Transcript of #14

 

Abnormally Funny People Show 14

 

Presented by Simon Minty and Steve Best

 

 

intro

Welcome to the Abnormally Funny People Show with your hosts Simon Minty and Steve Best. This podcast is sponsored by Barclays. For more information please see our website abnormallyfunnypeople.com. We hope you enjoy the show.

[playing music]

simon

Hello and welcome to the Abnormally Funny People Show number 14. I’m Simon Minty.

steve

Hello! And I’m Steve Best. We’re back from Edinburgh. The Fringe is over.

simon

Yes we are, and yes it is. It’s 26 shows with just one day off.

steve

I didn’t have a day off actually, Mr Minty, I had to come back to London, do you remember, London town.

simon

For your builder.

steve

The builders.

simon

Shall we not talk about that again? Not all month again.

steve

Yeah okay.

simon

Okay. This month’s show we’re going to be talking all things Edinburgh about the highs and the lows.

steve

We’re going to talk about the reviews and talk about other shows we saw.

simon

And we’ve got two of the 12 acts who performed with Abnormally Funny People right here with us.

steve

We have Mr Steve Day and Mr Laurence Clark. Laurence is a stand-up, and has been for some 15 years. Hello Mr Laurence Clark.

laurence

Hi.

simon

And we have “ferociously funny Steve Day”. Steve Day is a regular performer in comedy clubs up and down Britain and was part of the original Edinburgh line-up for Abnormally Funny People in 2005.

steve D

2005. I’m Britain’s only deaf comedian. If there are any others I haven’t heard. I have to say that. I’m sorry. You can’t stop me.

steve

I’ve never heard that joke.

simon

No. Not since August.

steve

Oh yes that’s true. Ferociously funny.

steve d

Ferociously funny.

laurence

Yeah I’m not ferociously funny.

simon

You are ferociously funny but Kate Copstick who did the review in The Scotsman

steve

Forgot him.

laurence

Forgot me. Yeah.

simon

And amazingly she, but she reviewed when Steve Day wasn’t on.

steve d

Yeah I was that good I was carried over.

simon

She loved it. She had seen an earlier show and loved it.

steve d

I was carried over for two days.

simon

I spoke to her…

steve d

Compared to the forgettable Laurence Clark. Put that in a quote.

simon

I spoke to her when she was reviewing and I said this is the line-up. And she said, “Where’s Steve Day?” And I said, “He’s gone home now” because the line-up changed all the time. And she’s like, “I really enjoyed… I’m going to put him in anyway.” I’m like, “All right, fair enough.” I said, “Steve Best and Simon Minty the producers didn’t get a mention.”

steve d

No.

steve

Popular producers who was at home with his builders.

laurence

Maybe I’m ferociously forgettable?

steve

Rather than a particular moment this month we thought we’d all talk about the many moments of the month with Abnormally Funny People being at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

simon

We performed at The Stand in the Square, which is St. Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh and we did it for 26 nights. It was a different line-up on many of the nights, it was a constantly changing bill. There was a week or so when both Steve Day and Laurence were both on the same bill. I keep saying Steve D to distinguish from Steve Best. Steve Day you said on Facebook after Edinburgh, you were only there for a week but it felt like a real shot in the arm.

steve D

Did it? Yeah, no it was alright, it was good.

simon

Was that because you took ((0:02:46.0?)) for carrying on.

steve d

Eight days.

steve

Is that because you took to drugs?

steve d

It seemed like longer. But no it was good fun because I was just there and then I went…

steve

But why the shot in the arm?

steve D

It’s the best innit by far? It was just the funniest one.

steve

Was it the ferociously funny quote that got you…

steve d

Savagely. No ferociously funny.

steve

Steve, tell me why it was a shot in the arm?

steve d

Because it was just good fun, that’s what comedy should be. And I had no worries.

steve

I thought it gave you a push in kind of the way you…

steve d

Yeah my career really has. Yeah it was a momentum shift and game changer – I don’t know I hate that word – because it was just such fun. Because the gigs after I’ve come back have been great with the…

simon

You’re loving it.

steve d

…Abnormally Funny People boost...

simon

Yes okay.

steve d

…that I’ve had. So it was good.

simon

Laurence?

laurence

I think also for me before here I met with my agent and she asked me she said what do I want to do in the next year. She asks me this a lot and normally I don’t know what to say apart from, you know, do more comedy obviously. But I reeled off a big list of things just because doing Abnormally Funny and doing the run up there it was like I had all the best bits from Edinburgh but without the worst bits because you two, Simon and Steve Best...

steve

I think you’re find it was more me though.

laurence

…had all the kind of worries about your money and bums on seats and reviewers and organising and those are all the things that kind of spoil it in a way.

simon

You too were just performers, the artists, the comedians - turn up do your stuff.

laurence

Yeah.

steve d

Well if you work for Abnormally Funny People you never have to worry about money ever again, that’s the thing.

simon

Go on.

steve d

Because you’ve not got any. Nobody got paid. But we did have the best admin on The Fringe thanks to Simon with his admin.

steve

You’re still pointing to Simon.

steve d

I’m pointing at Simon because people are laughing and they’re laughing at the admin ((0:04:51.9?))

simon

There was a moment, we shared the flat, and I came out and I was busy with my computer and Steve Day said what are you up to, and I said, “I’m really busy I’m doing admin.” And he went, “Oh yeah because that’s really going to improve the show. You’re going to get the award for ‘Best Admin’ of the Edinburgh Fringe.”

steve d

That sarcastic voice ((0:05:07.2?)) “You can’t have a show without good admin.”

laurence

I’ve got to say one thing about Simon; he does a good spreadsheet.

simon

Thanks very much.

laurence

A good organisational spreadsheet was carefully worked out.

simon

It was although there was that joy of one night, I don’t know if you were still up there Steve Day, when we had one act who turned up who wasn’t even on that night; and then there was another act who wasn’t turning up. And there was this little panic. Normally you just think, “Great, we’ll switch them around.” But it was a real fiddle and five minutes before we were about to start.

steve

That was when Lost Voice Guy I think turned up on the wrong night.

simon

And Cary Sparks.

steve day

That’s all shocking.

steve

But I think in the end and we can go on to this in a minute, is the fact that from people kind of not sure whether they’re on, well they knew they were on, they all wanted to be on I think in the end, that was the thing, so people even if they weren’t on one night actually wanted to be on.

laurence

The night I came back, the night I came back for the last weekend, Gareth told me there were fighting over my slot. ((0:06:07.2?))

steve

I didn’t know about that.

steve day

When Laurence wasn’t on and he came and protested. He ((0:06:15.2?)) outside and he was looking sad in his wheelchair, can you remember?

