Kevin Bridges: The Overdue Catch Up (2023) | Transcript

Kevin Bridges tackles life's quirks and broader societal themes, mixing personal stories with keen observations in "The Overdue Catch Up" (2023)
Kevin Bridges: The Overdue Catch Up (2023)

Kevin Bridges: The Overdue Catch-Up (2023) is a comedy special that encapsulates Kevin Bridges’ return to the stage, set against the backdrop of the Cork Opera House. He opens with gratitude for the audience’s presence, setting a tone of intimacy and shared excitement. Bridges’ narrative weaves through personal anecdotes, observations on everyday life, and societal commentary, marked by his signature wit and sharp insight. He touches on themes ranging from the trivialities of modern living, such as the absurdity of social media and the quirks of domestic life, to broader societal issues, including politics, climate change, and the evolving dynamics of generational attitudes. Throughout, Bridges navigates the complexities of life with humor, offering both light-hearted amusement and deeper reflections on the human condition. His ability to connect personal experiences with wider social themes demonstrates not only his comedic talent but also a keen observational acuity, inviting audiences into a world where laughter serves as both an escape and a mirror to society.

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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the amazing Kevin Bridges!

Thank you. Thank you! Thank you. Wow. Good evening! Good evening. Good evening, Cork! Thank you. Thank you, people of Cork. Thank you. Yes! This is… This is an honor. Thank you, good people, first of all, for coming out to this very special recording here in the stunning Cork Opera House. What a venue. Nice and intimate, we can see right into each other’s eyes here. It is… I was unsure whether I was going to record this tour, and then there was a bit of debate, and then I was in the cinema, watching Oppenheimer. Cillian Murphy. And I thought, “Where do they make such handsome bastards?” Where on this earth? Get these people… Get these people on camera! And then, look at this front row here, so… The guy’s even wore… Is that a hoodie? Good man. That’s it, front row, in the opera house, on the telly. “Where’s my PE kit?” Good man. That’s decent people. Real people! Shorts as well. Just a last… a final run out for the spring/ summer collection, this guy. It’s exciting. Well done. Well done for coming out for a laugh. It’s important, innit, in this…? A hundred percent, mate. Wow, what the fuck happened there? Somebody… “A hundred percent, mate,” somebody replied. You don’t need to reply to everything I’m saying. It’s no’ fucking Gogglebox, mate. I’m right here. I’m going to hear you. You know what I mean? It’s not actually the telly. We’re just… making the telly. You’re here at the…

Anyway what’s your name, mate?


Mick. Where are you from, Mick?

Dublin. Dublin. You’re fucking answering before I’ve even finished the question. Coming down here trying to get his wee fucking voice on my special! Anyway… Exactly. Fucking langer. Yeah! Mick never thought I had that in the fucking chamber, eh? As I was saying, Mick, it’s good to see people coming for a laugh. It is. It’s a tense world, innit? It’s edgy. It’s volatile. We’ve lived through a lot of shit. We don’t know what’s coming next. It is important to take a bit of time to have a chuckle. We’ve got a war going on that has dominated the news this year, which is… it’s quite hard to find humor in that, but there’s always an angle, no matter how bleak. For example, I thought it was quite amusing when the rest of the NATO countries were trying to convince Germany to send some tanks in to assist in the fight against Russia and Germany were unsure as to how that would look because it would be the first time that German tanks would be mobilized in Europe since the Second World War. I thought that was quite funny. To me, that was like watching an ex-alcoholic, and his pals are trying to convince him he can have one.

Saying, “Come on, Germany, man, nothing mental. Just… Just a few tanks. I don’t mean a fucking mad one.” And Germany’s going, “I don’t know. I’ve still got the fear! I still look back and cringe at who I used to be, boys. I don’t know if that’s me anymore.” I was watching, waiting for it. Soon as one German tank’s fired, Germany’s fucking, “Right, where were we?” It is, it’s exciting. This is my first special. That’s what you need to call it these days. A DVD is really… But a special, that’s what the Americans call it. It’s not quite as convincing for a Cork audience, a special. “Oh, what makes it so fucking special?” It is… That’s the jargon these days. However… However, the war is… I know. Ireland, you’ve been helping Ukraine. I’ve seen that. See, every other country is sending them weapons. Just rooting for them, “Come on, wee man. Come on. Here, use that. Use that, wee man. I’m no’ fucking hitting him. Fuck that!” But, Ireland, you’re different. You’re sending nonlethal aid, so well done. Just sending them boxes of Tayto. “Try the new Buffalo Hunky Dorys if you get a chance, lads.”

It is. This is my first show, first one in a while, now that the world is back to normal. It’s good to see Russell Brand back on the telly. By the time… By the time this is released, that could be a legal issue. But it did take me back. Sex addiction. Remember that shit? We used to celebrate creeps at the turn of the century. I don’t just mean just celebrities. They used to be fucking everywhere. People coming on daytime telly, opening up about their sex addiction. These guys, smarmy, “I must have bedded… I must have bedded over a thousand women, yeah.”

And you’d have Eamonn Holmes sitting with a semi.

“And do you ever have more than one woman in the bed at the same time? Ruth, would you let the man answer the question?”

“Sorry, mate, you were saying there?”

A lot has changed in my life. I don’t know how much you followed me over the years here in Cork, but a lot has changed for me. I’ve done stand-up for almost 20 years, which is scary. It is. I’m the old… I’m the old pro. I’ve become a husband. Now, this is… I used to go on these stages talking about empties and house parties, and now I’m a husband. I got married. That’s a big step in anybody’s life, innit? Romantic. I proposed. Big Kev proposed on a safari. There we go. Big Kev proposed in Africa. Got myself a good deal on a diamond. Done a bit of haggling with the local rebel militia. I became a husband and then I became a father as well for the first time. Thank you. I never thought I would see the day I’d be a husband and a father and I’m 36. And… you start going, “Am I fucking… Am I old? Am I?”

