German Press

wringham kulture

Ich Bin Raus, the German language edition of Escape Everything! has been doing well in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

We made it into the top 100 of the Amazon.de book chart and ordered a second print run after just a month.

Here’s a collection of press cuttings, largely interviews and reviews.

Berliner Zeitung
Focus
FÜR SIE spezial (PDF)
PT Magazine
Lausitzer Rundschau
Frei Presse
Süddeutsche Zeitung
Dariadaria
Kontext, Austrian public Radio ORF OE1
Radio SRF 2 Kultur, Kultur kompakt, 29.08.2016, 16.50 Uhr
Aspekte (Science magazine show for ZDF television)
Kultur-online
Behmanns Blog
Profile in Die Welt
Handelsblatt online
VIPly
Huffington Post
Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland
Das Magazin

Also, my page on German Wikipedia is bloody massive.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not yet rich.

Pure Riddy 2: October 7th 2015

Doing five minutes of GOLD (alongside 12 other readers with their own golden fives) at Meadhbh Boyd’s lovely, supportive, hilarious gig. Come!

Glad Cafe, Glasgow. October 7th at 19:30.

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Event! October 11th, 6pm.

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Yea, I’m doing a night of readings for MyBookcase at the Project Cafe in Glasgow. It’s going to be fun. You’ll see if it isn’t.

I’ll read from A Loose Egg but also from my favourite dead humorists including Jerome K. Jerome, Dorothy Parker, and Douglas Adams.

What gets read after a certain point will be opened up to democratic referendum: the hostages get a say in the demands.

It’s free entry, madam, but you’ll want a ticket. Just like in a bakery.

Blurby:

Where did all the humorists go? Whatever happened to the avuncular masters and stink-eyed mistresses of the feuilleton? What happened to people like P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Parker, Jerome K. Jerome and Douglas Adams. Correct, madam, they are dead.

And as if rigor mortis weren’t enough of a drag, these fine people’s jobs have been usurped by straight-teethed Sunday Supplement types who go around writing books with titles like How to be a Bloke and an apparent aversion to cutting mustard.

No use for proper humorists today is it? No value to the neoliberal agenda are we? No place in a disintegrating economic climate is it? Madam, for one night only, I rise to your rhetoric and serve you with…

HUMORISTS: THEIR FOUR USES

Go here to grab a free ticket.

Egg: Reviewed

Quietly proud of this book review from 6th Beatle, Dick Bourgois-Doyle at Canus Humorous.

Wringham’s book, A Loose Egg, cracks me up like few others. Light and silly, it seems dedicated to no other purpose than to amuse people like me […] There is, nevertheless, something profound in Robert Wringham’s writing. A creative take on the world and an imagination that can muse over Mr. Peanut’s monocle and 3-D movies, can mix organ transplants with an egg sandwich, and can intertwine dental hygiene with geo-politics. His essays are tightly written with a skill that Eric Nicol might have admired even at his prime.

You can still buy a copy directly from me.

I’ll quit the self-promotion and return to writing the diary soon, I promise.

Shortlisted for 2015 Leacock Medal

It’s with great pride and a potent speedball of British and Canadian shyness that I announce my being shortlisted for this year’s Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal: the annual prize for the best humour writing in Canada.

Did you hear that? The best. I’m at least the fifth-best humorist in all of Canada at the moment. What do you mean that’s like being the Southern Hemisphere’s second-largest playable harmonica? Please don’t make a scene, madam.

Founded in 1947, the Leacock has been awarded to people like Stuart “Vinyl Cafe” McLean, Patrick “The Sisters Brothers” deWitt, and thrice to my Canadian humour hero, Eric “The Roving I” Nicol.

This year, 73 books were reviewed by judging teams across Canada. Mine was one of ten to make the longlist on March 31st and one of five on the shortlist the following morning. Thanks, Leacockers, for essentially inventing April Fools’ Day Eve. It was interesting getting to sleep that night.

The other finalists are Aaron Bushkowsky (Curtains For Roy); Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle (Where I Belong); Terry Fallis (No Relation); and Zarqa Nawaz (Laughing All The Way to the Mosque).

