It's not an Airbnb. But you start writing, so on that point of finding, you're passionate and pursuing it. You started writing jokes at 14. - Yeah, why, you've done your research? - Yeah. - Yeah, I had an old computer, and yeah, I kind of, I watched a Lee Evans video with my mate, my mate Craig, and it blew my mind, 'cause when I was a kid, stand-up really wasn't on the TV, that you'd have like a Billy Conley tape, you'd have like, have I got news for you? Is it a big show or bottom or shooting stars? It's that kind of era. But stand-up wasn't really a thing, and he was the first sort of person that I'd seen who kind of was just funny, wasn't an alpha. And I was like, wow, he like, it was mind-blowing. I think I could be, that's sort of a bit like how I'm funny, like, you know what I mean? And me and Craig just wore that tape out, we just watched it over and over and over. And I didn't tell anyone about it, I just started writing these little kind of jokes and routines and ideas that none of which were any good, but it just became like my little, it was like my little fun place to go to every so often, goes, I'm not gonna write some of my jokes.
Getting into stand up (19:30)
- Did you perform them to anybody at that page? - My first ever gig was in Bristol, a place called Virgin Murph, and I took all these jokes that I've been writing since I was 14, and I whittled it down to my best 20, and I did it there at Virgin Murph. I followed a guy who was eating a banana with a spoon, singing the theme tune to the Sweeney. And another bloke that was sort of like, his act was to punch himself in the face. So in a sense, it didn't really matter how bad my 14 year old stuff was. But yeah, so that was it. And then I kind of, some of it stuck, some of it didn't, but it was all like, I had this bit about like, how did Captain Kirk get through the entire, or at least when I was 14, but how did Captain Kirk get through all the Star Trek episodes without one's flicking Spock's ears? So that was one of my first, and I sort of think it's all right, it's not bad. - It's not bad. - But that was the first joke I ever kind of told. - And one of the things I found quite peculiar in your story is that your dad really pushed you to give comedy a go. - Yeah. - And that seems, of all the guests I sit here with, the thing that has typically made them famous, or well known, or successful, their parents were usually quite against it and would much rather have got a quote unquote real job. - Yes. - So what were you doing at the time? And yeah, why was your dad's supportive of it? When, you know, at a time when that's probably not considered a highly profitable, high chance of success career? - Yeah, I was working at the RAC in Bristol, at a part-time job. And I was also doing stand-up. And I, 'cause I started standing at university, and then finished my degree, went home, and it was just kind of doing probably three gigs a week, for, you know, 50 quid, a pop, was like sometimes a hundred quid a pop, that kind of thing. And alongside this kind of like shift at the RAC. And it was, I was kind of like, I'd have a gig in Lincoln, and then I'd have to drive back to get to work, and it was kind of like nacker-in. And my dad basically, I went weirdly, not to name drop, but I was talking to Matthew McConaughey about this. And it's a very similar thing where his dad, when he told his dad he wasn't gonna become a lawyer, he was gonna become a comedian, an actor. His dad said, "Don't half-arse it." And that was a similar reaction to my dad. My dad basically was like, "Right, if you wanna do this, "you're 21, go for it. "Give yourself a year, don't stop. "Put everything into it. "And then if it's not happening in a year, "you stop, you get a proper job." And I kind of, I really respected that option that he gave me. Do you know what I mean? It was like, I'll be fine. It was like, don't fuck around. Properly go for it. Don't do three gigs a week. Do five gigs a week. Just do that, and then see where you are in a year. And I was at the Edinburgh Festival. I had about like eight days left from this kind of like contract. And my now agent saw me at the Edinburgh Festival, have like a really good gig. And he kind of said, "Oh, does it always go that well?" And I say, "Oh, the time, you mad, yeah." But I was doing lots of sort of improvising and stuff like that. It was quite hit and miss back then. And then we went from meal. He gave me, they used to have a thing called the Comedy Network where it was like 30 gigs around universities. And that day, he booked me into these 30 gigs that were at the time. I still remember the money. It's 150 pounds per gig. Spreading out into November. And to work for a comedy company called Avalon, it's one of the biggest kind of comedy producers in the UK. And then he signed me. And so it worked. And then I kind of moved to London and kind of slowly kind of kept on keeping on. I liked the deadline that my dad gave me. Do you know what I mean? Because it was kind of, I really respected it. And he had this amazing quote on his office that said, "Something like, I think it's by T.S. Eliot or T.E. Eliot." That said, "Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, waking the day to find that all is vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous for they act upon their visions with open eyes and make them happen." And that is at the core of my dad. So he's kind of quite disciplined, but he also has a fuck it, go for it. But yeah, I just went for it. But also because I loved it. And I didn't love working at the RSC. And I didn't, I'd finished my degree. And I knew what I wanted to do. And I just, I just worked my bollocks off, man. I did every gig you can imagine. But loved it. And my brother used to come to them. We traveled down to Brighton to do 10 minutes. And, you know, we'd have to sort of bunny hop the car to Reading Station because we didn't fill up. And, you know, it was real kind of fly by the seat, your pants stuff, but just the best. It was the best. It was like, it's the best night out. You got a Plymouth. And, you know, it's a six hour round journey, but you do 20 minutes and it goes great. And then the promoter says, "Oh, we'll get you back." And you're like, "Brilliant, I go back to Plymouth." You know, and yeah, it sort of all worked out. - Something is so interesting when I speak to successful comedians because it's one of like purest forms of like insanely, I say insanely, but like if you were trying to reach a lucrative outcome, one of the like insane paths, one of the most insane, pure followings of one's passion because it seems to be the case that you follow this passion, which doesn't promise to ever pay you that well. - Yeah. - Or promise there's no chance of success. And you follow it for years. - Yeah. - You paid 50 credit, 100 credit. - Yeah. - And then, I mean, I speak to the ones that were successful. Right? But when you look back on that period of your life, and if I was to say, like what are the key things, you've identified hard workers, one of them. But what are like the key things that made you get here when so many won't get here? - Hard work, luck, natural talent, perspiration. But mostly, and I would say luck is a big thing. Luck and hard work are the big ones. And taking your opportunity and having little kind of moments and always listening to the crowd as well, because it's sort of that thing where certainly as a live comedian, you can't bullshit people. Like there is, you get a tangible answer every time. The laughter is yes, the silence is no. You just can't fight with that. Like that is, there is a truth to the gig. If they're laughing, it's fine, if they're not, it ain't.
What are the key things that got you here? (26:52)
And that's the big thing really. It's just kind of, you know, all great comedians listen to the audience 'cause they're all the matters. And you can be critically lauded, you can win awards, you know, but ultimately, if you don't hear laughter, you won't be here. And you have to have new stuff. That's the big thing. You have to make them laugh and constantly renew yourself. That's the thing, to kind of just stick around. - You make the audience laugh. They all burst out laughing, they clap. They say, "Oh, you're amazing." After the gig, they say, "We're gonna re-bick you. "You're a best person ever." Does that impact yourself as team in a positive way? - Yeah, of course. - Yeah, but yeah, it's the best, man. It's just, for that feeling when you do the Brighton Comedia in your 20, and you do 10 minutes, and it goes really well, and Stephen Grant, who is still the booker at the Brighton Comedia, says, "I will get you back for a 20." That journey home does the best. Or someone says, "Are you gonna do the, "we're gonna get you back to host the Lincoln student night?" And you're like, "Yes, do you wanna do it monthly?" "Yes." You build up this little following in Lincoln, because it's, of course, your self-esteem is just up there, because you feel like you're a youth team footballer that's breaking into the first thing. That's how it must feel like. You feel like you're kind of feel pho-den, and you get these little opportunities. It's probably something with footballers, like what makes Phil pho-den probably, that he has natural talent, he works his arse-off. And when there's opportunities, he's kind of clinical enough to take advantage of them. Do you know what I mean? And learn from mistakes. And comedy is constantly about learning from mistakes, because you go, you do new material, doesn't work. You tweak it, you tweak it, you tweak it, until you get something that kind of makes them laugh. - What would then assume that comedians have, like just tremendously high self-esteem? - If they're laughing, yeah. But then the interesting thing as well is how quickly it crumbles down if it goes badly. And I've got a friend of mine, Al, picture who's a comic in Sweden, and we talk about this a lot, where when you're low, it, irrespective of what you've done before, you just feel like such deep, deep shame that you've been unable to kind of make them laugh. But then that makes you work hard and go again, because you know the excitement you get from making them laugh. So it's an unhealthy treadmill. But at the end of that treadmill, there is this incredible cherry, deep, deep shame. Just because it's embarrassing, it's like you've tried to make, like even this, I'm really enjoying this. It's really fun, but it's very serious. And we've got like a little mini audience over there I can hear, and every little laugh, my brain's going, "That's good."
