Bleeding heart liberal

Last night I went to see A Seriously Funny Attempt to get the Serious Fraud Office in the Dock, a benefit gig to raise funds to mount a legal challenge to the government’s decision to halt the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into BAE’s bribery and corruption (I would say BAE’s alleged bribery and corruption, but I reeeeally don’t think there’s that much doubt that it happened), an event largely organised by Mark Thomas. Though the Guardian takes issue with the lack of ‘awareness raising’ in the sets I think that’s bollocks – everyone got an attractive brochure detailing the reasons behind the legal action, and the line-up wasn’t so spectacularly famous that people might have wandered in who didn’t know the reasons behind it. (I knew about the gig cos it got plugged in the Grauniad after all; they probably only advertised in tomes only woolly headed liberals read.)

Despite the only really ‘stellar’ name being Russell Brand (and to be honest? Not as funny as some of the others), it was a brilliant line-up – Ed Byrne, Mark Thomas, Mark Steel (I love Mark Steel! If you’ve never seen the Mark Steel Lectures, get thee BBC4 immediately), Josie Long (she’s so sweet), Robin Ince, Stewart Lee, Simon Amstell, Jo Caulfield (never mind dear, I’m sure nobody minded that you weren’t funny), Omid Djalili, Bill Bailey (BILL BAILEY!) and the psychotically brilliant Phil Nichol.

Who the fuck…? You may be asking. It turns out we’ve seen him before, at a filming of a random comedy show for Paramount back in February, when he did a song about rohypnol which, sadly, doesn’t appear to have made it onto YouTube. What has made it, is the song he did last night – it seems it’s something of a Phil Nichol classic:

All day I’ve been singing that, in the style of Billy Bragg. (Look out for the Nirvana section. Oh so, so funny.)

It all got me to thinking (I sound like I’m about to drift off into a Scrubs voice over) about my ultimate comedy gig, if time and death were no object. It’s tough. Probably tougher than coming up with my ultimate music festival. I think, I think, it would look something like this… [cue the wibbly wobbly lines and fade into dream sequence]

Peter Cook
Ross Noble
Eddie Izzard
Dylan Moran
Billy Connolly circa 1984
Bill Hicks
Rob Newman and David Baddiel circa 1993 (but would possibly only work if I was transported back to being 15 years old again)
Victoria Wood
Dara O’Briain
Mark Thomas
John Oliver
Phil Nichol

I’ve probably forgotten some. It was tough deciding that Ed Byrne, Jeremy Hardy, Frankie Boyle and others didn’t make the cut. Or on the other hand there may be some omissions simply because I think they’re shit.


3 responses to “Bleeding heart liberal

  1. Pete September 25, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    How was Stuart Lee?
    As a double act, Lee and Herring are definitely still very entertaining:
    If you can’t be arsed to watch all of that reunion gig, there’s a brilliant line where they claim “the internal dynamic of our act is broken … because now we’re both fat”. Genius.

  2. Rachel September 25, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Lee and Herring were great… if I bumped Newman and Baddiel, I’d want Lee and Herring circa 1999-ish.
    Stewart Lee was great – he did what I think is a bit of an old act (but to be fair, I’d seen part of Robin Ince’s and Jo Caulfield’s before, and who on earth is going to write new material for a 15 min section of a benefit gig they’re not getting paid to do? Well, apart from Mark Thomas, who had new material about Northern Rock, but then he’s touring at the moment and always writes new stuff while he’s out. And *breathe*) – yeah, an old bit about the Celebrity Big Brother racism row and the values of the Carphone Warehouse. Funny. Especially if you work in a MegaCorp Inc. where they have such ‘values’ in a non-ironic way.

  3. Rachel October 8, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I love John Hegley.

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