My own judge-delighting book was A Loose Egg, a miscellany of what I arrogantly believe to be my best work. It contains such Wringhammy classics as “The Hungriest Hippo”, “Hockey Voodoo”, “Outdoors In,” “Trainee Millionaire” and a new story called “No Girls, Except for Liz”.

It also has three new drawings by Samara Leibner and a great cover by Neil Scott. You can buy the book here.

The Leacock means a lot to me and I’ve enjoyed Leacock books for a long time. Nicol’s Shall We Join the Ladies (winner, 1951) is a favourite. McLean’s Vinyl Cafe Unplugged (winner, 2000) contains what might be the funniest line-in-context ever written (“Sweet Jesus”). Paul Quarrington’s Whale Music (shortlisted, 1990) introduced the word “schnooze” to my vocabulary. I use it all the time. “That alpaca’s got schnooze,” I say, and nobody ever questions it.

Here’s a piece from CBC about the shortlist. Here’s a nice article about the medal. And here’s a picture of me dressed as a king:

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New Book: A Loose Egg

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Here it is. I’ve got a new book out. It’s the long-anticipated (read inevitable) humour collection.

It’s a 150-page anthology of refined and beautified diary entries, magazine items, and completely new material. I think you’ll find it properly hilarious, madam.

The new book is called A Loose Egg and you can buy it from Amazon.ca or from Blurb (where it’s cheaper) or from me in person at this year’s Expozine.

From the back of the book:

Indolent dandy Robert Wringham (“superb”—The Telegraph) occupies a lazy, hazy, mazy world of geriatric flies, winking sparrows, and smiling labradoodles.

Witness!
– a ‘Hungry Hippos’ hustle
– an operatic battle of wits
– the airline steward with a hole in his head

Discover!
– how to jinx an important hockey game
– how to put the student loan company off your scent
– what not to do when you encounter a bear

Concede!
– that real men sit to pee
– that noone should ever go swimming
– that the flight paths of flies can be redirected with the power of the human mind

Wringham’s vignettes have appeared in the Idler and Playboy and in his own weekly blog. Now, at last, his best humour has been lovingly torn from its original context and respectfully bashed into book form.

Yes, it’s time for the inevitable Robert Wringham miscellany. His finest comic peluche.

The book also has three new illustrations by Samara and a top-notch cover by Neil.

Escape Everything!

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With much pride and undignified dancing, I can now announce plans for a New Escapologist book. It’s to be called Escape Everything!

It will be a chunky and beautifully-designed book of brand new work written entirely by yours truly (with perhaps a foreword from a New Escapologist favourite).

It will be the definitive guide to escape: an entertaining study of the good life and an orderly plan of how to get there.

All being well, the book will be published by Unbound (a publisher set up by people from the Idler and QI–two of my all-time favourite things) and pumped into shops by Faber.

Needless to say, this is quite a big deal.

But it’s not in the bag yet. I need your help. Unbound’s business model is based upon an author making enough pre-sales to fund publication. In fact, I need about 400 pre-sales, which is a bit scary.

If you’d like to be among the first to get a copy and to help make the project actually happen, please go here to order the book today.

There are rewards for people offering larger pledges, but I’d be pleased as can be with a simple pre-order for the book itself. Up to you how far you go, of course, but I’m thankful to every last one of you. (And anyone who contributes gets her name printed in the back of the book).

A properly-published book about Escapology in the shops, folks. Would that not make the world a better place? Come on, help me to do this!

Wringham reads Sherlock

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You can listen to me stammering through the Sherlock Holmes short story The Blue Carbunkle on Montreal’s CKUT Radio Station here.

It was originally broadcast over 90.3FM on New Year’s Day 2014 and recorded earlier in December 2013. It was produced by Courtney Kirkby for CKUT.

This came out of my hobby of reading Sherlock Holmes stories aloud. I never imagined I’d do it for an audience but somehow I was asked to read The Speckled Band to a small group at a charity event, and this lead on to the radio record. I’d love to do another one, but we’ll have to see.

Richard Herring Book

511Off the back of my own amazing book, Go Faster Stripe allowed me to edit Richard Herring’s second volume of funny diary writing.

It’s called The Box Lady and Other Pesticles and is out now.

