Now That’s What I Call Funny – @ Glasgow International Comedy Festival

I’m taking part in this three-hander of comedy in Glasgow this March, as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Do come and have a giggle with me, Richard and Ross. And tell every person you meet about it, and get them to do the same. Your ticket money means the difference between me getting a train home after the shows, or hitch-hiking on the M9.

Click here to buy tickets, which would be a smart move because a) it’s a cosy and compact venue with a limited number of seats, and b) the tickets will go like hot cakes that have been sealed in a rocket and fired into the heart of the sun to make them even hotter. Megan Fox will be in the rocket, rubbing the hot cakes all over her nipples. You get the idea: the tickets will sell fast, right?.

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Red Dwarf X-pectations

Red Dwarf X premieres on Dave tonight at 9pm. In a few short hours we will know if that ‘X’ signifies buried comedy treasure, or if it will make us all think of a solitary dead eye on the corpse of a cartoon character that’s been drawn by a three-year-old.

And, yes, I know it’s Roman numerals for ten, before some clever cunt who genuinely thinks I’m some sort of drooling malcontent tries to point it out.

Lister and the Cat.

Red Dwarf was my favourite comedy as a youngster, and memories of the show are inextricably linked to memories of my childhood, and of growing up. I shared favourite quotes and crap cast impressions with schoolmates (I did an impressively shite Kryten). It’s fair to say that each new episode was ‘event TV’, and fellow geeks and I would spend the day after transmission reliving the entire episode to the point of suicidal tedium.

When the first series was released on VHS in two-parts I scrimped and saved summer holiday money to get my hands on it. £13.99 for three episodes at a time in good old combustible, snappable video format – and no Monster Munch for a month – but it was worth the sacrifice.

From the series 4 glory days.

And what a show: Smeg, Talkie Toaster, two Rimmers, the first Kryten (‘They’re dead.’ ‘But I was only away for a minute.’), Lister having twins, the Better Than Life video game, the fried egg, chilli, cheese and chutney sandwich, the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society (or CLITORIS for short), Lister eating dogfood and burning books, inflatable Rachel, a self-destruct system that dispenses chocolate bars, Gandhi with a machine-gun, Kryten dating a blob, Lister fighting a curry monster, Kryten having a penis, Rimmer going nuts in a Gingham dress, Mr Flibble, group hallucinations thanks to aggressive marine life, Lister marrying a mutant, Rimmer being able to touch again, the Polymorph, Ace Rimmer, Dwayne Dibbley!

So many classic moments and characters have been etched into my brain. I was so obsessed with the show that I was moved to write this in my diary when I was 16:

“I brought down Red Dwarf with me that I’d videotaped the night before, because Papa likes it. I don’t mind watching it for the second time, as instead of concentrating on the programme, I like to concentrate on the reaction of the person watching it. Let me explain why: if you enjoy a certain thing on the television, it must contain elements you can relate to, therefore each one you enjoy reflects a facet of your personality. Every time my grandfather would laugh at one of the jokes, I would take that as a personal victory. It’s not as simple as merely saying, ‘Oh, he enjoys the show,’ because on some level his laughter is telling me, ‘Oh, he likes me.’”

I think it’s clear from reading that diary excerpt that I was a bit of a wanker. And incredibly creepy. After all the bizarre staring I subjected him to, my grandpa must have thought I was some sort of cross between Droopy and the little dead girls from The Shining. It also appears that my self-esteem was almost entirely based upon other people’s enjoyment of a 1980′s sci-fi comedy show. I must remember to write that one down for my psychiatrist.

Kochanski: Red Dwarf’s very own Yoko Ono.

Still, as much as I loved – and still love – the show, something went wrong: Rob Grant, one of Red Dwarf’s creators and one half of its writing team, quit the show after series six. It became clear that Rob was the writer responsible for the ‘com’ part of the ‘sit-com’ equation, and a noticeable dip in quality was evident following his departure. Series 7 still had some excellent moments – most notably the JFK-themed curry hunt – but the dissolution of Red Dwarf’s writing partnership, along with the decision to forgo a studio audience and film the show more like a comedy-drama, changed the atmosphere and ‘feel’ of Red Dwarf for the worse. Kochanski didn’t help either. She was shit (the character, rather than the actress) (yeah, add that rider to spare her feelings, Jamie, because she’s definitely going to be one of the three people who actually read this shite, you fucking egotist).

