Filmed on location at the Eventim Apollo
Please welcome Jack Whitehall.
Show business, baby. Show business. Wow! How amazing is this? Here we are at the record of my first ever Netflix special. Yeah. I don’t know why I’m talking into this. I’m on a head set. I doubt that’s even on. I doubt that is even… I mean, not even plugged in. Literally just a prop.
This is an international show. I’ve realized, right, trying to do the international show, that the cultural divide is much greater than we think. The biggest difference, I realize, between us and our American cousins, when I went to California, was the attitude to drinking. Completely different. I heard sentences in California that I’ve never heard before. Like this: “Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Did you see Larry? Larry had four glasses of wine with dinner. I think Larry… may be an alcoholic.” Yes, I know. Four glasses of wine with dinner in America: you’re an alcoholic. Four glasses of wine with dinner in Britain: you’re the designated driver. Nothing, though, sums up the differing attitudes to drinking in the UK and the US than what we encourage our children, our little babies, to leave out Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Do you know what the kids in America leave out Santa Claus on Christmas Eve? Milk and cookies. “Hey, Santa, I’m gonna leave this big old glass of milk. It’s packed full of calcium so your bones can be strong and sturdy. Love you, Santa. Santa Claus, love you. I love you, Santa Claus.” What do the children of Britain leave out Santa Claus every Christmas Eve? Sherry. Neat liquor, which we have our children believe Santa Claus is downing at every house, whilst operating a sleigh. “Could we leave him a cookie, Daddy?” “No, eating’s cheating, you bastard.” “Go grab some tinnies for the elves, you little…” “Daddy?” “What?” “Why am I American, and you’re from the north of England?” “I don’t know. Jack messed up your voice. Now he’s messing up mine. I’ve gone Jamaican.”
Every time. I probably should have asked, before I launched into all of that… And before I ask you this question as an audience as well, I need you to understand something very important. This… is a safe space. Seriously, OK? This is the trust tree. Everyone climbs and nobody falls. Yeah, even I find that one a bit camp, but… Trust tree. OK? Safe space. Do we have any non-drinkers in? Burn the witch! Sorry. Sorry. Yes. That was very loud. This guy nearly shat himself. I’m sorry. I didn’t meant that, madam. Sorry. I have a huge amount of respect to you.
I come from a family of heavy drinkers. My dad, he drinks a lot. This is how big a drinker my dad is. I took my dad to a McDonald’s the other day, for the first time ever. He asked to see a wine list. Very confusing, McDonald’s. They’ve got salads, carrot batons… I swear, we are a year away from McQuinoa. That’s why I like KFC. KFC, they know what they are. There’s no healthy options in a KFC. No airs and graces with a KFC. Here is some deep-fried shit for you to eat out of a bucket. We’ll even chuck in a wet-wipe because we can’t trust you to wash your hands. Go on, eat it piggy. “I wonder what the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices is.” Salt! It’s not rocket science.
I just want to make clear, I’ve never complained in a restaurant. I’m British. I would never complain in a restaurant. If I’m with someone that complains in a restaurant, I die inside. “Don’t say anything. Don’t make a scene. Just eat the nut, all right? We have an EpiPen at home. We will deal with it later. What? No. Everything’s wonderful. She’s loving it. Her neck is always that big. That’s very normal.” Ex-girlfriend, Ella. Or Nut-Ella, as we used to call her. No, no! Oh, God rest her soul.
The other thing my dad can’t get his head round is technology. I’ve got a great prank that I play on my dad. You’ve got to try this. If your parent is a bit of a technophobe, what I do, is I wait for my mum to buy a new bit of machinery for their house. Doesn’t matter what it is: laptop, coffee machine, new printer. And then I tell my 76-year-old dad that said piece of machinery… is voice-activated. Oh, my God, you have not known true joy until you have seen a 76-year-old man tell an electric blanket to go fuck itself. I’m not being ageist, OK? I think it’s very important that we respect our elders.
I was visiting my granny recently. My dear old Nan. You know. Got to check the will… Check they’re well. Check that she is well. My granny is very much from a different generation. Oh, my God, we were clearing out her house the other day. We found some quite dubious things on her shelves. Oh, dear. I know. I know. I took her aside. I was, like, “Granny, come on. It is 2017. Who is still using VHS?” Yeah, the racist doll is not great either. Also, this is exactly as I found it in her house. If you’re going to have your racist doll out on display, which you shouldn’t, please do not have your racist doll out on display above your copy of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.
She’s unbelievable, my granny. She’s in a nursing home now, and she sits there in her commode. You know, the chair with the potty underneath it. That’s not the funny bit, mate! She sits there on her potty, knitting, watching Murder She Wrote. Right? And she doesn’t have a lot of fun. And it got me thinking, because I saw this article recently about the writer, Aldous Huxley. This is such bullshit. I saw a tweet. Do you know what Aldous Huxley asked for on his deathbed? LSD. Now that is the attitude more old people need to be taking. More of the elderly need to start experimenting with recreational drugs. I’m not saying do drugs when you’re younger. That’s a bad idea. You might get into them. But when you’re 85, living in a nursing home, fuck it! If I lived in a nursing home I’d get on it all the time. Also, they’ve got the perfect set-up: disposable income, nurses on call, daytime television, a chair you can shit yourself in… It’s bloody perfect. I’m just bored of hearing people talking about their grandparents when they go, “How did your granny die?” “She died in her sleep.” Like that’s a good thing. Who wants to die in their sleep? I want my granny to go out all guns blazing. I want people to ask me, “Jack, how did your granny die?” “She dropped an E and had a stroke whilst doing the worm to Antiques Roadshow. “
Don’t do drugs, kids. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m not into the drugas. I did have an experience recently. I went away on a lads’ weekend. Oi, oi! Lads! Lads! Lads! I was with Digby and Rupert and… Quite the threesome… That sounded less gay in my head. That’s the most overrated thing in the world: the threesome. Sorry, this is a bit of an aside. I had a threesome once, at school, OK? It was with this beautiful Italian exchange student called Maria and this chap called Monkford, and… No, you just get in each other’s way. Eventually I had to be, like, “I think it’s best if you leave us two together.” Fortunately, she was very understanding. Monkford. Odd chap, but a bloody good teacher.