I’m still relatively young, innit? But I’m at an age where I now appreciate reminders of my relative youth. Like, cos I’ve dabbled, right? I’ve dabbled in being old and it did not suit me and it was refreshing. I said something old a few months ago. I was putting something in my kitchen bin, and I was looking out my window and there were children in the street just playing a game, an old-school game. They never had their tablets or devices, and I thought it was quite nice. And as I was putting my trash in the can, I said to my wife, “Isn’t it great to see children out playing?” And as soon as that sentence left my mouth, the young me was still in there, saying, “Wow, Kev, what a nonce comment.” “Far too young, Kev, far too young. Decades away from being able to stand at the window making such a statement. Don’t fucking wave at ’em, Kev. One of them’s seen you. You’ll get the front door kicked in, Kev. Thirty-six, man! You ever seen a 36-year-old lollipop man, Kevin? No. Cos it would be arrestable to apply for such a vacancy.”

I’m still new to the game, the fatherhood game. You need to decide what kind of dad you’re gonna be. If you’re gonna take the Dwight York hands-off approach or… If you’re… gonna get in there… If you’re gonna get in there. See, my… See, my son was born… My son was born in 2021. What a time to enter the world. What a decade it has been so far, and I hope there’ll be a time we can look back and laugh at the fucking surreal madness that we have lived through. I was born in the ’80s and we love the ’80s, right? We still celebrate the ’80s and I sometimes ponder if there’ll be a day when my son has grown up and I’ll walk into his bedroom and I’ll see him standing there in the mirror with 24 toilet rolls under his armpit, a face mask under his chin, deep throating a cotton bud, going… And I’ll be saying, “Where are you going?” And he’ll be saying, “It’s a ’20s night, Dad, at the student union.” And this madness will come back. I’ll be saying, “Who’s going?” “Oh, just me and no more than five other people from three different households.” Remember all that shit we lived through, where only three households could socialize? Having to be ruthless, planning any social event, having to break it to your mate who lived on his own that he cannae come to your barbecue because he’s a waste of a house. “I’ll just tell him, ‘Sorry, Gary, you’re no’ coming, mate. I can get four in there. Mate, it’s my birthday. I’m no’ playing a four-four-one on my birthday.'”

We did live through it. We’ve got inquiries going on everywhere. Every country’s having an inquiry into how Covid was handled, inquiries worldwide. I don’t know if you followed, over the UK, we had two years under Covid restrictions, whilst the House of Commons was like fucking Magaluf. I think that’s what happened. Boris Johnson and them, they were partying the whole way through it. The proper lockdowns as well, April and May 2020, right in the midst of the family quiz, sitting, your head shaved, the whole family, like marines. Saturday night, iPhones propped up against Yankee candles. “How many hearts does an octopus have?” The whole time, Boris Johnson was on the decks, fucking, “Order, order!” Whilst we were in supermarkets forgetting tomato purée, petrified to perform a three-point turn up a one-way aisle. People glaring at you, “My dad’s got asthma, you maniac! That way!”

I think Covid… I think it’s gone. I’m pretty sure it’s over. I don’t know if it is. I think there’s still lockdowns in China, but it’s fucked off home. After… After a successful world tour, it’s back. It’s gone. And I don’t know. It killed six million people. Wow! I know. It’s big numbers, but I don’t know if that’s hall of fame when you look at the rest of the big pandemics throughout human history. You know what I mean? The real big hitters. The Spanish flu, that killed 50 million. The black death killed 200 million and Covid, six. Covid was even claiming assists towards the end. Covid… Anything! “My 95-year-old grandfather died from Covid!” “Come on. That’s a tap-in, man.” A bit of black ice was getting him. We can’t have Covid running away like Alan Shearer celebrating that. But it got the whole world closed. That was impressive. We’ll never see that again. Even McDonald’s closed. Wow! Even churches, even places of worship forced to close. That was massive. What a time in human history. We witnessed a time where organized religion listened to science. Wow! That’s a big one. For years, they’ve dismissed everything the scientists had to say. “The Big Bang? Nah. Evolution? Nah. A dry continuous cough and changes to your sense of taste and smell? Fucking shut the cathedral! These geeks have got a point this time! Somebody sanitize the synagogue!”

Two Christmases got canceled. I don’t think religion can ever recover. Jesus’s birthday, canceled, twice. A big birthday as well, a 2021st, innit? Just fucking gone. Gone. That’s what my son was born into. Anyway, it is. Fatherhood, it’s new. Thanks to you people. I don’t know, again. A bit of my backstory for those of you unfamiliar with my previous work. But I grew up… I grew up in an area that you could describe as humble, right? And then for the past… for the past maybe decade, I’ve lived in a nicer part of the city of Glasgow. I’ve lived amongst the upper middle classes, the upper echelons, and I’ve never quite fitted in there, right? But… But now my son has been born, it has granted me my citizenship, right? I’m having to accept that my son’s gonna have a totally different upbringing from me. Even their names… Kids have got names like Phineas. Your parenting is being judged. I’m having lunch in a café. I hear, “Phineas, Phineas, if you don’t finish your tofu, there’ll be no almonds.”

I’m sitting… Phineas is beating his dad at chess and I’m on the table beside ’em, hungover, close to tears, wiping bolognese off a smashed iPad. See, my wife took my son into a class. I don’t know if any parents in here have ever heard of this, a class called baby yoga. I said to my wife, “This is insanity. This is a middle-class radicalization of our son.” Baby yoga, right? She signed up for a block. I never knew babies needed yoga for a start. I never knew babies were suffering from tight hamstrings. Babies were terrified to go on the see-saw. “Can’t do that.” “I cannae. I cannae afford any more sickies, mate. I’m at nursery four days a week now. I cannae fall further behind. There’s boys in that class can hang their jacket on their own peg now. I cannae afford to risk it.” And I was laughing at baby yoga, and my wife said, “No, it’s just a nice way for me to meet other new mothers.” Which means I’m going to have to meet other new fathers. I’m getting dragged on these double dates. My wife’s going, “Fiona from baby yoga has invited us over for dinner. Her husband Gavin sounds like a nice guy. I think you’ll really get on with Gavin.” I probably will, but I’m 36 now. I’m not really taking on mates anymore. The transfer window closes at 30 for any realistic chance of a meaningful friendship. My wife says, “It’ll be nice. We’ll go for dinner.” I’m in the living room. I’m having to socialize with the people who I have mocked over the years for your entertainment. I’m sitting… “So, Kevin, do you watch Formula One, Kev? You an F1 fan, Kev? Big, er, big Grand Prix on Sunday, Kev.” “Fuck me, man. You have any absinthe, Gav?”