I’ve been reading Warming Up since it began in 2003, so it was wonderful to revisit the early entries. Amazing how well I remembered some of them and also what I could recall about my own life at the time. I could sometimes remember precisely where I was when reading a given entry. The book is a real-life time machine.

There’s loads of new content too. And if you prefer a plastic pal to real books, you can get a Kindle version.

Whistle and I’ll Come to You, Belfast

20th December 2012 will see the sensational Wireless Mystery Theatre perform my adaptation of the M. R. James ghost story, Whistle and I’ll Come to You at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast.

It’s part of a WMT evening of festive ghost stories (and mulled wine!) called Ghosts of Christmas Past.

Not familiar with the Wireless Mystery Theatre? Shame on you. Hear some snippets of their amazing work here.

And this is where to go for tickets.

I’m quietly proud of the script. Our version of Professor Parkin probably owes something to Johnathan Miller’s 1968 BBC television version, but he’s closer in spirit to the 1904 M. R. James original. I also added a scholarly extra touch concerning the Latin inscription on the whistle. As for our version of the ghost? Well, you’ll have to go along to find out.

Two new W&G podcasts

With a sense of profound embarrassment (and sexual arousal), we draw your attention to two brand new Wringham & Godsil podcasts.

This double whammy belatedly celebrates Halloween and Jesus Ween.

The sound quality is a bit crappier than usual, especially in the first half of Episode 30. Sorry about that. You can hear me very well but Dan sounds a bit quiet, which some might argue is an improvement. Hah!

Limited time? Listen to the first eight minutes and the last twenty minutes of the “deliberately foul” Jesus Ween episode. It’s properly, darkly funny. I got a bit carried away in the safe sex discussion and, listening back now, am genuinely shocked by some of the unsavory things I come up with (all of which are meaningless jokes of course). I also like a later bit about murderous milkmen in which Dan says, charmingly, “You could wipe out a whole community if you liked”. I love his comedy mind.

In Episode 30: Y is for Your Wife’s Vagina, we celebrate Dan’s recent wedding and the near-death experience at the reception; ruminate about Max Schreck’s smelly wee; make a long-awaited return to our Urinal Fly efficiency debate; consider the mechanics of The Rapture (as presented by Kilroy); debunk all garlic-based superstitions; and lament Dr. Beeching’s failure to close Highley railway station. This podcast also features gourmet tramps; indoor tramps; tramp restaurants; and spruced-up pissers.

In Episode 31: J is for Jesus Ween, things take a darker turn when Rob frightens Dan with his ideas for a death-based advent calendar; we educate the public about safe sex (at last!); market Dan’s new “splat mat” and Rob’s new “Jizzel”; wrongly predict that next week will see the first ever resuscitation of a cryogenically-frozen head; discuss living hams, psycho milkies, poisoned yakults, sliced bear faces, chapatti masks, murdered Josephs, nonchalant corpses; and family-sized telepathic bacteria dinners.

Happy Jesus Ween, everyone!

You Are Nothing: Extra Features

In 2012, I wrote a book called You Are Nothing about a comedy phenomenon of the mid-nineties called Cluub Zarathustra. Stewart Lee described my book variously as “Excellent,” “Interesting,” and “Important” and he sells it as part of his official tour merch.

It was published by the mighty Go Faster Stripe, who still make the book available to discerning people such as yourself.

This post collects some comments and cuttings about the book and about Cluub Zarathustra itself.

The Title

  1. For a while, the book didn’t have a title. It was known by its project code GFS42, about which Chris Evans rightly said “Sounds special doesn’t it?”

  2. I thought the confrontational title eventually arrived at would be brilliant, but I’m already tired of explaining it (and by extention, myself) to my girlfriend’s foreign family and people I sit next to on planes.

  3. The subtitle was originally “Or: a tonne of worms in an acre”. It’s a reference to Beckett and to The League Against Tedium’s infamous worm execution. In the end, it looked unwieldy, so like The League to a worm, I chopped it.