So, lads’ weekend. Lads’ weekend, OK? We went to Amsterdam. So, we’re in Amsterdam and me and my chums, Rupes and Diggers, we’re down this kind of back street, and one them, Diggers: naughty guy. Diggers is smoking some of the weedy puff. I’m not into it, as you probably guessed by the fact that I called it weedy puff. “Weed.” That’s how normal people talk, Jack. So he was smoking some weed, and he turned to me and he went, “Jack, do you want a suck on this?” Not… not suck. Not suck. That is not the word that he used. That is not what he… This is going well. “I was with my friend and he asked if I wanted to suck…” That is not… I’m having a brain burp. Not suck. What’s the word? Puff! Thank you to the crack whore down the front. “Do you want a puff on this weed?” Anyway, I said no because, you know, we’re in public. It’s not a great look. What if someone sees? He went, “Jack, two things. Firstly, it’s legal. Secondly, we’re in Holland. No one knows who the fuck you are. Smoke it.” Now, I’m not proud. I gave in to the peer pressure. This is why you cannot smoke a spliff on the street in the year 2017. I shit you not. As I put this spliff to my lips I looked up, and the bloody Google Maps car with the 360 camera was driving past.
I read something about Google the other day. You know last year, in the UK, from advertising alone, Google made 66 million pounds. Which, after tax, is 66 million pounds.
We’re going to some highbrow territory this evening. We have silliness and gimmicks at the beginning, but this is a sophisticated show. I’m nearly 30 now. OK? I had a dinner party the other night. We talked about mortgage rates. Sophisticated show for a sophisticated audience. So, dick pics… This is actually a very serious story, OK? Very serious story. Because last year I had a dick pic scare. Why is there laughing over there? I said that this was a serious story and if I’m going to share it with you, there needs to be mutual respect. Don’t blow down the trust tree. Serious story. So, last year I had a dick pic scare. A friend of mine calls me up. He’s, like, “Jack, there is a dick pic of you circulating online.” Fucking watch it. “There’s a dick pic of you online.” I was so distressed. “Oh, my God, this can’t be happening.” Then I thought, wait a sec, this really can’t be happening. I have never taken a photograph of my penis in my life. So, unless they’ve got hold of Mr Monkford’s laptop, this ain’t me. I call my agent. I’m very distressed. I’m, like, “Make this go away. Get a lawyer. Shut it down. Make it stop.” Hung up the phone. So distressed. Heart pounding. My friend sends me a link to this dick pic. I click on it. Comes up on my computer screen. I mean, 100%, this was not a photograph of me. But, my God, it was… the most beautiful penis I’ve ever seen. It was unbelievable. It was long and tanned and sinuous. It looked like Aslan’s tail. Magical! My agent called me back: “What do you want to do?” I was, like, “You know, I think we should just leave it.” I was re-tweeting it. I was favoriting it. I made it my profile picture. You’ve got to own these things. Got to own these things.
This is the thing, OK. I have had these scandals in my career, and I’m always on the verge of another. Because I put my foot in it. I can’t help it. I nearly did it on a big scale last year. Last year I was asked to host the Royal Variety Show. The prestigious, annual charity gala, attended by a member of the Royal Family. The year that I hosted it, it was attended by Prince Harry. I was, like, “I’ll start by paying Prince Harry a compliment. Get him on side.” So I walked out. Five thousand people. Black tie. Royal Albert Hall. I was, like, “Your Royal Highness, I would like to start by complimenting you on the bravery and the courage that you showed in Afghanistan. A ginger in that heat? Fuck me!” I’m glad you laughed, because on the night that one went down like a dead corgi. From there on in, hard work. End of the show, the one thing you’ve got to do, as host of the Royal Variety Show, is lead the cast in a bow to the royal box. So, I’m stood on stage, end of the show, next to Sir Elton John, national treasure, and One Direction, regional trinkets, and they’re there, and they’re there. And do you know why I didn’t do the bow to the royal box? Because Elton John, Sir Elton John, national treasure, a man who I have never met before in my life, thought it would be funny, live on TV, in front of 5,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall, as I was about to bow to the royal box, he leant in and whispered in my ear, “I wouldn’t bend over in front of me, love.” And there’s cameras everywhere. They caught the exact moment he said it. Pulled out of the bow. So that was quite bad: act of treason, live on stage.