See… See, people are people, I believe, right? I don’t judge anybody for their class. I don’t mean to be a reverse snob. This is a new expression I learned when you mock the upper middle classes. They’re just different people from what I’m used to. I was walking my dog and this is when I like to eavesdrop. I was walking my dog through my neighborhood and I heard a kid, a schoolkid, boasting, boasting about being the best swimmer in his school. He was boasting to his mates about being the best swimmer, as though that carried some form of playground clout, to be regarded as the best swimmer at school. He’s going, “Everyone knows it’s me for a fact. Ask anybody in the school who the best swimmer is. I guarantee they’ll say me. I’m the best swimmer. It’s just a fact. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows it’s me. It’s just a fact.”

And I was walking away, contemplating, did I know the best swimmer at my school? And I came to the conclusion, no, because it was irrelevant, right? It was never a means with which to forge yourself a reputation. That was done through being good at football, being good at fighting, or being fucking mental, right? Those were the three accepted forms of currency: football, fighting, or bouncing a Bunsen burner off a supply teacher’s Ford Fiesta. That’s how you earned respect in a working-class school. Never did I witness anybody strip to their Speedos, shouting, “Fucking come on! I’ll take you a length, then. Come on! Name your stroke, mate! Name your stroke! I’ll get my dad down here to butterfly every fucking one of youse!” And it made me look back on my own upbringing. That’s what parenthood does. It makes you realize more than ever how much your childhood shapes the person you become. And I looked back on my own school life. I was shite at football. I was not particularly mental. I never knew how to fight. I certainly never knew how to fight. I was in a couple of fights at school. I lost them all heavily. But I was at a school… I was at school at a time where a bit… a bit of bullying, in moderation, could be beneficial for your character development. Right? Once you’ve been beat up a couple of times, there’s life lessons there. “There you go, Kev. You don’t know how to fight. Stay out of fights.”

And I have carried that aversion to confrontation well into my adult life. And I’ve realized that can leave you vulnerable. Especially when you become a parent, you need to learn to stand up for yourself within reason. Like, especially amongst the upper middle classes cos they can be very confrontational people, because they don’t necessarily associate confrontation with violence. Now, I’ll give you an example, right? I… I live in an apartment, right? And I’ve got one upstairs neighbor, and I used to have a bike and I kept the bike at the door of my apartment rather than bringing it inside, just out of convenience. And I never knew this was irritating the upstairs dude, until one evening, he came to my door to ask me to bring my bike inside my apartment because in his words, “It was ruining the esthetic of the communal hallway.” Now, that is a guy who has never been punched in the fucking face. That’s a guy… That is a guy who has never been dragged from a moving dodgem and leathered at the Christmas and New Year carnival. He does not come from a world where he sees how that could easily turn ugly, to go to somebody’s door to ask them to move their bike from their door. If I was to go to somebody’s door with such a request, I would be fully prepared for physical combat. I would… I would assemble a bit of backup beforehand, draft in a few cousins. “Aye, it’s his door, mate. Aye, his bike. Cos it’s fucking ruining the esthetic in the communal hallway.” I could have stood up for myself in that situation. I could’ve said, “Mate, it’s my bike. It’s my door.”

I could’ve fought prick with prick, but because of my childhood, I apologized to the guy. I said sorry and I brought the bike inside and then I closed the door. And that man shuffled off back up the stairs, having won. And I closed the door, and it’s just me and my bike and the door’s shut. That’s when it becomes an issue, cos the voices in there… the voices in there become like a pop-up virus, “Fucking pathetic, Kev, absolutely embarrassing. That was tough to watch, Kev. Fucking…” “Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me just bring the bike inside. Sorry for your inconvenience. Kev, get a new bike if that’s the way you’re gonna be. Get a wee basket on the front, Kev. That’s the kind of bike you should get. Get some ribbons on the handlebars, Kev. Get a wee bell. Ding-ding! Here comes Big Kev.” “Oh, I’m so sorry! Kev, get a wee bichon frisé and stick it in the basket when you go for a cycle.”

And that is the psychology of men, cos those minor defeats, they stay on a file somewhere in there. You believe you have deleted those cookies, but they stay in there. That is why men lose the fucking plot with wireless printers and… and broadband routers. Because the minute they feel uptight and frustrated, every minor defeat they have ever accepted replays like a montage, a compilation in there. You’ll be trying to pair a Bluetooth speaker in front of your whole family on Christmas Day. “Device not recognized.” You’re clicking and clicking. Everybody sees you’re starting to get freaked out and they start trying to help, “Kevin, have you tried moving it further away? Sometimes the Bluetooth can actually be too close. I read that somewhere. Kevin, is it updated? Does it need an update perhaps? Kevin, have you tried turning it off and back on again?” “You’ve fucking literally just seen me trying that!” “Oh, my God, Kevin. We don’t need music that badly.” “It’s not about the music! It’s about that prick in 2019 that made me move my bike from my fucking door! I’m a coward! I’m a coward.” I’m trying to look after myself. I’ve lost a bit of weight as well. Er… I’ve tried… Thank you. I lost weight before. What was that? Up the Celtic! What did you shout?

The Celtic!

Have I got a fucking lazy eye? It was clearly somebody there and it’s just moved. You shouted, “Up the Celtic.” Right. That’s good, but was that… Why did you just shout that randomly… in connection to weight loss? What’s your name, sir?


Cillian. Cillian? Is that the name here in Cork? Cillian.

Where are you from, Cillian?