Shorter things I wrote about Cluub Zarathustra

“The club (or ‘Cluub’) saw some of the most exciting, experimental and downright weird comedy to ever grace the fringe. This is not hyperbole. Traditional stand-up was banned, and over the years it would feature sketches, opera, pyrotechnics, stunts, melting ice, and jelly in the shape of human faces.” — British Comedy Guide

“There’s a certain flavour of British comedy – perhaps epitomised by Munnery and Lee – that has never successfully exported to North America. Goodness knows we’ve tried. We’ve sent it to your comedy festivals. We’ve tried to get it on your telly. We’ve even had small victories by smuggling our writers into films like Borat and shows like Veep. But for all our efforts, the kind of comedy I’m talking about has never been taken to the American bosom, preferring to embrace, as you do, mechanical bulls and Toddlers in Tiaras instead. That’s what you like.” — Splitsider

Reviews and Praise

“Superb book” — Telegraph.

“Cluub Zarathustra was funny, fuddled, bonkers, lovingly curated. Thanks to Robert Wringham it has a likewise history.” — Ben Moor

“For many, Cluub Zarathrusta holds a unique, legendary status in the history of cult comedy. But then they probably never actually had to watch it.” — Steve Bennett on Chortle

“Normally, a book’s epigraph either gives us a sense of the diverse elements to its story or hints at something brilliant inside. With ‘Thee fyrst and onlie hystorie of Cluub Zarathustra’, Robert Wringham has opted to make the comedy outfit sound absolutely rubbish.” — The List

“Wringham unpacks the ideologies and inspirations for the cabaret/alt-alt comedy style of the Cluub with ease and a scholarly touch.” — Goodreads

You Are Nothing was an excellent read! Now annoyed that I was born in the wrong time and place. Anyone got a time machine?” — @Aino_K

“Our enduring ignorance concerning Cluub Zarathustra is sporadically alleviated by Wringham’s tentative delineation of the hauntology through which the Cluub excelled aesthetically. Accessed voices – both deliberately and accidentally accessed – abounded in the Cluub’s performances.” — HairyAppleFeed

The book was also mentioned favourably by Simon Munnery and Stewart Lee on Richard Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe and Leicester Square Theatre Podcasts.

And in Stewart Lee’s own newsletter.

“I’m only now realising that that book on Cluub Zarathustra is by the same person who does the New Escapologist magazine. Pleasing.” —@Lyeekha

Reposte

A reviewer for The List felt that a better book could have been written by someone who had seen actually the show. Well, maybe. Perhaps we should have given them another twenty years to step up.

My never having seen the show was part of the narrative thread of the book: an unreliable history pieced together by an enthusiastic outsider with only the blurry half-memories of the insiders for reference. We hinted at this on the back of the book.

Reposte II

Interviewed in The List in 2019, comedian Amelia Bayler mentions the book:

“my friend Gabriel Featherstone, who I perform with regularly at alt comedy nights Chunks and Project X, loaned me this book about a 90s experimental comedy night called Cluub Zarathustra. It’s called You Are Nothing by Robert Wringham. My fave bit is where he describes Stewart Lee mispronouncing Doritos as ‘Dorritoss’. Definitely worth a read!”

Legacy

“Cluub Zarathustra was shambolic, under-rehearsed, willfully obtuse, self-indulgent, amateurish and often in questionable taste” — New paragraphs from Paul Hamilton and The League Against Tedium in Kevin Eldon’s 2014 book.

“Cluub Zarathustra was a fringe comedy cabaret act and troupe active between 1994 and 1997.” — Cluub Zarathustra on Wikipedia.

Fun Facts

  1. To get the book started, I interviewed Simon Munnery in a Glasgow cafe called Cafe Rio. Sitting nearby were comedian Ian Macpherson and novelist Alan Bissett. Glasgow is a showbiz city.

  2. In Cafe Rio, Simon Munnery ordered soup and tea. Write that down, comedy fans. Soup and tea.

  3. Thanks to the rip-roaring success of this book, I got a gig proof-reading Richard Herring’s second volume of old blog entries, which was my evil capitalist plan all along. It’s about the long game, my friends.

Older Links about Cluub Zarathustra

“Let’s get one thing very clear: the only way that you can have ever seen anything like Cluub Zarathustra before is if you’ve seen Cluub Zarathustra before. This is one of the most obsessive, original and vicious shows at the Fringe. End of statement.” — A good fanzine review of the 1997 CZ Edinburgh show.