It gets even worse. Afterwards, they have this black tie charity reception. God, these stories are so relatable. So, I stupidly decided that I would invite, as my plus-one to the charity reception, my mate, Dave. Some of them are laughing: “Jack, you do not have a friend called Dave.” It’s short for The Earl of Daventry. OK, it’s a fake name. He’s not called Dave. I’ve given him a fake name for this story because he doesn’t come out of it great. Now, what Dave is: Dave is your dickhead friend. So, I’m hanging out with dickhead friend at the bar. You don’t hang out with a dickhead friend. You man mark him. So I’m man-marking dickhead friend at the bar. Prince Harry walks over. Prince Harry walks over with two armed security personnel. Just remember that for later on in the story. These guys have guns. So, he walks over. Me and Gabe stood here, at the bar. Dave, not Gabe. That went well. Give him a fake name and then just say his actual name out loud. What do I do? Do I start again? Fuck. No… I can’t believe I’ve done that. I normally do that story and I just say his name, and the Netflix lawyer was, like, “You have to give him a fake name.” So I made up the name and then I just said his actual name. Can they beep it? What have I done? OK. Well, his name isn’t Dave. His name is Gabe. So, I guess we’re going with Gabe. Gabe Turner is his full name. He’s on Twitter. This goes out all over the world. He’s gonna kill me. OK. Sorry. Stop crying and get on with the show. OK. Right. So, Prince Harry walks over to me and Gabe Emmanuel Turner… So, Gabe, Dave, whatever. I’ve forgotten his name. Gabe, OK, is a big guy. He’s got cauliflower ears, shaved head, like, big rugby player, all right. The kind of guy you wouldn’t want to throw under the bus. Anyway, Gabe is a big guy. Prince Harry walks over. He decides he’s gonna do a little joke. He walks over. He’s, like, “Mr Whitehall, is this your bodyguard?” I was, like, “That’s so funny, because he’s very tall. You’re so amusing.” Probably cut that bit out as well. So, no, the problem is, I was so busy laughing at Harry’s little joke, I didn’t realize what was unfolding next to me. It was like one of those moments in life where everything happens in slow motion. I turned to my left. I could see that my dickhead friend was gearing up to drop a clanger but there was nothing that I could do to stop it from happening. Do you know what his response was, to getting called a bodyguard? By the fifth in line to the throne? At a black tie charity reception? He went, “Oi oi, fuck off, Ron Weasley.” Shots fired. Shots fired. To be fair to Harry, he leaves it just long enough for me to think that my friend is about to be executed by the security services. And then, cool as you like, goes, “Well, I’d rather look like Ron Weasley than Shrek.” Thanks to Gabe Turner, my career over here was in tatters. The knighthood was out the window. I was never gonna be allowed on TV ever again. But I was, like, it’s fine. Because this is gonna be the year that I break America. No, don’t whoo. America, very much still intact.
I got an American manager. Chad, the American manager. Never heard more crap come out of a man’s mouth in my life. “Kid, what you gotta think about me is that I’m not your manager. I’m your team mate. OK? And there is no ‘I’ in team.” No, but there is one in “bullshit.” Tricked me into signing with him, did Chad, as well. He was, like, “You sign with me, there is a movie with a part in it. Oh, my God. This part, it was written for you kid. It was written for you. I represent the director. You sign with me, the part is yours.” I was, like, “Great, thanks Chad. Sign me up.” Joined the agency. Auditioned for the part that was “written for me.” Didn’t get it. Went to see the film six months later. Do you know who was playing the part that was “written for me”? Idris Elba. Idris Elba. I’m not having a pop. Obviously, Idris is a great actor. And in hindsight, he made a much better Nelson Mandela than I would have. “I have been on a long walk to freedom.” No, it wasn’t right. Don’t do the voice.
It’s not even the worst audition Chad got me. The worst audition came when I was in America last. Before I tell you what this was for, I need to give some of you a little bit of back-story about my acting career. When I was at school I was a big fan of drama. I know. Shock, horror. Not the only fan of drama, though. The other guy that was really into drama at my school was a chap called Robert Pattinson. There he is. Young R Patz, star of the Twilight films. And, every time there was a school play at my school, Robert Pattinson would get cast in the lead role, and villager 17… would go to this guy. Yeah. Laugh it up! For some reason, my drama teacher wanted the star of his play to be the young James Dean and not the young K D Lang. It’s fair to say that, over the years, I’ve built up resentment towards R Patz. He became my rival. Rival’s a strong word. Nemesis. He is my nemesis. I’ve made jokes about him before. I’ve called him a wooden actor. I’ve written an entire show about him. I have milked that titty dry for every droplet of its bitter, bitter milk. Eventually, one day I was, like, “You need to put that anger away in a box. You need to hide it away and you need to get on with your life.” And I vowed that I would never speak about Robert Pattinson on stage ever again. And it was going really well. Until Chad called me up out of the blue. He was, like, “Kid, oh, my God, I got you an audition for a movie. This part is amazing, and get this: in this movie you would be starring opposite… Robert Pattinson.” OMG. FML. WTF. And, you know what the word was that chimed? “Opposite.” Not below. Not beneath. Not behind Robert Pattinson. Opposite Robert Pattinson. After all these years of feeling inadequate, finally, me and my nemesis were on a level playing field and it felt amazing. I was, like, “Chad, tell me about the part. What are we? A couple of swashbuckling heroes? You know, good cop, bad cop? Two dashing gents competing for the hand of a fair maiden?” He went, “No, not quite. In this movie, you would be playing Matt, and Matt…” Get ready for it. “Matt is Robert Pattinson’s character’s mentally handicapped brother.” Yes. I thought it was a tasteless joke as well. Ten minutes later, that dropped into my inbox. It was a genuine audition to play the younger brother of Robert Pattinson with, to use the politically correct term, Chad, learning difficulties. I had to go away and have a little think about this offer. I told my friends. They all thought it was hilarious. I told my father. My father, slightly more pragmatic about the whole situation. He went, “Well, you’ve got to go for it, son. Those kind of parts are Oscar bait.” “Look at history: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Rain Man, Forrest Gump… You know what they say, son: play a mong, get a gong.” No, they do not say that. You have just said that. But, here’s where the ego of the actor kicks in. Within about five minutes I’m thinking, “Well, he has got a point. This is my chance to prove to the world that I’m a serious actor. I’m taking the audition.” It was the weirdest audition I have ever done. The first thing that was unusual about this audition is that there was no script. I was told that I would just have to walk into the room, with the casting director, and improvise in character. Well, I had to ask some questions. I went in. The casting director was there. I was, like, “Um, hello, I just needed to know, um, how… mentally, you know… do you want me to be?” He said, “What you’re doing now is fantastic.” I haven’t started! The note that came back was amazing. They referred me to the original email. “What we want from your character, everything about him should be dulled and emotionless. From facial expressions to the tone of his voice.” I said, “Is it not gonna look weird if I’m doing the exact same thing as Robert Pattinson?” Burn! Yeah. Yeah, I didn’t get the part. It’s fine. It’s fine. I didn’t want it.
