Recorded at the Albery Theatre in March 1994
1. Opening Numbers
Well… God! God! Jesus… Eh, hello… ( hums a tune ) So – yes, showtime. (hums opening showtime tune) Actually, it’s kind of a crummy beginning, just walking out and going like this, isn’t it? I haven’t really got beginnings worked out; I really- I think in the West End, people are expecting a huge beginning, something like out of a musical, you know? 400 people will be on in the first number, even if the cast is only 30; 400 people on, going, (singing) “It’s Hollywood…” (mimes 50’s musicals number) They’re always going on three directions at once, you know… (mimes multiple dancers)
Or if it’s Shakespeare on the West End, then there’s moody lighting- three old people saying, “When shall we three meet again? Tuesday? Okay… I’ll get back to you on that. I’ll just drop a dime in the cauldron…”
If it was Pinter in the West End, then two people would come on, face different directions and… I’m not sure, I haven’t really read it. I should, but no- you know, some people are widely read; I’m thinly read. I’ve read fuck all! Not very proud of it. You know, some people say, “I’ve read Dr. Benoski’s book on cat eating by…” I haven’t read anything, you know. It’s cause I’m partially dyslexic. I was fully dyslexic until I met someone who was more dyslexic than me, and said, “You’re only partially dyslexic.” There’s a lot of rivalry in the dyslexic camp. “Rivvvalry” with three “vs”.
“How bad is your handwriting?”
“Oh, mine is all over the place!”
Yeah, but it’s been all right…
2. The Rules of Advertising
So anyway, advertising! Yes, that’s what I brought you here to talk about! Yes, advertising… Because I’ve been looking at it, and I’ve realized that certain people in the advertising area are being paid huge wads of cash in brown bags in order to subtly adjust our minds. Because, in the old days, before the ‘50s, I don’t know, it was much more blatant, adverts were more like, “Come on, there it is! (pointing) Come on! Haven’t got all day, there it is!” And as consumers, we were, “Oh, okay, I didn’t realize! Sorry! Don’t hit me!“ (running towards the product)
Nowadays we have choice, don’t we? We’re much more choosy, and we’re much more aware of what we can buy, so adverts are more subtle, they’re the soft sell, much more like… (humming a tune and pointing discreetly at product) “Oh, look at that! Those two people like it, and they’re shagging…” That’s what happens, isn’t it? Shagging sells everything! That’s it, there’s an advert for coffee- You come around, “Cup of coffee?” “Ooh, let’s shag!” Yes! Adverts for chocolate bars, two bits of chocolate bar, one eats one, one eats the other, “Oh, let’s have a shag!” That stuff for cleaning the floor, clean the floor clean, and then you shag on the floor… Dog food, dog eats dog food… anyway… So… not sure what happens there, but…
Now, the washing area- the washing powder, washing clothes, laundry- all that kind of stuff is a very advertising-laid area, with a huge amount of adverts saying, “Wash your clothes! Wash your clothes! Oh, no, I’m gonna shag you…!” And I think if it wasn’t for the advertising, we’d probably just spray our clothes, and (smells it), “Oh, that smells okay now that I’ve sprayed it…”
3. The Ceremony of Laundry
And it’s quite a ceremony! Washing your clothes, you can take it down to the launderette; that’s one way. You’ve got a bag- three months’ worth easy of laundry, you pushed it into a bag, and you drag it down to the launderette, wearing clothes that should be in the bag, really, yeah? That’s what you wear to the launderette, that’s why you’ve gone to the launderette, because you’ve got nothing left! You’re wearing dressing gowns to work, it’s that bad! So you throw it in the wash, and you’ve got big machines down the launderette, huge machines with the big porthole windows, and you shove it all in; you never separate out the laundry, shove it all in! And you’ve got one choice – “bizarre wash”! That’s what you get. And you sacrifice a few socks and a pair of pants to the god of launderette, who sits in the back of the machine with a pair of chopsticks, going, (mimes eating with chopsticks) “Oh, lovely, yes… A sock, lovely! A bit of fabric softener… Yes, in it goes…”
And you take the washing out, shove it into a tumble-dry, and the tumble-dry glues it together, with static electricity, so that you get the washing out, put it on your head, and walk out (mimes balancing the washing on his head). Next day, you put on a pair of socks, and the rest of the wash says, (motions following)
“We’re coming, too! We’re coming!”
(mimes kicking the rest of the wash) “Go off! I’m just wearing these.”
All day, you’re trying to chat someone up – “Yeah, I know… (kicking wash away) Piss off! Sorry, I don’t know whose it is… it’s stray washing! Yeah… Look, fabric softener! Go! (mimes throwing fabric softener like a stick)”
Or you can wash your clothes at home, and at certain people’s houses, they have machines with a huge dial with all the letters of the alphabet on… and no instructions. You just have to guess. “Well, I’ll have an ‘H’ wash – want an ‘H’ wash.” And you stuff it all in, and once you get the stuff going there’s a pair of socks coming, “Sorry, we’re late! Sorry! We were in the back, where you left us. Oh, is the program started? Oh…” And then you let the socks back in the wash, and they’re going, “Excuse me… sorry, pardon me… I’m supposed to be in, I’ve got tickets!”
Or you’re doing white clothing wash, you say, “I’ll wash all my white clothes,” and you shove all the whites down, in a big pile, and you put some clothes in there that are almost white. You shove them in there, and then you take them out, put them to the side… “Actually, that would be fine in there… Maybe not… No, I’ve washed them a few times now…” And for a couple of days, you just go back and forth, and then you shove it all in. The rest of the deeper coloured clothes say,
“Oh, he’s doing a whites wash first! That pisses me off! Okay, blue underpants, you will infiltrate whites wash. You are our best undercover clothing! We’ve done you some forged papers, you’ll be disguised as a white handkerchief, okay? These have been done by Donald Pleasance, so they should be good. I believe you’ve been practicing a white handkerchief accent?”
(high pitched) “Yes, I have, yes, I have…”
“Very good, now off you go!”
And the blue underpants go… (mumbling in high pitched voice) sneaks inside the white wash, usually inside a shirt; shirts are a bit dopey, aren’t they? (mimes dopey behaviour) So it gets in, the whites wash goes in, and as soon as the clothing start going around the wash, the blue underpants comes up to the window, and goes,
“Hello! Blue underpants here!”
“Blue underpants in the white wash! Get them out! Let’s smash the glass!”
And the blue underpants are going, “I’m draining, I’m draining…” And if all your clothes came out a vibrant blue, it would be fine, wouldn’t it? But your clothes tend to come out a color that’s called “Pants Left In Wash.” And people know, and they point, “Yeah, yeah…” And then they stab you! Apparently, sometimes, you know… Yeah…
4. The Sophisticated Consumer
Nowadays, we’re more sophisticated as consumers. We go into supermarkets and we read the labels. (mimes reading label) “This jam is made by Nazis with dead trees, bits of mud and spit.” I don’t think I’ll have that one… (mimes picking another jar up) “This jam was made by groovy people and fruit who agreed to be in the jam in the first place. Volunteer fruit, better known as free-range fruit, allowed to casually chat to chickens.”
‘Cause you know the free-range chickens are so pushy, aren’t they? They go, “Oh, yes, all this field we range through now… and when they put the next field, we’ll range through that one too. And the big house, we’ve knocked that down… the farm house, yes.
And that’s our Range Rover over there, yes.” You’ve seen those Range Rovers with the high seats, and the chickens driving along, with such attitude, keep rolling down the window (clucking) Depends on how much you’ve smoked, I suppose…
Yes, so anyway, we’re more sophisticated, and the adverts are generally more sophisticated, they have stories, and graphics and cryptic adverts that you have to work out what they’re talking about, and then you go, “Oh, I see!” and you don’t buy it.
