♪ Now I’m not trying to be rude ♪ But, hey, pretty girl, I’m feeling you ♪ ♪ The way you do the things you do Reminds me of my Lexus Coupe ♪ ♪ Baby, give me that toot-toot Let me give you that beep-beep ♪ ♪ Running my hands through my ‘fro Bouncing on 24s ♪ ♪ It’s the remix to “Ignition” Hot and fresh out the kitchen ♪ ♪ Mama rolling that body Got every man in here wishin’ ♪ ♪ Sippin’ on coke and rum I’m like, “So what? I’m drunk ♪ ♪ It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun ♪
It’s always good to start a television special with a joke that you’ll never be able to air, isn’t it? -[laughs] So– -[woman] I want you to have my baby! Eh? [woman] Will you have my baby? Will I have your babies? Gut instinct says no. Definitely no. It’s definitely no.
I have a system for stand up. My system is, I go home to Shropshire, where I’m from, with a notepad and a pen, and I wait for my parents to say weird shit. Then I come and tell you. That’s my system. Right? I had some problems this time. Problem number one… About three years ago, my dad, very selfishly, died. You’re pissed off. I had three shows left in him. Problem number two… My mom pulled me to one side when she heard I was gonna do a new show. And she went, “I don’t want you to talk about me anymore.” And I went, “What?!” She said, “I want you to stop talking about me onstage.” I went, “Why?” She goes, “You’ve had two shows out of me. You’ve humiliated me on stages all around the country. Honestly, I think you’ve had your money’s worth.” And she’s right, ladies and gentlemen. I have. I’ve made thousands. Thousands out of her. So I stood there, going, “Shit! What the fuck am I gonna talk about?” Anyway, then she changed the subject. And this is what she said… She said, “Have you been watching any of that Oscar Pistorius retrial?” I went, “Here we go. All right. No, mom, I haven’t. Why?” She goes, “You haven’t watched any?” I said, “I think I read a little about it.” She goes, “What do you think?” I went, “What do you mean?” -She said, “Do you think he did it?” -I said, “He did do it.” She says, “I know he did. Do you think you meant to do it?” I went, “Well… I’m not sure why we’re talking about this, old lady, but if you want my opinion, yeah, he lost his temper and he shot her.” She went, “That’s what I think. Yeah.” Then she said two things. “Now, I want you to tell me if you were in my position, would you break a promise you’ve made to your 77-year-old mother?” ‘Cause they’re both fucking astonishing. Bearing in mind that Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend to death… Even the build up is hilarious. She said, this.. “That silly lad. [laughing] What a tyke. What a little tinker.” Then she followed it up with the all-time classic. “He had the world at his feet.” He fucking didn’t, did he? I said, “Don’t expect me not to use that onstage, old woman. It’s gold!”
Recently… she said the worst sentence that anyone’s ever said to me. Imagine that in my business. We went for a meal. We went for a steak together. I can’t speak for the other middle-aged people in the room, but I find that with every year that passes, I have less and less to look forward to in life. So when I go for a meal… I fucking have it. I am consuming it, and I am consumed by it. My world goes… [mimics doors closing] and I’m just… “Oh, yeah. [imitates chewing] Oh, that meat is cooked to perfection. The futility of life… I’d just briefly forgotten the futility of life.” My mom’s opposite me, and since she’s on her own, it’s a constant stream of bullshit coming out of her mouth. Largely about people I’ve never even met. So I’m there going, “Oh, yeah. “Oh, my knife just glides through it.” [imitating chattering] “Oh, she had a stroke in Tesco. She fell into the salad bar.” “I might just put my meat into the peppercorn sauce.” “He’s riddled with arthritis. He can’t even pick a cup up.” “I might put a chip with the meat. Just have the combination of the potato and the meat.” “You should see what they’ve done with the town hall. Multicultural mural.” I was on total food lockdown. I didn’t hear a word she said.
Then something just slipped through my radar just very briefly. And I couldn’t quite let it go. I was just… [chewing] “I’ll just put some sweet corn on the end of my fork.” “Christine said to me, ‘We should both get one of those rabbits.'” “Just have some broccoli for health.” I couldn’t quite let it go. Do you know what I mean? It kept racing around my mind. I found myself going, “That’s strange. Why would they be buying a pet at their age?” “Christine said, ‘I don’t mind ordering them, but they’re coming to your house.'” I went, “All right, what the fuck? Are you talking about dildos?” She went, “Yes.” I went, “Why? I’m your son.” She said, “I thought you’d find it funny.” “Funny? The idea of you two hammering away at yourselves?” I may have done this show in my hometown last week. Mom saw it. Suitably mortified. “Oh, disgusting! Absolutely disgusting.” She sent me a text the next day, which I’m gonna keep on my phone for the rest of my life. Wanna see it? Have a look. “Hello, love. I’d prefer it if you wouldn’t do that vibrator routine in your show. When you ignore this and do it anyway, at least make it clear to your audiences that neither Christine or myself have ever bought or used a sex aid.” Contract fulfilled, old woman.