My career as an actor has all been about the near misses. Harry Potter. I auditioned for Harry Potter when I was 11. Got so close and was just pipped to the post by that bitch, Emma Watson. Frozen. Oh, my gosh. That was another Chad classic, OK? Chad calls me up out of the blue. “Kid, I know you love Disney movies. How would you like to be in Frozen? ” I was, like, “My God, which princess am I playing?” He went, “You’re gonna be a troll.” Fine. I’ll be a troll. I played Gothi the Troll in Frozen. Yeah. We all remember Gothi the Troll from Frozen. One of the main parts. Yeah. One line in Frozen. This was my one line in Frozen. Ready? “I trollfully bid you farewell.” Don’t all applaud at once. Jesus. I’m well aware of how pathetic it was. But I was so excited about my one little part in Frozen. I went in. I nailed it. I left that sound studio. I told everyone that I was gonna be in Frozen. “Gonna be the star of a Disney film. Grab a selfie while you can.” Film comes out. I am watching Frozen on the screen. It gets to the bit in the enchanted forest. I see my character there in front of me. Gothi the Troll, the fat little fucker, right there. He clears his throat. He goes to speak, and the camera cuts away to Princess Elsa. And she starts singing some lame Disney song about being a princess. I’m sorry. I was shouting at the screen. I was, like, “Oi, excuse me, Elsa, zip it, bitch. Gothi had something to say.” Well, I’m asked to leave the cinema. I call Chad. I’m, like, “Chad, what happened? I was just watching Frozen and my line does not appear to be in it.” He was, like, “Oh, kid, I’m so sorry. I forgot to tell you. Disney called and, unfortunately, your part in the movie has been reduced to a non-speaking role.” “A non-speaking role? Chad, it is an animation. That means I’m not in it.” “Hey kid, calm down. You’ve got to just… let it go.” “Let it go? Don’t give me ‘let it go’!” “Like, it’s fine. It’s gonna look great on your IMDb.” “Oh, it’s gonna look great on my IMDb, is it, Chad? It’s gonna look good that I’m the 81st listed cast member of 82? I’m below the guy that made the grunting noises for the fucking reindeer.” “Uncredited.” That is the only evidence that my performance in Frozen exists. Which is probably for the best, given the circumstances. Thank God there is not a picture of me doing a press interview in front of a poster for a film that I’m not in. Oh, wait, no. There is. A picture of me doing an interview for a film that I’m not in. And look at that smug face, as well. You’re not in the film, mate. And that would be fine, if it had never seen the light of day again. But, as we’ve already established, some of my friends are dickheads. And one dickhead friend in particular, Mr Gabe Turner, found out about the existence of this picture and thought it would be funny to share it all over social media. Not only that: Gabe figured that if I was promoting this film that I’m not in, maybe there are other films that I’m also not in, that I could have been promoting. So, the following day, I log onto Facebook and this is on his wall. The next day, I log onto Facebook, and that is on his wall. And this is the best one. Time and effort has gone into making it. On the third day I log onto Facebook and that is on his bloody wall.
The troll got trolled. It’s been a challenging year, because I love Disney more than anyone else. I love Disney so much, but it’s been challenged this year. The other thing: I went to America. I was staying in a hotel for two months and they messed up my booking. I check in. They’re, like, “Sir, there has been an error with your booking. It doesn’t matter, though. We’re gonna pop you in our sister hotel.” Well, it turned out their sister hotel… was the Disney hotel, in Disneyland, Anaheim, where they were expecting me to live for two months of my life. I went, “No, unfortunately that cannot happen. I cannot live in Disneyland because I am a grown man.” I came to America because I wanted to be put onto a TV show, not the sex offenders register. And, don’t get me wrong, I love hotels. I love staying in hotels. I love staying in hotels for the same reason that we all love staying in hotels: I love stealing from hotels. And I’m so good at it as well. I’ve got it down to a fine art. They’ve got their little tricks to try and stop us from nicking their shit. You go into the bathroom and they’ve got the shower gel mounted on a wall bracket, which is why I always take a drill. Or the little passive-aggressive notes. Have you been into one of those? I was staying in one. I open the cupboard. They’ve got this: “If you would like this robe, it will cost you 30 pounds.” So I nicked it and left that. Another one they’ve got in the Disney hotel: Disney characters, embroidered onto all of the towels. Yes. I know. That sounds sweet, until you’re drying your bollocks on the face of the old man from Up. Just there in the bathroom, tea-bagging a grieving pensioner. “Oh, God… I’m sorry about your wife.”