But not the washing powder people, they’ve done research and come to the conclusion that everyone prefers this bloke with the clipboard thing. This has been going on since the ‘50s, someone who’s locked in a supermarket going, “Are you happy with your wash? Excuse me, are you happy with your wash?” After a while, (rushing) “Are you happy with your wash? Are you happy with your wash? Tell me, (rushing) are you happy with your wash? Listen, (rushing) are you happy with your wash?” A small dog,
“Are you happy with your wash?”
“I’m a dog! I don’t know…”
5. The Secret Service
But I’m also interested in the Secret Service. Good link, eh? No, I was watching this recent thing- Prince Charles, people have been attacking Prince Charles. It’s sort of a surrealist movement that’s been attacking Prince Charles, with hairspray, bits of jelly, you know… There was one with a starting pistol- now you can’t start someone to death, can you? Doesn’t work. “Bang!” (starts running) “What’s going on? I’m having a chat with the people of Australia.” “Bang!” (starts running away again) After about 100 of those, you’re pissed off, aren’t you? You’re not actually dead.
But he was very cool, Prince Charles, he was very… (pulling at his cuffs) He was doing all this cuffs thing that he does before he makes speeches, he always does it. I think it’s a nervous thing, as if he’s going, (pulling at cuffs) “Where’s my fucking shirt?! I’ve got no shirt on.” Or it could be a magic trick he’s doing, “Nothing here… nothing here… bunch of flowers!”
So he was just doing that, and the first shot went, “bang!” and he’s like, “Missed.” Second shot, “bang!” (moves to duck it) “Do you have a problem?” And we see the Secret Service people, they’re always there, in the suits and the jaws and the dark glasses, one hand always in there, as if at any point they could just go, “Bunch of flowers!” And they look so good, they give out this feeling of elite, highly trained, “Ohohoho, don’t fuck with us!” That kind of thing, and they move- you’re not focused on them, because they’re always shadowing, they never come in front of the person, they never come in front, like, “Fuck it! Me and him, come on!” It’s a bit too proactive if they go, “Come on, I’ll take you all on, come on! Oh, where’s he going?” They’re just cool and calm in there, with “bunch of flowers!” They give out this feeling of elite and highly trained, until you see some sort of rumpus, attack kind of thing. I’ve seen the Reagan one on television a few years back, and this one with Prince Charles, and the image changed from elite and highly trained to… (mimes disorganized attack) “Fucking get him, Kev! Get him! Run, Charlie, run! Hit him with a broom, hit him with a broom! Ruffle his hair, I hate that! Run! Run for your life! Hit him with a bucket!” (bonk) It’s not really what you want, isn’t it? It just doesn’t look controlled; you want kind of like Dr. Spock kind of thing- not Dr. Spock, Captain- Mr. Spock kind of thing, where he comes in and does that sort of thing there, and he goes, “poof!” Not this sort of, “Rough him up! Please shut up! Tip him over!” (sighs) Yeah, that’s what I think. So it doesn’t look very safe, that.
6. “Then You Should!”
I’ve also been watching this program, “Question Time,” which isn’t- that’s the problem with “Question Time” – no one answers anything! That’s the trick. Basically, you ask another question back, that’s the way you get out of it. People say, “Would you like to explain, Mr. Prime Minister, why everything’s gone wrong with something or other?” And you always get someone that says, “Well, if you remember 20 years ago… I wasn’t there, so it’s not my fault.” And then you sit down, and everyone backs you up behind you, going “Toilet paper! Toilet paper! Toilet paper in our time! Good work, mate, whatever you say…”
But the main competition seems to me to be getting up, especially the cabinet members, in front of the bench, they get up to this big podium with a huge ring binder, with all their physics revision notes on it, that’s what’s in there. “After you let all of this by, you should fuck off!” And the other side is going, “Well, we’re not gonna let all of this by tonight, so fuck off there!” They’ve just got some huge ring binders, with all this bloody stuff on, that’s what the competition seems to be.
And actually you can get away with anything! I mean, John Major got away with a very good one just recently, he was talking about civil service, and there was a reporter that came out saying it was very wasteful or whatever, and Major said, “If you don’t think that civil service is the best in the world… then you should!” Kind of a dodgy argument there, you know… “Then you should.” I remember when I was five, going, “You smell… ‘cause you do! You’re a tree… ‘cause you are!” (rolling eyes) “Then you should!”
Politically, I am a radical liberal, that is my position. I would be a liberal, but the image of a liberal is sort of – because left and right have been in power for a long time in Britain, the image of a liberal is one of, “Oh… I’m not sure, and you’re…? Oh, really? And you…? Oh, really? I’m on the fence here…” But not for me, I am passionate about free health service for all, that’s a world idea, I think that’s very groovy, but also, if you have an idea, in small businesses or businesses don’t have to be sort of rape and pillaging things; that can be groovy. “Revolutionary liberal,” that sounds better to me, I think, storm the House of Parliament, kick the fucking doors in, get in there and say, “Look, we’ll pay for the damage.” Have a revolution, just budget for it, yeah? You know…
I’m into being European as well, I’m positive on that, and I think we have a problem – English people in general have a problem. We tend to go into the world, going, “Hello, hello… Hello, do you speak English? Hello!” You know, in Afghanistan. “Hello, sausage, egg and chips, please… A sausage, egg and chips. Okay, two sausages. Do you speak English? You just don’t try, do you?! Here all day speaking Afghan…” Which is a dog, isn’t it?
In Holland, they speak four languages, and a lot of them are “quatrilingual” – they speak Dutch, German, French and English. And they smoke dope as well! How do they have time? In Britain, we officially don’t and we speak one language. And in fact in Holland they don’t actually smoke dope, ‘cause they can, ‘cause it’s legalized, you know, so when you’re there, it’s like, “No, no, I live here I don’t need to, man,” whereas when British people go there, they just go mad, and go, “Fucking ‘ell!” (mimes shooting up, smoking and going generally bonkers)
“How long have you been here, man?’
“You seen the canals?”
“I am a canal.”
Yes… so I’m also into people who shout for a living, I’m quite into them as well. There’s these market sellers; they’re in markets all day, going, “4 pence a pound! 4 pence a pound! (swinging from high to low) 4 pence a pound! 4 pence a pound!”
“Excuse me, how much are the apples?”
“20 quid, man.”
“You were shouting 4 pence a pound.”
“Oh, I shout 4 pence a pound, but the fruit is 20 quid! It’s very expensive…”
And you go, “But it looks quite nice, a wall of fruit on the front steps…” So you say, “All right, give me some apples and some oranges and stuff,” and they always reach behind to this fruit graveyard… “Just let me add some fruit here… there we go. It’s a bit runny!”
And there’s auctioneers! They’re crazy people that shout for a living. There’s the posh ones, from Sotheby’s and Christie’s, they’re going, “This is a 14th. Century Ming thing… made out of Ming… by Mr. Ming, in the Ming period. If you don’t like Ming, then chuck this one, that’s what I say. Do I hear £2 million?“
And people do phone bidding! Don’t do phone bidding, it’s dangerous! You’re in there going,
(sotto voce ) “£2 million?”
“I’ll take that.”
“£2.1 million? £2.2 million?”
“Yeah, we’ll take that.”