 

((overlapping speech - 0:06:18.7?))

steve

I think Tanyalee was absolutely, massively gutted when she wasn’t on one of the nights, I think the last Friday. She came in I think and watched the show.

steve day

She didn’t do it. I thought it was the Tanyalee Davis Show?

steve

Well there we go.

simon

To give her credit, she did do every night pretty much. But there was one I said, “No” and there were reasons for that, and it was all planned anyway. You know what it reminded me there was the day off, you have a day off in the middle of the run, and I was sharing at that point with Steve Day and Tanyalee Davis. And for me this was a joy, it was time I could relax completely. I was sitting in my room watching films on Netflix just eating lovely food. Steve Day and Tanyalee just she’d walk around the flat and they’d were just sitting there really down, really bored, don’t know what to do.

Steve D

I didn’t know what to do.

steve

Did I tell you, I had to go down and sort out my builders?

simon

I told you about that.

steve d

Oh yeah I wondered what… Yeah.

simon

So was that just because you weren’t on stage?

steve d

Yeah you need it.

simon

You need another shot in the arm.

steve d

You need that shot in the arm.

laurence

I really wanted to do that last Saturday because I knew it would be a great night even though I knew I wasn’t on I still bought my iPad and all my leads. 

steve

Just in case?

laurence

Just in case.

simon

If someone wasn’t on one night I would get about six texts during the day every two hours saying, “Are you sure you don’t want me?” It would even be at eight o’clock, “I might have a drink, but I won’t have a drink if you want me to perform?” I’m like, “No, you’re not on tonight.”

steve

But the problem was I think the bills were so strong that I was saying to Simon let’s just add on, you know, everybody does a bit less time but it would make the show just unbelievably strong. But I think in the end the show would be too long…

simon

And each act would get 30 seconds.

steve

That kind of thing yeah.

laurence

And also it wasn’t the biggest stage.

steve

It wasn’t no.

laurence

Physically.

steve d

But I quite liked the bitch fight we all had. Someone in a wheelchair is easier to knobble. You can just let the tyres down. We didn’t have a blind person, they would have been easier.

simon

You’re leading me on. I think, me and Steve Best are calling it a romance between Steve Day and Laurence.

steve d

I don’t know where this comes from.

laurence

Laurence had been there about a week, Steve Day came up the second week and when you came on, Steve Day, and you opened the show ferociously funny, you just kind of came on this force of nature and ripped into the rest of the disabled acts, and every disabled comedian that’s ever existed. And it was joyous.

steve d

I think so. We’re due for it, we’ve been doing it for ten years and one thing I’ve learned is don’t like them lot, all those lot – can’t swear on this can I? – we’re all fighting with each other.

steve

But for me, we were talking about this…

steve d

I wondered what you were doing, what were you doing, what were you doing?

steve

For me I thought…

steve d

You took some photos?

steve

I took some photos.

steve d

You took some nice photos.

steve

No-one ever accredited me for. Yeah they did.

steve d

Steve Best. Bless him.

steve

But I thought that was the moment that Abnormally Funny… I mean we have done this before where Liz has ripped into people. But I thought when you came and did it so much I thought that brought the show to a different level, for me watching it. Because I thought the audience then suddenly realised wow they take the mickey out of each other, we can sit back and…

steve d

I wasn’t trying to do that. I was just trying to let it out…

steve

No but it just works so well.

steve d

…all the resentment of ten years.

laurence

I think also it makes it more than just a few comedians doing ten minutes of their own material.

simon

It was like a whole show.

laurence

I say ten minutes.

simon

You never did ten minutes.

laurence

It was never ten minutes. But it makes it a lot more so when Tanyalee’s up there doing her stuff and me and Steve are pointing at her arse and saying to each other…

steve d

The thing about that was I come on and slag off media whore Laurence Clark…

simon

Yeah for being on every show.

steve d

On every rubbish show like, you know, I say ‘Undateables’ to annoy him because I knew that annoyed him. I knew it would annoy him that’s why. But all this rubbish on Channel 4 ‘We Won’t Drop the Baby’ and all that rubbish.

simon

What’s the other? Hang on… Embarrassing Bodies.

steve d

Mind you he dropped the microphone one night.

laurence

((0:10:12.2?)) He said ‘The Undateables’ when my wife was in the audience.

steve d

That’s it. I do it and annoy Laurence.

simon

It was an old series.

steve d

But Adele’s a bit scary. I didn’t know what he said back which was great and then we had the lady with the subtitles with a ((0:10:31.2?)) and then I found out what they were saying about me. I wasn’t so keen on the whole thing after that.

steve

But you two seemed to hit it, as Simon was saying, you seemed to hit it off more than the other two.

steve d

I don’t know about that.

simon

And all the acts were on stage at the same time.

steve d

He just makes me laugh. I can make him crack up.

laurence

I loved the night when it was me, Steve, Tanyalee and ((0:10:53.8?)) because laughter it was like surround sound because the audience would laugh, about ten seconds later he would laugh after you’d read it on that, and that would make me laugh. So it was like we were laughing at stuff that had gone like half a minute ago.

steve

Also I think the kind of taking the mickey out of each other developed really well. Tanyalee actually was given a line by Richard Vranch I found out later on, one of our guests, with the three fingers… No it was at auction wasn’t it which was Laurence puts his hand up a lot.

steve d

Have you explained what that joke was?

simon

Steve tried to then.

steve

I tried to yeah. So Laurence, you know, you put your hand up a lot, well not that much…

simon

It’s involuntary.

steve

Involuntary yeah. And so Tanyalee says you’d be a nightmare at an auction. And then we've got a load of shitty furniture in our flat now, which is a lovely line. And so people weren’t too worried about taking the mickey out of each other.

simon

Laurence got quite upset.

steve d

What Tanyalee didn’t know was when she was doing… She does jokes and her style is to sort of do a mime of that. And because she’s a small person and in a sort of package it’s really very funny. But then me and Laurence would do a mime behind. Or there were some that we just had to shield our eyes because they were just so kind of rude.