Danny John Jules as The Cat.

The Cat in particular became a one-dimensional retard, who seemed to spend his time pulling stroke faces and uttering the odd hackneyed and unfunny line about corduroy trousers. It was the cat’s almost sociopathic selfishness, vanity and callousness that made him funny in the earlier series, not his stupidity, which was never so much emphasised. Things picked up a bit with series 8, although I do agree with one Amazon reviewer who said that the show became like ‘Chuckle Brothers in Space.’ Also, in general, I feel it would have been better if the series had stayed with the six-separate-stories format and left the two-and-three-parters alone. I really liked the episode ‘Cassandra’, though, with the super-computer that could predict the future. It felt like classic ‘Dwarf’ again.

The pant-shittingly bad ‘Back to Earth’.

Then came the three-part special ‘Back to Earth’, broadcast on Dave in 2009, that was so hellishly bad it felt like Doug Naylor had travelled back through time to 1989 to personally spunk in my face. The entire first part – especially the tomato banter between Rimmer and Lister, and the distressingly cringe-worthy scene in which Rimmer conducted away to himself oblivious to the plight of his ship-mates as they battled a giant squid on the monitors behind him – almost made Citizen Khan look like the single greatest comedy ever produced. Fair enough, some of the ideas in ‘Back to Earth’ were inventive, if not a little derivative, but so what? It’s a comedy. It’s supposed to make me laugh, first and foremost.

Anyway, ‘Back to Earth’ was discussed on a comedy forum a few years back, and I found an interesting bit of chat about it from Scottish comedian Stu Who?.

Ok … so here’s a hypotheses … eh?

When we are younger and haven’t watched a vast amount of comedy, sit-coms, etc, we adopt some programmes which grow, with the passing of time, to be our nostalgic, firm favourites.

In their time, they were quite good, but weren’t really the classics of comedy that we think they were.

If the show is revived, we tend to compare it with the rose-tinted view of the previous series, rather than reality.

Or … in other words:

Red Dwarf was a pile of juvenile shite back then … and still is.

Discuss

I hope he’s wrong, and this isn’t just a case of me donning rose-tinted spectacles and staring at my childhood like… well, staring at it like a creepy grandchild who won’t leave his grandpa alone.

Red Dwarf was funny. Red Dwarf IS funny.

I know it’s just a TV show, and if I’d started watching it when I was 40 I probably wouldn’t give this much of a shit. I know I’m displaying a fanaticism and a personal stake in this akin to a religious fundamentalist defending his holy book. But please, please, please let tonight’s episode exceed my expectations, and blot out the years of disappointment I’ve suffered since Rob Grant left. Let the little embers and flickers of past genius that still glowed in the show, in some form or another, in the later series rage into a comedy bush fire. Let me love Red Dwarf again. Let me laugh.

Give me back my fucking childhood, Doug Naylor! And wipe that cum off my forehead.

Being an Open Spot – The Falkirk Herald

It must have been a slow news week at The Falkirk Herald back in June. Here’s a wee piece they did about me being an open spot, complete with entirely unnecessary moody picture. And, hey: I AM the news, motherfuckers.

Cunt of the Week (03 Sep 2012) by Ross Leslie

Matt Bendoris – high quality journalism guaranteed.

I seriously considered making my ‘Cunt of the Week’ the pathological liar and teen romance high school preppy, Paul Ryan, after that performance at the Republican National Convention. I could also have added the embarrassing ‘turns’ by Romney-bot and former American hero, Clint Eastwood, however I remembered Jamie’s normal readership includes such intellectuals as Richard Hunter and Gregor Wappler, so I just left it as I didn’t want their brains to hurt. 