“Sold to the bloke on the phone…”
“Oh, he’s gone! I think he’s called Greg… No, it was just ringing, I picked it up, I don’t know! I work in the kitchen! I’m sorry… I’ve only got a tenner… One, two…”
And there’s auctioneers out in the countryside, in the cattle markets. They’re just crazy people, they’re out there going (nonsensical auctioneer speak that turns into a song and dance) All the cows and sheep are going, “Is it me up on this one, or you?” (singing and dancing continue) And if you ever attend that, don’t move at all! Don’t move a muscle! Don’t cough!
(mimes for auctioneer to stop with both hands)
“Another £2,000. Total of £19,000 to the man bidding against himself for this small dog here.”
The dog’s going, “I’m not happy with me wash!”
“What are you doing here?”
8. Cats and Dogs
Cats and dogs are very interesting with human beings, ‘cause we have a pet relationship with them, and we’re the only animals that do this, you know. Giraffes do not have pet gazelles. “Gazelle, go and run in Africa.” They don’t say that.
And we have pets because they lower our blood pressure, this is apparently official – they lower our blood pressure. I don’t know how they do that, (mimes petting pet) you sort of stroke them, you go to sleep, and while you sleep, the dog puts one of those big, puffy things in your arm, and… (mimes taking blood pressure)
“It’s 180 over 60.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know, I’m a dog!”
Actually, when doctors do that, they’re not actually taking your blood pressure; they’re just fucking around with this. They’ve actually got a jumpy spider behind your back and that’s why they’re… (mimes moving spider around) ‘Cause I saw one once.
“There’s a jumpy spider behind my back!”
“Yeah, that’s what we do! It’s jumpy spider-time! We’re into jumpy spiders.”
And the spider is going… (motions spider jumping about) True!
Yeah – so anyway, that’s what they do; your dog takes your blood pressure, and you fall asleep, and the cat drains all the blood from your body… and sells it to one of those mobile blood banks. That’s why sometimes you wake up, feeling all anemic, and you see your cat and dog counting out fivers, as the van pulls off. You ever had that? Yeah…
I don’t know, they lower our blood pressure. You stroke a dog, the dog goes, “oooooooo…” and cats go (drilling sound), because they’re drilling, aren’t they? That’s what they’re doing. They’re drilling, they drill for gold! They drill for oil, they drill for anything! Just for the love of drilling! When they’re behind your sofa, they’re just drilling. (mimes drilling) They’ve got goggles on, it’s okay! There’s a compressor over there… Your friends come and say,
“I think your cat’s drilling behind your sofa!”
“I don’t think so, that’s purring, that noise, isn’t it? Cat, are you drilling?”
And the cat hears this, whips off the goggles, (mimes coming from behind the sofa), “No, no… Drilling? No! No, I’m a cat! How would I know how to drill? That’s purring you’re thinking of, purring! Oh, yes, purring! Having a good ole purr back here… no drilling. No, no, okay… “ (mimes putting goggles back on and resuming drilling) Sometimes they drill 40, 50 feet, you know, just for the hell of it.
Cats are much cooler than dogs though, aren’t they? Cats have a scam going – you buy the food, they eat the food, they go away; that’s the deal. You have no control over your cat! You can’t say to your cat, “Cat, heel! Stay! Wait! Lie down! Roll over!” ‘Cause the cat’s just gonna be sitting there, going, “Interesting words… Have you finished?” While you’re shouting all this to your cat, your dog’s next to you, going… (mimes obeying all commands)
“What the hell are you doing? I’m talking to the cat!”
“Oh, I’m sorry!”
You wouldn’t even dream of training your cat. “Cat, come for training. Now stay… sta… hello? Hello? “ They just don’t care, they just piss off. And… dogs and cats eat dog and cat food, and you get this “new and improved” cat and dog food thing, and – I don’t know how you tell whether cat and dog food is “new and improved.” Do humans go (mimes sampling it), “Mmm, lovely!”? I mean, dogs just eat anything, dogs go… (mimes dog eating with both hands, very quickly) And you say, “Is that new and improved? Does it taste good?” and the dog is going, “Uh… I don’t know… Oh, it’s all over my shirt now! Jesus!” Whereas cats are much more choosy, cats will look through the food… (mimes cat touching food with paw) “So this is..? “New and improved,” is it really? Is it really..? Well, I’m going out.” (walks away nonchalantly) And they walk up to the cat door, they just stop there, they turn around and go, “Keys?” (mimes cat leaving) Of course, your dog can’t go, your dog’s going,
“Can I go?”
“No, I’m busy at the moment.”
“But the cat went out!”
“And I can’t go?”
“No, no… He has a cat door, you see.”
“Oh, right… And why?”
“Well, I have no idea.”
I wonder who was the first cat that persuaded a human to put a cat door in. You know, they just do. We throw sticks at dogs, that’s the level we have dogs at. You’d never dram of throwing one for a cat. We throw sticks for dogs, and dogs go, “Oh, he’s dropped the stick! I better go and get that… (mimes chasing after the stick) You dropped your stick there. Thought I’d bring it back… And you hang on… (mimes giving the stick back and follows it with the eyes as it’s thrown again) Did you see me? I just brought that back! And then you thr… you dropped it again? It’s very weird what’s going on here… Now hang on to it this time, I don’t want to piss about all the time. You think I enjoy this? There you… Don’t fucking throw it!!” That’s why the third time, when they come back, they won’t give it to you, they go, (through clenched teeth) “No… I won’t let you take it!”
And the cat door thing is a vertical version of those saloon bar doors, where gunslingers in westerns would push their way in, and say, “I’ve come for you, Jack McGoo.” And someone at the bar would say,
“You’ve come for whom, sir?”
“Jack McGoo. Johnnie Googer? The Googer family? Oh, I’ll go away, then.”
And these expensive westerns- the cats have seen them on the telly. You watch a cat coming into the kitchen. Sometimes they just come in, just like gunslingers. They push their way in through the cat door, and just stand there, on one hip… and all the dogs in the kitchen just stop moving. The dog eating the food…. (mimes all the dogs’ actions) Other dog playing piano… (mimes as if to show the weapon) So he can get the tail out. Yes…
And cats are like that because they’re more responsible. They go outside, the fast car goes (sound of car speeding away), and they go, “Ooh, it’s a Mazda!” Whereas dogs, dogs just go mad, they get outside and go, “Got to chase, chase… Chase! Chase the car! Car! Car! Car!” (mimes dog chasing car) They chase cars up to 4,000 miles. “Car!” They catch up with the car… (panting) “Tag! You’re it!” (takes off running in opposite direction)
And cats leap up walls! Six foot walls, they just go… (mimes cat jumping) Lands perfectly, and turn… turn… and back flip and forward flip, and dismount! They always land perfectly, they never do that sort of wobbly-gymnast … (mimes wobbling) You never see cats on a wall having a problem, do you? You never see a cat going, (mimes tentative walk)
“Fucking ‘ell..! I’m not sure about this…” and a cat on the ground, going, “Easy, Ginger! Walk it out!” Yeah, that’s it.
9. “Oy, Darling!”
Contrary to what you may be thinking, it’s not all roses being a transvestite, you know? It’s not that- you know, people say, “Oh, you transvestites, living off the state,” they say.
“Why don’t you just get back to Russia.”
“What’s in Russia?”
“Oh, I don’t know! A lot of transvestites, apparently.”
And in Russia, they say, “Get back to where they told to you to get back from…” I don’t know what these people say.