“I’ve always liked Simon as a person but it wasn’t until I saw Cluub Zarathustra at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1994 that I really started to appreciate his act. I thought the subsequent 2001 TV series Attention Scum! slightly watered-down the amazingly admirable nastiness of Cluub Zarathustra.” — John Fleming remembers Simon Munnery’s early work and the original CZ run.

“You also had an anti-heckling device” – An excerpt from Simon Munnery’s second appearance on Richard Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast, in which the two briefly mention my book and talk about Cluub Zarathustra’s ‘self-knowledge impregnator’.

Pilot – Watch the whole TV pilot on YouTube. For the full story of the pilot (and indeed the rest of it), read the book.

Film appearance! The Way of the Dude

There’s not been much posted about the movie online yet, but I recorded a segment last month for Thomas Fazi and Oliver Benjamin’s documentary, The Way of the Dude.

The film is the latest creation in the Dudeism ouvre, a very cheeky religion based upon the ‘teachings’ of the Cohen Brothers’ movie, The Big Lebowski.

I’ll be in good company too. The crew also interviewed Tom Hodgkinson, John Naish, Mark Vernon, Mark Townsend, The Barefoot Doctor and others.

My essay in Idler 44

I have a useful essay in the upcoming Idler 44: Mind Your Business. My piece is called ‘The Business of Escape’ and pulls together some of the economic and entrepreneurial ideas covered in New Escapologist 1-5 and learned through my own experience of being professionally on the lam.

As is now traditional (after three years in its current format) the new Idler edition looks utterly stunning with its fine typography and hardback cloth binding. My essay is in good company too, sitting alongside works from Penny Rimbaud and Bill Drummond et al. The Idler is an astonishing annual event. Copies now available to pre-order at their shop.

Real Fucking Magic: My Edinburgh 2011 Report

“Asking a stand-up to improvise an entire set is like asking a magician to do real fucking magic.” —Paul Provenza.

On 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th of August 2011, Dan and I staged four live versions of our famous podcast as part of PBH’s Free Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival.

It was the first time we had tried anything of the sort. I think we had planned to do some trial runs in Glasgow and the Midlands before the big fest but, as is so often the case, time got the better of us and we took a plunge into the deep end.

Thankfully, our audiences were warm and generally appreciative, and I think we can consider the live podcasts a success by most criteria.

Podcast 1 remains our favourite and is surely the most memorable. When “The Human Centipede” was selected as a conversation topic, I casually asked Dan “So, have you ever been in a human centipede?” which got a good laugh. I was able to wax lyrical on the movie monster’s lack of ambition (“Three people? That’s not a human centipede!”) and about how I felt motivated to go the extra mile and get an easy entry into the Guinness Book of Records. A young woman in the middle of the audience was laughing uncontrollably at this section and covering her face in hilarious shock. Seeing this girl’s watery eyes peeking at me through her fingers will always stand out in my Edinburgh memories and, to me, was the absolute high point of this year’s Fringe.

We had friends in the audience for Podcast 1 who were familiar with our stuff. I was very glad when my friend Neil shouted “Do Derek Gray!” to prompt an appearance from our occasional character. Character comedy, I think, can be a bit contrived and I didn’t want to go onto the stage saying “Here’s a little character I’ve been working on” because I haven’t been working on him! He’s just a thing I do off-the-cuff on the podcast, meaning that Derek is only about twenty-minutes old. Luckily, I can ‘become the character’ pretty much on-command because he exists in me so utterly. He is my anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive side with a strong desire for order, hygiene and symmetry. It was terrific fun to talk in-character about Derek’s involvement in the London riots (“I flew into a fury”). Derek confessed to being responsible for breaking precisely half of the windows in London town (“Plus: new shoes”). The Derek section ended with Dan losing control and corpsing, much to the audience’s pleasure. I think this little section of the show, as Derek would say, was “perfectly acceptable”.