steve

Did she ever know you were doing that?

steve d

No. And then the audience were laughing at that. And she thought that they were laughing at her. And then she would do it more and more.

simon

But do you know what; earlier in the run I think Juliette would be up front and Tanyalee would be doing little things behind her and Juliette would be going, “Oh wow I’m getting a big laugh” and Tanyalee would do it more. But then you were doing it to her. Everyone’s just kind of milking off each other and nobody knows the true journey of that laugh.

steve d

This is where we needed to go though because before it was “Oh disabled comedians aren’t they lovely.” And now my attitude was to go on there and say we’re all fighting… It’s an assistance dog eat assistance dog world…

steve

Lovely line that.

laurence

I also loved the… I did a follow-up joke and Steve did the famous Ann Widdicombe line, I’m not going even bother explaining because if you’ve not heard it. She says like ((0:13:09.9?)) Steve Day 1995 and it was only when we got the ((0:13:18.7?)).

steve d

That was absolutely untrue what he was saying. My joke was 1998. He got it wrong every night. It’s like in bed on The Undateables.

simon

So we did this thing that we shouldn’t have done. We did improvisation and the game we played was called ‘Three Headed Expert’. You have three people lined up and they’re only allowed one word each and they have to speak in a sentence while people are asking them questions. Now there were some nights this was the joy. I remember the first night we did it and we had Lost Voice Guy, so he doesn’t speak and he uses a voice synthesiser, so he types in the words. So every time you got to him you had to wait 30 seconds and then it would be ‘if’. And so it would be a real anti-climax. But I remember he ((corpsed - 0:13:59.4?)) and that was one of my favourite moments in Lost Voice Guy Corpse because he knew the word he was going to say and was laughing but he couldn’t get it out and so he would just keep laughing. But there were other nights it was quite hard. I mean I love the fact that we did it but people who are deaf, people who can’t speak, people with different speech… Oh we had Touretteshero, Jess, who doesn’t stop speaking.

steve

So you’ve got to wait for the right word.

laurence

The first time I did it with Jess and she said a hundred words. And so I said my word and she went, “No I’ve not said it yet.”

steve

Her direction about that was saying let me get out the word, she’s going to come out with a load of old stuff and then she’s going to come out with the word. But that was a funny line from her.

laurence

No-one told me that.

steve d

You know that one we had token able-bodied people from The Comedy Store Players, who are the best in the world of doing this, they were great. Andy Smart and Lee Simpson especially to take the mess up and recycle and track it back and keep the ball juggling made it really, really funny. And he was keeping the improv going.

steve

But that’s the secret of great… The questionnaires, the really hard task actually, a hard roll.

steve d

But that was brilliant. And the laugh was more because not just the improvisation but the laughter about us messing up and then it coming back and still being still in the game made it brilliantly funny. And then Tanyalee did it after The Comedy Store boys had left another night, and she learned from what they did, did what they did plus the fact that she’s also disabled as well and she was allowed to get mad with us which made it really, really funny. She’s a small person she’s allowed to get annoyed with the deaf guy.

laurence

I did go in it. I went to see The Comedy Store Players while I was there. And they did that activity that they did the ‘Three Headed Expert’ and I sat there thinking, “My God, what we do is nothing like this.”

steve d

Ours is a complete mess compared to theirs.

laurence

But a mess in a good way in that it was so funny.

simon

I think it was the last couple of nights we had people who could speak and hear perfectly straightforwardly and it suddenly just went round a few times. I’m like, “Is this meant to happen? I’ve never seen it happen this smoothly. This is kind of bizarre.”

steve d

If you’d have been a sort of moderately good improv troupe it would have been boring ((0:16:30.0?)) complete mess up, so we were completely useless at doing it. To me it was the joy of it.

simon

You remind me because when we would brief whoever was, if the Comedy Store Players were leading, or even the token non-disabled, you had a different one every night and you’d brief them and you’d say, “This is what we want you to do” and then you’d do the second brief which was, “Now we add disabilities but you’ve got to forget about it, just go for it. Really go for it and don’t even worry about that.” Because you had to do both because otherwise they just pulled back a little bit. But once they flew…

steve d

Yeah. Once they saw that there was no… We not creating any ((0:17:01.7?))

steve

But don’t forget if they’re playing the game properly then they’re just taking the answer from the expert and playing with that.

steve d

Nearly all the token able-bodied people who don’t know us that well were first of all a bit shocked. Then secondly, started to laugh. Then three, joined in. And that just made it a sort of party atmosphere. That’s what is so good about it.

simon

When it rocks… Yeah absolutely. So the token…

steve d

The token role I think was…

simon

By the way, Steve did the admin on the token non-disabled.

steve d

Oh yeah top admin.

steve

Thank you very much.

steve d

Takes photos ((0:17:33.7?)).

simon

Yeah very good. So we’re all disabled comedians but we always have this token non-disabled who we take the mickey out of.

steve

I was going to say because the original plan with Abnormally Funny People was the token role was more of a compere of the show and I think this year I thought it was a much better idea, we both discussed it obviously, to have a really token role.

steve d

It was great.

steve

So you’d have quite famous acts coming on, we had Fred MacAulay, we had Mike McShane, Robin Ince, Jo Caulfield, Simon Munnery – all coming on.

simon

Seymour Mace.

steve

Seymour mace who got nominated in the end.

simon

He went from being…

steve d

Through that? Through doing that?

steve

It raised his profile.

simon

I did a tweet. Yeah he went from being a token on our show to nominated for the Foster’s Comedy Award. Coincidence?

steve

But they played it very well generally didn’t I think.

simon

Who was your favourite?

steve

You can’t say that.

steve d

And also because we didn’t have like a compere compere it was more ((seemed - 0:18:24.4?)) freeform and flowing.

laurence

That’s what a few people that saw it said they liked it, it felt quite raw and a bit dangerous.

steve

Unrehearsed.