But also, some people say, “Oh, I wish I was a transvestite!” and I say, “Well, if you work hard at school, maybe one day, you know… After your exams…” So all right, this is what happens. If you’re a transvestite, people do gossip, I knew it would happen. They do car noises about me, that’s kind of weird, they go (making car noises) Have you noticed that in films there are lots of car chases? There are no car chases in books, are there? (mimes reading from book) “He looked up in the mirror. Behind him, the man was driving. He looked in the mirror and then he was driving. Oh, they drove faster, faster, driving fast and looking in the mirror. The other guy was pulling a face and driving fast, and then there was a terrible crash.” Just doesn’t fucking work, does it? Anyway…
So yeah, that’s me; people gossip about transvestites, but I told people I was a transvestite, so that steals their thunder. “Have you heard…? Oh, he told you! Bastard! (mumbles) I bet he’s not a transvestite! Yeah, that’s it! I bet it’s a tax-dodge to get a clothing allowance, yeah…”
So… oh, yeah! Clothes, wearing things. Women put on trousers back in the ‘20s, of course, we all know this, and at that time, people say, “Women can’t wear trousers! (growling) Back to Russia!” And women said,
“And why not?”
“Oh, very clever! Yes… Very clever question. Why not?”
You know, ‘cause there’s no reason, is there? Women wear whatever they want now, they have total clothing allowance, which is groovy; and so women wear what they want, and so do I! Yeah, that’s what it is; it’s just a choice thing, yeah. But you do get a certain amount of stick that goes with it, you know, certain people in the street give me a hard time – they’re dick-headed men, usually, and they hang out in groups of five, I think it’s because they have a fifth of a personality each, so they form a group of five… (audience claps) I appreciate your applause, but I don’t do this for applause… No, I do it for cash; it’s much better.
Anyway, they do, they hang out at Leicester Square, actually, in groups of five. They’re just there, you know, just waiting to shout at people. Must be a sad fucking life, they say, “Oh, five o’clock! Better go to shout at people.” (mocks shouting) They do, they shout at people. (mimes dickhead man) “Oh, a bloke in a dress! Bloke in a dress!” (cackling) “Bloke in a dress!” (resumes cackling) “I told him! Yeah… And he agreed, he is a bloke in a dress. Didn’t make very much sense to tell him…” And they shout at women as well, I don’t know why they shout at women. “Oy, darling! Oy, darling! (cackles) Oy, darling! (cackles again) I told her too! Yes…” I think there’s an idea of trying to chat up women, that’s what it is. “Oy, darling, you and me! You and me! You and me…” And if one woman ever did say, “Okay, let’s go now!” I think that would totally freak him out. (freaked) “She said yes! She said yes! That’s not the deal, she’s not supposed to say yes. I don’t know what to do! Have you got any instructions?”
‘Cause you can’t go out with someone like that, ‘cause you say, “What do you want to eat?” and they go (growls) “Pig runs.”
And actually there’s a code, when they shout- if people shout at you, there’s actually a code. When they’re shouting at you, “Oy, darling! Oy, darling!” means “I’m a wanker! I’m a wanker-! I am a wanker! We all are, aren’t we?”
They do this on building sites as well. I’m sure there must be some builders on a sixth floor scaffolding, putting bricks on top of bricks, and doing the carpentry and the electrics and stuff, but there are lots of builders up there on the sixth floor, who just seem to be leaning over the edge, (mimes reading) “Hey! Fucking ‘ell! The cat sat on the mat! Eat cheese banana… I can’t read that one. Fuck off!” And construction companies must go mad. “I’m sorry about your building, we got on the sixth floor, everyone was just shouting off the balconies! They say they’re calling out the plasterers to prayer…”
And when I was a kid, ‘cause I knew I was T.V. – T.V. is the abbreviation of transvestite, by the way, which is a bit confusing with television being T.V. as well – but when I was a kid, I realized I was T.V., and I didn’t tell other kids at school, on a cunning survival plan I worked out, yes! “Don’t tell other kids and survive school,” that was my plan. I just thought if I was five and said, “Look, guys, I happen to be a T.V. I just thought I’d explain this to you ‘cause I thought you could deal with this information in a positive and groovy way.” And that they would say, ‘Well, thanks for the information, and we’d just like to say we appreciate it, and we’ll grab sticks and let’s go!” (yelling and miming a chase) That’s what I thought would happen, probably no if I had the guts to say it, ‘cause I noticed if you do have the guts to say it, “Yes, I am a transvestite, I don’t care,” then people go, “Oh… Why is he not…? Oh…” ‘Cause people want to go, “Oh, you are a transvestite, “ and if you say, “No, I’m not,” and deny it, then they go, “Ah! Ah!” (pointing finger) “No! No!” “Ah, ah!” That’s the bully thing. It’s like the people in the street, they would be shouting at me for some time, and I decided to say, “Yes, is there a problem?” You know, some people are going, “There’s a bloke in a dress,” and I go, “Yeah…” and then they’re going, (sighs) “A bloke in a dress… A bloke in a- he’s a bit comfortable, the bloke in a dress… Shouldn’t we be backing off of this, going (mocking sounds and pointing finger)? He doesn’t have the victim mentality we usually request at this point of the debate…” That’s what they’re thinking.
No, I didn’t tell kids at school, ‘cause there’s a fascist elitism going on in the schoolroom. You still have big kids saying, “All you kids, give me stuff or I’ll kill you, that’s how it works,” and all the other kids saying, “No, we, the United Nations of Small Children, have placed a sweets embargo on you, big hairy kid. I’m Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s small kid. We’ll also be sending in two small kids with blue hats on to check the dismantling of your sweet-eating apparatus.”
So there’s a lot of gay and lesbian people around, and that’s groovy, and they have – what they’ve done is they separated sex and sexuality from what you do for a living. So you work in a bookshop? Okay, you’re good at selling books, you get on well with the customers? That’s what’s important, not who you sleep with or not. ‘Cause in the old days, they used to say, “Oh, you’re gay… You sell books? You probably shag the books! Yes, I’m sure! So we fire you for no reason at all…” Nowadays, it has improved, but if you’re a T.V. – this is what you have to do if you’re a T.V., because the image – the gay and lesbian people really don’t associate with the T.V., they say, “Well, we don’t know about that, go and live in a ditch somewhere.” It’s a bit poor cousins, twice removed, that kind of thing. But I think – also, ever since I came out as a T.V., if I’m relaxed about it, everyone else seems to go, “Yes, so what’s the problem?” Since I’ve come out, most people go, ‘Yeah…” 80% of the country, I think, don’t really give a monkey’s; they just go, “Well, all right, you’re a T.V., great. I’m cooking eggs, I don’t…” (mimes cooking eggs) Then, there’s 10% of the people who are a bit groovy, and this 10% of people, who are totally homophobic, who go, (growling) “Back to Russia!” It’s okay, if they wanna be homophobic, that’s all right; as long as they’re homophobic behind closed door and don’t touch anyone, I’m fine with it! I know a few people like that… So that’s what I say.
Also, fear- I’ve looked at fear in a big way, because coming out you have to deal basically with the whole world going, “Oh, you’re an abominable snowman,” and me going, “No! Don’t think so! No…” And you have to deal with this whole fear thing, and I tend to go towards things that scare me now, I think that’s very positive – not anything, like leaping off a cliff onto spikes scares me, and I don’t go, “Let’s go! Here we go… (mimes putting on helmet and jumping) “Oh, belly flop!” No, not all things, but I just notice this fear thing.