How does the laugh impact you (29:47)
And when they're not, I'm like, "Ah, fine, that's just amazing." Yeah, totally, just because you sort of feel like, you know, it's sort of that weird thing for me, laughter is truth and victory and silence is failure. But then the interesting thing about that is when you watch a performance, you actually realize that, of another comic, you go, "Wow, there's real power in the silence actually." Which took me a long time to realize, 'cause I was very, initially, "Bruh, brr, brr, brr, brr, brr, "just keep it up, keep it up, keep it up." And then you kind of, you know, you watch someone like Chappelle, for example, and you go, "He's a real master of the silence." And you don't lose him, you know what I mean? And you're not away, you're captivated. But it takes a really long time to feel that you've earned the right to captivate an audience. But there's captivation in silence, but who fucking thinks they're captivating? That's the hardest thing I find, is to kind of, you can never know whether you've been captivating or dull, because the sound is the same. You know what I mean? It's sort of that weird thing of like, I mean, I don't come off stage again, was that captivating or dull? - Yeah, yeah. - But hopefully, yeah. - It's really interesting. When you have conversations like this, because there is no, like, there's not huge amounts of laughter, 'cause it's a serious conversation. - Oh, but I love chats like this. This is the best, man, but yeah, go on. - That's what I was basically asking was, when we have comedians come here, we've had Russell Kane, we've had obviously Jimmy Carr, they do make a lot of jokes. Even before we're filming, I think, you know, Jack will like put the microphone close to Jimmy Carr's mouth, and I think he said something like, just keep it like a fist away, and he said, that's what your mother said. - Yes. - It's like, yeah. And it's almost like a, a Tourette's of humor, which is, and I wonder how you kind of get through life like that, and it almost feels like uncontrollable. - Yeah, honestly, that is the best description of it. Like, there's a joke that I think sums up comedians' brains the best by a brilliant comedian called Mitch Hedberg. He's no longer with us. One of the greatest comedians of all time. And this joke sums up the brain that comedians have, and I'll do his impression, if there's fans of Mitch out there, forgive me for this, but it works better if he try and do it as him. He kind of goes, I'm mumble, man.
Looking for the 'bit' in everything (32:10)
I mumble a lot, I've staged, I'm a mumbler. So I'll be with my friend, and I'll say something, and he'll be like, what? And I'll say it again a little bit louder, and he'll be like, I didn't hear you. And then the third time I was saying, he still can't hear me, so I'll say it to him. But now I'm yelling at him, that tree is far away. And that's what it is. It's this thing in his head that's gone out of the trees far away. And it's a joke about the mania. Like what were you about? I was just saying that tree's over there, but it's not, it's further away and it's that thing, the amount of times I've been with my wife and you sort of say say it, she's like, fuck you, fuck you. I saw this being in Primrose Hill the other day that generally said protect our birds. This was the line on the bin. Protect our birds, there's a picture of like a bird and respect their way of life. And I just went into this thing of like, I don't know, you show respect to what fucking, but like in my head, I'm just kind of like, I didn't know there were disgruntled chaffin' shoes all over Primrose Hill. I've never seen that on the news. I'm just kind of going, today a bird was the victim of, of somebody attacking him. And my brain was just like whirring around with this. And she can see, I'm kind of full zombie, oh he's just gone. Shit, what are you on about that guy? I fucking bin, I was just afraid of the bird. And it's sort of that, that's kind of the way that comics brains are I think. That you spend a lot of time playing around in your head. And then you kind of go, oh that might be something. You know, like we would, the other day, I was talking to a friend about sperm donors. And somebody had had, there was this website and on that you could sort of get, you could get your batch. And one of them was like, I, you know, he was like six foot four, Swedish, keen reader, and you're a really good job. And you're like, yeah, that's exactly what I'd say. If I was trying to flog sponge. You know what I mean? I could have kind of go a bit of a loner. Comes in every Wednesday. We've had to stop it. But my point being, we were having a chat about sperm donning and my brain was sort of off in this sort of fantasy land. Where's the bit? What I just found it's so funny that I don't know any true six foot four, high achieving intellectuals that kind of just get a nip out to a spaff into a pot. You know what I mean? It doesn't exist. But everyone's tend to, tend to buy it. We're totally. So up the point is you spend a lot of time in that kind of fun zone. And that I think that's the brain that a lot of comics have. - Speaking of that brain spiraling, after you've done a gig or, you know, can you remember a time where you like go on Google, you go on the Daily Mail or something, Twitter and you look at articles of what people are saying of you. And it has a really profound like negative impact on what you think about yourself and you start to question yourself. - I don't do it. Like I came up in the days of my space and whatnot. And that was, I've never been on Twitter. I've never been on Facebook. I do a bit of Instagram. It's the same with reviews. It's a very funny thing. You get a five star review and your brain's like, exactly. Yep, correct. You get a shitty review and you're like, what the fuck? And you realize that you have to pay no heed to it. The only, I mean, it's flattering and it's great. And it's lovely to get nice reviews. And anyone who says otherwise is bullshitting. But it's with social media, you can't, it's too much to kind of seek validation from people, particularly in the world that we live in at the minute, where you haven't to check to see if you've been correct for it. You're not gonna be right for everybody.
How do negative reviews impact you? (35:52)
And some people will not like a joke or some people suit, but you just have to try and stay where you are. So I've definitely had time so that when I was younger and it just crushes you and you realize actually, all I'm doing is paying attention to the really negative things that people say and they'll be like, you know, one out of 50 that's super horrible, rather than focusing on the kind things. And you realize actually my brain focuses on the negative and go, yeah, they're right, actually, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep, correct, correct, correct. It just doesn't make me. A better, more functional human being, it just, it hurts. So I don't do it. Do you know what I mean? So I just kind of... But people must have said to you, your agency manager said, oh, get on Twitter, that'll help. Yeah, well, what I do, what I love about social media is I like making things and then putting it on there. And so putting clips of stand up or the TV show or whatever. But I don't, I'm lucky, I have a, if I wanna do comedy, I can go to a comedy club. And it's a dark room and I can howl. I can scream, I can be silly, I can do whatever I want. It's in a comedy club. Social media is the worst comedy club in the world because people aren't there to laugh. Do you want me? Everyone there is there to laugh. And there's this sort of lovely bonding experience. We're here for a reason. Whereas social media, some people, most people in the world are just up for a hoot, but some people are looking to be angry or they're looking to be enraged. So it just seems naive to put humor into such a volatile club. Can you imagine if it was a club called Twitter, right? Hey, do you wanna come play Twitter? Can you imagine how hard that comedy club would be? You know what I mean? And so I just don't bother with it, but I like making things that are finished and then putting them out. But I kind of literally emailed them to my agent and say, oh, we should put this bit from the show on. I don't even know. I haven't got my log in, so I don't know. Really? Just because-- Just because we live. Yeah, but, but, but also maybe it's because I'm 41 and I kind of came up in an era where standup was still playing clubs. If you're a young guy now, it must be completely different. And there's loads of kind of great comics that have kind of come up through social media or through podcasts. And I love that because there's, particularly podcasts, I think, with like young comics, there's a real air of punk about it where you kind of go in, I'm not gonna wait for TV to give me anything. I'm gonna make my own thing. And then people gravitate to that. And that's your thing. And you can't mess with that. Whereas I love that. I love the fact that people aren't gonna be waiting for TV to anoint them. But I was very lucky that I was just doing live gigs. And then when I was 26, after having done stand-ups since I was 18, somebody said, do you wanna go on TV? And I kind of went the traditional path, as it were, and kind of social media grew alongside it. But I was never, and I never needed it. Which is not to say, I couldn't have been bigger if I cultivated it. But the content I like making exists in the club. And it's finished when I do a Netflix special, or it's finished when I do a TV show. It's in a state of flux when I'm in a comedy club. It's in a constant state of becoming. And the problem with social media, it makes everything finite. Intangible. And sometimes it's not. Sometimes jokes evolve, or routines evolve. If you put it out there, it might be rubbish, or it might be ill-conceived. It might upset people. But by the end of it, having worked in it in a comedy club, it might say exactly what you want it to say. It's a really sort of wholly spaced, the comedy club, versus Twitter. Why should you drink fuel? We're going into the fourth quarter of the year. Diets are dropping off. We're becoming lazier and lazier. And what tends to happen when our diets dip and we start to become less compelled to go to the gym, is, yeah, we get out of shape. We start to feel low energy. We start to binge eat bad things. And fuel is the antidote. It's nutritionally complete. So you get everything you need for your diet in a drink. You get your 20 grams of proteins. You're gonna get your 26 vitamins and minerals. It's low sugar, high in fiber. It really is the cure to a lot of the health issues that we see in our personal lives, but in wider society. If you've never tried it, all I'll ask you to do is give it a try. And if you like me, then you will like the world berry ready to drink. You'll like the mac and cheese, which is just selling absolutely crazy, unsurprisingly. You'll like the cinnamon and you'll like the banana flavor. Those are my recommendations. I know a lot of people love the chocolate flavor. Let me know, try it, get yourself healthy and send me a message on Instagram. Tag me on Instagram as well on your stories. If you do try it out, 'cause I sometimes upload those tags and let me know which is your favorite flavor. Come with you from here. - As a comedian, do you ever feel a sense of imposter syndrome? - Yeah, I think I don't know any great comic that doesn't. I'm talking to Billy Connolly. Billy Connolly used to get nervous. Billy Connolly was worried that the audience wouldn't love him, that he wasn't worth their evening. Billy Connolly. If Billy Connolly is thinking that, then you know all of us are. And I think if you get to that stage where you're like, "This is gonna be great, I know it's gonna be great," it probably won't. You have to have a healthy degree of imposter syndrome in order to be the best version of yourself. Because you have to burst into that party and be the best, funniest you. Because that's what's on the ticket. That's the thing. And the only way to do that is kind of hard work. But to just rock up, for example, to an arena tour, having done no kind of warm-ups, it'll be fine.