There were some Maltese men in the room for Podcast 1. I had some existing comedy observations in the bank about Malta, the “miracle bomb” at the Mosta Dome, and the clapped-out Maltese public transport. I think this looked very fast-witted and showed unexpected knowledge of an unusual location. I suppose I was lucky that these punters had come from a place I knew, but it did feel like a good pay-off for years of deliberate harvesting small things with a comedic eye.

Daniel James Godsil was brilliant throughout the run, but perhaps especially in Podcast 1. I had always known he would be good at the live podcasts, but not this good. I suppose I may have had a kernel of worry that his nerves would betray us at the last second and he’d clam up. But he didn’t. His early observation about strippers being “reluctant to barter” went a long way to boosting our confidence and our winning the audience’s trust that day.

Flyering for Podcast 2 outside the venue, I spotted comedy hero and “Edinburgh institution” Arthur Smith walking down the Royal Mile in a kilt and some strange white-framed designer glasses. At first I wasn’t certain it was him: he looks a lot older than he does on telly (sorry, Arfur) and he was, after all, wearing a disguise. What really put me off thinking it was him though, was the fact that I’d been reading his autobiography on the train just moments previously. What are the chances? Alas, it was almost certainly the Hamlet actor and Leonard Cohen impersonator himself because Dan had independently identified him too. I’m annoyed at myself for not speaking to him because he had the potential to answer an important question regarding Cluub Zarathustra (about which I’m writing a book), but seeing him did at least inspire some material about celebrity-spotting for the podcast. I was able to say that “Ricky Gervais [who I once spotted in Glasgow Central Station] hires expensive bodyguards but Arthur Smith just wears a cunning disguise”.

Podcast 2 turned out to be the most disappointing of the run. We had a decent turn-out in terms of audience numbers but there wasn’t much love in the room and we never managed to get the crowd properly on our side. When our ad-libbing skills ground, if not to a halt then to a sluggish little chug-along, we resorted to using some of the winning material from the previous day – The Human Centipede, strippers, and a few cheerful mouth-jingles – but they weren’t having it. I don’t know if some audiences simply aren’t up for it (because it seems unlikely to me – anyone who has the drive to come to the same show must have something in common we could appeal to) or if we failed to win their trust in the first two minutes but it just didn’t work.

After the show, we had to hot-foot it down to the Buff’s Club for my stand-up spot at Al Cowie’s LLAUGH Comedy Club. I was surprised at how confident I felt even after the sub-par podcast and I think I gave a decent performance for Al’s delightful audience. There were two small children in the room (the son and daughter of some of Dan’s friends), which seemed to make the other comedians a bit nervous about swearing. Since my current stand-up material is about penguins and harmless pun-driven jokes, I didn’t have to reign anything in at all. My only regret is that I rattled through the material too quickly. I don’t want my on-stage manner to be that of the hyperactive comedian, so I resolve to put the breaks on next time. The three other comedians who performed at LLAUGH were extremely competent, if a little “G-Star Raw” in manner and material. As arrogant as it sounds, I genuinely feel I was the most interesting act on the bill, albeit not the most competent. If I can get up to their level of professional-sounding delivery, I think I can do okay at this.

After the stand-up and a short break, I went to the Voodoo Rooms to MC The Sulking Ape and Other Stories, which was a smash. I wrote a dedicated report about it here.

Podcast 3 was a step up from Podcast 2 but still didn’t recapture the magic of the first performance. I think the material generated was pretty decent but today’s audience (perhaps put off the truly unreasonable rain) was very small. The six or so people who came were very much up for it, but I think there’s only so much you can achieve with such a small crowd. The proprietor of the venue was visibly annoyed by our inability to draw a crowd today, but I don’t think he appreciated that it was Dan and I who suffered for it the most.

Also suffering today’s tiny audience was Al Cowie. My appearance at his club last night was twinned with a guest spot from him at today’s podcast. Big thanks to Al for coming down to play such a small and rain-soaked audience. I don’t think the guest-spot format was very successful (though this is no reflection on Al who was brilliant). A guest spot was one of the things we had suggested in our pitch to Peter Buckley-Hill to convince him to take a chance on our ad-libbed show. I think he had been worried that we would run out of things to talk about or that we generally owed an audience more than improvised banter, so he’d asked us to refine the format to include some safety nets. A surprising thing about the live podcast is that we’re definitely best when there’s no safety net: we need to be free to riff, and it felt that the show lost an all-important frisson when we fell back on old material or a structured format. In the case of the guest spot, it just felt like we had to stop-and-start and so never got into a proper flow.