There’s too much Disney in the Disney hotel. This is the problem. They’ve got Disney characters on all of the walls. Disney wallpaper, Disney bedlinen, Disney music in the elevators. Disney characters, that work at the hotel as members of staff. All the main ones. You know: Cinderella, Aladdin. Gothi the Troll… All the famous ones that we love. And they’re not allowed to break character at any point during your stay. Have you got any idea how fucking annoying that is? I nearly turned into Jack Nicholson from The Shining. You check in and Goofy’s on reception. In the restaurant, Donald Duck’s manning the carvery.
I can pinpoint, though, the exact moment… that my childhood died. I’d been there for two weeks. I’m in my room. I’m tired. I’m alone. I call down to the front desk. Mickey Mouse answers the phone. “Hey, hey, hey buddy. What can I do for you today?” “Mickey… I need to activate the porn channels on my TV.” Inner child: dead. You don’t want this. These are your heroes. Having an argument with Simba at the front desk about your itemized bill. “I want to speak with someone more senior. Fetch me… Mufasa.”
Not good at complaining. There’s certain situations in life, right, where every time I fall apart. Complaining is one of them. Passport control. That’s another. Can’t do it. And I don’t have anything to hide. It doesn’t help that I have the creepiest passport photo that has ever been taken. People, thinking you’ve got a bad passport photo, you have not seen anything yet. Brace yourselves… for this shit. What is that? I look like I’ve just taken Liam Neeson’s daughter. Yes. Very funny. “Benedict.” We can all read. So, every time I approach passport control, that is in my head. I’m about to hand that over. It does not excuse how much I fall apart under the most basic of questioning. I walk up. I’m, like, “Hello.” “Where are you traveling from?” “France… no, Spain. Shit, sorry, Italy. Didn’t sleep on the plane. Drugs didn’t work. Not drugs, drugs. I mean, drugs like sleeping pill drugs. I don’t have any drugs on me. I’m not a mule. Don’t look at my bottom. I have explosive diarrhea… Not like a bomb. Shit! Just said ‘bomb’. Well, it’s just a word. The more you say it, the less offensive it becomes. Bomb! Bomb, bomb, bomb! You’re all looking at me like I’m a terrorist. I promise you, I’m not a terrorist. I’m just plain old Jack. ‘Hi, Jack.’ Not hijack. Shit! No, don’t shoot!”
Here’s another one I’ve never understood at airports. Why do people think it’s acceptable to cut in line at airports? Never acceptable to barge the line. All right? Some people think there are exceptions. Like, if you’re late. Not an excuse. I was waiting to check in, in the airport. This woman comes barging to the front and proffers this bullshit: “Sorry. Excuse me. Sorry. Excuse me. I’ve got to get a flight.” Well, no shit, Sherlock. We’re in a fucking airport. Why do you think I’m here? To buy a big Toblerone? Please, let me get out of your way with these bags which I take everywhere. Back of the line! Is what I wanted to say. Unfortunately, as I’m British, that came out as: “Please, after you… dickhead.”
The celebrity queue-barge. Not acceptable. I’ve seen that happen first-hand. I was in Disneyland, the park. Thunder Mountain. Got to make the most of these situations. In the line, 30 minutes. All of a sudden, this little jumped-up Disney star, this little, kind of, precocious Justin Bieber type, with his entourage, swept to the front of the queue. All the Americans were fine with it. I’m sorry. I’m British. I had to say something. I had a full-blown argument with his manager, then and there. She kept name-dropping this show that he was on, like I gave a shit. She kept going, “He is from Make a Wish.” I was, like, “Never heard of it.” Arrogant little bastard wearing a cap so no one would recognize him. She kept going, “He’s not got long.” I’m, like, “We’ve all got places to be, love.” Well, that one divided the room. Don’t worry. That is a joke. I didn’t actually say that. But I thought of it. So I’m going to hell.
I hate travelling. The other reason I hate travelling is, I can’t sleep in public. And I can’t sleep in public because I sleep with my eyes open. Medical condition, not just a habit from boarding school: “Watch it.” Four percent of the population sleep with their eyes open. Anyone else? No one. There might be. We don’t know they’ve nodded off. If I fall asleep with my contact lenses in it’s pretty peculiar. A friend of mine took a photograph of me passed out in public. This is the look. Oh, yeah. Hello, ladies! Such an embarrassing photo for me to show you. Please don’t tell anyone that I was on a bus. It’s so bad, this situation, so bad, that someone complained about me once on a plane. I know. I was, like, “It is a medical condition, OK?” But, looking back on it now, I can see it from my fellow passenger’s perspective. Because he did not know that I slept with my eyes open. Also, not the only trick that my body plays on me when I fall asleep. Yeah. A couple of you are ahead of me here. I imagine, for my fellow passenger, it was quite unnerving that, for the duration of a three-hour flight, every time he turned to his left, the passenger in the seat next to him appeared to be slumped there, gazing into his eyes, drool tumbling from my bottom lip, nursing a semi.