LAURENCE

I was trying not to say unrehearsed.

steve d

We worked so hard to create that unrehearsed look didn’t we?

laurence

I think that because the stage was so small and particularly that line that was me, Liz and Jess – there were three wheelchair users, and it was like an exercise in logistics.

simon

That show rocked for me. That was on the last Friday and I knew all the disability arts gang were going to be coming. And I was kind of thinking I really want them to love it but I wanted us to do our stuff. And we’re the sort of naughty rebels that we’ve not quite got in there but anyway. And they came and it was a storming night. And there was that great moment, Liz had the microphone and Liz is quite small and then there was Laurence next to her with cerebral palsy and then there’s Jess with Tourette’s who moves around a lot. And Liz said, “We could get Steve Best to come up and pass the mic. Shall we pass the mic and see how we get on?” So she just passed it and you saw everybody watching with the expectance of this mic to just go flying into the audience. And there was just this little arm swinging around. Eventually the mic got to the end.

steve

But there was a couple of times when, because I ended up more or less stage managing it in a sense that there were a couple of nights where Jess was passed the microphone and smacked it on her head, and you’ve got to intervene there kind of thing.

simon

Well the problem is because Jess will say whatever I do… Her big line would always be, “I’m not going to say my pin number. 8542.” That’s a great gag. And then she said, “I mustn’t bang my head on the microphone.” Bang! Bang! And she’d do it two or three times and they’re getting quite violent. I mean she knows what she’s doing but it’s a tic, this isn’t controlled.

steve d

This is Touretteshero isn’t it?

simon

Yeah absolutely.

laurence

And the night I was on with her she got quite obsessed with me falling off the stage and started going, “Off the edge. Off the edge. Off the edge.”

steve

And she came on one night and she’d broken a part of her wheelchair and so she was actually very stressed and wasn’t sure whether she was going to go on that night. And then we kind of bricked it up. I mean there’s so much going on with…

simon

Yeah that was rehearsed as well wasn’t it we planned that.

steve d

It sounds like sabotage. Juliette Burton did it. “Let me on stage. The wheelchair’s broken.”

simon

((overlapping voice  - 0:20:54.5?)) I can do it.

steve d

Was that the night Tanyalee wasn’t on the bill?

simon

That was it. Weird that. Weird.

steve d

Sabotage.

steve

That leads us on nicely to what you thought was your favourite show. I mean you weren’t on all the nights but was there a favourite show?

laurence

I think I was on just over half.

simon

Yeah you must have done 12/13.

laurence

Yeah.

simon

And you were very good coming back. You did a run, went home and came back again.

laurence

Yeah. It was really nice because normally when you leave Edinburgh it’s a big downer, but leaving knowing I was coming back in a week to do it again.

steve

We only asked you back because we know your son, Tom, was a good flyerer.

laurence

Yeah. And that was nice because ten years ago I had to drop out of the original show…

steve

Yeah he got a better offer didn’t he?

 

((overlapping voices - ((0:21:48.5?))

simon

What a selfish, unreal move that was.

steve

It wasn’t quite him.

simon

Yeah.

laurence

I got Tom.

simon

We’re all ignoring you.

steve d

He didn’t get the top billing or the ‘and’. He said, “If I get the ‘and - and Laurence Clark’ then I’m doing it.”

simon

It’s all forgiven.

laurence

But Tom is great.

simon

Tom is awesome.

laurence

Tom took to it like a duck to water. We had him flyering, ((0:22:13.5?)) can’t get better than child labour can you?

simon

Once he’d gone our number dropped by 10/20%. It really did. There was a second week I’m like, “What’s happened?” There’s no Tom, he’s not out there. Did you have a favourite token not disabled one? Was there one that stood out for you?

steve d

They all played the part didn’t they? I really liked Lee Simpson from The Comedy Store Players, he was brilliant on that particular night. But I loved them all: Robin Ince took it so well that he did half a joke. My favourite show of our shows was then Laurence who cheats by playing videos in his…

simon

Yes a bit like Lost Voice Guy who pre-programme. They all cheat don’t they?

steve d

When they all broke and his tech wouldn’t work. The discomfort on Laurence’s face was just hilarious. My favourite part was him, “Oh, err, what do I do now?” But then my laughter turned… Because we had to play the improv game for like double the length of time and it was torture. I was looking up thinking, “Please come on, please” I have never wanted to see the Laurence video ever...

steve

Did it come back on?

steve d

…until that moment. Then it came on.

laurence

You can probably guess my least favourite show. You’re very ((0:23:20.0?)) Steve. With the tokens there were some that really got it and ran with it like Robin. Robin was great. Lee Simpson was great. Richard Vrance was great.

simon

If someone didn’t know that token role was so that we all come on and then the token came on after us to ‘What a Waste’ the music by Ian Drury. He’s on for ten seconds and we push him off, or her off. Then they come on after the improv, they get to do 30 seconds or a minute of a joke and we all interrupt, push them off again and then they come on at the very end and they get a balloon. And that was it.

laurence

Except when I’m on they come and do the holy water. So I do a routine about Lourdes, it’s the Geordie describing a large amount.

steve d

I’ll tell you what though that worked every night, that holy water. Amazing wasn’t it?

laurence

Miraculous. I thought it wasn’t very good because you emailed us saying if you could think of something to involve the token. I was going to get someone up out of the audience and I thought by the time I’ve got someone on stage and explained what they need to do, done it, thanked them, round of applause that’s half my act gone.

simon

Not that you’ve worried about that normally before. You used to carry on for another five minutes.

laurence

It was a lovely bit of involvement every night when we had The Comedy Store Players I’d say to them ((0:25:04.4?)) practise but you’re just have to improvise.

steve d

Laurence, isn’t there a court order out on you anyway after you involved the audience in dressing up as Jimmy Savile?

laurence

I’ve apologised for that.

steve

But it’s an amazing response you get when you bring out the Jimmy Savile badge, it’s extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like a gasp isn’t it.

simon

For our international listeners, how would you describe Jimmy Savile?

steve

You start.

laurence

A British Bill Cosby.

simon

Although Bill Cosby’s not actually been convicted and Jimmy Savile is now dead. But other than that you’re right.

steve

Allegedly.

simon

They get the hint.

steve

Allegedly.

simon

What allegedly dead?

steve

Allegedly.

simon

Okay.

laurence

I’ve forgotten what I was going to say. Yeah I know what I was going to say because I didn’t do the Jimmy Savile stuff for ages and then I had a weekend at The Stand in Newcastle last year when I started doing it again. Each night after I’d finished I had person after person come up to me me wanting their photo taken, not with me but with the badge.