Impostor syndrome (42:10)
You're fucking won't. Arrogance destroys stand-up. You kind of have to go to small clubs before you start doing a tour to kind of know you're okay to get rid of that. And without imposter syndrome, you don't grow as an artist. Do you know what I mean? - But it can be tough to deal with psychologically, right? Because it sounds like it must be similar to living with a sense of self-scrutiny, which can be quite unhealthy. I don't know. - Yeah. Yeah. I guess the key thing is to, you've got to, I think you have to leave on your own terms. Do you know what I mean? There's a while where this won't be healthy forever because it is a strange way to live with that. - You feel like it won't be? - Yeah, just because you just kind of go, there would just come a time where you're not as sharp as you once were and you're like, "Ah, fine, I'll just go work in local radio." But not to, that's not a dig at anyone in local radio. You do important stuff. Keep those weather checks coming. But doing kind of arenas for a long time is, I've been doing them since like 2012 now and that is a crazy level of pressure because you sort of do, we do, I do them in like a month long block in the UK. And it's kind of, right, okay. Yeah. And then you get through it and then you're like, okay, go again, go again. And that isn't necessarily the healthiest way to be forever. - Does it have mental health implications on you? 'Cause like, if you're living with that kind of internal fluctuation all the time and that anticipation, that those feelings of self-doubt that, you know, they say that anxiety in particular is like concern about the future. If you're constantly thinking about the future, that moment in that arena, is do you feel anxious at all? - Well, the funny thing is the only time we don't feel anxious is when you're doing the, when you're doing standup, that weirdly that's the respite. But leading up to it, it's nerve-wracking, but as soon as you step on the stage, you kind of, you know exactly what you're gonna do and it's fun, it's the most fun in the world. And then it's the, but the leading up to it and the afterwards was like, all right, was that fine? It was good, it was fine. You know, I think you sort of just make your peace with it and you, like you say, it's meant, it leaves you mentally fragile but I don't know of another way of doing it. - Have you suffered with anxiety though?
Mental health implications and using fear as a motivator (44:48)
- Oh yeah, massively. I like it sort of, but I think it's sort of that thing, like, right, I have these gigs, but don't do this work. I'm gonna look like a fool, people are gonna boo me. There's gonna be anger, blah, blah, blah, blah. So you go, so that fear drives you to write and perform and get a show that's good enough, right? And I've not found anything that was a useful motivator, but like you say, it's a tough way of being, like Johnny Wilkinson, I remember seeing this about him, Johnny Wilkins and kicked the winning, I don't know, rugby, but the winning-- - World Cup Kick. - World Cup Kick, yeah, right. And as the ball sort of soared over, apparently he said to himself, his brain went, you nearly missed that, as it went over, like, and he's won the World Cup and the next day he was training and he was kicking goals again to ensure that he didn't make that mistake. And unfortunately, for him, that's what makes him magnificent. You know what I mean? And I think it's sort of that thing where you go, the older you get, you can try and adapt it and try and figure out, you know, and we're all in a constant state of becoming, as regards to sort of mental health and trying to, figure out a healthier way of being the best you without it being so draining. But he scored the winning goal, the World Cup, you know? And it's sort of, it's kind of shitty, but that determination is what sort of made him and it's kind of, I guess the thing is, it's about kind of ensuring that you have enough kindness to yourself around that so that you kind of give yourself a break from time to time. And that the overall picture is happy. - Yeah. - But I don't know of a better motivator than fear to make good stuff. Like if it exists, I mean, can you recognize that? Do you have, what is there another thing that you have? I guess excitement, if you could turn fear into excitement, that would be a healthier way of doing it. But I just don't find it as, oh yeah, it's so much fun because we'll go there and it's going to be great. - But then you wouldn't do the prep, right? As you say, if I was excited, I wouldn't, I'd probably be leaning glacked. - Well, that would be the thing. So you'd have like six months of joy. And then you'd do the thing, it'd be fucking awful. And then, whereas at least this way, you have six months of tension, and then you have joy, and then the kind of joy lasts throughout the tour. - And then after the tour. - And then after the tour, you go back to fear to get there. But I don't know it like it, but I don't have the answers, and I don't know what works for other people. But for me, it is that, and it's something that I'm trying to address. - Which is fun. - Living in fear too. - Living in fear too much, or putting too much responsibility on the thing, but I don't know of another way. And I'm sort of seeing people and trying to figure it out, but I don't know what made of it to you, for example. - I completely get it, it's a trade-off, right? If you wanna achieve the goal, you need this unfold. I always think this, I think everything has a cost. And everything good in my life that I love comes with a cost. It could even be a financial cost, or it could be some other type of sacrifice in those that have risen the highest in certain professions. It's so obvious to see the cost in their lives. It's much more obvious than everyone else. So I sit here with my guests. I sit here with Eddie Hearn. He's built the number one boxing promotion company, but he never ever sees his wife and kids. And it's like unsatisfiable as a human. - Yeah. - That's why his book is called Relentless. And I get, well, that's the clear quote unquote cost, potentially. - Yeah. - And yeah, with what you're saying, being an arena performer, one would think that you spend a lot of time in a certain mental place, which is not always great. - Yeah, but then I was just thinking then, I was thinking about the fascinating thing about life is you have these, so for example, we did 10 nights at the Albert Hall, which is like a world record. It's mental. It was extraordinary that kind of little me that used to sit in the back of mum and dad's Ford Fiesta, watching the raindrops go down the window. I did 10 nights at the Albert Hall, it was mental. And it was fun, it was brilliant, great. But it was like, put your plane snooker, you know, get all the reds, then they're not, the rest of them down, done. You know what I mean? Lovely kind of controlled snooker brain, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, end of the show, hooray, yeah, go again, right? But it was fun. That exists from a sort of dopamine level, on a very similar level as being on my stag do with my cousins in Vegas, and hearing my cousin Lewis tell a story. And so I think it's my way of figuring it out is to have as many of those dopamine hits of joy, whether it's good food, good company, travel, books, music, whatever. So you're kind of constantly feeding yourself. Like, because if you just, that's the big realization I've had that if you only try and get happiness from work, for me it doesn't work. To sit around and hope that your life outside of work can compete with this joy that you get from work. The only way you can do it is just surround yourself with people that you think are fantastic, or experiences that you think are fantastic. And it can even be little things, it's just like, you know, like we did some gigs in Dubai, and we went to a water park every day, and I'm 41. And I want my friends who are all big lads, and we were on this rubber dinghy, and we kept going down this slide, we honestly, it was the joy, the silliness of the day, led into the fun of the gig. And I remember reading a thing about Chappelle, that Chappelle, when he's on tour, he brings his powers, he brings friends along, so that he's sort of living, the joy of life is connected with the joy of work. He's never sort of sat backstage with his notepad, kind of waiting for an hour and a half to go on. And if that's something I'm trying to do, I'm trying to kind of involve people more in kind of work, and be less, just kind of like, "You need to stay away, I need to concentrate." - To blend the two, and you kind of totally, yeah. And you talk about this in the same way with, a couple of moments ago, you talked about living for the week, and then kind of like compartmentalizing that, and then having your life on the weekend, and how that doesn't feel like the best way to live either, because you have five days of misery, and then two days of like pissing, and getting to find that. - But I think also the pandemic has recalibrated a lot of people that actually go, we were kind of locked away from each other, and we were locked away from experience, and the happiness of something appearing from nowhere. Those magical nights down the pub, or watching football, or listening to music, or having a barbecue with friends, where a moment unintentionally becomes a memory. And we were kind of robbed of those social moments that created memories, because we were sat with this disease lurking, not knowing where our lives were gonna become, and we kind of felt like we were sort of immune from something, this heavy happening to us. And it didn't, it happened to everybody, and it feels like because of that, we are now kind of coming out of the cave, as it were, with a real desire to find as much majesty in the universe as possible. But I genuinely feel a lot of people, like audiences post-pandemic, like even British audiences, who were by a stretch, the toughest crowds in the world, like by a stretch. - Is that lovely English coming in, can't