I hate travelling on the plane so much. I’m a nervous flyer as well. And I don’t think they do enough to help us nervous flyers. Safety demonstration. Can we drop that already? Why do we have to start every flight with them performing a little pantomime entitled, The Horrific Ways You Could Die on This Plane. Also, if you’re gonna keep it, update it. I think I speak for us all when I say, we have got the seat belt fastening down. We have a routine on planes. And everyone’s used to the routine, so no one questions it. Well, I’m the guy who questions the routine. Finally, this is some relatable material. Air travel: we all do that. Jack Whitehall, everyman comedian. Relatable. So, I’m in my flat bed on the top deck… …doing something that we’ve all done loads of times on the plane. Drinking a glass of champagne. No, no. Lifting up the blind for take-off and landing. And, for the first time ever, I decided I would ask the stewardess why I had to lift up the blind for take-off and landing. It is a question… that I regret asking. Because I have fact-checked her response, and this is the genuine reason on the Civil Aviation website. I said, “Madam, out of interest, why do… I have to lift up the blind, for take-off and landing?” She looked at me. Do you know what she said? She went, “Well, sir, if something were to go wrong with the engine, then you are the pilot’s eyes.” I beg your fucking pardon? I’m not ready for that level of responsibility. And no one told me that when I purchased the ticket. I was very much under the impression that I was travelling as a passenger, not bloody co-pilot. Also, I think you may have picked the wrong guy. I’m the guy you want, keeping an eye out for engine failure? This guy is your look out? Really? Also, how does that scenario play out in your head while we’re nosediving towards the ground? I look out of the window and see smoke billowing from the engine. I’m meant to just amble up to the cockpit, put my head through the door: “Awfully sorry, gents. Your eyes in the back, here. I don’t know whether you’re aware of this but one of the wings has fallen off. You might want to buckle up. I will send someone through to show you how it’s done. Thank you.” “The pilot’s eyes”! I’ll be the pilot’s flapping asshole, all right?
I don’t want any responsibility on a plane. Like the emergency exit row seat. That one with the leg room. Does anyone take that when they fly? Oh, you’re braver than me. No amount of leg room in the world is worth that level of responsibility. Because I’ve sat in that seat. I know what happens. She comes up to you, the stewardess, at the beginning of the flight. She goes, “Sir, if we needed you to, could you open that door?” And you go… “Yep.” And that’s it. There is no training or psychological assessment. If that’s an important job, which I suspect it is, I want the people to be screened. I want there to be an auditioning process. I want to meet every fucker on the plane and take a vote. It cannot just come down to the person that was willing to pay 15 quid more. Do you ever see the person in that seat and think, “Fucking really?” I was walking onto the plane the other day. The guy in the exit row seat had spilt a milkshake all down his front. I stopped dead in my tracks. Is this a wind-up? This is the guy, when the shit hits the fan at 30,000 feet, our lives are in the hands of fucking Milkshake Mike over here? He’s gonna open that door? The guy can’t even open a bloody Nesquik.
I take myself out of the equation. Right? Because I can’t trust myself. Because we don’t know what we’d be like in an emergency until it happens. Yes, we all like to think we’d be a hero. We all like to think we’d be the person that would be tearing off that door, picking up little old ladies, sending them down the inflatable slide. I’m not sure that’s how you do it. But there is a strong possibility that, in fact, in an emergency situation, I would be the kind of person that would be hurling women and children out of the life raft to make room for my luggage. I’ve never paddled a boat before. That’s what we’ve learnt! It’s like a gondola. What the fuck? I could be a bastard. I don’t know. In fact, I think I do know. I would be.
That’s the only bit I do like about safety demonstration: “Please make sure you attach your oxygen mask before helping others.” Yep, not gonna be a problem. “We meant children.” Yeah. The only way I am attaching an oxygen mask to a child before me is if it’s a fat kid that I can use as an airbag. Wow. That’s the one that got you. Make a Wish? Fine. Fat kids? No.
I’m in a… relationship. A long-term relationship, We’re getting to that stage where she’s dropping hints. We’re not married yet. Posh girls are the worst for hints. Five years in, girlfriend turns to me. She’s, like: “I can’t keep introducing you as my boyfriend. That sounds so childish. I could call you my partner, but that’s quite formal. Lover? Soulmate?” I was, like, “Landlord is fine.” “Landlord? And I’m your tenant?” I was, like, “No, tenants pay rent. You’re a squatter.” It’s fine. That actual girlfriend was evicted, and the current… My current girlfriend is great. She doesn’t pressure me. We have big conversations. The kid conversation keeps coming up. I’m not sure whether I’m necessarily ready to have a child at the moment. Someone sniggering at the idea of me reproducing. Thank you very much for laughing at that. But you’re right, it’s ridiculous. I can’t even look after a phone. And you drop a phone, you can get a new one. Doesn’t work like that with kids. Same goes with upgrades. You get a slow one, you’re stuck with it. That… that was amazing. As I told that joke, I looked over there and saw a Dad point at his son. That’s made my night. Thank you very much.
Oh, no. What just happened there: I remembered what the next joke is. And if you didn’t like that one, you’re gonna hate this one. Just can’t do it. Go on! I’m gonna do it, obviously. Obviously. If they don’t like it, it’s your fault. Peer pressure, OK? OK. Now I’ve got it. I’ve got it. OK, we’re talking about having kids and I’m in bed with my girlfriend. These are just jokes. It’s all fun. I’m sweating. Right. I’m lying in bed with my girlfriend and she turns to me. Sorry. She didn’t do that. “What? What’s happening?” Lying in bed, she turns to me, and she throws this curve-ball at me: “Jack, would you ever consider adoption?” I went, “Well, only if you got pregnant.”