steve d

Which is the same with – was it John the sound guy? He had to have a picture with it didn’t he?

laurence

He lovingly restored it to its former glory.

simon

Half way through the run yeah.

steve d

I like John the sound guy because if he says, “Good show” it was a good show. The people who worked the sound for The Stand do not mess about. They’ve seen everybody. If they say good show then it was a good show.

simon

He was…

steve

A strange character?

simon

No he was great. I mean when there was a couple of duffos he was like, “No it’s good solid joke.” But a lot of them are like, “This is my favourite show. This is my favourite show in the tent you’re doing better than everybody else. I love being part of this show.” And it was really lovely. But I thought does he say that to all of them.

steve D

No they don’t.

simon

Okay.

steve D

They’ve seen everything. They work at The Stand.

simon

There was that funny bit, the first couple of night. Everybody else he sets up the mic, sets up the stage, goes off for 50 minutes while they’re performing, comes back at the end turns it all off and he’s lovely. With ours you’ve got to be there all the time there’s so much tech and different things going on.

steve d

So you’ve already hassled them. If they say good show, then it’s a good show.

simon

Jumping back, the token role there was a moment that was joyous for me, we’ve all mentioned Robin Ince; if you’re international he does a podcast doesn’t he with…

steve

Brian Cox.

simon

Thank you. Was it The Monkey Cage?

steve

Infinite.

simon

‘Infinite Monkey Cage.’ So he’s really respected, great comedian, does loads of stuff. So he came on and he did, I don’t know about 45 seconds, about a minute, and it was a long joke building up to the punch line. And because he knew everyone was behind him kind of gnashing ready to knock him off he sort of did the punch line and there was a sort of titter. And then you guys behind us went, “Well thanks, Robin, I think you’ve got to be a bit more punchy. Work on that, be a more punchy.” And to give him credit he just smiled and just walked off.

steve d

That was my first night and I was shocked. I wasn’t really sure what was happening. I was absolutely, it’s Robin Ince.

simon

I know.

steve d

But it was very funny. You could soon cotton on to what was going on.

simon

One of the acts said if you’re doing the token role you’ve got to leave your ego outside our venue because otherwise you’ll… And if they did then they go it didn’t they?

steve

Yeah they understood that.

simon

And it was joyous.

steve

It was very nice, yeah. So your best show, Mr Minty?

simon

Of our run I’ve probably mentioned it, I think it was that Friday, the last Friday when we had all the Disability Arts Group.

steve

Oh yeah when I wasn’t there.

simon

Yeah. Sorry. And then the following night we changed the line-up again and we had what I call the mainstream audience. But we were packed. It was thronging and Tanyalee was there, Lost Voice Guy, Laurence you were on, oh no that was the Saturday you weren’t.

laurence

Yeah.

simon

Oh sorry.

steve d

((0:28:55.9?))

simon

So my favourite shows are when you guys weren’t here.

steve

Liz Carr?

simon

Yeah Liz opened.

steve

Caro.

simon

The bit Liz Carr, we know what she’s like, she will just say it as it is. She’s very rude but very dark.

steve

Silent Witness’ Liz Carr.

simon

Yeah Silent Witness’.

steve

We must say that.

simon

And even she thought are the mainstream audience going to get this with some of her gags. But she was filthy and they got it. And she loved it. Do you remember she does that joke about going over cobbles and it getting quite exciting and if you have an orgasm it’s quite pleasurable? And normally she does a payoff line at the end of it but this time she mimicked having an orgasm and because the audience were laughing she just carried on doing it. She just carried on doing the gag. 

steve

I think she was actually having an orgasm that’s the thing.

simon

Well that could have been it too.

steve

The show I liked, thinking about it now…

simon

I remember.

steve

…when they had cloths over the head at the start.

simon

Because we couldn’t get everybody on stage quick enough.

steve

We couldn’t get everybody on stage quick enough so, were you not there, Steve?

steve D

No, no.

steve

So everybody was sat on stage with a big cloth over the head.

steve d

Oh right. A tarpaulin.

steve

You heard Tourettehero going, “Shit. Biscuits. Biscuits.” She was talking under the cloth and so you knew someone was there. And then there was an announcement going on and she was going, “Fuck it” like that.

simon

We do need to give that a little nod, this was the first time Jess had done stand up. And one of her lines is, “I love cats. I love cats” and then she’ll say, “I hate cats. I hate cats. Fuck cats. Screw cats.” And then she pauses and goes, “I don’t really have an opinion on cats that’s just my tics.” And she just does this all the way through the set. She’s a phenomenon who’ve got to see her Steve.

steve D

I’ve only seen her, she’d been in an audience, she scared me to death the first time. I thought, “Talk about heckling” this physical, all body modern dance heckling.

simon

Gareth opened when Tourette’s  ((0:30:38.7?))Gareth Berliner and one is his lines was, “This is the only show I’m going to get heckled more by the people behind me than the ones in front of me.”

steve

Also funnily enough if she goes on early I think it’s an adrenaline – I don’t know for sure – but it seemed to be heavier when she hasn’t been on. So once she’s done her…

steve d

Yeah that anticipation.

steve

Yeah so once she’s done her set it’s quieter.

simon

It did seem to be that. It wasn’t complete but yeah.

steve

No, no.

simon

So we shared a flat for a bit. Okay sharing a flat with Steve Day I know Laurence was just around the corner, but I think my favourite moment was one morning I got up and you were still asleep. You were sleeping in the living room at that point.

steve d

Yes because I was promised a room but Tanyalee Davis stole it didn’t she and I didn’t want to throw a dwarf…

steve

Never throw a dwarf.

steve d

Dwarf tossing.

steve

You would have been jumped on for that.

steve d

Exactly it’s taboo. And there was nothing I could do. Checkmate.

laurence

Do you mean Tanyalee Davis from the John Bishop Show?

steve d

Oh sorry yeah Tanyalee Davis from the John Bishop Show.

simon

Sorry listeners, this is a running joke – they’re all coming out now. But anyway I remember coming into the kitchen in the morning, you were asleep and I thought, “Ah I really want a bacon sandwich” and started cooking. But I was being so quiet and closing the fridge door really quiet. And then I realised you’d taken your hearing aids out you just can’t hear anything. So to have someone in your living room and you can bang around and it was no problem at all.