I’m from the north. You’re from the north, as in the north of Ireland or the north of Cork? I just need to know how… how much we’ve zoomed in on the Google map here. The north of this city or this country? The country. The country. All right, fucking relax, mate. Wow, that’s an accent, innit? “The fucking country.” “There’s a fucking bomb in the biscuit tin. Everybody, get out. Everybody, get fucking out.” I was up there. I love it, going up there, up the fucking north. I wanted to open a Chinese takeaway on the Shankill Road, Cillian. I was… I was gonna call it The Orange Wok, right? I thought it’d be funny. I thought it’d be a good business venture. The family… The family meal deal, 1690. That’s the price… Everybody phoning up, “Can I have the fuck Sinn Fein chow mein?” “Oh, not a problem.”

There we go. That was for you, Cillian. Can I carry on here? Right, thank you. Good man. Started talking about my weight-loss journey. It was actually… I used to be a big dude, right? Right, I lost weight probably about eight years ago, er, and then the body positive movement showed up. Just as I had lost weight, it became acceptable and celebrated to be fat, right? I doubt you can even say that word anymore, cos it’s fat… Even fucking Ann Summers, in the window, they’ve got lingerie models just standing in fucking gravy-stained suspenders. See… But we never had that support back when I was a big dude and it’s a shame for guys like myself that just lost weight at the wrong time, right? Cos my weight-loss journey probably started on the telly. I played in a charity football game, Soccer Aid, the ITV show, and it was the rest of the world against England, right? Ex-footballers and celebrities, and I was quite excited. This is back when I was a big fella. I was a portly lad. But I was invited to play for the rest of the world. José Mourinho, he’s the manager, and I was told I was gonna get five minutes on the pitch, Old Trafford, in front of 70,000, live on the telly, millions watching at home. I’m quite excited. The football fans among you will know that five minutes on the pitch probably implies you’re gonna get brought at minute 85. So I’m in the dugout, on the subs bench, just chilling. The game’s going on, then it gets to minute 60 on the clock, minute 60. José Mourinho turns and tells me to go and start warming up. I’m thinking, “Fuck me. I’m getting half an hour on this pitch.” “That’s it, Kev. The gaffer must have seen something in training.”

Going down the stairs, I break into this jog alongside the advertising boards, “Whoa, Kev, keep a bit in the tank, man, 30 minutes. You’ll take a clutcher here.”

I’m just standing, trying to remember some stretches from PE at school, just settling for that bastard. Then I get shouted back up. Then I get brought on the pitch and then five minutes later, I get brought straight back off the pitch, subbed on, subbed off, humiliated on national telly and then I stupidly checked the Twitter comments and the vile trolls had fat-shamed me. They had made a video with the Benny Hill theme tune in fast-forward mode of me jogging on, my tits bouncing through my jersey, trying to control a pass and then jogging straight back off again. I was fat-shamed and it motivated me to get in shape. Then as soon as I lose a bit of weight, you can no longer fat-shame people, so that is a miscarriage of justice for somebody who’d done 28 years of their life as a fat bastard. The body positive movement can fuck off. I done… I done 28 years for a crime and upon my release, I find out it’s no longer a crime. That’s what I went through. I’m trying… I’m fucking… I’m trying to stay… I’m trying to stay relatively fit. Once you become a parent, you need to try and work on getting a few years towards the end. That’s all I can hope for. Just trying to keep a couple of stone in a savings account for later in life. I tried at the gym. What was that? Somebody’s translating. Thank you. We’ve got somebody here to interpret for whatever the fuck you just said there. What did he say?

“Fair play to your eyesight.”

Fair play to my eyesight. I don’t… Do you understand that? No? OK. Fair play to my eyesight? Even he’s shrugging his shoulders. Look. He literally just done that as if he’s managed to confuse himself there. Is there a bag of spice getting passed about that balcony? The fuck? “Fair play to your eyesight! What do you mean?” Wow, this is why we record the special here, because it’s a bit mental. Good people. I was gonna ask you your name, mate. But that is maybe a bit too advanced. It’s good. Anyway, what was I talking…? The gym! The gym! That’s it. How old are you, mate? The guy in the white jumper there.


Nineteen, the youth. What’s your name?




Oran, Oran. O-R-A-N? O-D-H-R-A-N. Oh, for fuck’s sake, man. This is like Deal or No Deal. I could’ve went to anybody there. And I somehow hit the fucking quarter of a million box. Er, say how spell it again. O-D-H-R-A-N.


D-H is silent. D-H, it’s silent? All right. So, Oran. Is that enough if I just call you Oran? Good man. Wow. Just you shut up. This’ll blow your mind. Yeah, this is a fucking quantum physics lecture now. “But why would a letter be silent?” “I don’t know, mate. It’s just the way it is. Calm down.”

Oran, Oran. What I’m saying is the young… the generation, the youth, you take the gym serious, right? This new breed of young people, they make the gym a hostile environment for somebody like myself who’s just in for a bit of physical and mental maintenance. The youth, they no longer drink as much, right? They no longer smoke hash. They no longer sniff glue. The youth, the Instagram generation, they’re straight in with the protein shakes, on the steroids, in the Octagon with their wee skin-tight hot pants, 69-ing their best mate. These wee… trained assassins. They’re everywhere. These gym fiends carrying these big water… ridiculous-sized water containers. Every city center I’ve been in recently, these young guys are swaggering through. I know you’re supposed to drink three liters of water a day, but you don’t need to carry it in the one container. Call center-sized water dispensers.

You want to say, “Excuse me, mate. How long did you intend to spend away from a running tap this afternoon?” “Are you traveling 40 miles to the nearest village to fill that up every morning?” That’s where I went, and I was at a class in the gym. See, I don’t know exercises, right? The gym to my generation used to be you go on the treadmill for five minutes.

