Archive for June, 2008

The world is a little less funny today

23,June, 2008

George Carlin died last night.

I always had trouble when anyone would ask me who my comedy influences were. Then about ten years ago I was in the US when Flip Wilson died and they put on a clip from his show that had a performance from George Carlin on it. While George was on stage I mouthed every word. I realized that I bought every one of Carlin’s early albums and I memorized every sentence, every pause.

The man could do it all. He had great political instincts- whether railing against the Viet Nam war all the way to George W but he also had a gentle touch and could make an audience think about the tiniest parts of every day life with new eyes.

I was going to include a video clip but when I saw that his LP Class Clown was on youtube I thought I’d like to experience him again like I did back then, just staring into space – listening and laughing.

Gay marrage and great raisins.

20,June, 2008

Californians – they never voted for W, they make great raisins and now they do this. You gotta love em. It looks like it was a wonderful day.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sophisticated by Comparison

19,June, 2008

Last night I had a lovely meal with old friends to celebrate my agent’s birthday. The owner of the restaurant, also a old friend, appeared with a case of half drunk bottles of red wine, left over from a wine tasting. Not being proud we quaffed the leftovers. Nadene, my REFOL, proclaimed that the most expensive wine had, “A hint of caramel and fart.” Ah the joys of life with an Australian. She can often make a Pocono mountain boy feel sophisticated by comparison.

I can’t be bothered.

11,June, 2008

I live in a football (soccer for you yanks) mad land. Unlike the US where each sport has a specific season. (Cold – football. Sunny – baseball.) Football in the UK seems to run all year long and for the most part I really can’t be bothered. Except for once every two years when either the World Cup or the European Cup is on. In my two decades of life on this side of the pond these pan-European and pan-global sporting events have been the highlights of my summer. Except this one. The European Cup started this week – and England isn’t in it. They didn’t qualify and you know what? I can’t be bothered.

Still in honour of the tournament that in the past has given me so many thrills and disappointments, today I am wearing some Sock Shop novelty football socks. The socks look hideous but as with all the novelty socks from the Sock Shop they are of excellent quality.

When the Brits give me a hard time about Americans calling the baseball final “The World Series” when only Americans can play, I point out that Britain invented arguably two of the finest team games in the world: soccer and cricket. Then taught the world to play them and the world now regularly kicks their buts. As far as I’m concerned America should look at the UK as a cautionary tale and make sure nobody plays baseball or American football except us.

John L

PS I just saw that these socks are half off at Sock Shop. If you like the look they are great value.

If only people like this ruled the world.

7,June, 2008

Don’t let the 20 minute length put you off. This is education guru Sir Ken Robinson and rarely will you ever see a speaker make this much sense with this much style and humor.


Reason’s I shouldn’t drink hard liquor – part 2

4,June, 2008

I sent my almost fainting when hungover story to Danny Baker’s show and I he called me yesterday and got me to tell it on air. Another reason why you should be listening to Danny Baker on BBC radio London every afternoon.

That story reminded me of another tale proving why it’s a bad idea for me to drink anything other that beer or wine.

Three Christmas’ ago, I spent the holidays on a Caribbean cruise ship. At the end of the cruise, the crew had a rum punch party. In the corner of the packed crew bar there was a huge container of punch with a bottle of rum next to it. I logically thought that that meant the punch was alcohol free and one was supposed to add one’s own rum. It turned out that the stuff in the dispenser was already about 50% rum. I spent the evening making it something like 80%.

Once again I woke up feeling fine,except for my eyes. I had taken out my contact lenses – twice. When I realised I was still slurring I knew I was in trouble. When I finally made it out of my cabin, two days later, I ran into one of the entertainment officers. He said, “I didn’t see you at the party the other night but I could have sworn I heard someone shouting, ‘Could somebody else hold up the magician, I have to go to the loo.'”


2,June, 2008

As many of my regular readers will be aware, Danny Baker’s radio show on BBC London is one of my favourite programs on any medium.

Danny daily opens his phone lines for discussions on truly important topics like: What is the largest thing you have ever had in your mouth? or When was the last time you screwed up and people applauded?

Today his topic was, Have you ever fainted? My answer is, well….

Several years ago, I performed my magic/comedy show after dinner at a corporate event in Barcelona and stormed it. A party ensued well into the night but the beer ran out at about midnight. I was forced to drink bourbon and foolishly drank it like beer.

I knew I was in trouble when I woke up the next day feeling fine – I was still drunk. The hang-over kicked in about noon and by four in the afternoon, when I checked in for my flight at the airport, I was in very bad shape. My flight was delayed and I fell asleep in the departure lounge with my chin on my chest drooling onto my shirt.

When I woke up I had no idea how long I had been asleep. I felt spectacularly bad, headache, nausea, I was sure I had been out for hours and had missed my flight. I shot to my feet to look at the TV screen showing the departure details and everything started to go black – I had gotten up way too fast. That’s when I shouted, “SOMEBODY CATCH ME, I’M GOING TO FAINT!” I held my arms out to my side and waited for the inevitable crash. Nothing happened. Then I saw the screen refresh on the television monitor. Everything hadn’t been going black – only the TV screen. The entire terminal stared at me as I sheepishly said “I’m OK,” and returned to my seat.

I was off by a year.

1,June, 2008

I found this amazing website called Brucebase where somebody has compelled every gig Springsteen has done since 1965. I went looking and found this:


CANCELLED Springsteen concert, never rescheduled. At the time (1974) there were separate boys and girls schools located on the same property. The concert had been planned for the school’s 500-seat theater, which was utilized by both schools. However the student entertainment committee in charge of organizing the event was unable to sell enough tickets to pay the required deposit, so the gig was cancelled.”

So I was off by a year. That means I saw Bruce at the end of ’73 – when I was only five years old 🙂