But it must have got to me, ’cause I found myself thinking, “I wonder if there’s something nice I can tell everyone. A nice story I can tell about my mom to take away the taste of the filth, you know?” So I found myself going, “Oh, let me see.” And I thought of something. When I was eight years of age, just eight, I was gonna say little Greg, but I was a freak of nature then, as well. Not the six-foot-eight monstrosity you see before you, but I was still disgustingly long. I went past Clinton Cards, which if you don’t know the shop, it’s for people with no taste, largely. Bankrupt. And stringy old eight-year-old Greg, skipped past Clinton Cards and there was a bear in the window, three-foot tall. And I remember going, “If only I could have that. That toy, that… long toy for a long boy.” I said to my mom, “I’ve seen this giant bear, could I have it?” She goes, “Well, we’ll chat with Santa and see what he says.” I go, “Okay.” A couple of days later, she came back, and she went, “I’m sorry, love. I’ve spoken to Santa, and… I’m afraid that bear is £75. Santa can’t afford it this year.” I thought, “That’s a shame, although Santa does appear to be able to afford quite a lot of fucking cigarettes.” I was on to Santa. I’d met him the year before. I was sharing a room with my sister. He came in. His fag was glowing in the dark. He was clearly shit-faced. When I said, “Hello, Santa,” he told me to piss off in a woman’s voice. So, I was on to Santa. But I thought, “Fair enough, she can’t afford it.” I just let it go. Now, it obviously got to her, ’cause a couple of days later, she came back… She went, “Oh… I’ve spoken to my friend Carol. We think we can make you a giant bear.” And I remember thinking, “Uh…” I was only eight years of age, but I thought, “Oh… that sounds shit, doesn’t it? That sounds shit.” She took a dirty old blue blanket out of the garage, and I thought, “Yep, this is gonna be shit.” Then every two days on the buildup to Christmas, she’d come over… “Project’s coming on. Project’s coming on.” Christmas day, I ran into the front room and under the tree, there was a giant parcel for me. And I ripped it open. And there he was. I met him for the first time. BT. “Blue Ted.” Five-foot tall. Five foot. They added two feet onto it. And he became a firm friend of mine for many years to come. He really did. Like I said. It’s just… You seem surprised. It’s just a nice story. No, no. No, there’s no need for that. We’re not in America. It’s fine. Sorry, I forgot to say… I went home recently and found a picture of BT. -Would you like to meet him? -[cheering] I can’t hear you. -[cheering continuing] -Would you like to meet him? Here he is. What the fuck is that? Because it isn’t a bear, is it ladies and gentlemen? A fucking frog, maybe. It scared the living shit out of me. It looks like ET, doesn’t it? If anything.
Oh, incidentally, I don’t know the last time you watched ET, I watched it three weeks ago. It was on one Sunday, and I was drawn into that film the way I was as a child. It was the scene in the woodshed when Elliott first uncovers ET. And his little glowing finger comes out. And I thought, “God, that’s a magical film, ET.” And my mate Rich was next to me. He ruined that film in one sentence, and I’m about to ruin it for you now. ‘Cause he said– I was going, “Oh, God… this is like being a child.” And Rich went, “Tell you what, mate, if I found something like that in my shed, I’d stove it’s fucking head in with a shovel.” And he’s right, isn’t he? If you think about it for one second, he’s right. If you found that in your shed, you would panic, and you would stamp the cunt to death. [speaks gibberish] It talks! Mom! A little early in the record to be calling ET a cunt, isn’t it? I like to call ET a cunt. It’s funny when you film something and you can hear things being cut out as you say them. [mimics cutting] ET’s a cunt. Well, I stand by it. He is a cunt. [laughs] Look… my point is… [laughs] Can I just say to the lady who just looked at me really seriously, the more upset you are, the funnier I find it.
Look… look… Guys. My point is… it’s a weird looking creature. Right? But it’s a mom doing her best for her son. She couldn’t afford what I wanted, so she did her best. I think we can all agree, it’s a sweet story, isn’t it? Or it would be… But when I got to 13 years of age, ladies and gentleman, I fucked that bear. I did. Sorry. I fucked him right in his furry backside. And I didn’t fuck him once, I’ll tell you that. I fucked him for a whole summer. I was out in the park, playing with my friends. And I’d fuck that every day. Mom would shout, “Time to get up for school, Greg.” I was too busy knocking the back end out of this. You can see it in his eyes if you look closer. Haunted. Haunted. I’ll be honest with you. He could stand up on his own after a while. “Very funny, Greg. Very funny! First you make me out to be a mad old lady. Now I find out you’ve been fornicating with the toys I made for you. It’s disgusting.” I say, “It’s just a laugh, Mom.” She goes, “It’s a laugh for you. It’s my reputation you’re out there ruining. What’s the show called? You’re all right, aren’t you?”
The show has always been “You Magnificent Beast.” There’s a reason for that. I was moving through London in a cab with the window open. A drunk student saw me, recognized me. He dove through the window of the moving cab. He grabbed me by the throat, and he went, “Oh, yeah. You magnificent beast.” He just let go. Honestly, as far as I know, he could be dead. But I got a title for my show. The honest truth is, the next day I found myself… “Yes, I am. Yes, I am.” I thought, “I’m gonna write a show about how magnificent I am. How magnificent we all are. That’s what my show is gonna be about. How unique all human beings are. How we’ve all got something to offer.” I started getting quotes together, inspirational quotes about humans. Look at this. I think it’s wonderful. “Child of heaven born from the womb of a star.” All of us. Another one… “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” Nelson Mandela said that. I hope this doesn’t seem arrogant, but I do see myself as the white Nelson Mandela. Thank you. Thank you. Another one. “No species has ever had such wholesale control over everything on Earth.” Attenborough said that. We believe anything Attenborough said. I thought, “This show is gonna write itself.” I start getting images together of the wonderful things all human beings have done. And my mom, still smarting, went, “Yeah, I’m a mad old lady who’s had her youth, had it away with. And you’re a magnificent beast? How about your lift your shirt up in front of the mirror, love? See how magnificent you are.” I will do. Yeah. Have a look. Look at it. Look at what I’ve done to myself. Nothing magnificent about this, is there? I thought, “She’s got a point.” When I thought about it more, I thought, “There’s nothing magnificent about a middle-aged human being anyway. Middle-age is dreadful.”