steve d

Oh you were doing that were you, oh? And I mentioned this on stage, there was you there and you’re a small person and your assistant, another small person. And Tanyalee Davis another small person so I’ve got a bad back from lip reading a load of dwarfs.

simon

Yay! Every night.

steve d

It’ll stayed with me like that joke has for the next ten years.

laurence

What weird experience I remember was when we’d invariably go for a drink after the show and the place where we were on closes at 12, so often we’d go and find somewhere else in this sort of convey of scooters and wheelchairs. And we’re following Tanyalee and she has a life size poster of herself on the back of her scooter.

steve

So just to explain this; she was doing a show in Edinburgh as well called ‘Tanyalee Actual Size’ so her poster was an actual size of her and it was stuck on the back of her scooter.

laurence

And then she’s ((0:33:00.6?)) a bit of paper on top saying, “I’ve seen her on the John Bishop Show.”

simon

There was something joyous, I can’t remember which night it was, but there was you wheelchair user, Liz wheelchair user, Tanyalee scooter, me scooter I think there might have been two or three others and I don’t know what the word is, maybe not quite Reservoir Dogs, but I felt we were just going down the Edinburgh street – we were owning that street. We owned it. There were people getting out of the way. Oh it was joyous!

LAURENCE

A convoy.

simon

And also people would see one and go, “I’d better get out of the way” but no we’re coming. It’s constant.

steve D

On scooters?

simon

Well there was about six of us wheelchairs, scooters everything.

steve

It’s the next Tarantino movie.

steve d

Like the wild bunch. “Milo, what are you rebelling against? What have you got?”

simon

I do agree that from our show finishing and then we’d nip over to the bar and the first week or so I’d have a glass of wine maybe. By the fourth week, buy the bottle “Come on!” because we had an hour to woof as much wine down as you can.

steve D

I remember your parents struggling down a steep bank, it was slippery, and you with a glass, “More wine everybody, more wine! Everybody must have wine!”

simon

And did you know that actually when they got home that night they fell over. Really did fall over.

steve

Drunk fall over?

simon

No they hadn’t really been drinking. It’s all a bit awkward.

steve d

Although I was stuck once, when we went for a drink afterwards, holding Laurence’s pint because his carer wasn’t there. Mind you he didn’t take long to drink it, to be honest it was down in about three seconds. You have to hold it whilst he drinks it through a straw and it just disappears.

steve

Your carer Matt was there, he liked his wine as well. Instead of putting the bottle on the table, he was just holding a bottle with his glass.

simon

I think that’s what we like about Steve Day he’s sort of complete grumpiness to help anyone. He’s “Agh have I got to do that?”

steve d

But your arm does get knackered though holding this pint.

simon

Yeah I’d always move away and let you do that.

steve

So sharing a flat then it was okay, it was fine wasn’t it? You had a room, I had a room and then we had another room.

steve d

I didn’t have a room. Well I did have a room – the living room but everybody came in banging pots and pans.

simon

Gareth came after you and he sat down with Tanyalee and said… One night he stayed in the living room and then the next day he said, “I can’t do that again I’m going to have to move in the room.” Tanyalee’s face was a picture. It was a joy to see. It was a joy.

steve

Coronation Street’s Gareth Berliner are we talking about?

simon

That’s Coronation Street yeah to Tanyalee from John Bishop’s Show. But she did jump. She moved into the living room.

steve

But I used to see Tanyalee not quite in the nud but with a towel on because she could switch the shower on but couldn’t switch it off. So I’d always have to be in the flat if the shower was on.

steve d

Shower switcher on-er, turn her off and photographer.

steve

And photographer.

simon

The weird bit is I could reach it too but she never really asked me. I was like way down on the list.

steve

That’s true actually.

simon

She would even try for 20 minutes with a stick rather than ask me.

steve

Yeah you never asked me to come in to do your shower.

simon

I’ve got bigger fingers.

laurence

Maybe there’s a pride thing that she’s got to ask someone that’s quite a bit taller.

simon

Yes okay, I was just rubbing it in. “Look at my long arms you diastrophic.” “Oh do you have a problem, let me help you.” Unlike Steve D it would be, “Oh blimin’ hell have I got to do it?” It was weird.

steve d

I want to dispel this notion I’m somehow grumpy, or bitter. All these people off the telly are like that.

simon

You were very funny.

steve

Could have been ferocious mate, you’re ferocious.

steve d

It could have been me if I’d have heard the phone ring. I said that once, “I can’t hear the phone ring, all these offers that come in I miss them.”

laurence

I thought you are going to be on the telly.

steve d

I am yeah. My doctor’s calling it a colonoscopy. It’ll be better than ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ or ‘The Undateables’ that Laurence is in.

laurence

I will just carry on feeding you lines.

steve

Are you going to subtitles?

simon

Don’t do your whole set. So flyering, the lovely bit with us doing flyering is, as Laurence said, it’s not just you on your own. So everyone would flyer, although Steve Day and Steve Best…

steve D

Hours and hours.

simon

…are like twins, not only do they look, but they’d give one out and then just chat for an hour. And then give one more…

steve

Hang on… Simon Minty you would go round the tables and you’d sit at the table and you’d have a glass of wine more or less with the people at the table.

simon

Yeah. I ate food with people.

steve

So you were going off and you’d come an hour later and I’d say, “Have you flyered?” He goes, “Yeah, yeah I’ve been around” he’d gone to three tables.

steve d

And he would only flyer to attractive young women.

simon

I met some brilliant people.

steve

And did they come?

simon

I tried food from all around the world. People love my glasses. They love my Apple watch. I used to chat to them until eventually they would say, “Look have you got a flyer or something?” and I’d give it to them then.

steve

But there are certain different techniques I think and the problem with flyering I think people find in Edinburgh is it’s gruelling if you’re trying to get people in and that’s the thing. But in actual fact you’re right, it was much better if you were going in twos.

simon

It is fun. The royal mile, the busy street so everyone is trying to walk really quickly and we discovered that... So Tanyalee would be one side of the pavement or the sidewalk on her scooter and I’d be the other side. So people are racing down, they see a short person on a scooter and go, “Ooh I’m going to avoid that” so they go the other side but the other one is that other side. There was nowhere to go.

steve d

Dwarf pincer movement.

simon

Pincer movement, yep.

steve

Except Tanyalee was flyering her own show as well.