like me, La? You know what I mean? Whereas in America, they're already up. You do comedy clubs in America, they stand up as you walk in, you know what I mean? And but British crowds now, because people are, people want connection and they want experience, because it was kind of robbed of us. So it feels like it could be a really glorious time. And like you were saying with the tour that you've got planned, what a fantastic way of doing that, rather than just, you could just do a Q and A, but you're putting, you know, you're making what sounds like a really pulsating live theater show, it's gonna blow people's minds. And that's what I want to do, that's what audiences want. There's a friend of mine called Alex Edelman, who said, I like stuff that's ambitious and finished. And that's kind of where I want to go. And I feel like that's where audiences want to be. They want to see something that's gonna rock 'em, you know, and blow them away. What a target to aim for, to a thing that's gonna be, I'm gonna try and make a thing that's the best night out there anyone's ever heard. - One of the things you said was, just a couple of moments ago, was that you've seen someone to help you with that kind of fear, living in fear state that we described. What do you mean by you've seen someone? - Oh, just be a therapy to, yeah, try and have like sort of little coping mechanisms. You know, you sort of just get far enough into it where you go, maybe just have a bit of help now to recognize kind of moments of mania and how to kind of manage them a bit better. So nothing super exciting. It's not a shame or, you know, it's not any kind of ayahuasca or mushrooms, it's just a bloke in an office. - So what was your intention when you went to bloke in the office? - Just to kind of make it a bit easier so that you weren't loading it too much. So you can still like, you know, work efficiently without, it's becoming debilitating.
'Cause I think that's the thing probably a lot of people suffer from that by using fear as a motivator, sometimes you're probably losing 20% of your potential through kind of panic. So yeah, it was sort of, could I sound like a fucking robot when I said that? But do you know what I mean? - I mean, I think of like just trying to figure out, okay, is there another way of doing this? - Was that? - Yeah, but even recognizing when you're just a bit full on and just kind of go, all right, just calm down. I'm a real sucker for like little quotes, man. Or I was weirdly, I'm interviewing Will Smith on Thursday, which is mad for 10 minutes. I've got a 10 minute interview with Smith. - So jealous, they emailed the email 'cause we have the same publisher like, Will Smith's coming to town. - Yeah. - I was like, can I get on the podcast? He's like, he's got no time. - Yeah. - I'd have loved 10 minutes. - Well, but this is it. Well, last night you were long, man. That's not what we can double up. But I was listening to the beginning of his book and it's a brilliant story about his dad, made him and his brother build a wall. And it's just, this is very, very simple analogy. You've probably read it, it's just brick by brick. And that's, particularly when you're making a TV show and you're writing topical jokes, sometimes it's really hard to make stories interesting and to write jokes about things that are going on. And in that instance this week, that really helped me brick by brick. And I'm able to kind of go, okay, yeah, cool. I can get stuff from that. I'm very much a, from a philosophical point of view or a therapy point of view, I need pointers and tips to make me better. I'm not a enjoy every sandwich kind of a guy 'cause it's a fucking sandwich. Like, you know what I mean? Like being the sandwich, just doing this, it's a fucking sandwich. Like, I need, I'm very much kind of Eastern philosophy of like, okay, how do we make ourselves better? I love the idea of kind of self-improvement and being the best you. So I find quotes help that, you know? And even talking to somebody like, but I am like a bit of an expert. He'll say something or you'll say something and you kind of unravel a thing. And even like what we're doing now, sort of having a chat about the process. And I have my friend James Bay, the singer we, particularly during COVID, we spoke a lot about everything and about creativity and talking to like-minded individuals about the pursuit of a joke or a song or any kind of piece of art. I find really, really interesting. I love it. I'm so interested in the way that musicians create. I'm so envious because they sit in a cool room or they go to like the studio and they kind of write and they jam and they riff and they create a thing. And then they perform it. Whereas the musicians I know are very envious of the way the comedians create, which is you go in front of a crowd and you create with not for, you know? It would be like the comparison like Chris Martin going in front of a crowd and Chizzic and going, "It was all blue. "Nope, okay. "It was all green. "Nope, it was all yellow. "Yellow, right, I'll do yellow tomorrow." And it sort of is that kind of process. So talking to different creatives or anyone who is sort of an expert in managing yourself is something that I find really comforting or, you know, like even I've really gone to this quite angry, hubanment at the minute. You're such a professor from Stanford and it's all these kind of neuro-linguistic things you can do to help yourself, you know, like cold showers and all this and Wim Hofbreeve and all this kind of stuff. - Does that stuff work? - Maybe it's psychosomatic, but yeah, it feels like it does. Do you know what I mean? You feel like you've done your, it's like going to the gym. It just feels like medicine for you, doesn't it? You always feel like no one enjoys going to the gym. You know, I imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger did, but most people are just like, right, do it. And it feels like a nice little tick for your soul. And it just feels like therapy is almost, well, it's exactly that, isn't it? It's a workout for your brain. Or having a conversation like this is a really nice workout for your brain where we're both in kind of like a strange dream like States where we're kind of having a deep conversation. We're kind of riffing, but somehow without planning any of this, we're getting to a deeper place. And yet it's very strange because there's people driving, listening to us right now. - Which is very weird. - It's weird, isn't it? - It's just a lot of aid. - You know, it's a lot of aid, yeah. - And well, that's the fascinating part. - In the future as well. - In the future, man. - Yeah. - But you're in the now, aren't you? Derek left there, but it's sort of that fascinating thing that you let people travel to work with you. It's the coolest. - Yeah, it feels like a huge, you know, especially because it comes out on Monday as well. Which is a particularly like interesting day to be in their ear at six AM. - Yeah. - Right, it's so funny. What are the podcasts you listen to? What you're going to? - Oh, if you listen. - Or do you listen and lock me up if you found out? I listen to like serial killer podcasts. - Do you? - Yeah, like Theranos, the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, like crime and serial killers tends to be my like go to. - Yeah. - And you know what? It's actually, I probably know why now because I'm so fascinated, this is the reason why I do this podcast. I'm so fascinated by people in their psychology. And for me, criminals and serial killers are the most extreme and fascinating amongst us. So I would love to have a podcast where I could interview serial killers and be like, why did you do that? Do you know what I'm doing now? It's a slightly different fascination. So it's just, I get so fascinated by them. I'm watching these serial killer documentaries trying to understand the pattern in what made them like from their childhood and their dad's a diss and then kill them, the playground punched them and then they just started killing people. - Yeah. - So yeah, what about you? - Sort of more fantasy football stuff, really. - I enjoy that. - No, I kind of, yeah, no, no, no, yeah, it's because a friend of mine does one. I listen to Tim Ferris and Andrew Huberman, those are my go-tos. I'm Mark Marin, I really like. - Yeah, yeah. - It's some really great interviews. Yeah, I love, there's a brilliant interview with Marin and Seinfeld, which is one of my favourites. Like I really got into Jerry Seinfeld during the lockdown, which is kind of so late. Do you know what I mean? I just feel like I've gone, "Hey, radio had a good." But yeah, that's my thing. I like hearing people that I don't know and have in my mind blown. That's what I like about podcast. I'm not into serial killer, I find it too, do you know what I mean? - You can't say that. - Too icky for me. What do you, and you call yourself murderinos, don't you? - Is that what I don't know? - I don't know, it's the kind of like a real. - If you're a big fan, you're a murderino. - Oh really, wow. - I fit in. One of the things you were touching on there about these kind of practical hacks and quotes and stuff allow you to kind of get to a better place, reminded me of something that I read about you regarding your pre-performance routine and superstitions. - Yeah. - Before you're going up on stage, and there's 15,000 people out there and they've all got their arms folded and the manning you to make them laugh, what are you doing backstage to get yourself in this state you need to perform at your optimal? - So if it's arenas, we get a football, we just have a kick around. - Really? - Yeah, yeah. So we just do keep you ups and you've got to do 10 before you go on stage. - Between, oh okay. - So me, Kumar and Pete, and then Steve, and we'll try, we've got to do 10 keep you ups before we go on stage. Can't really do that if you're doing a small club. There's a brilliant comedy club called Top Secret in London, and it's very, very small. And before that, I'm literally in an alley that stinks of piss, looking at notes.