I’m gonna come and talk to one of my middle-aged friends. This is where I massively offend someone. -What’s your name? -Sean. Sean, you’re how old? Sorry? -Forty-seven. -Couple years younger than me? -Are you enjoying middle age? -Yep. Are you up for a piss in the night? -A couple of times. -Twice. We’re at the same prostate level. It’s called “galia melon.” Two pisses a night, I’m the same. You’re two years younger than me. I’ll tell you, things have happened to me that you’ve got to look forward to. And I just want to share them with the young people. In the last two years, my nails have become four times thicker than they used to be. Just imagine that, young people. Imagine not being able to bite through your own fucking nails. What’s the evolutionary miracle about that, David Attenborough? In case I fancy skittering up a wall like a fucking lizard? I’ve started behaving weirdly. I’ve started buying folk music. No one likes folk music, not even the singers. They can’t be bothered to sing out of their mouths. [singing gibberish] I’ve got albums full of the shit round my place. In the Sunday supplement, I ordered one of those things you put on your stomach to try and make you not fat without doing exercise. You know the electrocution things? And at a real low point in my life, I found myself electrocuting myself whilst listening to folk music. [singing gibberish] ♪ The hills of Donegal ♪ You can turn it up really fast as well. [sings gibberish] I had to stop ’cause I thought I was gonna shit myself. Then I had a real wake-up call. I did some warm up gigs and had my friend support me. Ed Gamble, who’s a young, beautiful comic. and then… Ed. You talk about weird things when you’re on the road together. And Ed, a much younger, prettier boy, he made very casual reference to when he got back to the hotel that night, he was gonna have a “tidy up” downstairs. And I went, “What?” He said, “I’m going to have a little.. trim downstairs.” -Sean? -Yes. [laughs] -Yeah. -You trimming? I have trimmed. You’re all trimming, aren’t you? All you men are trimming, and it passed me by, “manscaping.” I’m like, “What the fuck are you on about? Have a trim downstairs?” He goes, “Come on, Grandad. Everyone’s trimming.” Which men here are trimming? Just give me a cheer. [scattered cheering] Okay, fine. I didn’t know it was a thing. I missed it. I know that you women have been, you know…. So you wanna hear a thing that’s not gonna make it into the show? I was gonna say “waxing that rat.” Unbelievable. Snip, snip, out it comes. But it never occurred to me. I panicked. At the hotel, I thought, “I better check this out.” I took my clothes off, went to the bathroom, and I stood in front of the mirror to see how bad things were. Oh, my God. I had never noticed it before. A giant, graying ’70s afro. Awful! It looked like Don King was riding on the back of a depressed mini-elephant. I thought, “You’re never get another girlfriend. You fat prick. There’s only one person who’s gonna be interested in that.” And the fucking bear’s in hiding. So, I thought, “I’m gonna have to do something about this.” So I did. I went back to my bedroom, and I did something about it. Well, ladies and gentlemen… there were hairs down there like the mooring ropes of the Titanic. I knew I was in trouble ’cause I used my beard trimmer to do it. The motor started panicking when it hit bush. [imitates razor whirring] I(t’s like I was fucking angle-grinding. Took me 20 minutes to get the worst of it out. Five or six pounds of silvery bush on the floor. Looked like burnt tinsel. I went back to the full-length mirror to check out my handiwork. Very nice. Very nice. The pubes I’m talking about obviously, not what was beneath them. The mini-elephant was as depressing as ever, just lolling… “What are we doing?” “I was just… I was just trimming your pubes.” “Okay. Anything else?” “While we’re here, I suppose we could have a piss.” “Okay. [sputters] Not finished.” [groans] [sputters] “Okay. Bedtime.” Anyway… I went back to bed with a little spring in my step that night. I thought, “Yes, very nice, big man. You’ve rolled the clock back a few years there. Very nice.” I fell asleep… feeling pretty good about myself. In the morning… I allowed my hand to dance over the area. That’s always painful, I’ll be honest, because of my fucking talons. Didn’t feel right. Something felt wrong. Felt like someone had dropped a mini-pizza down there. I couldn’t be bothered to go to the bathroom, and as you can see, I can’t see my own genitals. So I made an extraordinary decision. I got my iPhone. And I took this picture here. Fuck me. It is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. And the flash scared the shit out of the elephant. And then above his head, there was just a halo of purple scabs. Disgusting! I’d had an allergic reaction to the trim. I went, “For fuck’s sake…” You’re a middle-aged man. Accept it. Accept it! And I vowed never to touch my pubis again. I went home, and… a few days later, I went to my local cafe in the park. I go to a cafe in the park. And I saw Elsie, a woman I’ve got to know really well. I went, “Hello, Elsie.” She went, “Hello, Greg.” And I went, “Hello, Elsie.” She said, “I haven’t seen you for ages.” I went, “I’ve been on tour.” She went, “Oh, lovely.” I said, “And before that, I was in Spain on holiday.” And she went, “Oh, I love Spain. I love it. ” I went, “It’s nice, isn’t it?” I said, “Would you like a cup of tea?” She goes, “I’d love one, darling.” I went, “Right, I’ll go get us one.” She goes, “Okay, here, before you go, you haven’t got any photos of your holiday, have you?” “Yes, I have, Elsie. Here on my iPhone. Why don’t you flick