All my friends now, they’re all getting kids. Loads of them are getting married. Loads of my mates are getting married now. I lost four friends last year. That sounds like I’m never gonna see them again. Statistically, two of them will come crawling back. Realistically, four. I don’t object to people’s happiness. What I object to is their delusion of my level of interest in it, sometimes. Wedding lists. Oh, the wedding register. That is the worst. The first time I got a wedding list through, I thought it was a wind-up. These are grown adults. “Here is a list of the gifts that we want.” I had to run to the mirror to see whether I’d grown a beard and a fucking sleigh. I always get to it late as well, when there’s only two things left, and all you can get them is a butter knife or a yacht. The problem: these people are taking the piss. It’s bad enough when it’s something mundane, like plates. They wanted plates the other day. You didn’t have those before? “Yes, we just thought it was time to stop eating our food directly off the table.” Or when they go high-end, that’s even worse. My friend from university, my best mate from uni, on his wedding list is asking for a Royal Albert tea set. I’m, like, “Mate, I’ve seen you eat Cheerios out of a slipper.” Forty quid as well, for the Royal Albert tea set. No way. In the end, I gave him a kettle and some mugs that I got for free. Thank you, Travelodge.
The only thing that I like about weddings, and you must have seen this. It’s so good. The best thing about going to a wedding is bumping into a bloke that you met on the stag weekend, that is now… with his missus. Complete transformation. Gone is the swaggering and posture. Now his whole body is crumpled like a paper cup. The Borat mankini has been folded away for a rainy day. Now, a neatly steamed suit. Best still, is when the voice has changed. All of a sudden, because they’re with their missus, they’ve started talking like they’re in Pride and Prejudice. You walk over: “Oi, oi, Stevie-boy, the lager monster!” “Greetings and salutations, Jack. May I introduce you to my radiant fiancée, Claire?” “Oh, the fun vacuum.” “What? Oh. No, no.” “You made that joke: she’s the only vacuum that doesn’t suck.” “The vicar’s sermon was wonderful. It nearly moved me to tears.” “Funny, that, because the last time I saw you crying you were led down some stairs in Estonia by a prostitute with an Adam’s apple.”
I can’t handle them. I can’t handle stags. Every stag I’ve ever been on, there’s always one member of the group that reveals a true darkness in their soul. It’s always the one you least suspect, isn’t it? It’s always the quiet one. The groom’s “friend from home.” “This is my mate Colin.” “Hello! Oh, the journey I had down here. The Hanger Lane gyratory was chock-a-block. Thankfully, I had my good friend Classic FM to keep me company.” Yeah, got Colin down: wearing a fleece, just ordered a Sprite. Bit of a square, but probably a decent enough guy. Cut to five hours later. Colin is being escorted out of a TGI Friday’s for shitting in a woman’s handbag.
The stag-do kitty. That’s never worked in the history of mankind. The stag-do kitty. “Yeah, chaps, we’re all gonna pay into the kitty, and then this kitty will last all of us for the entire weekend.” Gone within 20 minutes. “What? There was a grand in there.” “Oh, yeah, sorry, Colin bought a gun. He’s fucking weird.”
Then the journey back from the stag: the most depressing flight in existence. You’re all there, on the plane. Shivering wrecks. Like broken men returning from war. The deafening silence throughout the fuselage of a thousand stories that can never be told. You’re sober for the first time in 72 hours and now, only too aware that you’re sat in public wearing a T-shirt that says “Lord Bumalot.” You think it’s bad for you? You turn to the back of the plane and there he is. Colin, strapped into his seat like Hannibal Lecter. He’s got a black eye, a criminal conviction and hepatitis B. The fear slowly creeping across his face that, come Monday morning, it’s back to work, teaching in his primary school.
There’s women laughing. I can see their faces as I’m doing this routine. They’re laughing, but looking down their noses at us. They are tutting away, going, “Oh, you boys, why do you do it?” You know why you don’t have a leg to stand on, ladies? Because whereas, on a stag weekend, one of us turns out to be Colin, on a hen weekend, you’re all Colin.
So, I go to a lot of weddings. I went to my first Muslim wedding the other day. That was an experience. I learnt the exact extent of my religious tolerance that day. It’s got quite tense in here. Don’t worry. Me at a Muslim wedding: what could go wrong? So we arrived at this wedding. It was one of my girlfriend’s friends. We walked in, so I went, “So, where’s the bride?” “I haven’t met her. It’s an arranged marriage.” I went, “That’s weird… Not weird. Didn’t mean to say weird. This is a day where we must celebrate our cultural differences. Plus, it’s ammunition for the best man’s speech.” “There is no best man’s speech at a Muslim wedding.” “Again, that does seem quite unusual but this is a day of love and tolerance. Where’s the bar?” “There is no bar. It’s a dry wedding.” “Get in the fucking car.” It was a wedding without alcohol. Let me just repeat that. It was a wedding without alcohol. You cannot have a wedding without alcohol. That is like having a funeral without a corpse. You cannot have it. That’s what you do at a wedding. That’s what you do. You drink. You drink afterwards. You drink during if that is an option. I’m not religious. If I ever do get married, 100% I’m having holy communion. Cheeky pick-me-up half way through the service? Hell, yeah! I’m gonna get the priest to drop a little shot of Jägermeister into the chalice. Jesus-bombs all round.