For as long as “Insomnia” by Faithless lasted You would maybe speed it up towards the end, then you would do a couple of them and then sauna, steam-room, vending machine, home. That was the gym. But now the kids have got programs. Got a program. Strength goals. “Strength goals, man. My program.” I went to the class. The guy’s telling everybody the circuits to follow. He’s shouting out exercises I’d never fucking heard of in my life. He’s going, “We’re gonna start off with one minute, one minute of Bulgarian bag spins.” “One minute of Russian split-squats. One minute of Romanian dead-lifts.” I’m thinking, “Do you have any exercise which originated in a happy country?”

Fuck this. None of this was designed to help anybody’s mental health, mate. These are all the products of brutal Soviet regimes! And we’re paying ten quid to a capitalist to attend a gulag on a Saturday morning. And I’d never done a squat before. For those of you unfamiliar, the squat, it’s all the Instagram, wellness, fitness influencers. It looks good, the squat, but there’s a dark side to the squat they don’t tell you about and I learned this in a painful manner, in a painful and degrading and humiliating manner. I was holding a bit of weight there, a kettlebell, and then you need to lower yourself into a seated position, and it looks good. It’s probably good for your physical health and mental health. But I don’t yet believe that the human sphincter… has evolved to withstand such pressure. I was doing these every week and adding a bit of weight on until, one day, I just felt an intense pain and a very specific unique pain that I had never felt before in the most intimate of orifices in the male body. And I don’t mind being candid here, Cork. I felt a proper… Like, flights to Switzerland, Dignitas, end it all. What the fuck have you just done here, Kevin? I had to leave the class and then leave the gym. I had to drive home on one arse cheek as the pain gradually intensified and basically, I gave myself piles, I later learned out. I don’t mean… You need to discuss these things, hemorrhoids. I’d never suffered from piles or hemorrhoids until I tried to get myself in shape. I don’t mind opening up. It is important that we discuss rectal health. I will gladly be the poster boy for rectal health awareness. You get one arsehole in this life. Look after it. Don’t suffer in silence. Ex… Exactly. I was terrified. I had to rush up the stairs into my bathroom. I had to pull down my shorts and inspect my own arsehole in the mirror. I’d never seen piles. I’d only heard about them. I thought it was only women who’d just given birth who got them, or old people. It’s quite a scary… When you first see foreign bodies growing from your arse, it’s alarming.

“What the fuck have you done here, Kev?” I had to get my iPhone and turn the torch on just to get a… Quickly locked the bathroom door in case my wife walks in and just sees this. “Oh, I’ve set up an Only Fans page!” I’m looking in the mirror… going, “What the fuck is this?!” It’s scary. Piles! That’s the bit. I phoned. I panicked. I never knew that hemorrhoids, they’re relatively harmlessly. I just panicked at the time. “What the fuck is this?”

I phoned the doctor. The doctor refused to see me. That is a bit of Covid debris I hope we can eventually lose. The over-the-phone doctor’s consultation. Cos there’s some situations you just need a doctor to see it for himself. You… You need the fucking fair play to your eyesight off the doctor. You need… Right, especially… I just believe the over-the- phone doctor’s consultation, there is way too much dependent on your use of descriptive language. I don’t think you should need to be Oscar Wilde just to get yourself a prescription. I’m in the mirror. How the fuck am I gonna explain what I can see to a doctor, over the phone? I’m trying to workshop some imagery. Er… “It’s kind of… you ever play snooker, Doctor? You ever… You ever been playing snooker and too many balls get potted into one pocket?”

To cut to the story, I was basically told I had piles and it was nothing to worry about and the doctor told me to go and buy a cream and it was fine. I don’t know if anybody knows the name of the cream. The cream is called Anusol. Right, that is… that is how subtle these pharmaceutical geeks decided to make the name for that cream, Anusol. They could’ve called that anything. They could’ve gone as niche and as esoteric as their big PhD brains would allow, but, no. They went for a cheap laugh at the expense of people’s poor rectal health. Anusol. I had to go to Boots to buy some. My wife accompanied me. And we got to Boots and on the Boots shelf, they never had the Anusol that I required. I thought, “I’m just gonna have to leave it then. I’ll just need to suffer in silence.” My wife said, “No, usually in Boots, if you walk over, they’ve got extra stock behind the counter.” I said, “Are you fucking insane?” “You want me to walk over and ask that guy if he’s got any Anusol cream for my external hemorrhoids?” I said, “I’m just gonna leave it.”

And my wife called me immature. My wife called me a child, called me a baby, told me to grow up and I just stood letting her insults bounce off my gormless expression, patiently waiting in the hope that maybe she would suggest that she walk over on my behalf. He’s going, “First of all, Kevin, it’s called Anyu-sol. Not Anusol. Anyus…” I said, “Are we talking Spanish here? I don’t see a squiggle above the N. You cannae… You cannae just conceal the word anus inside another word and expect people to manipulate the pronunciation. Do you look at the planets? Oh, look at Uran-yus? No. Don’t try and defend big pharma.” And then my wife said, “Fine. I’ll go over.”

And that’s true love. That’s when you know you have married the one. I watched my wife… “You’re my everything, my soulmate.” I’ve got Spandau Ballet playing as I’m watching my wife walk on over. I don’t know if I loved my wife more watching her walk up the aisle on our wedding day, or watching her walk up this Boots aisle on this, the darkest of days, for my rectal health. I turn to the shelf and start putting together my meal deal. The afternoon’s suddenly looking promising, a BLT, a packet of tangy cheese Doritos. I look over to see how my wife’s progressing, and she has got her elbow on the Boots counter, engaged in dialogue with the Boots worker and then her upper body gradually begins performing a 180, as she is pointing back over… Fucking grassed on and exposed as a coward! I went to put my juice and my sandwich and my crisps under my left arm so I can wave at the Boots worker, wave a wee acknowledgement as she is mentally processing an image of my shattered hoop. So, I made a full recovery, you’ll be glad to know, people of Cork. That’s it. Thank you. My arse is back in the game. That’s why you need to watch. Let that be a lesson, any of the gym people, with the squats and all this… all the high protein, all the high protein… “Strength goals, man. Strength goals.”