Your pre show rituals (01:03:07)
So it's always looking at notes, thinking what you're gonna do, sort of trying to be calm, to listen to that inner voice that says, hey, you could also do this. And that kind of weird, kind of funny that just appears from nowhere. There's always the best way of starting a gig. And that's it really. But there isn't really a cycling up process. I like, if I'm doing a big show, watch my friend who's supporting me. So you get sneak in the back of the theatre or the arena and get a feel for them, and then just go for it. - Why keep you ups? Is that just tradition, or is it like a-- - No, it's just, if you're, this year, maybe it's just that weird thing of like, right, I've done 10, I can, you know, and then if you don't do 10 the first time and it falls, you got to do 20, and if it falls 30. So, you know what I mean? So you have to do it, and then it becomes this weird, like little thing. You just don't want that in the back of your head. You can't do a big gig going shit, man. I only did 24 key peops. - So superstition. - Yeah, like, yeah, and I just, and I kind of like, I spend a lot of time with my tool manager, Kumar, the mighty Kumar Kamala Garan, and just chatting about stuff and just being kind of loose and sort of, yeah, just sort of getting in the zone of being silly and just talking about any old bollocks to try and sort of get things going, or, you know, it's like if my brother comes on tour with me, that's always fun because it's kind of, they'll just be a bit of nothing kind of happening. And like, yeah, so I like sort of just hanging out and chatting, talking bollocks and sort of loosening yourself up, really. That's kind of what I do beforehand. This is a very, I don't know why this question came into my head, but it tends to be the kind of things I ask on this podcast. What was the lowest moment of your life? - What was the lowest moment of my life? I think when my granddad died, that was like, it was awful. And I was incredibly lucky because I, how was I, I was thinking I was 36 when granddad died. And he, I'd never had any one of my family, what my cousin Shane had died when I was 18. And, but I'd never been to a funeral. So it was Shane and granddad. So there'd been this huge gap where nobody died. And, you know, this sort of beautiful family that I belonged to, they were all kind of there. And my granddad was sort of like unbelievably special kind of man, he was four foot nine.
Life Struggles And Successes
The lowest moment of your life (01:06:00)
And just funny and warm. And just like a quintessential granddad. But like he, grand, he got me into football. So I used to watch football with granddad and watch him actually the day. He'd make me and Daniel toast, you know, that thick white bread. And he kind of like, make us some granddad toast. And he's just a brilliant, brilliant, soul that just was such a big part of my life. That he, and they used to come and see us quite a lot. And whenever he was there, I don't know, he was, you were just bathed in his love. Like him and, him and my nan just adored me. And I adored them and it was, they used to have a poster of me on their, on their wall. And they used to, and Nan used to keep all the reviews I'd get. So that she'd put them up. Like, and it was just that lovely thing that was really, some lovely reviews and some shitty ones too. And it was just like, "Nah, why don't you take that? "Why don't we talk about that?" But they, and they used to watch me on TV and I come from a family where it's inconceivable that I could be on TV from the family that I come from. It's, you know, it's like going to the moon. But because Nan and Grandad, he said, "We'd have watched on a TV, mind it. "We'd have watched it with a volume down to you to swear." So they would watch me when I was doing good news or I was on mock the week with the volume down. It's how I rest like on the box and just sort of see me, kind of like that. And, but they were so, through every part of my life, I felt utter love from my Nan and my Grandad and they were around forever. And, and, it's, it's that thing where, I don't know for whatever reason, he was like this sage and my, there's a beautiful photo of my cousin Shane who, who, who died when he was, he was 18. And he was on a scrambling motorbike. And our Grandad, one year about eight, he's just a look at that and just go, "There you go. "That is the bravest bloody boy you've ever seen in your life." And it was like, sort of a really interesting story 'cause he, he had cancer and he died of cancer. And he, he went on this sort of scrambling and he did this race and he was, he completed it, even though he, he was really not well at all. And, and our Grandad told that was such pride and it was this beautiful story. And that's what, and Grandad, you knew Grandad told similar stories, obviously not as beautiful as that, about all of us. And, and yeah, when he died, it was just this ledge hammer to your heart where you just go, "Jesus, "one of the, one of the, "one of the good souls isn't here anymore." And yet this is the fascination of life. I was in Mexico and it happened. And my mum ran me up and said, "Grandad's dead." I was like, just, no. Literally seconds later, there was a, there was a Mexican man just going, "Bada, dada, dada, "dada, dada." And it was just like, "Fuck me, the universe is funny, man." So it was like utter sadness and then something, "Bada, dada, dada." And it was, yeah, it was just this weird, like moment where you're like going, "Fucking really, really?" So yeah, that was the, that was definitely an unbelievably low moment. And yet weirdly became, his funeral, this beautiful moment where you were, like I said at the beginning, where you feel privileged to belong to the blood you belong to, you know? I've never done who do you think you are, I know who I am. I'm, you know, I know where I come from and I know my people and I feel proud to belong to those people. And the funeral of my grandma was just this reminder of the excellence of my family and how proud and how much we all love each other. So from that deep sadness became this reflection of my granddad and you realized that everyone in this room were there because of his brilliance. So it was this kind of weirdly bittersweet moment, you know? And my cousin, my cousin Stuart wore a leather jacket and looked like fucking lovejoy and nobody understood. And everyone said, why are you wearing a leather jacket? Oh, we know we didn't have a suit. And we were carrying granddad and a coffin and Daniel was like, nice jackets, Jew. Our fucking shoulder start going because it's like, you know, like our mate and everyone's like, they're gonna laugh. We're like fucking hold it together, hold it. And then, yeah, six weeks later, my nan died. And it was horrific. - Six weeks later? - Yeah, six weeks later. And then we went to the funeral again and Stuart rocked up with that same leather jacket and you're like, fuck me, man. And you could see everybody just looking down going, don't laugh, why is he wearing a fucking leather? We literally rocked up like Hasselhoff. You're like, put a suit up, but it was weirdly funny. And you could everyone go, fucking, he's my fucking leather jacket on again. My Jesus Christ, I was fucking wrong with it. But, like, it was all flapping and that. But I had to do the eulogy for my granddad as well. And that is something I put deep, deep, deep, deep time into to make it. And obviously you can't get it right. You can't express what he meant to you. But, yeah, that was a long answer to the lowest moment. - They say people can pass away from heartbreak. - Yeah. - For your grandmother's nine, six weeks following. - Yeah, I think they would join to the hip. Yeah, they're just kind of, yeah, maybe it was that. It was just kind of, yeah, it was just, but also there was such constant and I just wasn't, I'd never really been exposed to death. And it was just this kind of like, for it to arrive quite late in your life. It was just a real like, whoa. Yeah. And then you lose, and then you suddenly lost your nan and your granddad who had kind of, like, we got, like, my nan, particularly, it's just such a lovely, she got proper sort of blue, gray, hourly eyes, you know. And she's always like tucking a sort of shirt down. And she's just coming and just telling you little, she goes, "Just weird little shit." So I remember doing my dissertation, she was staying around her house. And she's like, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm doing a, I'm doing my dissertation now." And she said, "What about?" I said, "It's about whether it's right or wrong "to advertise to children." And my nan went, "It's not." I kind of went, "Well, I gotta do 10,000." So, you know. - It's not, though, is it? Come on, come and have your tea. I was like, "I can't just put, it's not Nancy Vail. "I gotta do this." But she was very strong. We used to make flapjacks together as kids as when I was a kid and she was obviously manan. But we didn't like flapjacks. And we used to just make them as a thing and then put them in the bin. Fucking weird. Yeah, I know. Yeah. And the reason we kept doing it is because it really annoyed my mum because she's like, "What are you doing? "Jesus Christ, what's wrong with you?" And then she would get the flapjacks out the bin and that was funny watching my mum eat flapjacks from a bin. I got a weird family, man, but, yeah. Those were the, I wonder if she did die from heart. I don't know. I mean, they weren't particularly well towards, in their life as well. They sort of had kind of, you know, certainly the beginnings of dementia. So, yeah, it was kind of, you know, just that horrible