I remember my first encounter with the world of comedy. I was four years old, and a clown came to the door of our house offering to wash our dog for food. I laughed at his funny red nose and bright purple wig, and then my father shot him, and that too was funny in its way. It was then I thought seriously about going into comedy myself, and by the age of five had written an eight-hour one-man show, entitled, "Laughter: The Harbinger of Death".
I performed this show daily in front of my parents for the next six years, and
it was, I admit, a source of tension, argument and self-mutilation at the time.
Nowadays we laugh about it, but at the time, the comedy was so bitingly real
that my mother was at times moved to tears, and at other times moved to
I gave up the one-man show at eleven, and began work on my sitcom. Amusingly,
my dictionary was missing some pages, and so I gained a false impression of
what a "sitcom" was. In fact, rather than working on a sitcom, I
began working on a stegosaurus, which was a far more thankless task, and less
funny than I had anticipated. It got even worse when the stegosaurus ate our
gardener. I had thought stegosauruses were herbivorous, but then I found I had
read the instructions wrong. It seemed that every book in the house was missing
pages, and later on we found out my father had been eating them. I asked him
why and he said he was trying to stop the cravings he had to eat the gardener.
I suppose that in the end, my sitcom DID end up being quite successful, though
In my teenage years, my love of comedy did not wane, but it did go in exciting
new directions. I explored the possibilities of physical comedy, experimenting
with comedic sexual intercourse and slapstick ethnic cleansing. But I soon grew
tired of the cheap and easy laughs to be had by setting Koreans on fire, and by
my graduation year was ready for fresh challenges and strange new worlds of
It was at university that I began devising a surrealist, avant garde brand of
comedy, beginning with jokes such as:
Q. What do you call a man with an octopus on his face?
Q: How many ligtbulbs does it take?
A: Twenty-eight (laugh malevolently)
These jokes found great success among the cafeteria ladies, and emboldened, I
set out to expand the themes I was working with, thus:
An Englishman, an Irishman and a rabbi walk into a bar. The Englishman says,
I can't fall out of this plane, my goldfish are dead. How did the Welshman
A: The surgeon was his mother.
Sherlock Holmes and Watson are out camping, and Watson says, Why the long face,
to which Holmes replies, I am a cocaine addict. He then makes Watson lick
yoghurt off his violin until dawn. What does this tell you, Watson, he asks.
Watson replies, Now comes the viola solo. (laugh malevolently)
Many people loved my new brand of comedy, and I found great acclaim among the
Beat Generation, who were by then terribly old and mostly demented. However,
the cultural elite did not, and there were calls in several thousand newspapers
for me to be banned for life from all sporting events and chemically castrated.
Years later I found out all of these newspapers were fakes printed on a home
press by my mischievous prankster college roommate Fuzzy Slamwindow. How we
laughed. But at the time I was most distressed and went into exile in Tibet,
where I learned how to love again.
Upon my return, I set to work rehearsing for my most ambitious show yet,
"Breasts: The Musical". The show consisted entirely of me standing on
stage in a rubber catsuit showing slides of dead strippers and groaning
The show was a commercial and critical success, described by one eminent critic
as "the funniest thing I have ever seen", and by another as
"mmmmm". Although box office receipts were huge, I suffered from my
poor judgment in signing a contract which guaranteed 80% of ticket sales would
go to Richard Branson's Virgin Corporation, in return for which I would have a
long needle inserted into my brain. Looking back, I'm not sure what I was
And so we come to today. I am not resting on my laurels, by any means. In fact,
I just published my book, "Not Resting On My Laurels", which is a
collection of humorous essays and line drawings of rabbit ovaries. I am about
to release "Not Resting On My Laurels Too", a collection of the same
humorous essays, but with a foreword by Kirstie Alley.
All in all, I have learnt a lot about comedy in my seven or eight years on this
planet. What you need to remember is, it's all about the audience. You're not
up there for your own glorification, you are up there to make the audience
laugh, and if they don't laugh, to be honest, you deserve all the poisonous
gases you get. So the lesson is: make them laugh at all costs. If that means
that you have to take off your pants, or eat a small boat, or hang yourself
from a tree, so be it.
Laughter is everything, and I assure you, when you hear a roomful of people
laughing and clapping and gently tongueing your thighs, you'll know that it was