through them at your leisure… while I go and get the tea?” And I was holding the tray. “Oh, they’re lovely! What a lovely villa.” “Yes.” “Are these your friends?” “Yes, they’re my friends.” “Oh, lovely.” As they put the teapot on the tray, I remembered, and I went, “Ooh, fuck.” And the world went into slow motion. [grunts] “Elsie!” I got to her just as she swiped onto it. And she went… [shrieks] And I went, “Ooh!” And she went, “Hey!” And we locked eyes, and she was waiting for an explanation. And fuck me… This is what I said. “Oh! I made a trifle.” Doesn’t speak to me anymore. Why would she? Why would she speak to a man who tried to pass his cock and balls off as a dessert? I used to be a teacher. You know that? Teachers here tonight? -[cheering] -God bless you, you heroes. Look at this quote I found about you. “The best teachers are those that tell you where to look, but they don’t tell you what to see.” It’s true. I taught for 13 years, and I thought I was great. It’s the only thing that’s kept me going ’cause honestly, I fucking hate children, but I thought I was good. It’s the only thing that I’ve clung on to all these years. The kids liked me, and I never did them a disservice. I met some of them in the same week as I saw Elsie. I met some of my ex-pupils. I’ve got another quote for you now from one of them. See what you make of this. It’s a genuine quote. When I stopped to really think about it for ten seconds, I was shit. I was a drama teacher, which in itself is hilarious, right? You know when I knew I had to give up teaching? I was in my drama studio, and the kids were performing a play that they’d been working on for weeks while I smoked out the back of the drama studio, and I finally run out of time, and they had to perform them, and they were really excited and focused. And I realized someone was up in the lighting tower of the drama studio aggressively throwing Blu Tack into their faces while they were performing, and I mean really nastily, spitefully throwing it. It was bouncing off them, and they were going, “Get off, get off!” It was awful. And I knew I had to give up teaching when I realized that the person up there throwing that Blu Tack, that’s right, was me. It was me with the head of English, and we were laughing our bollocks off. It was at that point I realized… my perception of how I think people see me and other people’s perception are very different things. When you start to think about it, it panics you. And the worst thing is your perception, or rather your reputation, can be ruined like that. I’m gonna show you three quotes. They’re all from actual friends of mine. They’re so insane, they changed my view of that person, and I wrote it on my phone immediately. Right? The first one is from a 37-year-old science teacher. She could be teaching your children. I had a wild row with her in the pub because she said, and she fucking meant this… She thinks you can stretch yourself. I went to an urban zoo with a 40-year-old friend of mine, who’s a mother of two. She saw a turkey and she said this. “Happy Christmas, here’s your traditional massive male chicken.” But by far the worst, a 52-year-old friend of mine, who is a successful CEO of a company. I made reference to the irritating buzzing wings of a fly that was in the room, and he said this. He thinks flies are shouting. “Yeah! I’m a fly! I’m flying!” Presumably, when they stop and land, they’re having a fucking breath, are they? [panting] “Yeah. Let’s do this. Yeah! Fly!” Nothing that man can say will alter my new perception of him, that he is fundamentally thick as pig shit. That’s how easy it is to ruin your perception. And yet, some people seal a reputation. They seal a reputation not just for life, but for long after they’ve died. If I asked you to name me two famous lovers, who would you say? -[audience shouting] -Bonnie and Clyde. Great opener. Thank you. Any more? Romeo and Juliet? Yeah, of course. Posh and Becks I had last night. I’ll take it. The one I thought of was Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They were married to each other three different times. And Burton allegedly said this about her, and I love it. Look at this quote. “I might run from her for a thousand years and she is still my baby child. Our love is so furious that we burn each other out.” Imagine. Imagine feeling that passionate about anyone. I read it and I began to… I thought, “I wonder if… there are any of my ex’s out there… might be feeling that sort of passion about me.” It’s unlikely to be the girl I went out with for the longest. I went out with someone for ten years, and on our first date, I pissed the bed. And I tried to blame her. That is true. It panicked me. I thought, “Am I leaving any legacy of passion behind me? Will anyone think…?” So I started going back through people I’ve dated, and then, I was in Bristol. -Anyone from Bristol here? -[scattered shouting] Well done. Well done for dressing yourselves. I was walking through Bristol, and I heard that accent. [mumbles] What are we doing? Going down the shops, are we? And it reminds me. I remember something. And it was a date. I thought, “This is the passionate story I can tell everyone. It was a date that I got set up on. My friend was going out with someone, and he invited me to meet her. They were gonna have a dinner party for me. Lovely. And when I got there, they’d invited her sister along as well. And I thought. “No, this is a set up.” I hate it. I hate being set up. But she was really sweet. She was really pretty. I thought, “Why not?” I was chatting to her over dinner. She had a very light Bristol accent. “How long are you down for, then, Greg? Just the weekend? You