And there are not many blokes in makeup, so people tend to react to you sometimes really weird; sometimes I walk past people, and they go (mimes jaw dropping) You know, and I don’t know what to do about that, so I just go, ‘Hello.” They drop out, no more (mimes jaw dropping) Sometimes news agents are quite interesting. You know, the news agents probably see a lot of people coming in, not many blokes in makeup, and they see me and I see the signal goes through to the brain, and the brain goes,
“No information on this! No information! No information! No previous experience in this area… No previous… no previous… no previous experience… Don’t know what the fuck to do. Suggestions, get all the packs of crisps out of the way.”
“Okay, we’ll do that…”
“So I’ll tie all these papers together.”
“What- what- what do you want?!”
I can see that in their eyes, and I say, “I want a pack of crisps! I’ve got money.” And they go,
“What, you eat crisps? Thought you wanted to shag crisps!”
“No, I don’t do that…”
It’s funny, as soon as you start talking, they go, ‘Oh, all right…” Yeah… Interesting…
12. The English Evangelists
So I’m into ideas, this is my thing, because you’ve got to be if you deal with this. People who are philosophers write their ideas down on how the world works, and you can pick and choose. Religious I have more of a problem with, I am not a religious person, ‘cause they all tend to be exclusionist, in a way. I mean, there’s four or five big ones, and each one tells the same, “We are the main religion, by the way, and all you guys… no, sorry, you’ve got it wrong.” And the next one says, “No, ours is. We’ve got the thing upstairs, and no, no, no…” So it doesn’t tend to bring the whole world together, so I like world ideas.
I also think that if you institutionalize an idea, it can go wrong. That’s probably where it starts going on. Like Mr. Jesus, of the Christ family – oh, the Christ family, they had a great carpentry and everything! But he wasn’t writing things down when he was preaching, he wasn’t going, “’The meek shall inherit the Earth.’ Ooh, get that down! That’s a crackup! There’s a chapter-heading, that one! Yes!” No, he just spoke his stuff, and then he was killed by the Romans, and then 300 years later, the Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, who were friends of Barry, Mango and Midge. Well, no, I still have a problem with these names – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – they’re English! These are English people, I mean, you know, this is Galilee, Judea! You got names like Judas, and Jesus, and Elijah, something like that, but Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?! “Yes, that’s our friend Jeremy, that’s Sebastian, and… Kenneth. We’re all from Galilee…” Fucking ‘ell! Yeah, so… There was actually a disciple called Zebedee , yeah. All the disciples have people named after them in Christian countries, but not Zebedee. It was one Zebedee, and then, about 2,000 years later, a thing on a spring with a big mustache. ‘Cause Zebedee was a disciple with really weird ideas! He came up with the chocolate eggs idea, being given up by bunny rabbits at Easter, you know…
“Fucking ‘ell, Zeb, what are you on, man?”
“The eggs are chocolate, we can put things inside, you know?”
“This is Galilee! They’re gonna melt!”
“That’s true, yeah… Fucking hell! I never thought about it …”
Must have got lots of fridges… (mimes writing) “Perhaps not.”
But in the Medieval period, the Christian religion moved into the monasteries, and everyone had to wear brown; brown was the fashion, it was about 200 years of fucking brown… That’s why the monks mumble, (walks around while miming reading) “Brown again, brown… Spring fashion still brown, Autumn brown… fucking brown!” ‘Cause you had two looks – hood up or hood down, that was it. Hood up was for mysterious… (hums chant) and hood down for, “Surprise! It’s me!” They should have had a big afro underneath. (mimes afro expanding) “Fucking ’ell!” And they would dance to Gregorian chats, too! (singing mock Gregorian chant) It really never kicks in as a music, does it? (singing house percussion) So… and also they would copy the Bible from Greek into Latin, and the first letter of each page would be huge and ornate, ‘cause that’s how they used to read the Bible in the old days, “When Jesus came up the mountain…” to wake people up. (mimes waking up startled)
13. Quirks of Nature
As human beings, we think ourselves pretty damn groovy. We do, because we have two things – we have communication… and we have thumbs. These are two things – communication, so we can say things like, “Well, I suppose so,” and thumbs so we can pick things up. Otherwise we just go (mimes pushing something around) , like cats do. You know how cats do that with a little ball of something or other…? ‘Cause if cats had thumbs, they’d go… (mimes picking up ball and putting it down repeatedly) It’s not so much fun, is it? Cats have a thumb half way up their leg, don’t they? They have a “lazy thumb,” it’s called, and the other reason they use it is to flick rubber bands at people. (mimes flicking rubber band)
“Ow! Who did that? Did you do that?”
(cat stares innocently)
“Did you do that, cat? Did you flick a rubber band at me?”
“Found your drilling equipment the other day.”
(over) “He’s found the drilling equipment. The humans have found the drilling equipment. Open up Charlie tunnel. We dig ‘round the clock.”
Next day, you find your cat walking over the cat litter… (mimes dropping excavated soil while walking around and humming) Not in leggings, of course… And you go, “I’ve got three cats wearing trousers! What the hell is going on? And the cat litter- I emptied the cat litter! It’s up to here! They’ve gone mad! Also, I found three cats at the bottom of the garden, they’ve dug their way out. One was dressed as a postman, and had German passport papers… Another one dressed as a German guard, and the third one was in a motorbike, going to Switzerland! Steve McCat’s his name… Another two were riding a boat, and another one was James Garner…” Anyway… “He couldn’t read, he was on a plane, James Garner… “I’m talking about “The Great Escape” here… Yes, so…
What the hell was I talking about? Yes, human beings! Yes, we value ourselves pretty highly, but there are other animals that do amazing things, we just sort of skip over this. Like birds- birds fly, it’s an amazing thing; when you’re a kid, you really appreciate it, until you see one bird fly into a window, and you go, “Ah! Live in the sky, die in a window, yes…”Whereas we just got planes going straight into a cliff, or something, which is much more healthy. But birds do amazing things- every Winter they fly South, for their holidays, and they don’t get permission, they do it by ESP. “Calling all birds! Calling all birds! We’re gonna mass outside Mrs. Stevens’ house. She’s recently seen Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” so it should freak her out a bit… Bring your hooded look with you. Oh, yes, we’ve chosen Greece this year for our holiday, you’ll be pleased to know. Please bring suntan cream, especially you robins, who always get terribly burnt.”
And they all mass up, all the birds, looking mean and (growling), “Yes, we were extras in the film, yeah.” And they’re ready to fly, but then one bird must know where to go, and he goes, (mimes taking off) and they go, “It’s Steve, the bird! Follow Steve, the bird!” They all shoot up in formation, but they don’t go to Greece for a couple of days; they just fly ‘round and ‘round, and ‘round, and ‘round; there must be 60 birds back in formation, doing this (mimes flapping wings and walking around) who must be going, “Who the fuck is flying this year? Not Steve the bird! He’s terrible… We went to fucking Greece last year…” All the while Steve the bird has a huge map all over his face (mimes dealing with the map while flying) “All right, all right, don’t push! Let me get this map down… Now… Is that the Church of the Squire? That’s the post office… This is the Lake District! It’s the Lake District! Hold on, where is Greece?”
Also, they sing! Birds do birdsong, and it’s a beautiful thing, and people record it down, and say, “It’s a beautiful bird song,” and they put it on tape, but we know that the bird’s song is territorial! It’s a claim for their territory, if you translate the verses into English. If you translate it, it says, “Fuck off out of here! You young sparrows, get a haircut! I know your Dad!” You know that song, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”? He actually sang, “Fuck off out of Berkeley Square!” True, yeah…
And then there’s flying fish! Flying fish are weird! All fish swim, except the flying ones… And why do they fly? They take off out of the water, fly along, but they don’t have feet; they can’t walk on the ground, they don’t go and perch up on trees and stuff, so once it’s up in the air, they go… (mimes flying) “Fancy a swim?” Strange!