Podcast 4 was, thankfully, a very good one, so we were able to finish our run on a high note. I started the show with a slightly refined version of the stand-up I performed at Al Cowie’s club. This time, mindful of my decision not to race through it too quickly, I gave a slower and more dead-pan delivery, somewhat channeling my heroes Arnold Brown and Stewart Lee, though very consciously avoiding any of their specific mannerisms or turns of phrase. By slowing it down, I was able to savour the experience more and properly enjoy it. It gave my slow brain extra chance to think of new ideas off-the-cuff too, and I think the slower style lent itself well to the pedantic analysis of a snowman joke. I had a better opening gambit this time and also reanimated my joke about storks, which I have not thought about for a long time, so it felt like a decent little step towards the longer show I eventually want this material to form.

There were some interesting audience members in for Podcast 4, which always helps. A man on the front row was especially game. He contributed some useful material that I was able to use as a springboard. His knowledge of military munitions gave me the chance to lambast him for being a bit of a weirdo: “Who ARE you?! You sit there on the front row, casually talking to the acts, and you know all about weaponry. You’re like one of those lunatics who sits at the back of the bus talking to strangers about nun-chucks!” The nun-chucks line is actually courtesy of my girlfriend who is not a comedian and therefore doesn’t need it. Annoyingly though, the line works better for her because you can imagine a young girl being cornered by this kind of loon and sympathise, but you can’t really imagine it being a problem for me. If I ever use the line again, I’ll be sure to put the young female character into it as the object of the nutter’s polemic.

The man on the front row wasn’t really a nutter, of course. He was lovely, and I’m grateful for his contribution. There were some younger girls in the middle of the audience (who very tellingly related to the nun-chucks character, clearly through experience) to whom I was able to direct some material about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mentioned Buffy’s boyfriend Angel “wanking and crying at the same time” in the tree outside her bedroom window, which is my favourite thing to talk about in comedy. “wanking and crying at the same time” or “laughing and wanking at the same time” in a variety of contexts is my special comedy idea and I don’t tire of using it. It is my baby and I love it.

There was some weird talk of firing various chocolate bars out of my bum-hole (the curly-wurly being the audience’s favourite chocolate projectile) and when the psycho on the front row revealed his occupation as an accountant, I was able to segue into a request for the audience to put some money into the bucket on the way out. Between them they gave us £1.30.

So where are the podcast recordings? We fucked up royally in recording the podcasts. Podcast 1 (the best one) did not record because my cheapo batteries went immediately flat in the recorder. The same thing happened halfway through Podcast 3. We did, however, manage to tape Podcast 2 and 4, but I’m reluctant to put them online because Podcast 2 was so poor and Podcast 4 contains my precious new stand-up material. What we will do is use all of the material recorded to edit together a ‘best of the live shows’ podcast, perhaps punctuated with new commentary about the Fringe 2011 experience from me and Dan. This will take a little while to sort out, but stay tuned because it’ll be excellent.

Something else we fucked up on was ensuring that the donations bucket was present at the end of the show. If you were in our audience and would still like to contribute (or if you enjoy the regular, non-live podcasts and want to do the same) send us a bit of money. If you send us £1.30, you will double our entire Fringe 2011 gross revenue, making you a massive patron of the arts.

Thanks for having us, Edinburgh. It was ace.

Wringham & Godsil Podcast 29

Episode 29, “R is for Ripping”, is online now!

This time, we podcast from a mini cooper parked outside Dan’s house in Shropshire. Among other things, we discuss what Jack the Ripper might use for pillow cases; weigh up the merits of invisibility and flight; and consider how Beyonce Knowles ascertains whether things are Bootilicious or not. Deceased turkey farmer Bernard Matthews, of course, is not Bootilicious: he’s merely Bootiful.

Upon learning that some listeners use our podcast as an alarm clock, we also provide a helpful “Wake up!” soundbite for precisely this function.