gonna make a weekend of it, are you? That’s nice.” I thought, “She seems sweet.” And then… she started to drink… very heavily. She was necking glasses of wine, like… [chugging] And her accent started to get a bit… “Are we having a nice time now?” I thought, “You’ve changed.” I carried on making polite chat, and I went, “What do you do?” She goes, “I work in a shop, don’t I?” [chugs] I went, “All right.” She said, “That’s not all I do.” I went, “No?” She goes, “No, on the weekends… I’m a hammer thrower.” I went, “You’re not a hammer thrower.” They went, “No, she is a hammer thrower. She’s really excellent.” I went, “Right!” As I was looking at them, she grabbed my hand… Bam! She put it on her thigh. Fuck me. It was like a tree trunk. And I went, “Oh.” And I looked at her, and she was waiting for my gaze. And she went, “Yeah. Now you believe I’m a hammer thrower, don’t you?” And I thought, “Oh. Oh, I’m frightened of you… because you’ve changed.” And I could see in her eyes, obviously riddled with cataracts, that she fancied a bounce on this. So I started to panic. The fear went through the roof when she went to the toilet, ’cause that girl has walked in perfectly normally, but now, it was like watching a fucking silverback. She was like… [grunts] I turned to my friend. “I know what’s going on here. You’re setting me up with this girl. Well, I’m not interested. They went, “She’s harmless.” I said, “She’s not harmless. She could take a fucking buffalo down.” From the toilet… [grunts] “That’s it. All finished, then. All shaken off.” At one point, I was chatting in the kitchen, and she ran past the hallway. I think she was just showing off. [grunts] And she ran into a room, and we heard, “Smash!” There had been a full length mirror against the wall. She ran in. She hit it… She horribly cut her hands open, and she was spraying blood round the room. [shouts] “I’m hurt.” I went, “Oh, my God! We’ve got to get to the hospital.” They went, “She’s always doing things like this when she’s drunk.” And my friend got some toilet roll, and he just filled her hands… until she had two… horrible, bloody… soggy cricket balls of gore in her hand. Then he got some Sellotape… and just wrapped them, like this. until she had two transparent, blooded stumps. I thought, “That’s gonna slow her down at least.” No, it fucking didn’t. If anything, the lobster claws made her more determined. [shouts] [shouts] Those two assholes went to bed, leaving me on my own with old fucking lobster claws. I go, “That’s it. I’m running away.” I went to the front door. I was just gonna run into the fields. I opened the front door. It was snowing. It was chucking. It was a snowstorm. And I went, “Ah, fuck!” And then, behind me… I heard the footsteps. “Oh, my God.” “What?” “It’s snowing!” And she ran into the snow. And I watched her disappear. And I thought, “Yeah… I think she may bleed to death tonight. And I think I’m going to let her.” Then I felt guilty and I followed her out. It was easy to find her. I followed the trail of blood in the snow. It’s like a scene from Fargo. When I got there, it was quite sweet, she was playing in the snow. I went, “Please, come in.” She went… [grunts] “You come get me.” “Yes, I did. I’m worried about you. Please come in.” She went… [grunts] “I’m not going anywhere. Not until you give me a little kiss.” And I went… [gasps] And I just… [kisses] I just gave her a peck. She whipped her face around. And even in that second… I got to find out that even her tongue was muscular. Like being pistol-whipped by a dry eel. And I talked her into coming in. She went… [grunts] She went to the toilet. As soon as she’d gone to the toilet, I ran upstairs. I went into the first empty bedroom I could find. I got onto the duvet and tried to make myself flat. She was gone for ages. With the wisdom of hindsight, I think she’d been for a shit and realized there was no toilet paper. And I lay there… motionless… and then I heard the footsteps again. “Where have you gone? Ooh! I can see your big fat tummy.” And then she came… She got under the duvet. She started ferreting around and the duvet… came away from my face, and that’s when I realized for the first time that the whole ceiling in that place was one mirror. It was. I saw myself revealed… when the duvet fell away. I was tired. I was exhausted. I lost the will to fight. And the last thing I saw that night, ladies and gentlemen, reflected in the ceiling, was my own flaccid penis being masturbated by two bloodied stumps. I guess what I’m saying is, not all love stories are gonna go down in history, are they? Let’s have another quote. “Every child is an artist.” Picasso allegedly said that. “Every child is an–” Who’s got young children here? Honestly, what’s their art like? It’s fucking shit, isn’t it? I’ve got two nieces, seven and nine years of age. I love them dearly, but their art is fucking appalling. “What’s that?” “It’s a house.” “Is it?” “Who’s that next to it?” “The owner.” “Really? Why are they the same height?” “It’s called perspective, dipshit.” That’s okay, they’re children. It’s okay for children to make mistakes. It’s okay for children to be shit, because they’ll either get good, or they’ll find out they’re shit. What worries me a little more is when adults try and kid themselves about something. When I was still teaching, we had a guest speaker come to the school. It was the ex-World Champion boxer Chris Eubank. You may recognize him. Okay. Okay, I’m just gonna explain something to people who don’t realize. There are some people in this room who think I can’t do a good Chris Eubank impression. Those people are about to be proved extremely wrong. Chris came in, and he spoke to