Therefore, step forward future sexual assaulter Matthew “Matt” Bendoris, for your journalistic car-crash of an interview with a fit lady, the super-talented Scottish violinist, Nicola Benedetti. Link to said article is here – http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/mattmeets/4502198/Matt-meets-Scots-violin-queen-Nicola-Benedetti.html – enjoy for yourselves.

Now, of course, you get what you deserve if you happen to read The Sun, hopefully a form of genital warts; that being said, and I believe this to be a true fact, 97 per cent of male Sun readers already have genital warts. Seriously, check it out on the Internet. And I wasn’t reading The Sun in online or print format, so don’t start by saying, ‘Haha Ross, your cock is all warty, too.’ It’s not, and I have photos to prove it, right? Anyway, yes, let’s get back to the cunt. (not with those warts you won’t, dirty – Jamie)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a red blooded male who likes to have the sex with ladies, and have done so on hunners of occasions, absolute hunners man. I have the humans I have procreated at home to prove it. Because of this I am well aware that Benedetti is a good looking woman; however, I wouldn’t try to mentally prepare her for a sexual assault whilst interviewing her for a national newspaper and then clearly take the huff halfway through because she clearly finds me physically disgusting.

Nicola Benedetti

He then says that she doesn’t take the bonniest of photos sometimes, and she is a bit beaky. Google image this weedy, specky cunt: he looks like Harry Potter in the first movie. He then gives us a blow-by-blow account of what she is wearing, and describes her physical attributes, sweat clearly pouring onto his keyboard as he types the words.

But what does any of this have to do with fucking music!? I am not a classical music fan – I’m more of a Carly Rae Jepsen man – but she is very talented in her field and it might be an idea to ask her some questions about that, eh? I suppose she has to take her share of the blame for agreeing to speak to the cunt in the first place, or at least her agent should be fired, but maybe her agent is still pissed off she didn’t want to get her vagina out for FHM-Zoo-Nuts, or whatever it’s called these days.

He does then ask a little about her music, but this is buried amongst references to her boyfriend being a lucky man, as he somehow snared this one – perhaps by being a man, and not coming in his pants when he first saw her; and then, worryingly in this boozed-up country of ours, he mocks her for only having FOUR drinks on her birthday night out. ‘I bet she didn’t even start a single fight in a taxi queue,’ he thought to himself.

I actually emailed him when I read it to congratulate him on his fine journalistic work, and asked if he had managed to get out the semen stains from his underwear. His response?: ‘Cheers’. Why argue with a fucking moron, Leslie, why do it? In summary: Bendoris – fuck you, cunt.

Ross Leslie

THIS WEEK’S GUEST WRITERRoss Leslie hasn’t been doing comedy for very long, but in his short-time on the Scottish stand-up circuit he’s already won Scotland in Session’s ‘Fuck You I’m Funny’ competition, been a finalist in The Shack’s Massive Comedy Gong Show, and been violently and lubelessly hate-fucked by the circuit’s premier sexual terrorist, Vladimir McTavish.

Leslie’s first ever gig was a gong show; a gong show being the harshest, most brutal comedy environment known to man. It’s the stand-up equivalent of D-Day. Less a baptism of fire, and more a baptism of the raging and eternal flames of Hell. It certainly doesn’t do wonders for your nerves or will to live, so for Leslie to have spent the majority of his first thirteen gigs gonging it means that the man has balls like space-hoppers. Or he’s completely insane.

Jonathan King. NOT from Fife.

Ross Leslie wasn’t just born in Fife. He IS Fife. If Fife is a Kingdom, then Leslie is its king – much like a blue-bottle is king when it’s perched atop a particularly gooey mountain of dog shite. We continue the royal theme with a little known fact about Ross: he was the disgraced pop guru Jonathan King’s first victim, and the only one of King’s victims not to press charges. ‘I knew he was lying when he said he’d make me a star,’ swooned Leslie. ‘I just wanted that wonky wee mouth gorging on my stauner.’ Leslie still visits King in prison six times a year for conjugal visits, and he always takes with him a Thomas the Tank Engine rucksack containing a jizz-stained school tie, an 80s shell-suit and a giant tub of mashed bananas.