It is. It’s a shame, innit? Every nutritionist is always dragging, like, bread, for example. As you get slightly older, I believe you just find the foods that suit you. Bread’s your best friend, man. Don’t listen to these protein extremists. Yeah, bread has been… Bread got cancelled. Bread has been treated like a sex offender since the Atkins diet. Every single diet involves cutting out bread. Everywhere you look, “Don’t eat bread. Bread is making you tired.”

Really? You ever seen a duck yawning? That’s… That is a simple bit of research that anybody is free to conduct. I’ve never took my son to the park, walked up to the pond and seen fucking quack-quack… Quack, quack. “Oh, look at the ducks, son. They’re fucking exhausted, aren’t they? Wow. Too much starchy carbohydrates, that’s what that is, pal.”

I think that would be an asset in this hectic, modern world if bread made you tired, if it was that easy to be tired on demand. I’m tired. I’m tired the whole day. I’m tired. I spend the whole fucking day exhausted, and it’s only when I get to bed at night and eventually turn off the telly, and I close my eyes, that’s when I come alive. Right? My… My mental health is quite, quite good until the evenings and I know… I know as soon as I turn off the telly, and it’s just me, alone, inside of me, I know I’ve got exactly one minute to get sleeping, or somebody is gonna storm the cockpit. And we are gonna lose all contact with air traffic control and go way off on these turbulent journeys. And that is when I would need a wee bedside baguette just to take the edge off. If… I try… I try so hard to take a sleep serious. I put my phone away in the corner. “You stay there, phone. Don’t come near me. Stay on the charger. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m here for a sleep.” I’m lying awake, scared to turn off the telly. “I don’t think you’re tired enough, Kev. Just keep flicking, man. Keep flicking.” Australian traffic police, I’m watching… “How fast were you going there, mate? Yeah. What does the sign say, mate? What does the sign say?” “That’s it, Kev. It’s his voice, or whatever voice is in there. I don’t think you’re tired. Keep flicking.”

I’m away up the back on the History Channel, The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler, a nice wee soothing bedtime story. They always stick that guy on at two in the morning. I’m lying watching him. His mental health was poor. Wow. He killed himself. It just shows. You don’t know what’s going on inside somebody’s head. I’m watching that guy. He was the picture of self-assurance. He’s standing in front of… Standing in front of hundreds of thousands, oozing self-confidence, going… I don’t know what the fuck he’s saying, but it never once sounded like, “Guys, I’m struggling.” That’s when I’m lying awake, going, “When did that start, man? How did you end up like that?”

That’s why you need to open up way before it gets to that. I’m angry at Hitler’s mates back in the day. They must’ve seen signs when that bitterness descended. As soon as he got knocked back from art school, I bet there was nights, having a few beers, Hitler’s on his sparkling water, wee chip on his shoulder cos he got rejected. Fucking, “See these fucking Jews?” “Whoa!” “Fuck’s sake, Dolf.” Everybody has a nickname back in the day. Maybe that was Hitler’s. “It’s not the Jews’ fault your paintings are shite, Dolf.” “And fucking ditch that tache. You’re creeping out the birds.” And that would’ve been it. That would’ve been the end of him. I’m lying awake contemplating alternative histories. Hitler would just be… maybe even a stoner, with these fucked-up thoughts, innit? Just walking about Vienna. “Imagine the whole world had blond hair and blue eyes.”

That’s where my brain goes at night. That’s why you need bread, man. Lying awake, just watching… watching Hitler, cos I know, that’s what happens to me. That’s what happens. As soon as I turn off the telly, as soon as it’s just me, alone, inside of me, the minute passes and that wee voice comes in, “I wonder what happens when you die, Kevin.” Here we fucking go. “This is a daytime conversation. Why do you ask this shit at night?” “Ah, you’re always too busy during the day, Kev. You’re always hiding, fucking hiding. I’ll be here, Kev. Every single night, I’ll be here waiting. You can hide all day long, on Instagram watching Ashley Banjo get a haircut, but I will be here, Kev. I wonder what happens when you die, Kev.” “I don’t fucking know.” “You better have a think, cos you’re gonna die.” “That’s fucking right. I’m gonna fucking die.” “Everybody’s gonna die, Kev.” “That’s fucking true. Everybody’s gonna die.” “I wonder how many people have ever died.” “What do you mean, like, ever?” “Aye.” “That’s a good question. I wonder how many… That is a good question. Do you think more people have died than there are alive right now?” “Surely, Kev.” “I wonder how many people there’s ever been then.” “Do you mean, like, ever?” “Aye, everybody who has ever died plus everybody alive right now.” “Kev, that is a fantastic question.” “How many people has there ever been? That’s a terrific question.” And that’s when you feel your phone in the corner, going… “Kev! I know that, mate! Kev! Kev! I know the answer, bro! Come on down! We’ll make a fucking night of it, me and you, bro!” “Come on out of bed, man. Come on out of bed!”

And I’m up and I’m out of the bed and I’m crouching down. “How many people has there ever been?” “Good to see you, Kev, mate. I thought you’d fucked off for the night. I love these nights when it’s just me and you. ‘How many people has there ever been?’ Always a great question with you, Kev. ‘How do you say turkey in Turkish?’ That was a good one as well, Kev. Remember on holiday in Turkey? You were eating turkey. You should’ve said to one of the staff, ‘What do you call this?’ That would’ve been funny. ‘How many people have…’ Kev, have you seen a cat’s dick?” “No. That’s weird. Why have I never seen a cat’s willy?” “Let’s have a look, then, Kev. Google Images. There we go, two in the morning, looking at cat cock. That’s why I love you, Kev. Kev, what about Bitcoin? Come on. Once a week, me and you attempt to finally understand how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies work. This could be the night it eventually sinks ins. Let’s have a wee look, Kev. Come on. Just pay attention. ‘How does Bitcoin…?’ Well, Bitcoin operates from a decentralized network, using encrypted peer-to-peer blockchain technology. Kev, see you can get a white chocolate Kinder Bueno these days? I still see the Kinder Bueno as quite a new thing, but you get things like that. They’ve been out for ages, but you still see them as new, like euros. When did the euro originally come out? 1999! Holy fuck! You were only 13 back then, Kev. That is how fast time moves. You’re gonna die, Kev. You’re gonna fucking die. Look at the size of that cat’s willy. Is that even a cat?”