the children for– ready? Three and a half hours. Three and a half hours of… “Yes, the thing is… The thing is… when I was a pugilist… I would apply myself with the vigor of a lion.” He was amazing, you know. He walked up and down the front like this. The kids were sat out as you are. He walked up and down for three and a half hours going, “It doesn’t matter what you decide you want to be… You want to be an architect or whatever it is that you desire…” But he had a little trick up his sleeve. He’d written some poems. Original poems, which is interesting. And this is how he delivered them. “You must… Sometimes I would train for 12 to 14 hours. And when you decide what it is you want to do, I would urge you to remember this… always look at the man in the mirror and ask what you want him to be. ‘Cause the man in the mirror is not just you. The man in the mirror is me.” And as this lady will testify to, it scared the shit out of the children. Admittedly, Chris’ tits weren’t as sweaty as mine. And unlike me… Chris didn’t inhale your hair. [laughs] Why not, though? I’ve met Chris a few times. He’s a lovely bloke. Why not try some poetry out? I don’t want to be cynical. I would argue that perhaps Chris isn’t gonna be remembered as a poet. But he is gonna be remembered as a great boxer, so he’s got something covered there, but self-delusion can get dangerous. I was in a taxi again in London. It was driven by a Londoner with a thick London accent. He was one of those Cockneys who could get you whatever you want in life. He was like, “Yeah, yeah. What do you need? A zebra? No problem. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I know a bloke in Rumford. He’s got a lock up full of the stripy cunts. Can’t shift them. They’re like weird horses, aren’t they? They’re like weird horses.” I was not in the mood for a chat, and he was a chatty taxi driver. I was sitting there going, “Please don’t talk.” And he was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Then he said that thing you dread from some taxi drivers. He went, “Yeah, ’cause of course… I wasn’t always in this game.” And I went, “Ah, fuck. A life story.” I was always gonna talk to him. I’ve got manners. I was raised well by the woman whose teddy I fucked. So I now, “Go on, what did you used to do?” He goes, “I used to be in the old music game, as it goes.” I went, “Uh-huh. Yeah. What did you used to do?” He goes, “I was a bass player.” I went, “Right. Any bands I might have heard of?” He goes, “Yeah, maybe. Yeah, maybe.” I went, “Go on.” He goes, “For a long time I was in A-ha.” “You were in A-ha?” “Yeah, I was in A-ha.” “A-ha? ‘Take on Me’, A-ha?” “Yeah. ‘Take on Me’, A-ha. From Norway, yeah.” I went, “You weren’t in A-ha, mate.” He goes, “I was with them for years.” I went, “Mate! I know who A-ha are. They’re Mags, Pål… and Morten.” “Yeah, yeah.” “There was no you in A-ha.” He goes, “Yeah, yeah, I was.” And it fucking pissed me off. I’m in a bad mood, and I’ve got a fucking Cockney taxi driver telling me he was in A-ha. I started playing the scenario in my mind of Morten and the boys… “Yeah, boys, we don’t appear to have a bass player.” It’s not just Eubank I do, my friends. “Oh, dear boys.” Fuck you. I’ll do all three of them. “Oh, dear. We don’t appear to have a bass player. Do we, Pål?” “No, we don’t. We haven’t got a bass player.” “Oh, no. We need one, don’t we?” “Why don’t you ask Mags.” “Mags?” “Yes.” “We were just saying we need a…” “We do need a bass player.” “Well, what shall we do?” “Well, we have got some options.” Amazing, isn’t it? Amazing I’m still doing it, but I am gonna carry on. “Yes.” “What are our options?” “Well… We could go to a music school here in Norway where we could ask for a bass player. Yes. Or… or… or… we could get three flights, go to London and ask a fucking taxi driver.” It’s bullshit. It’s bullshit. If you don’t like your job, change your job. Don’t tell tired, grumpy people you used to be in fucking A-ha. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I was so wound up. I went and watched the video for “The Sun Always Shines on TV.” Now, here’s the thing… It was him. What are the fucking chances? It really was. Some people manage to… put out a positive… impression of themselves really easily, to the whole populous, nearly. I’ll give you an example, the seriously ill. That’s right. Yeah. No one has taken them down before. Here I am. What do you ever say about them? What ever gets said about the seriously ill? “How awful…” “Poor thing.” I went to Leicester to do a gig. And I got invited to Leicester’s biggest hospice… to do a day visit, and I thought, “Fuck! No!” But, of course, you can’t turn that offer down. I went,.I thought it would be the worst thing I’d ever have seen. And it was one of the most uplifting and wonderful places, and I said, “I can’t believe there’s any laughter going on in this place at all.” And the lady who runs it said, “Yeah, well, that’s the prejudice we’re fighting against, ’cause these people are still alive. And so, we want them to have good times.” You know? And it really got me, because… I avoid thinking about ill people. And when I thought about it, my own dad, who was ill for six years before he died… When I think back on him now, I just remember some pathetic, old, ill man. Right? And he was loads more than a pathetic, old, ill man. So I started to think, once she said that, “Were there any good times in that six years? Were there any fun times when he was ill?” And there were good times. There were times that we all laughed. I’ll give you one. When he couldn’t go to the toilet by himself, my mom used to let him piss into a Lenor fabric softener bottle. I went, “Why do