PS: I apologise for the hurtful and disgusting lie I made up about Ross in this biography. Let me set the record straight. Ross Leslie is NOT from Fife.

FOLLOW ROSS ON TWITTER: @misterross  

CHECK OUT ROSS’S BLOG:  http://mum-blings.tumblr.com/

Cunt of the Week (11 Jun 2012) by Rik Carranza

The head cunt, presiding over his cunt empire.

My Cunt of the Week is not a single person; it’s an organisation. That’s right, Mattel, I’m looking at you. 

You see, a number of years ago – when I was much younger, smaller and more naive – I saw a movie which, at the time, blew me away. That movie was Back to the Future, Part II. If you haven’t seen it then, quite frankly, you need to re-assess your priorities in life. However, for the sake of clarification it is the second part of a trilogy of movies wherein a teenager, Marty McFly, goes on a series of adventures through time, almost shags his mother and claims to be Clint Eastwood. On a side note, if I had a time machine I would use it to punch someone at every major moment in history, or I would go back 2000 years or so to Jerusalem and claim I was Jesus. Probably the second thing. Yeah, I’d do that.

Look closely to see Rik Carranza's supporting role in BTTF2.

Anyway, in Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly goes to the year 2015 and after a series of misadventures ends up in possession of A FUCKING HOVERBOARD! That’s right: a hoverboard. A skateboard with no fucking wheels! The first time I saw this I was too young to blow my load, but, trust me, it gave me the same feelings.

According to the movie, the hoverboard in question was made by Mattel. Given that the movie originally came out in 1989 and was partially set in 2015, it is safe to assume that Mattel didn’t have the product back then. However, as we are coming up for 2015, by my reckoning hoverboards should be coming out within the next couple of years; you know, so we’ve got time to become familiar with how they work. With this in mind, I contacted Mattel to ask whether or not their hoverboards would be hitting the market soon. This was their reply:-

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Hello

Thank you for your email.  The Hoverboards are not part of the UK range, but we do value your feedback and this will be passed to the relevant departments for their future reference. 

Kind Regards

Karen Allen

Consumer Response, Mattel UK

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I felt disappointment until I saw the phrase: ‘NOT PART OF THE UK RANGE’. So it does exist then? Awesome! Getting a little bit excited I did some research and found this: http://www.slashgear.com/mattel-hover-board-prepped-for-2012-holiday-release-13213241/

It’s a fucking replica! It doesn’t hover, it just makes some shitty little whooshing noises. Fuck you, Mattel. I want a real hoverboard; not some replica. Adding further insult to injury, it’s only available in the US. By releasing this, Mattel aren’t satisfying fans. They are fucking with us. Acting like strippers by showing us the goods, but not letting us touch. There are self-lacing shoes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Efr2TaEPo), holograms (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0TpDxLfjHc&feature=player_embedded), video calling (http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/home), and video googles (http://www.geeksugar.com/CES-2008-Awe-eMagins-OLED-Microdisplay-Headset-943210), but still no hoverboard. So get your ass in gear, Mattel, and give me my hoverboard.

Rik Carranza

THIS WEEK’S GUEST WRITER The end result of multiculturalism gone wrong (at least according to the Daily Mail), Rik embraces both cultures the same way John Terry embraces racial harmony. When he’s not trying to make people laugh he likes sports from the comfort of his couch, movies from the comfort of his couch and pet ownership from the comfort of his own couch. In fact on the few occasion that he leaves his couch he has had some success in stand up comedy, which he started in 2009 and still can’t be bothered to quit.

Rik was arrested in 2007 for having sex with a snowman in a school playground. The terms of Carranza’s release state that he must spend the winter months sedated to prevent any further sexual outrage, so unfortunately you won’t be able to book him for your Christmas party.

FOLLOW RIK ON TWITTER: @rcarranza

READ RIK’S BLOGhttp://rikcarranza.blogspot.co.uk/

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Write for next week’s Cunt of the Week (CoTW) : http://www.jamieandrew-withhands.com/2012/06/01/cunt-of-the-week/