Mountain goats! Mountain goats scamper up mountains – you never see mountain goats halfway up a mountain, knocking things in, clicking things on… “Okay, climbing now… okay…” They never use it, unless they do an overhang, if they go on an overhang, then… Mountaineers are half way up, and all these mountain goats keep… “Fucking mountain goats! There’s a hand-hold right there, mate, just go on…” Mountain goats get to the top, take photos… (mimes mountain goats posing) Then straight back down! (mimes mountain goat speeding down the mountain) Past the mountaineers – “Don’t worry, we’re doing lengths! We’ll be back again!”
14. Survival Swimming
Oh, yes, takes me back to swimming! I swam widths and lengths, more of a widths person myself… It used to be, “Well, we’re going to go swimming. All of you kids who can swim, off you go and look very lean and fit and cut through the water like… things that cut through the water. All of you, fat kids, here’s a bit of a puddle. In you go and humiliate yourselves in the shallow end…” We’ve got this float thing, a white, batted paddle, and you get in the shallow end… (mimes going in the shallow end of pool) and do widths across… Oh, it was terrible! It was an aqua zima frame, it was. You get to the side… (panting and turning around) And you just crawl like a really slow waiter or something, you know? You had two positions, this position or Captain Speedy! (mimes bowing down head and pushing paddle)
I did “Bronze Survival” Swimming, yes! I could save people in a bronzy kind of way… Yes, what would happen was… “Gold Survival” Swimming, they were very good, they’d bring you all the way in, save your life, give you a wash and brush up, and give you the bus fare home; very good service. Silver Service, they’d bring you all the way in, and just sort of serve up some food – come on, go with that! “And “Bronze Survival,” we’d just bring them up and leave them in the shallow end –
“Go on, you can move now!”
“You’re supposed to take me all the way in!”
“You paid for Bronze, you get bronze, mate!”
But point five of Bronze Survival was very interesting – it said, “When you fall into the water, remove- quickly remove your pajamas…” “Pajamas?” And I just mentally thought, “I must remember for the rest of my life ‘in pajamas…’” “Remove your pajamas from your body, tying off the arms and legs and the rest of everything, and then whip them over your head very fast, and then fit them to the size and consistency of a small boat.” All the rescue ships are going, “We must pick up the survivors! The ship has sunk… Look! A kid on pajamas in the back!” (sound of motorized boat approaching, mimes waving and hair moving in the wind) Someone holding on to the legs of your pajamas, waterskiing behind… (skier waves too) Don’t think it was gonna happen!
15. Enterprising Insects
And then, there’s bees and wasps. When you’re a kid, bees and wasps are out to get you, so you run from bees and wasps. (mimes running while chased away by bees and wasps) “Bees and wasps!” And they’re always just behind your head… “There’s a wasp behind my head!” They’re on a tractor beam, gotta cling on there… And they just chase you, and your Dad, who’s working with the bees and wasps, comes out and tells you, “Stand still!” and you go, (in a very low voice) “What? No…” And the wasps go, “Thanks, Dad!” (sounds of speeding and crash)
And later on, you realize that bees aren’t so bad, because they only sting you once, and they only sting you as a last resort, which is the equivalent of the “do or die” card in “Escape from Colditz, The Board Game.” And also they make honey, and that’s an amazing thing! Bees make honey?! We’ve known this since we were kids, so we take it absolutely for granted, but bees are insects, furry body, red- not red, yellow and black stripy, hairy leggy, big ears- big eyes! Big ears as well, but they leave them behind when they go out. Got out of that one. Medium size wings, you know- they’re buzzy things, you know, and they make honey?! Which is in your morning, on your breakfast-y toastie, in a jar, kind of- how do they do that?! I mean, do earwigs make chutney? Do spiders make gravy? What is going on? Earwigs going, “Get the chutney under that stone there. (singing) We make chutney all day… It’s an earwig’s life, ain’t it? Put the chutney in there, there we go.” And spiders, saying, “Gravy, yes… no problem at all, mate. We’ll make spider gravy, the way spiders like to make it, yes… Put that cube in there… Hold on, Legs… There you go, mate. Can we get the measuring jar back when you’re finished?” It’s very weird!
So they way bees make honey, is they get 10 bees together, they fly down to a supermarket, they get a jar of honey, and they bring it back, that’s how! And the Queen Bee just gets a big knife, and spreads it in… in some artist’s fashion, in the big combs in the back. The worker bees just look on, and the drones come in occasionally and go (drone sounds) “Would you piss off, you drone bees?” (drone sounds continue)
That’s bees; wasps have this one sting thing that works for them. “I’ll sting him, I’ll sting him, (singing) I’ll sting this guy over here… pow! I’ll stick this brick for no reason, I’ll sting this thing, and this guy once again…” And they sting whatever they want, and then they get back to the hive and make nothing! Nothing at all! They just smoke dope, all day long… all through the Summer, and so the old sting is stoned out of his brain… (wobbling about and singing) “Fancy a carpet? (singing continues) I used to be a flyer, yes… Fly through the sky, those were the days… Me and Baron Von Richhovenwasp…
Yeah, now I’m a rambler, no longer a flyer, I ramble… (singing) I like to ramble cross carpets… Oh, I’m dead! (mimes dropping dead) Yes…
And also, bees look for pollen; they find pollen, and when they do, they come back to the hive.
“I’ve found pollen.”
“Where did you find pollen?”
And instead of telling the other bees, they do an intricate dance in front of them.
(singing and dancing)
“Brian, where’s the pollen?”
(resumes singing and dancing)
“Where’s the bloody pollen, Brian?! All this leaping about can wait until later!”
Why doesn’t the first bee who found the pollen say, “Follow me! (buzzing) Here it is.” That could work, couldn’t it? No, they don’t think…
16. Horror Movies on Telly
But television, television… no link. Bees sometimes are on television, and television – is that what you want? (chuckles) It’s not like sometimes bees watch television, but they do, when they fly by, you know, and they go by a telly, and they just stop… (buzzing sound) ‘Cause, you know, they’ve seen it, or it’s a repeat, or something.
I’m interested in television, even though I only rarely go on television to say that I’m not going on television that I am on television, because… (sotto voce) which is working quite well… I’m into it, I like it as a media; I think the whole world is getting hold of it, it’s becoming a good communication tool, where it brings us closer together; and I think that’s a groovy thing.
But also the B-movie genre, this big dumping ground of films on television has become a huge cultural item, ‘cause there’s so much of it! And I love it, I tend to watch television only now between 12:00 and 4:00 in the morning, and you get this rubbish on! Absolute- I can watch it, I don’t know why… I’m addicted to crap; but no, there’s the horror movies that come on, and you know they’re on telly, even if you’re not watching, ‘cause all the theme songs are… (singing overdramatic music) “Oh, my God, oh, my God!” And all the titles in the films are, “The Thing That Came from Somewhere,” ”The House That Jack Built…” You know… Expensive horror films have more expensive theme tunes, with sort of choirs of small children, going… (singing eerie melody)
17. Dracula, or Dracul, or Drac…
And then, there’s “Dracula.” “Dracula” is the most successful of them all, the biggest myth in our mind. Dracula, or Dracul, or Drac, or “D,” depends how well you know him… But there’s a weak link in the Dracula story, which is if you see one Dracula film, or one presentation having to deal with Dracula, you know what to do. Because if a vampire came in here right now, we’d all do the sign of the cross, we’d do stake through the heart, and then we’d do garlic bread, yeah? Perhaps garlic bread as a starter, and then the stake through the heart as dessert… The cross in the middle, stake… We’d work it out.