you use that?” “It’s obvious. It’s got a large handle, a big opening at the top and ‘the refreshing smell of Lenor.'” I’ve changed your perception of my mom, haven’t I? She’s not a stupid old lady anymore. She’s a wonderful, caring wife, isn’t she? Strap yourselves in. I went home one day, there was a small bottle of Lenor on the side and a very angry mom. I went, “You all right?” She goes, “No, I’m not. They’ve redesigned it. They’ve redesigned it. No handle, no big aperture. I’m the laughingstock. I’ve recommended it to all my friends with ill husbands.” And I went, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry Lenor ruined your system.” She goes, “It’s disgusting.” Then I heard some laughter from the other room. And it was my dad, in bed, laughing his head off. And he shouted, “Ask her what she did.” And I go, “What?” He goes, “Ask her what she did.” I went, “What did you do?” She goes, “He’s been lying in his bed taking a piss out of me all morning.” “What did you do?” [shrugs] “I wrote to them.” I had a vision of the head designer coming in and going, “Stop! It’s a wonderful bottle. It’s half the size, less liquid, more portable, but none of you have stopped to consider whether we can get an old man’s wang into this bottle.” Do you know what? Even on the day my dad died, there was some mirth… when me and my mom and my sister were standing round his bed on what I’ve always described as the worst day in my life so far. If you’ve lost someone, you know what this is like. We were standing there, waiting for the inevitable, and when I thought back to it, someone made us laugh. And if my dad had been more with it, he would’ve laughed his head off, too. It was a male nurse. He came into the room, and he said, “Ho! I am having a bad week.” And we all went, “Yep, it’s pretty bad over here as well.” He didn’t take the hint. He went, “Yep. It’s my son. He is fat. He is mega fat.” And we went, “Okay, sorry to hear about your fat son. It’s just… we’re kind of dealing with a thing over here.” And then he said this, “Yep. He’s ten stone… and he’s only six.” I’ve got to tell you, that’s when I walked away from my dying father. “Ten stone? A 140-lbs. six-year-old? I’m in. Fucking stop talking about your mega fat kid. A 140-lbs. six-year-old?” “Yeah. Super fat. Super fat.” And I went, “Jesus Christ, mate. What are you feeding him?” He said… arguably my favorite sentence I’ve ever heard. He said… “He eats a whole cooked chicken every day.” And that’s when my sister walked away from her dying father. She wanted to know about the six-year-old who’s gobbling an entire chicken every day. Who doesn’t want to know about the fat chicken kid? We all do. She goes,”You shouldn’t be feeding him a whole chicken every day…” He goes, “I’m not feeding him.” “He’s getting a whole chicken from somewhere.” “He helps himself.” My sister’s like, “Why don’t you stop him?” He said, “I can’t. He’s stronger than me. He pushes me out of the way of the fridge. There’s nothing I can do about it.” That’s when his luck changed, because my mom… stood up from her husband of 50 years, and I saw her mouth dry up, and she went, “What do you mean? What you mean there’s nothing you can do about it?” My mom is an old school disciplinarian, and I’ll tell you this now, if she were here, she would deny it, but it is fucking true. In fact, I want to get it on record. When I was a child, I wouldn’t eat my peas one Sunday, and she punched me in the face. And that is true. When she saw this show, she said, “I object to that, Greg. It wasn’t a punch. It was a flat palm.” She heard the sentence, “There’s nothing I can do about it.” She went, “What do you mean there’s nothing you can do about it? Stop a six-year-old from eating a whole chicken every day. Of course there’s something you can do.” He goes, “There’s nothing I can do.” And she said, “For God’s sake, man, don’t cook him a chicken.” And we all pissed ourselves laughing in unison when he shouted back at her. He went, “No! That’s the problem. He cooks it himself!” Oh, man. So… inevitably, my dad died. If you’ve lost someone, you know how shit that is. We were very close. I want to fast forward two and a half years to Christmas two and a half years ago. My sister had brought the kids home and my brother-in-law, and we were sitting in the front room about to watch the Queen’s speech. Of course, a big tradition in Britain. Three o’clock on Christmas day, lots of people sit down and listen to the Queen has to say about the year that’s gone behind us. My mom never misses it. Now… I did an award-winning fart. It ripped through the room like fork lightning. I knew it was a classic, ’cause the Queen hadn’t spoken yet, but it caused my mom to leave the room. My sister said this to me. She said, “You know I’ve just realized.” I went, “Go on.” “I’ve just realized your farts, they sound exactly like Dad’s.” Now… my dad was an academic, a world traveler, the funniest man I’ve ever met. He would’ve bored you himself. He once played cricket with the King of Jordan. And I thought to myself, “Hmm, I wonder… Is that the epitaph he would have dreamt of? That he has passed down anus genes to his son. That the strongest genetic… gift he gave his son… was the same anus.” I thought… If I’m gonna talk about him in a show, I’m gonna put a better epitaph out there. So I started thinking of pithy things I could sum my dad up with. He was a very funny man, he used to lie to us all the time for fun, to amuse himself. He once told us he was bitten by shark off the coast of North Wales. He was a very proud Welshman, my dad. And when my sister used to get mad and go, “Why do you lie to us?” He’d go, “Because the truth is so