That is why… That is… That is why if I just had a wee multiseed bagel, I could just… I could just control-alt-delete into a wee peaceful slumber. That’s all you need to do. We need to watch the phones. Everybody’s the same. Everybody’s hooked on the phones. That’s what’s causing the mental health epidemic. Somebody recommended jogging to me, right? Just to make you look calm and all that stuff, and I tried it. That’s the two positive lifestyle changes I made recently. I tried to take up jogging and I tried to cut back on social media. But what I learned is that jogging is in a co-dependent relationship with social media. I learned it. I managed a 5K, right? That was quite… For a former portly fella, I was quite chuffed that I managed to run for five kilometers. And then my brain felt valeted, right? Your brain floods with dopamine and endorphins and serotonin, right? You feel… You feel like Ric Flair. You’re just walking about going, “Whoo! Whoo!”

But that bit of your brain that Mark Zuckerberg controls is also there, saying, “Kev, you think that feels happy? You think that’s dopamine? Wait until you screenshot your time and your distance covered and your calories burned and post it on the socials and every like that you get is gonna spike that dopamine even further.” And that’s when I thought, “This is a form of gambling.”

That’s what social media is. If life presents you with a moment of genuine offline happiness and fulfillment, you need to learn just to cash out, right? Cos it can backfire, as I learned. I posted my time and I’m excited cos I know every like is gonna spike that dopamine even further. I got greedy. I doubled down on the dopamine, cos I’m chasing the likes. That is the social media currency, the like. But it’s a volatile market and the snide comment will always be strong against the like, as I learnt. I’m euphoric, posted my time and then the comments came in, “Were you fucking pulling a caravan, Kevin?” Honest, yeah. “Did you walk it, Kev? It looked like you moon-walked it at that pace, ha-ha.” Strangers are bonding in the replies. And that’s when I realized happiness is found offline, genuine happiness. Like, I enjoy a Sunday morning these days. I enjoy a Sunday as a family man. And shortly after… shortly after my son was born, I was… I was in bed on a Sunday. My son was having his nap beside me, under my arm. I’m in bed, my son, just there sleeping. My wife came over and she said, “Aw,” and she joined us. And it was a Sunday morning. The Simpsons is on the telly. And then my dog came in and jumped up beside me on that side, I’m sitting going, “This is life. This is it.” You feel your soul expanding, but Zuckerberg is there… …saying, “Kev, this is what we play for, man. This is… This is wholesome content, Kevo. Get the selfie. Get it. Post it. The baby, the dog, the wife, the Sunday, the family goals. Get it on there, Kev.”

And I know how that would’ve went. I was tempted, but I thought, “No, this is how this’ll go. I will post a picture. I’m happy, I’m fulfilled, I’m greedy. I’m suddenly at the high-stakes table and the likes would come in and all the comments, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, too cute. Oh, my God, too cute! Oh, my God. Wholesome content. Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Just this. Oh, my God, thisssss! This is everything, Kevin. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Family is everything, Kevin. Savor every moment. Oh, my God.'” But I’m fully aware that in there, there’s gonna be, “Your dog’s a cunt.” I’m fully aware. I know the dopamine chips can only pile so high, but at any point, the dealer can just go, woof, and I would abandon my family, abandon the moment. Suddenly, I’m on a stranger’s page. “My dog’s a cunt? Who the fuck is this?” Clicking on his pictures, “Is that his dog? His dog’s a cunt.” Then my wife would hear. “Did you just call somebody’s dog a cunt?” “Aye, cos he just called our dog a cunt. Whose side are you on?”

We’re arguing. My son would wake up crying. My dog would sense tension, jump off the bed. The Simpsons would finish. That wee Hollyoaks opening guitar tune would start. That wee… So, that’s my point. When the fun stops, stop. Right? Just… Just accept happiness when it presents itself. That was the point of that bit. That’s what I think. I’m quite new to Instagram. I know it’s a bit old school. I just joined up recently. I never knew how it worked. My wife’s on Instagram and I was on my wife’s page and there’s a picture of my wife with this stunning guy. And I was like, “Who the fuck is that?” Then I looked closer and it was me. Right? I was like… I was a solid ten. I was smoking. And I said to my wife, “How did you manage to get that out of this?” She said, “Oh, I just used a filter.” I never knew that’s what Instagram is, just turning munters to rides in one click. One click! And we looked amazing. This is what we’re selling. Everybody does the same. If you’re somewhere shite, you can just take the pictures and make it look good and convince… Me and wife are standing on a romantic city break. We’re in front of some ancient building. I’m looking at the picture. The memories are coming back and I’m thinking, “Wait. We never spoke a fucking word that afternoon on that wee romantic mini-break.”

That is the harsh reality of a real relationship. The romantic mini-break, it’s good for maybe a day and then day two, you realize you’ve signed up for a school trip as adults, having to put a wee itinerary together, going to look at more buildings, having to read placards, visit abandoned prisons, having to look at statues, just killing time between meals. Fucking hell, another gallery, another museum. Scared to look at the time. “Far too early to suggest an Irish bar, Kev, far too early. Wait. It’s only half eleven, Kev. Don’t you dare suggest a nine-euro Heineken at Dicey O’Reilly’s. Come on, Kev. You’ve got one more gallery, Kev.”

And then what happens on a romantic mini-break, maybe day two or day three, a silence descends between you and your partner, a silence from nowhere. You’ll be aware you’re being a bit quiet yourself and you’re also aware your partner is being a bit quiet, but you know if you’re the first one to accuse the other one of being a bit quiet, you know you’re lighting a fuse there that could ignite and combust into a weekend-defining argument. So, what I have learned, one little bit of advice, what I have learned is when you feel that silence descend between you and your partner, start making comments. Start saying shit. Say any old shit. Just get shit said. Start building yourself a case. Start saying shit that you can later rely on as evidence… …for when you’re accused of being the one being quiet. And then when it does eventually come to the hearing, you storm in there with your body of evidence.