Yeah… we’d all know what to do. And also I think we’ve all been thinking this without actually sort of consciously bringing it forward; when you watch this film, you think, “Does fingers work?” Just doing the sign of the cross with your fingers- do you have to have a cross with you, or can you just do that? (crossing fingers) If it’s just fingers, it’s great; anyone can do it, you know. If you have to carry a cross around, we know that the cross works, okay; but if the tops gets knocked off, it’s a T-sign- does that work? Does the vampire go, “Er… that’s a T-sign! I’m not upset by that!” But if you hold your thumb up above it, it’s a cross, which means it’s a shape, so fingers should work! And if it’s so, they’ve got no chance- vampires are going, “Ah, ha, ha! I will bite you now!” And you go,
“Ah, ha, ha!”
“No, I’ve got fingers too!”
“Oh, yes, you do!”
“Ah… oh, you know too? Okay…”
And he just becomes like one of those questionnaires people that you meet on the street. (mimes vampire holding clipboard, trying to question people)
And also I think a few other things should work with vampires, like a chainsaw – that should really work. If you take a vampire, and you remove his arms and legs with a chainsaw, that’s gonna slow him down a bit, surely. “See the vampire, see him fly…” (crashing noise)
“Slowed down a lot, that one!”
“Ah, but I’m Dracula! I am here!” (evil laugh)
“But you’re in a trolley, mate.”
“Yes, there was a chainsaw, you see? Could you just bend down here? I’ve just dropped my keys. Could you just bend down?”
“No, you’re gonna bite me, aren’t you? I know… just piss off, mate!” (trolley noises)
Also they piss around with the myth… in a lot of them, but especially in the vampire one. We all know that Dracula must be in bed by dawn; all the vampires must be in bed by dawn, otherwise they go (blows raspberry) and turn into jelly with smoke. Now we know, this is a firm plank of the myth, but if you saw Francis Coppola’s “Dracula,” with Gary Oldman as Vlad The Impaler, (imitating Oldman) “I’m Vlad the Impaler.” (as Sean Connery) “I am Vlad The Impaler.” That was Sean Connery in the film “Never Say Never At Dracula Again.” (as Connery) “I’m Dracula, I’ve got this thing on my watch, see… (stretches wire out of watch) This capsule here, you put it in your ear and it explodes…“ Yeah, sorry… Yes, Gary Oldman as Vlad The Impaler, and in the middle of this, they want him to have scenes with this woman called Mina, who looks like his old wife, from years ago, and in the middle of it, they shoved it in – they sneaked it in, in fact, just very quietly, “Not many people know that vampires can go out during the day…” and people watching are going, “yeah…” I was going, “No, ‘old on! Absolutely not! No way!” I mean, what is a low-power vampire anyway? They can go out during the day, but they’re called “low power vampires.” What the hell is a low-power vampire? They go… (mimes jumping about flapping arms) Can’t actually fly anyway… and they leap in front of you, “Ah-ha-ha!” (blows raspberry) That’s all I do. No, I’m a daytime vampire, go on, thank you. Ah-ha-ha! (blows raspberry again) Cheers. Sign of the cross to you too, mate. (continues to blow raspberry to passersby) At least react!” People are going,
“Officer, there’s a nutter in the park!”
“Oh, it’s a low-power vampire, they’re no bother this time of year. Be in bed by nightfall…”
(sighs) Yes… true story. I saw one vampire film once called “Dracula Is Dead!” He started off dead, and I thought, “Oh… no climax here!” But then, they said, “Not many people know that vampires can come back to life once they’ve been dead-ed!” I go, “No!” But then they said, “Oh, yes, if a pig comes by Castle Dracula on a Tuesday, playing a banjo…” That’s a crowbar plot move… So he’s back to life, and he gets to England. Four Victorian people saying, (as James Mason) “Let’s go to Castle Dracula in Transylvania for no reason at all. Will you come with me? I, James Mason, will go there. Come, Agatha, Tabitha, Bagatha, let’s go to Castle Dracula and… create a plot for this film.” And in Transylvania, they always go to a pub there, for a bit of local color; lots of people with big beards that you know is strapped over the ears…(mimes joking around with fake beard) “Which gap to drink through?” Pull the beard, have a drink, put it back, yeah…
“Oh, certain folks around here aren’t from ‘round here…”
“We’re from Devon. We came over for the ski. Food’s a bit weird, but okay…”
“Hello, my name is James Mason, and we’re going to Castle Dracula. This is Agatha, Tabitha and Bagatha… Name’s a bit weird, but there you go.”
“Well, I wouldn’t go to Castle Dracula if I were you, sir. You’ve got to film if you go up there, it’s very strange.”
“We nevertheless wish to go to Castle Dracula, though. The film is about four people gong to a pub.”
“Oh, no one laughed at that joke, mate! You’re a crap James Mason! You’re not coming out of that one! You fucked up!”
“Yes, I did, I planned to fuck up there; just to show you how to escape from a fuck up.”
So they go to- I don’t know where I was going with that- but they always go up to Castle Dracula in a coach driven by a total monster; big, hairy thing going… (evil laughter) “Back to Russia!” And Castle Dracula looks like hell on toast, you know, and all the victims in these films have had their common sense glands removed… If we were in that coach, we’d be going, “We get the fuck out of this coach now… Man-eating wolves, I don’t care! We’re walking back!” Everyone in the coach is going, “A tad slower, cappy? Oh, delightful place! Kind of spooky…”
Saw these people go camping in millions of films.
“Let’s go camping in the forest of Death and Blood.”
“Whoa-whoa-whoa! Forest of Death and Blood? Is there a story behind the name, maybe?”
“Well, yes, there is. Everyone who goes in dies from death and blood.”
“I’ll pass on this one. My cat’s exploded and I thought… I’ve got a bad leg anyway.”
But they go off and camp in the forest, and then a storm comes in, they can’t go back, and the bridge’s been blown up by squirrels… And they stay in a house, a wooden house, and in the middle of the night some twit says, “Look, there’s something moving in the forest about eight miles away! I’ll go and check…” Don’t check, please don’t check… That’s what curtains are for, you go, (mimes peeking through window) “Oh, my God!” But they say, “I’ll go check, and I’ll take a thimble with me… Don’t come near me, I’ve got a thimble!” They never listen to the music, do they? (singing ominous melody) We’d be going, “I’m not going down there! It’s spooky down there.” (ominous melody continues) “It’s spooky down here too.” (mimes taking a step and hearing ominous melody repeatedly, until he takes a step and the music is lively)
Sometimes this guy is determined to get there… (singing ominous melody) “Piss off, you cellist! Stop following me in the forest!” (mimes cellist walking away while playing) The guy goes deep into the forest, and once he does, you know he’s had it. He’s going… “Oh, it’s is an axe murderer! It is! We weren’t sure… I thought it was either you or a badger! You know, could be a badger or an axe murderer, and it’s you! (mimes axe murderer whacking character) Oh, send a party!”