boring.” And I thought, “That’s a great epitaph.” And I thought another epitaph could be the time that I wound him up when I was a teenager, and he grabbed me by the throat once and pushed me against the wall and said, “Don’t mess with me, you fuck pig.” Which is an extraordinary epitaph. Do you know what I’ve realized? You can’t write an epitaph. Think about someone you’ve lost and been close to. It’s impossible to sum a human being up with a pithy thing. It’s not possible, because there are a thousand different things to a thousand different people, just as we all are, as well. You can’t do it. You cannot try and convince everyone that you’re all right. With all that said… I hope you’ll indulge me, I’m gonna leave you tonight with a small tribute to my dad. We once did a long trip to Wales. And on that road trip, he said to me, “You know nothing of Wales, do you? You know nothing of your heritage. of Welsh culture?” And I don’t. He’s right. I didn’t then, and I don’t now. And I couldn’t give a shit. Sorry if you enjoyed Who Do You Think You Are? [laughs] Not true, of course. I said, “What do you want me to do?” He said, “Learn some Welsh.” I went, “Let’s go.” He said, “I’m gonna teach you a song.” I said, “Teach me a song.” He goes, “A traditional Welsh folk song.” And I tried to learn it. In three hours, I learned two lines, because Welsh as a language is insane. But I learned those two lines, and he was thrilled that I’d done it. I could see it in his eyes, and I’ve never forgotten them. So if you’ll indulge me, I’m gonna leave you by singing those two lines tonight. [clears throat] Thank you. [singing in Welsh] Thanks. Thanks. It was… It was years later, I sang that song to my Welsh friend, and he said, “What the fuck?” I said, “It’s a Welsh folk song.” He goes, “It’s not a Welsh folk song. Do you want me to translate it?” I went, “Go on.” [speaks Welsh] “The monkey is in the tree playing with its potatoes.” It doesn’t even make sense. [speaking Welsh] “The squirrel is under the table, ram it up my ass.” That tells you more about my dad than a thousand epitaphs ever could. Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t like to leave things unfinished. So I have finished that song since my dad’s died, using as many of the beautiful animals in God’s glorious Kingdom as I could. I’ve tried to match the tone. I’ve had it converted into Welsh for you. And I think, arguably, I’ve gone further than anyone would ever go, in that I’ve hired a male voice choir to sing it for me. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Phoenix Choir of Wales. A tribute to my father. And if your father’s gone, let it be a tribute to him, too. Please, enjoy. ♪ The farmer’s wife was very vexed ♪ ♪ He’d been acting very odd ♪ ♪ She asked, “What the hell is wrong with you?” ♪ And this was his reply ♪ ♪ The reply ♪ ♪ The monkey is up the tree ♪ ♪ Playing with its potatoes ♪ ♪ And the squirrel is under the table ♪ ♪ Ram it up my arse ♪ [Greg] So beautiful. ♪ She said, “Leave that squirrel alone ♪ ♪ Or we’re heading For a nasty divorce” ♪ ♪ “Pray, look upon the wren,” he said ♪ ♪ It’s licking out the horse ♪ If you feel emotional, just let it out. It’s fine. ♪ The crow has slapped its tits All night ♪ ♪ The otter’s balls are very long ♪ ♪ I saw the stoat shaving its clam ♪ ♪ Get that squirrel up my wrong ♪ ♪ Up my hole ♪ ♪ The cat felt up the spider ♪ ♪ And his bellend went really stiff ♪ ♪ Two bison 69’d ♪ ♪ And a rhino flashed its snatch ♪ ♪ These animals aren’t even on the farm ♪ ♪ His poor wife cried out ♪ ♪ Don’t let the zebra hear ♪ ♪ He’s gay without a doubt ♪ ♪ Go and see a shrink ♪ ♪ About your problems, my dear ♪ ♪ “The squirrel is under the table,” He cried ♪ ♪ Now ram it up my arse ♪ For our fathers. For our fathers, ladies and gentlemen. The Phoenix Choir of Wales, please. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s amazing to be back in London. Thank you so much for coming to see me. I had such a great time. Take care of yourselves. Thank you. ♪ Now usually I don’t do this But go ahead ♪ ♪ And break ’em off with a little preview Of the remix ♪ ♪ Now I’m not trying to be rude ♪ But, hey, pretty girl, I’m feeling you ♪ ♪ The way you do the things you do Reminds me of my Lexus Coupe ♪ ♪ That’s why I’m all up in your grille ♪ ♪ Trying to get you to a hotel ♪ ♪ You must be a football coach ♪ ♪ The way you got me playing the field ♪ ♪ So, baby, give me that toot-toot Let me give you that beep-beep ♪ ♪ Running my hands through my ‘fro Bouncing on 24s ♪ ♪ While they saying on the radio ♪ ♪ It’s the remix to “Ignition” Hot and fresh out the kitchen ♪ ♪ Mama rolling that body Got every man in here wishin’ ♪ ♪ Sippin’ on coke and rum I’m like, “So what? I’m drunk ♪ ♪ It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun ♪ ♪ Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce Bounce, bounce, bounce ♪ ♪ Bounce, bounce, bounce, come on ♪ ♪ Now it’s like Murder She Wrote ♪ ♪ Once I get you out them clothes ♪ ♪ Privacy is on the door ♪ ♪ But still they can hear you Screaming more ♪ ♪ Girl, I’m feeling what you feeling No more hoping and wishing ♪ ♪ I’m about to take my key And stick it in the ignition ♪ ♪ So give me that toot-toot Let me give you that beep-beep ♪ ♪ Running her hands through my ‘fro Bouncing on 24s ♪ ♪ While they saying on the radio ♪ ♪ It’s the remix to “Ignition” Hot and fresh out the kitchen ♪ ♪ Mama rolling that body Got every man in here wishin’ ♪ ♪ Sippin’ on coke and rum I’m like, “So what? I’m drunk ♪ ♪ It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun ♪ ♪ Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce Bounce, bounce, bounce ♪ ♪ Bounce, bounce, bounce, come on ♪