steve d

I always find with flyering, like in many things, less is more I think. You make it a bit more exclusive. I made our flyers exclusive.

steve

But that’s true. So The Stand was saying rather than give out a hundred every time if you just give out 30…

steve d

Exactly. It’s like…

simon

That’s what I did yeah. I did that.

steve

Ten, five. ((overlapping voices - 0:38:28.5?))

steve d

Homeopathic flyering – the less you gave the more effective it was.

simon

Very good.

steve d

And you just reduced the number of flyers per day.

simon

Then you were one of the best flyerers we’ve ever had.

steve d

I got it down to about two a day.

steve

And cured no-one.

simon

We had Don Biswas and we all admire Don, Don has Asperger’s and dyspraxia.

steve d

I don’t.

simon

Don, Don.

steve d

I thought you said we all admire him.

simon

Admire his ability to flyer.

steve d

Oh I see yeah.

simon

We feel self-conscious. You either face rejection or as you said you empathise with them, they don’t want it so I don’t want to give it to them.

steve d

He doesn’t bother with that does he?

simon

Don, no problem at all. “Hello! Come and see four disabled comedians talking about disability. Come on.” And they were like, “What?” And then he would just move on happily, he just didn’t care, it was great.

steve d

I’d be crushed if people didn’t want a flyer.

steve

The rejection is quite hard. But you’re right Don…

steve d

Especially if you’re going to do a show later you want to be up, you want to be in a good mood.

simon

Juliette was quantity. She just gave them out like nobody.

steve d

Buses.

simon

I’ve never seen anyone do it.

steve

Exit flyering, exit flyering the show so…

simon

Yeah but she managed to talk about all her career, Facebook, everything and then before they’ve even walked past.

steve d

Actually she’s very pretty as well isn’t she, let’s face it. Compared to us lot, well me, well I’ll speak for myself.

steve

I think it’s just you Steve.

steve d

She’s going to get more attention flyering.

steve

But also exit flyering the other shows. If you found a show that had some mention of disability.

simon

Wendy Hoose.

steve

Wendy Hoose in the Assembly Room. No was that the Assembly Room yeah and ‘The Gilded Bloom’ was the other play.

simon

Not The Gilded Bloom…

steve d

Sugar Water ((0:39:52.8?))

simon

Pleasance Dome. ((0:39:54.3?)) Sugar Water.

steve

So you’d get like a hundred people coming out of there and you and Simon… Simon would have a line for each…

simon

So ‘Wendy Hoose’ was a play about a woman who has very short legs and she sends texts messages. This guy comes over it’s like a booty call, so they’re going to sleep together. He turns up doesn’t realise she doesn’t have legs and gets a bit freaked out and that’s the whole premise. So as people left I’d be saying, “Comedy with and without legs.”

steve

But they would laugh, it was very funny. And also the other one in the Dome was…

simon

‘Sugar Water’ which is very sad. It was about someone losing a baby and it’s a tearful, emotional play.

steve

So you would say less tragedy more comedy. But there was one day…

simon

More comedy, less tragedy.

steve

Yeah. But the one day I did that, I was exit flyering Juliette Burton and I thought Simon had said that’s the one where we say, “More comedy less tragedy”.

simon

Steve’s muddling up the lines for the inappropriate shows. I do need to put this on record as well; there was a second, third last night Steve Best I’ve never seen someone flyer so well. He would stand by the board where all the shows are listed, people were coming up, he would have a little chat and then boom they’re straight to the box office.

steve d

What happened?

simon

And every single one. I couldn’t believe it. You probably got four people didn’t you? You did get a lot actually.

steve

Loads. I was on commission that night.

steve d

Two for one.

steve

We did some two for ones. So the venue, where we were.

 simon

What did you think of the yurt?

steve

So just to explain, the yurt is a big tent.

simon

The Hobbit house.

steve

And it was in St. Andrew’s Square and there were only two venues in that square: there was The Yurt which was our one and there was The Spiegeltent.

simon

Which was amazing.

steve

But it worked to our advantage because there were only two venues lots of people went past…

simon

So when that sold out they’d come to our show.

steve

Exactly.

laurence

And also we were like the only comedy on around that time in that area. And it was an area where people had a drink, hung out, it was quite a big open space.

simon

I agree but there was always that slightly awkward bit that we’re saying, “So The Spiegeltent was sold out come and see our show.” “There’s nowhere else to go, come and see our show.” I would even sometimes say, “Have you seen that tent, isn’t that weird, you can come in for a fiver.” Desperate.

steve

The set up at the venue there was a tiny little tent at the beginning where people actually thought that was the venue.

steve d

You mean like an ante-room tent wasn’t there.

steve

But that was just like a line in to explaining, “There’s a tent behind there, it holds this many people…”

laurence

Like the first time I turned up on the first day with Tom and Tom pointed at that little tent and went, “Imagine doing a show in there, Dad.” “We are, son, we are.”

steve

But we did have slight problems. I thought it was a great venue. There were a few posts in the way but they were thin posts. But they didn’t matter too much. Seating was great, the stage was great except it was a bit small.

steve d

I loved it.

steve

But we did have at the beginning, we had to make it accessible with the ramp. So initially the ramp was just a 45 degree kind of ramp thing.

simon

Yeah. What was it 30cm high stage but the ramp was like two foot – I’m mixing all my measurements – but it should be like 1 in 12 the gradient.

steve

A mix of imperial and metric.

simon

This was about 1 in 2. It was very complicated. So there was no way. And then gradually we…

steve d

Yeah it was about three cubics long wasn’t it?

simon

You weren’t there that week were you, I can tell.

steve

So within the first week, we kept changing it, the carpenter was there, they were changing it and making a turning circle on it.

steve d

I remember you going on about it when I turned up how much work you’d done. I had my violin out. “Oh we’ve had done so much…” it’s only a ramp.

simon

You know that reputation about being grumpy about disabled people, it’s coming on again.

steve d

It’s a load of old rubbish.

simon

Why do they need a ramp, can’t they just float up?

steve d

Get on with it. That’s what I would say, “Get on with your show.”

simon

Laurence, because there was two ramps, well was that a suggestion or did we just work out practically, you kind of had to go up one and then wait because to go up two and turn… Well there was that show wasn’t it where they said, “Welcome on stage the fabulous cast…” and the whole intro had finished and no-one had even appeared.