thing where, yeah, I don't know, it's just kind of yuck in it, you know. How about you, what was the lowest moment of your life? Am I allowed to ask? Yeah, the lowest moment of my life, good question. Is it shitty to ask you? No, it's no, like, if I can ask them well, so they have to be fine. I don't even, it's a really interesting question. I think it would probably be, oh, no, I know what it is. Well, it's the one that kind of stands out to me is really, really sucking. So, my grandmother dying was one of them, but I wasn't close to her. Right. So, it was just actually seeing my dad upset, seeing your, like, dad cry for the first time, was very like, oh. Yeah, that isn't that a, if you got a strong dad? Yeah, never seen him be emotional after all. Yeah, that's the weirdest thing is. Quiet, passive, just, and then, you know, to see him cry is, that's very difficult to understand. Yeah. And then the other one is actually when my dad called me into his bedroom and told me he didn't love my mum. Oh, wow. And that they were gonna get a divorce, and they didn't get a divorce, they're still together now, but at seven, I think I was, when he said that to me, it was like, earth, like, foundation shattering information that I couldn't, I don't know, I always remember that. I don't know, I always recall that one, you know. It's like, I could never forget that moment in my life. What are you meant to do with that, seven? Fucking, exactly. Like, especially when it doesn't even happen, but their relationship for me was so toxic as a kid that I actually got to a point later where I'd come to terms with the illusion being burst, that your parents actually might not stick together. And then I was actually willing them to get a divorce because they were just screaming at each other too much. So, I think that's probably, that's, for some reason those two moments came to mind. If I told you that you could never write a joke again and you could never perform again. Yeah. What would happen to you? I don't know, it's... Hmm. I think you'd go back to, I'd end up being what I was when I was younger, I was just desperately trying to make people laugh and just sort of, I'd just be a bit of a nuisance at Tesco. Do you know what I mean, when you kind of get in your shop and you're like, "Oh, I was looking at the sperm donor the other day." "Oh, you should have six foot four." Like, you know what I mean, it's kind of, you know. So I think why? Why? I don't know, I just like making people laugh. I like the, I like, it makes me feel good at it. It's, yeah, it just makes me feel good. I kind of, it's like I say, it feels like you're giving them a socially accepted orgasm every time they laugh. So you're literally going around making people come.
What would happen if you could never write a joke again? (01:16:48)
Why don't... Why Tesco? Yeah, I know. Imagine making someone come in Tesco. But why don't I... Every little help. There we go. But why don't... It's the new head for Christmas, but I don't know. Sorry, go on, Kerry, what we're gonna say. But why don't, why do you have that need? And I, like, I don't. So if you said to me, I could never write a joke again or I could never, you know, perform comedy again. I would find, like, my life would be unchanged, but for you, yours would be, it'd be like an irritant. And like, what's the difference? Well, it's the same as you, like saying, you know, you can't have your own business. Yeah. You've got to work for somebody else. So how does that feel? For me, it's a definite loss of purpose. For me, it's like a huge loss of purpose. Not so much working for someone else, but not being able to, like, build, yeah, do what I do professionally. It would be this huge sense of, like, loss of purpose. I might move on to, like, doing shows or, like, just writing books all the time or something else. But from a comedic perspective, it's like what you're doing is, like, very reliant on feedback of sorts. So I'm wondering where that's coming from. Is that, you know, we kind of touched on it earlier in the conversation. It's just, yeah, it's been such a clear, consistent coping mechanism in the toughest moments of your life, evidently, that it makes me ponder how you would cope without that coping mechanism, dealing with the reality of life, you know? But I think that's what I sort of said, laughter's the lubricant that makes life livable. Life is tough and laughter provides respite, for me. And it... And that's... And it's so deeply human. Everyone has... Irrespective of whether you have a... an easy, blessed life. Everyone has had moments of trials and tribulations. And laughter is just a... It's a thing that soothes us. And I find it particularly soothing that you take the sting out of pain by just making... making it funny, do you know what I mean? And it's kind of... It just works for me. I just find laughing... or making people laugh just the best. Because you're in the moment of laughter, you're lost. You are not of this realm. You're kind of in this white noise space. And it's good. It's a good place to be. The scape is in almost exactly... Yeah, but exactly. And then you come back to reality and you're a little bit more reconfigured. Or you lighten the load a bit. And I get a deep sense of satisfaction from making people laugh. And you write it is tied up in them. It's very needy. That's absolutely true. But then... You know, I'm 41 now and I kind of know who I am. I'm kind of needy. Most comics are... Because I've been asked to write sort of my autobiography quite a few times. And it's like... I just don't feel like sitting and entertaining myself. Whereas when you're writing stand-up, you're writing it for an audience. So you can perform it or you're making notes and you go, "Hey, I'll take that on stage." And I'll kind of riff it out and figure it out with them. Whereas a book, to me, just feels like it would be... I don't think I've got these skills to sit down and try and... entertain myself and then eventually entertain people through the book. Do you know what I mean? Like I did a thing last year where we went to Australia and New Zealand during the pandemic. Because we're doing some gigs out there in the hotel for two weeks. And we made a stand-up show that blended me meeting people alongside stand-up. And it was one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. We met these incredible women in New Zealand as a thing called the "Coffin Club." And what they do is... I didn't know this. It turns out dying is really expensive. And coffins are really pricey. And what these retired pensioners do, they make cheap coffins and they kind of sell them for like, you know, 300 bucks. Really kind of low. Don't make any profit. So look at these beautiful funeral elves. And they make their own coffins as well. Just for a bit of fun. And I met this lady and she'd made three coffins for herself. And I was like, "How come have you made three?" So I just keep putting on weight. And it was so touching and peculiar. And then we went into another room and there were little baby coffins. Tiny, tiny. And it's one of those things that I hope nobody ever sees that. And I was like, "How?" And people often say, "Oh, comedy, hardest job in the world." Imagine making a coffin for a baby. It blew my mind. And I looked at this twinkly-eyed lady. I was like, "How do you do that?" "How do you get yourself in a place to make something that sad?" And she kind of looked at me and just went, "I do it so no one else has to." And it was so beautiful. And for me, I loved being able to tell that story through Stand Up with her on the show. And I don't know if I have the skills to tell that story through words on a page. Do you know what I mean? I'm sort of aware of an ability I have as a communicator to make a story like that deeply human. I can tell that in front of anybody and it gets to their heart. It's so pure. And there's so many stories out there like that that they're trying to find those examples of magnificence. I find endlessly interesting. But you don't find them if you set down right in a book. You've got to get out there and you've kind of got to put yourself in peculiar situations. I met a lady that goes, "Yowie hunting." Turns out there's a yowie is a big eight foot sort of like a bondable snowman in Australia that he lives just outside Brisbane. She was absolutely wonderful. You know, mad as a box of frogs but beautiful. And she was like, "Yeah, what we do, put some cigarettes out and some beer, that should lure him in." So she puts this big jacket on me. She goes, "Yeah, and you might want to make the mating noise." And I'm like, "How does that go?" And she's sort of like, "Ooh!" And I'm kind of like into the field going, "Ooh, ooh!" And she's like, "Yeah, you're doing really well." And then I panic because I start going, "What if this is real?" And suddenly this eight foot bloke comes along and fucks me. And I'm sort of dragged off and you're like... And then it was sort of... And I was telling her this and we're laughing and it's funny that again, those stories... I love trying to find those stories. So I feel like I don't have enough stories yet to sit down and tell them all. And the great thing about stand up, you can rotate your stories. You go, "Hey, do you want to hear this? Hey, do you want to hear that?" Or things can happen from nowhere. My brother is an ex... We were having a conversation with a friend in my race today and from nowhere, my brother goes, "But what?" Because this bloke was talking about his friend. He goes, "Yeah, he's a vet." My brother goes, "Yeah, to be a vet, you've got a shoot at camera face." And I'm like, "What are you talking about?" He