18. Star Trek
But there’s one B-movie that became so huge it became a name movie, and everyone’s talked about this, it’s been multi-talked about- that doesn’t mean anything, really – and everyone’s talked about “Star Trek.” And that is the thing, but it’s so weird, ‘cause “Star Trek” had 60 television episodes, that were repeated forever, and there are two spin-off series now and six films, and nothing has ever done this! I mean, “Batman” is sort of doing a bit of this now, but not like that. And it’s huge! I was trying to work out why, and I think it’s because the characters in the film became bigger than the actual actors, in a sense that if you ever saw “T.J. Hooker,” this cop series, it was Captain Kirk playing T.J. Hooker, not William Shatner, the actor! You’d just think it was the commander, Captain Kirk, who’d come down to Earth and said, “I’m gonna be a cop for a bit,” you know…
If you ever see the television series again, don’t watch the actors in the stories out front, going on in the scene; watch the people in the back, who’re working away in all these cardboard and flashing lights, essentially, ‘cause it’s just a set, and they’re going, “I’ll pull lever B now…” There’s a lot of clipboard work, have you noticed? People go around on clipboards, going, “Yes, you’ve got a machine, well done… And the machine… would you like to sign on that? Thank you…” With a clipboard, there’s a lot of clipboard people in there.
Spock was there, he had this big cylindrical bag… sort of computer screen that he was looking into, saying things to Captain Kirk: “Captain Kirk, we’re going to die in .28 seconds. Oh, should I have told you that earlier? Sorry about that!” And he’d put Twix and stuff neatly down, then he would just sneak in and… (mimes eating in hiding) And Uhura over here, in the swivel chair, going,
“Mr. Spock is eating a Twix! He’s eating Twix!”
“Shut up. Shut the fuck up! (sternly, as Spock) Shut the fuck up, Uhura!”
He couldn’t get overemotional, Spock; no matter- all the actors should have just stomped on his foot, while shooting the scene, because he couldn’t go, “Fuck off!” He’d have to go (mimes restraining himself) “Captain, I’m very annoyed with Uhura.” (mimes threats) Or pour black soot over that oval computer screen he’s always looking at. “Oh, God, I’ve got this stuff all over my face! I gotta… (restraining himself) I am not happy…”
And there was Uhura, and she had fingers; it was always different fingers. “Captain, it’s Starfleet Command on finger three.” (swiveling around in chair and switching fingers) “It’s the Klingons on finger two, Captain. It’s your Mom on finger four.”
And Spock- no, Kirk, Captain Kirk, in the big swiveling chair, he’d keep records, press a button and go, “Captain’s log – Supplemental Bidoo-bidoo-bidoo, that’s all.” He’d sign a lot of clipboards all day – “Thank you very much, clipboard… ‘To Cliff from Captain Kirk’ Well done…”
And there’s Chekov and Sulu, down the front, both driving, they both had steering wheels! Too many steering wheels… but you never saw them in the morning, when they came in to the starship Enterprise, going, “Oh, get the engine on, Chekov! It’s fucking freezing in here! Boy!” (mimes starting up ship) You also never saw them backing up either, Chekov going… (mimes backing up) “Captain Kirk, put your head down a bit.”
Scotty- the actor playing Scotty, he must have hated the scripts! Every week, the same sort of script-thing. “Oh, not again! Not the same script, for fuck’s sake! ‘No, Captain. I cannot do that, Captain. I have no ability to do that, Captain. What speed you wish for, Captain? No, I cannot provide that at this time. No, you’ll never guess; it’s the engine. No, it’s the carburetor that’s gone this time. No way, who’s there? The cat’s eaten the Delethian Crystals, you see, and it’s coughing up fur balls, and…” He could never do anything! There was Kirk going, “Scotty, we need to go back to 9 in five seconds, or we’re toast!” And he goes, “I can give you 30 miles an hour in a week, Captain, how about that?”
And there was Dr. McCoy, a doctor so dramatic- so overly dramatic! Down at the surgery, going, (overacting) “Jim! Jim! Christ, Jim! Jim, it’s me, “Bones,” Jim! Me! McCoy! How long have I known you? Jim! Me! Spock! Christ, Spock! Man! Jim! Spock! Me, “Bones”! “Bones”! Me! Spock! Christ! This boy is dying of lurgey! Lurgey, Jim, lurgey! Five lurgeys, two of them I’ve never heard of! Christ, Spock! Jim! How long have I known you, Spock? Jim’s known this boy… Christ! Jim, Spock, me, Christ… I have to remove his brain, his liver, his lungs, and his spleen, and I have to do it with a torch as well…” (mimes using torch) They always do that torch thing…
Then they would all get bored. “Let’s beam down somewhere! Last one down the energizer room is a wanker!” (mimes rushing to energizer room) And you knew, if all the name cast were beaming down, they were coming back; that’s how it was. But if there was a new bloke beaming down with them… (mimes subtly pointing at the new guy) “Who’s he? You got really worried about the new bloke, especially if he was wearing a red jumper…
(sotto) “Who the fuck’s he?”
“That’s Stevens, sir. Stevens, from Accounts.”
“Accounts? Didn’t know we had an accounts department. Stevens?”
(campy cockney) “Yes, sir? Oh, hello. I’m from Accounts. I thought I’d just beam down on this landing party… Well, last time the figures were a bit weird, you know? 400 packed lunches were eating, and there was only two of you beaming down! So I thought I’d beam down; put my best red jumper on…”
“”We’re all wearing light blue, did you notice that? There’s a target on the front of your shirt, yeah…”
“Oh… oh, really?”
“It’s okay, prepare to beam down.”
“All right, Captain.” (humming eerily and shaking all over)
And the rest of them are looking at him…
“What’s all that about, Stevens?”
“I thought I was beaming down!”
“We’ve got a machine to do that. We pull that lever, you see…”
“Oh, you bastards! You just let me do that!”
(mocking sound from Captain Kirk)
Then they beam down to an oval of gravel, with six big rocks in the back… every week. “Captain, strong déjà vu here!” And they get out these machines… (machine beeping) “Captain, this entire planet is made of “willy-wee.” And also you, Captain, and I checked with Sulu and Uhura, and everything we never thought of is willy-wee. I think this just must be a box of “willy-wee…””
But then there was the phasers. Now the phasers were just there; you just had two settings – kill or stun, but it should have been a much more amazing weapon, ‘cause they had very advanced technology. There should have been many more settings, not just kill or stun. Kill, stun, limp- that’s a nice one, isn’t it? All the “Star Trek” people over there with the phasers, and all the people on the planet would be over here, going, “It’s people… invaders! We must get them! Yeah!” (mimes attacking and suddenly limping after phaser is shot) “They’ve set their phasers on limp, oh… Get out of here.”
Or set it on “Bit of a Cough” setting, even lower. (mimes attacking and getting a coughing attack) “Get some Spectrum, quick!”
Or it could have “Depression” setting, that’s, you know, an emotional setting. (mimes attacking and sudden onset of depression) “Oh, bugger! It’ll never work, let’s just… I don’t know, my whole life down the drain… Invaders, invaders…”
“Bad Ice” setting, that could work. (mimes attacking, then skidding on ice) Bear with me, please, I’ve thought of 100 of these.
“Ice-cream Van Nearby” setting, that’s one. (mimes attacking, then getting distracted by buying ice-cream) “Oh, two, three…” (mimes eating ice-cream)
Then you have “Sudden Interest in Botany” setting – (mimes attacking, then getting distracted by a plant) “Ooh! (mumbles) Repot every summer…”
“Water in Ear After Swimming”! (mimes attacking, then jumping about to get rid of water in the ear)
Oh, yeah, and finally, this is very totally finally – “Oven Left On At Home” setting. (mimes attacking, then turning around and running in the opposite direction) “Oh, shit!”
So that is it. That is my totally nonsensical show; I hope you enjoyed some of it, if not, the intention was there as an escape route. So thank you very much for being here, and thank you for bearing with me. Cheers, good night.
1 thought on “Eddie Izzard: Unrepeatable (1994) | Transcript”
You might want to look up the word “scatological.”