I want to make one thing very clear as well. I don’t wish to be disparaging about the Muslim wedding ceremony. The fact that the Muslim ceremony is about more than getting drunk in a field with a load of strangers: they definitely got that right. And the fact that I could not cope at one sober, is purely a reflection of how sad and pathetic a little man I am. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t cope being around so many strangers without a drink. I was grabbing my girlfriend every five minutes. “Hey, maybe we could get some drugs.” “We’re not getting drugs. This is a wedding.” I’m on my phone, slyly googling: “Which drugs are halal?” None of them. None of them.
Then I checked myself. I’m, like, “Why am I doing this?” This is what I do: if I’m in an uncomfortable social situation, I regress. I become the man-child again. I don’t want to do that. I want to be that guy that can present a better version of himself in public with his missus. So, I was, like, “For once in my life, I’m just gonna behave.” My girlfriend, she’s with her friends, talking about some book they’ve all read. And I’m over here, just very politely drifting off into a coma. No one knows. I sleep with my eyes open. All of a sudden, this little 13-year-old kid, OK, comes up to me, like a serpent in the garden of Eden. This kid walks up to me, right. Prods me in the ribs and he goes, “Jack… would you rather…” Oh, my God, didn’t I nearly just cry! Who remembers playing Would You Rather in the school playground? The greatest form of mental combat known to man. I looked at this kid with joy and life in my eyes. I was, like, “Little man, I hope you’ve brought your A-game, because you have just stepped into the dojo with the master.” A look over my left shoulder would have informed me that the book club were very much aware that I’d drifted off from their conversation to play a game of Would You Rather with a 13-year-old child. But did I care? Did I fuck. I rolled the dice. I was, like, “Hit me, little man. Hit me.” He looks up at me. He’s, like, “Jack, would you rather… suck chocolate off a tramp’s dick…” Oh! Nice start, my friend. Nice start. My head, now, a swirling vortex of counter questions. I’m thinking, is this milk chocolate or dark? Is this penis flaccid or hard? I’m thinking, I really like chocolate, but I sure as hell am not a fan of dirty old tramp dick. I look to my girlfriend, for moral support if anything else. Oh, dear. Woop-woop. The fun police have surrounded the building. And they want me to come out with my hands held high. But I can’t do that for two reasons. I do not know when the next opportunity to play Would You Rather may be. And, two, more importantly, I cannot carry around the burden of not knowing what the alternative is to sucking chocolate off a tramp’s dick. So, for the second time that evening, I rolled the dice. I was like, “You made an excellent start, but you and I both know, this game lives or dies by the quality of the next option that you lay before me.” Yeah. By this point, the kid was quite scared of me. “Tread very carefully, my friend. Tread very carefully.” At this point, though, it was like the pupil became the master. This kid looked up at me unwaveringly and do you know what he said? He went, “Jack, would you rather suck chocolate off a tramp’s dick… or… have a tramp suck chocolate… off your dick?” Boom! Mind grenade. My face contorted in joy and wonder. Like the first time I’d seen “boobies” displayed on a calculator. I was, like, “What the fuck?” At this point though, our game is brought to an abrupt end as I’m physically manhandled to the corner of the marquee by my girlfriend and told, in no uncertain terms, that as a responsible adult, I should have shut him down, rather than ask the boy if the tramp had teeth. You would! You would. I’ve made undignified exits in my time, but nothing compares to getting dragged, screaming, from a Muslim wedding as you shout back to a 13-year-old kid: “I’d suck the dick.”
Once upon a time, there lived the trolls. And of their clan, there was one whom all revered. Yes, admittedly he didn’t speak much, but when he did, he was the wisest of them all.
Oh, don’t you worry. I am just as disappointed in this costume as you are. I wanted to look like one of the trolls from Frozen. I’ve ended up looking like the love child of Shrek and Ron Weasley. What’s happened with the nose? One day they’ll take you seriously. Why do you keep looking down there? Oh, my God. Have I got camel toe? Stop it! Stop looking at my troll toe. Stop objectifying me. It’s the end of the show, which means that there’s only one thing left me to say. Are you fucking joking? Can you not move it to me? Do you know how hard it is to walk in this? Big moment. What’s going on?
♪ There’s a voice in every person ♪
♪ Who the fuck’s this? ♪
♪ A simple wish so strong ♪
♪ To catch the wind To take a breath ♪
♪ To spin it into song ♪
♪ I had a line, love. ♪
♪ There’s a tune in every human ♪
♪ Beating in their chest ♪
♪ But I think we all agree ♪
♪ A princess sings it best ♪
♪ I’m Gothi the Troll. I have a line. ♪
♪ Get over it Get over it ♪
♪ It’s me they want to see ♪
♪ Get over it Don’t throw a fit ♪
♪ No troll can upstage me ♪
♪ I’ll drown them out ♪
I’ll get this.
♪ But that’s OK ♪
♪ ‘Cause no one cares one bit About trolls anyway ♪
♪ He wants to go to Hollywood ♪
♪ And show them he can act ♪
♪ Because there aren’t enough Posh English boys already doing that ♪
♪ But he didn’t make the cinema ♪
♪ So, well, tough luck, that stinks ♪
♪ But if Robert Pattinson had done it ♪
♪ He’d be on the screen ♪
♪ He’s so sexy! ♪
♪ Get over it Get over it ♪
♪ It’s me they want to see ♪
♪ Get over it, you moaning tit ♪
♪ It’s me they want to be ♪
♪ You had your little whinge ♪
♪ Now go away ♪
♪ ‘Cause no one cares one bit About trolls ♪
♪ No one cares one bit About trolls ♪
♪ No one gives a shit about trolls ♪
♪ Anyway ♪
I trollfully bid you farewell!