goes, "Yeah, there's your only way you can be a vet if you've short-cared a face." I said, "Is it? What?" So they do six years of school and then right at the end, they give him a smith and western and they blast him in the face and he's like, "Well, don't give him an act, you f*** f***." They give him a bolt gun. "I'm not going to shoot with a rifle." F***ing moron. Like that. So we're having this kind of conversation and I'm like, "What are you talking about?" He goes, "True, cares told me." "Cares told you." "Yeah, no, he knows." "No, he's a vet shot in the face." So I'm like, "No, weirdly. A month later, I'm doing a gig and less than." There's a guy chatting away and he's a vet and I go, "F***, I've got to ask." "Did I make you shoot cows in the face?" And he goes, "Yeah, yeah, we have to." It's one of the things. The f***er was right. So I ring my brother up in the middle of this gig. There's 2,000 people there. I ring him up and I'm like, and put him on speaker on the phone. I go, "You all right?" He goes, "Yeah, what?" And I go, "I'm just in Leicester, I'm a gig. Are you?" And I go, "Yeah, you know that thing you were saying about cow? And vet, yeah, it turns out you were right." And he went, "Yeah, I know." And he goes, "Listen, I've got to go and watch individual." Like that. F***ed off. But that was the correct story for that night. It is my point that sometimes, and it was so hilarious. In that moment, it couldn't have been more perfect. And then all the ushers, the work there, and that was planned, right? Yeah. And it was, but it only came about because me and my brother were with friends of mine in Exeter. He told a man's story. I had an argument with him. We all laughed because my brother was talking shit. What's he on about? A month later, I met a vet. He agrees with my brother. And we have a moment of magic. And it's the funny thing that that's all anyone would remember from that show. And I don't have the skills to do that through sitting on my own. I would be too excited to tell people the story. Quick one. As you probably know by now, I'm trying to make my life a little bit more sustainable. And I consider myself to be on a bit of a sustainability journey in the same way that I'm on a health journey. And it's a privilege to be able to share that with all of you. And you all know, if you've listened to the last podcast, that I traded in my Range Rover Sport in for an electric bicycle, which is now my only vehicle. And next year, hopefully, I'll have my electric car, too, if Tesla hurry up with a cyber truck. And that's where my energy comes into my life and my sort of sustainability journey. It makes your life, if you are on that sustainability journey, 10 times easier. This is one of their, if you can't see this, I'm holding it in my hand if you're listening on Spotify. This is one of their renewable energy products. If you're watching on YouTube, you'll see this. This is called the Harvey. It's this very clever little device that allows the Zappi and the Eddy, which I've talked about before on this podcast, to be installed into your home without hard wiring or without batteries or without those god-awful transformers that a lot of people have in their house. It's basically a tiny device that's going to save you both time and money, and for someone like me who doesn't have loads of time on our hands, it's a real lifesaver. If you're looking to make a conscious switch and you need a quick fix that's going to save you a load of time, then head over to myenergy.com to see this product and many, many more. So, Patrice Evra, who sat there before Jimmy Carr said one day his girlfriend turned to him and was like, "Are you happy?" And at first he resisted that question because it makes people feel a little bit uncomfortable. But, yeah, are you happy? Yeah, at this moment, yeah, I've really enjoyed this chat, like deeply, and I feel pumped up and energized. So, yeah, but it's back to what I'm saying. I'm kind of, I need the energy of others to make me happy. You referred to, when I asked that question, you referred to this moment as if happiness was more of a mood in your view versus then like a long-lasting state. If we were to say that it was a state, a long-lasting sort of the baseline, would you say you're happy? Yeah, I'd say I have more moments of happiness than sadness.
Are you happy? (01:28:40)
But I'm in a state of flux with that. Like, you know, I can be super low and super sort of depressed about, "Oh, fucking hell, the jokes are shit this week in the show. God, I've got that. I haven't got the stuff." You know what I mean? So I kind of, I can let things get on top of me. But I have more moments of happiness than sadness, I think. Have you ever experienced what they call like depression, like clinical depression? In your view? I don't know. I don't think so. I have moments of like, where you can't be a sort of a way, you need to shift it. But I'm very much at right, getting the treadmill, and weights, kind of do something kind of a guy. I'm restless. But yeah, I've never been diagnosed or anything like that. But yeah, how about you? You happy? It's such a heavy question. It's a really heavy question. I remember the first time my fucking Patrice, ever. Yeah, I know, right? What an interesting, fascinating blokey is as well. It's just pryky. Remarkable, remarkable guy. Am I happy? I remember the first time I was asked it and it felt really uncomfortable, and I felt defensive about the question. Yeah. My PA, who was also my girlfriend at the time, many years at Long Story, we were going to that. She asked me in the car one day, she was like, "Are you happy?" I was like, "How dare you?" I was like, "I don't know." No, of course not. But I think my ego inside my chimp brain probably was like, "How fucking dare you?" Of course I am. I believe so, yeah. I believe so. And one of the things that has helped me a lot is I'm very obsessed with gratitude and constantly reminding myself of how unbelievably fortunate I am to be one of the free ones. And what I mean by that is financially free, free to do what I choose to most days. Of course I have days where it sucks and I'm my mood shitty and I'm irritable and I'm a bit of an asshole to be around. But I feel somewhat content despite my relentless excruciating ambition. Yeah. Yeah, that's a very good answer. I'll take that one. Okay. Your manager said you're the hardest working comic he's ever met. Right. Yeah. Well, I just like, is that toxic? People in our society at the moment have, this is kind of stigma around people that work too hard, that it's toxic productivity or... Yeah, but it's sort of, you know, you work as something you love. So it's kind of like, you know, it's sort of those moments of like, you just lose yourself in it. It's like, I imagine this the same with when Picasso was painting, Genonavini was just probably like, it's fun. Like, Genonavini, like, you know, imagine is I'm not comparing myself to Picasso. I'm using him as an example of just sort of, imagine this is manager going, you just fucking relax, mate. Do you know what I mean? The system's trying to work. But it's just, I don't know, I just, I love it and I don't, I don't mind working hard. And it's also, it's not working in the true sense, like you just said. How fortunate to be one of the three ones. It's ridiculous. Like, I write the, I write stand up on my own, but I do my TV show and I write it with five people. And we get to write jokes. That is our job. There's an unbelievably privileged job to be able to sit around and think of funny things for people. And that can be stressful. But there are people working in jobs that they don't like that would kill for that opportunity. So you're right, you need those moments to kind of snap yourself out of your funk and remember that you're getting paid to do a hobby. Ultimately, you know, in my case. And in mind, like this is. Yeah, totally. But my point being it's sort of like, there's no, there's nothing wrong with having low moments and everyone does. And it feels like the world is better now in terms of being able to talk about them. But you also, I think if you come from a certain background, you don't want to bitch and moan about yourself and kind of say that you're having a tough time or whatever. But if you're lucky enough to have friends that you can talk to or things like this or a therapist or whatever, just make it makes the pursuit of happiness a lot easier, I think. Because I think that is possibly, maybe that's what happiness is. It's about talking for long enough to realize what you have. Whether that is a loving relationship, whether it's a job you love, whether it's a hobby you adore, but there will always be sort of shimmering lights of hope in the misery. But sometimes somebody has to help you find them, I think. Do you know what I mean? Because I think it's very difficult to sit within yourself and go, "Yeah, I can see everything's fine. Sometimes you need a little bit of help to kind of remind you of how lucky you are." You're upcoming Netflix special. You called it lubricant. I now know why. Yeah, yeah. But tell me what we can expect from this special and how it was conceived and what makes it, you know? I guess worth watching. Wow. It is the best stories and jokes that I've written in the last two years from traveling around the world. I did a tour that was called "Respite". And I kind of put together all the best bits about kind of conspiracy theories and COVID and leadership and madness in the world. And I sort of splodged it all together and the... You never quite know what it is until you sort of step away from it. And I think it's actually a love letter to laughter.