laurence

That was one of early ones where 30 seconds later we staggered on. The next night Tanyalee over compensated, “Go, go, go…”.

steve d

And you hadn’t even been introduced and you were just…

laurence

Yeah. And we all just sat there.

steve

Waiting for something to happen.

steve d

After that that thing you had where Laurence went, it was like pre-boarding on EasyJet. Everybody’s arms folded “What’s he going on there? Why is he going on early?” We’ve paid the same for this fare you know.

simon

Milking it. We got nominated for most accessible venue…

steve d

Wow! Is that good?

simon

…which bearing in mind… Yeah it was, it’s admin.

steve d

That’s like one of the top awards isn’t it?

simon

Yeah one of the top admin awards.

steve d

Top admin. Top spreadsheet of the year.

simon

Bearing in mind we were in a tent that had been just built for that and then we had to build a whole ramp and everything else, I thought we did very well to be in the top four of that. We didn’t win.

steve

Were we in the top four?

simon

Yeah, yeah.

steve d

Who won? The no leg show?

steve

No it was actually the one in the Dome.

steve d

The sad one, no comedy more sadness.

steve

Yeah the tragedy, yeah that one. ‘Sugar Water’ .

steve d

Juliette Burton?

steve

No. We’re all winners.

simon

And Wendy Hoose got something I think.

steve d

Wendy Hoose. Did it?

simon

Well the other ones were in purpose built venues, so I kind of thought well, alright we did alright.

steve d

We cheated. We actually won then the best accessible tent award?

simon

Best new building access.

steve d

There’s no better higher claim is there?

simon

You know what the best bit was I went to the awards…

steve d

Oh you went. No you didn’t mention it to us.

simon

Yeah. You’d gone then.

steve d

Was it nice free drinks were there?

simon

There were free drinks. It was the afternoon, I didn’t drink it was the afternoon.

steve D

“More wine everybody!”

steve

Was that venue accessible?

simon

No nobody could get in, we waited outside for ages. Of course it was yeah, yeah it was fine.

steve d

Did you invite your mum and dad?

simon

Stop it.

steve d

Exactly. Excluded.

simon

That was right they did the presentation and they started talking about the different places and they essentially said, “And there was that great night we went to see Abnormally Funny People, and then we went for a drink and then we did…” and basically if it had been the best fun night for the judges I think we would have won it.

steve d

So the most fun, accessible tent 2015.

simon

I’m gutted we didn’t get that. Yeah. We’re putting that on the website.

laurence

The most fun you can have in a yurt.

simon

Yes.

steve d

The thing about the tent though there was noise. But I didn’t know, there was disco noise.

steve

Yeah it was from The Spiegeltent.

simon

That was a great show.

steve

But also there was firework noise as well.

steve d

Yeah.

steve

Every night. Tanyalee would usually be on at that time.

steve d

My hearing aids would be going ((tapping noise)) and that turned out to be fireworks. I thought it was my hearing aids malfunctioning.

simon

I have a lot of empathy now I have my hearing aids, Steve Day. I completely understand that.

steve d

The market’s not that big, to be honest.

simon

I’ve had it 24 hours.

steve

Are you small D or big D?

simon

Small D.

steve d

I’ve seen him do stand-up so I mean it’s alright.

steve

So there we go.

simon

Yeah. Any final if you could encapsulate that time you were up there how would you sum it up?

steve d

For me it’s loads of fun. Ten years after the original Abnormally Funny People, which was great in its own way and ground breaking. This was like a return celebration, take the mick and have a go at each other and really have a laugh. And I think there’s a future in disabled people slagging each other off. We all lived in the same house and we all love each other, we all get on. No it’s not like that.

steve

((0:47:09.7?)) each other sit-com, a sit-com waiting to happen.

laurence

Yeah. I had a ball. It was all the fun with none of the responsibility which was great. And also I think because as a stand-up comic you basically work a lot on your own, and I think it’s one of the first times that I’ve been in a show with other people and got to share. As it went on and we took the piss out of each other more and as you know I took the piss out of Steve Day’s recycled material.

steve

With that we should also thank the other actors: Liz Carr, Tanyalee Davis, Don Biswas, Jo Coffey.

simon

Theresa Farlow, Lost Voice Guy, Caro Sparks, Juliette Burton, Gareth Berliner. 

steve

Touretteshero.

simon

Yay! We should get them on.

steve d

They’re all ((0:48:11.0?)).

simon

Keep going, Steve.

steve d

((0:48:13.8?)) Laurence and that was it. I was the best. Also…

steve

All on the website.

steve d

…Tanyalee Davis off the John Bishop Show she was in it as well wasn’t she?

steve

She was.

steve d

Yeah she turned up yakking about something.

laurence

I love Tanyalee because she had that big poster and one night someone stole it, God knows what for.

simon

She got the award for most stolen poster – three times! Three times her poster got stolen.

laurence

I dread to think what you would do with a life size image of Tanyalee Davis.

simon

And on that note thank you very much for coming. We’re coming to the end of the show so a big thank you to Steve Day and to Laurence Clark. We will put up links on our website to their shows so you can go and see them.

steve

So, Mr Steve Day, what are you up to next?

steve d

I’m gigging regularly and also supporting Gary Delaney on his tour which will start again in 2016, loads of dates. I’m at stevedaycomedy.co.uk or on Twitter @therealsteveday.

simon

Thank you very much Steve. Laurence, what are you up to?

laurence

I’m regularly gigging as well. I’m going to do a play over the next year called ‘Purposeless Movements’ we’ll see.

steve

That’s great. That’s fantastic guys, thank you very much.

steve d

On channel five is it?

laurence

Just after ‘The Undateables’.

steve

I’m going to have to stop this romance here boys. Thank you very much for being on the show. It’s been wonderful. Thank you all who stay in touch; we love hearing from you whether it’s via Twitter, email or phone.

simon

And you can find out how to contact us via our website abnormallyfunnypeople.com.

steve

And you’re find the transcript of the show as well as photos and other bits and bobs.

simon

During our time in Edinburgh we managed to get another few hundred followers both on Twitter and Facebook, it went ballistic. So if you are a newbie and this is your first podcast, welcome. Do drop us a line. And that’s it for now. Thank you to John and to Daryl, our editors.

steve

And thank you all for listening.

[Playing music]

                                                           

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