Your Netflix special (01:35:07)
That's what the show is. And the full hour is about the importance of giggling and of being silly and how deeply human it is. And it should be treasured. There's a bit in the special world. I was chatting about, you know, when you hear somebody play a musical instrument and you're envious of the notes they're making. It strikes me that laughter is a musical instrument that any one of us can play. And now is not the time to put down our fucking trumpets. And that's the show really. It's about the importance of laughter and the role it plays in which we do life. And it's lots of funny stories. There are kind of all about that, really. You talked about how as a comedian you have to kind of have this like self-evolution. What evolution in the comedian that you are in this special lubricant? Have you observed in yourself? I'm slower and I'm more thoughtful and I try and make it more interesting for people set at home than in the room. I think previously I've been a bit too kind of high-octane and I'm trying to kind of make it pleasurable for people at home so they can sit and enjoy it. Because that's how it ultimately is consumed. I have a fascination with anger and I have a fascination with beauty. I don't like, so I find anger strange and I find beauty beguiling. And that is the only to get deeper and deeper. So for example, that story about the ladies in the coffins that isn't in this show, but it's somewhere deep in me and I think that will come out in another show. The evolution as a comedian for me is that I want the next special and the next tool that I do to be deeply human. And I want it to be this, in the best sense, a place where you can fucking nod with me and laugh with me and feel like this connection with people next to you. And I think that comes through exploring how fucking weird and silly we all are. I think the world's taking itself very seriously at the moment. And there's so much humour in it. I think there's so much humour on the edges, in the shades of serious stuff. You know what I mean? I kind of find it, yeah. That's where it feels like my evolution is, that I'm trying to talk about. I quite like being able to talk about serious stuff, for example, you know, talk about cancel culture or woke. The amount of times you hear the word woke in newspapers in a minute. And it's because it just sells papers, man. And it's kind of like, hey, have you seen what they've done? You can't say the word "farts" and "boobies" and "ars" in "scrapble". And it's a story in the newspaper. And it was like fury as woke scrabble bosses. No one's furious about scrabble. No one's like just, and even if they were doing that, how are they going to police it? I was going to, you know, break into your house. You know, just put a clip on a triple letter. They're not going to do that. So I find that mechanism really interesting at the moment that you go, okay, clearly, there's money to be made in kind of you won't fucking believe what I've done now. In that energy, but also recognizing that it's just a trick. It's fake outrage. It's fake outrage. And it's kind of the what-next brigade. But I find that really interesting. I was like, "Piss Morgan's whole thing for a while on TV." It was like, they've changed toilets to unisex. I'm like, "Oh, fucking…" Yeah, but because it sort of like, it just works. It's easy. It's click. And then you're there. But it's kind of not, it's just not nourishing. And there is actually a way of making the people that succumb to that and the people that think it's bullshit. You can bring them together through really piss funny stories. Or that story about the coffin and the lady. Doesn't matter your political orientation, doesn't matter your gender, whatever. That's a deeply funny human story. And you look at someone like Billy Connolly, some of his bits are so beautiful and funny with George Carlin. They're majestic and you're kind of lost. And I think there's a real value to humour. And it's often overlooked because it is silly. And it is kind of far-pish shit. You know what I mean? It's kind of… You know what I mean? It's fingers and ears. But it's a release. And it's kind of… It's a deeply important thing, laughter. Deeply, deeply important. And if we didn't have it, you know, I think it's only like dolphins and rats are the only animals that laugh. I don't know how scientists found that out. I know I do, actually. They tickled the rats' bellies with a pencil. This is presumably pre-COVID. Do you know what I mean? Imagine that if it's just kind of vaccine. I'm busy just trying to get this rat to giggle. But yeah. So that's lubricant. Is it December 14th? December 14th comes out. It was respite. It was just show respite. And then right at the last minute, I decided to call it lubricant. But that becomes a plitting. We all know now, listen to this why it's called that. But it's kind of 40 minutes in. You go, "Ah, right." There might be some furious perverts. And we work kind of again. Where's there's absolutely nothing here about Vaseline, about KYGLE? This is bereft of any lubrication. I hope someone writes in. Yeah, there's a review. It's not what you think it is. It's absolutely disgusting. I was fucking outraged. And then you've got until the wheels come off as well, which is a documentary. Yeah. So until the wheels come off is a documentary about making a stand up special throughout the COVID pandemic. So yeah, it's kind of, yeah, cameras follow the surround and try to, you know, like we did gigs in football stadiums and car parks and crazy. Yeah, it's brilliant. It's nuts. But we did Ashton Gate, which is the home of Bristol City. And we had to get 2,000 people in a 10,000 seat to stand. They all had to be spread out. And it was one of the weirdest gigs from ever done, but it's one of the best. And that comes out on the same day? So the dock is on the same day as the special. So yeah. Well, yeah. We have one. I'm excited for both. I actually did get the chance to watch the trailer. All right, nice. It was hilarious. Oh, thanks, man. And I'm particularly excited to see someone with your smarts and both comedic genius and intellect take on recent times. Yes. That makes sense. Yeah, totally. So really, really looking forward to that on December 14th. We have a long standing tradition on this podcast where the previous guest, as I mentioned, writes a question for the next guest. So Patrice wrote, "Are you happy?" because that was the question that stumbled upon. I don't, I'm not going to say who the person was that's written this for you. Okay. But I'm going to tell you what the question is. What three things would you give to the world? You can only answer with single words to make it happier. Jesus. Jesus. Not that. That's one. What three things would I give to the world to make it happier? You can only answer with one, one, one words. I mean, this is a real reverse-elatted moment, isn't it? A fixed climate. I know that's two words, but, you know, that's the first thing. Technology that stops mental health.
The last guests question (01:43:09)
See you zap them. And they're fine. It's a sort of a wand you wave at the moment. Okay. It's a mental health wand. Yeah. So yeah. A mental health, yeah. So that's it. Fixed climate. Mental health wand. And food. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like fixed climate. Mental health wand. Food. And starvation. And starvation. And starvation. Oh, and starvation. Yes, right. No, no, I was going to say, "I give them a take." Now I'm going to ask you to do the same. But before I do that, I just want to say a huge thank you for coming today, because I've watched you on screen for many, many, many years. I find you hysterical. But also, I love this opportunity to get to know a side of you that I wouldn't have ordinarily seen on screen because of the way that, you know, the format of TV and adapting you. And you're just, again, you're super smart, super introspective. You're a genius, clearly. And you're doing a service to the world, which is clearly so unbelievably selfless, and cheering people up at a time when they really need it, that I feel like the comedians amongst us who are lubricating us through these hard times are national treasures at the moment. Oh, mate. Sweet thing. I need you to come home and say that whenever I'm having problems with my watch. Well, so, you could do that. It's time to write a question.