“Me? Me? I’m being quiet? I’ve fucking hardly shut up.” “And what’ve you said?” “What have I said? As soon as we left the hotel, I said I wished I’d grabbed a pain au chocolat from the breakfast buffet, cos I usually get hungry about 11. You said fuck all back. One-nil to me straight away.” “Then we passed Darren’s Bar. I said we should take a photograph and send it to Darren, cheer him up a bit cos he’s having a hard time. Not that you would give a fuck. Different if it was one of your pals. And then…” “And then on the promenade, the guy on the Segway came past us and I told you the guy who invented the Segway apparently died by segwaying off a cliff. That is a strong conversation piece. I got fuck all.” “Then I told you how many people there’s ever been. Four-nil. A hundred and 18 billion. That is fascinating. What’s your name, mate? The guy with the Hugo? What’s your name? Owen. Again, a lot of originality in the names. Owen. Man, how old are you, Owen? Seventeen? A youngster. Wow. It’s good that I’m still getting the youth. Although, that is, er, scary. And age, it’s a number, innit? Don’t you worry. We’ve got a few older people in, but it’s subjective, age. I believe you’re young for as long as people laugh when you fall in public. You’re young. Right? In my opinion, that is the only accurate age for the aging process. Thank you. That’s… I learned this. I tripped over a curb and I tried to resist the momentum and I eventually hit the deck. And upon impact, I heard laughter and I looked over and there was a van full of workmen and one of them was even performing… …a full-on wanker sign, going, “Wa-hey!”

And it was embarrassing, until I thought about it a bit deeper and I thought, “No, Kev. Enjoy these moments. Enjoy this. Enjoy this, Kev, cos there’ll come a time when you’ll have a similar fall. You’ll hit the deck and you will not hear laughter. You will not see the wanker sign, or hear the wa-hey! You’ll hear, ‘OK, sir, what’s your name? Sir?’ ‘Sir, can you hear me? He’s not responding. Sir? I’m just gonna try and move you, sir, OK?'”

That must be a terrifying moment for any senior figure, being forced to confront your own mortality in such a crass circumstance. So, next time you see an old person who’s fell, just… Just bear that in mind. Before you rush over there, asking for emergency contact details, just know there might be a young soul in that… Inside that decaying mammal, there may be a young soul. And if you rush over, that young soul could vanish forever. Whereas a wee… A wee wanker sign, wa-hey! Make that old man feel alive. “I wish I got that on video, mate. Wa-hey!”

I’m noticing people in senior positions are younger than me for the first time. That’s a new one, innit? Politicians. Football managers are younger. Jesus. He was 33 when he died. That makes me feel old. Wow, Jesus would’ve been three years below me in school. Wow. I don’t know if I can worship him. He’s a wee guy, man. He’d have got put in a headlock. “Jesus!” “Turn that Capri-Sun into wine, Jesus, or you’re getting…”

Running up behind him and kicking his sandals off from under his feet. But he was ripped, Jesus. I don’t think he gets enough credit for the shape he was in. Any time I’m in Mass and I just kind of daydream, it always strikes me when you see Jesus on the cross, he had a six-pack. He never touched the bread at that wedding. No way did he put starchy carbs in that wee welterweight frame of his. He’d be on Instagram if he came back, doing fitness tutorials. @JCPT, standing. “Only my da can judge me” tattoo. I like Jesus. You can have a laugh and you can joke about him. It’s good. He takes a joke, in my opinion. Doesn’t he? Cos people get upset at comedians these days, don’t they? People are always complaining about jokes. It happened to me. Cancel… Cancel culture is what they call it. I don’t know if anybody’s seen that I caused uproar last year. Me! I caused controversy. What had happened… I’ll tell you the story. What had happened was I had a show in Glasgow on the evening of the Queen’s death, right? Now, the story… I know I don’t need to explain myself in this part of the world, but… We’ll probably… We’ll probably get the editor to take that cheer out just in the interests of Anglo-Irish relations. I had a show on the evening of the Queen’s death, right? And what had happened, I will explain myself as a comedian, right? The Queen’s death was confirmed at 6:45 p.m. The doors to my show had opened at 6:30 p.m. Now, the show is going ahead, and as a stand-up comedian, you’ve got a few options there. You… You can either cancel the show, even though people are already in, or making their way there, then everybody would go fucking nuts, or you start the show and don’t mention a news story of that magnitude, which had just broke, which would be fucking weird if I just came out, “Has anybody seen the price of a KitKat Chunky these days?”

Or you can start the show and make a couple of jokes about the situation and then move on as normal. Now, I chose option C. The show went ahead as a mark of respect to the hardworking people who had paid money and babysitters and hotels and all that stuff to come for a laugh. So I chose that option. And what I said was, “She hung on in there until the doors had opened. She would’ve wanted my show to go ahead.”

Right? Which is funny. And then in a dig at the UK government and their handling of the energy price crisis at the time, that she wouldn’t be the only old woman to die in the coming months. Right? Which was fucking true and funny. And then I said the new head of state is King Charles, a wee dog. And that was it. We moved on. Everybody laughed. But somebody had recorded a video of me opening the show and uploaded it online and that’s where the problem starts. See, people who come to comedy shows tend to be sound. You come here for a laugh. You don’t come here for an evening of good points.

“I hope I agree with this person. What a fucking night. I’ve never agreed so much in my life.” You come for a joke. But somebody recorded a video and put it online and then I began trending on Twitter. For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter parlance, trending means you’re in trouble. It’s like being out in the corridor and everybody’s going fucking nuts. And that’s when I realized that Twitter is the VAR for stand-up comedy. Cos everybody on the night laughed and then the jokes went to a Twitter VAR check and they were disallowed. That’s what happens at every comedy show in the world. There’s a check. There’ll be something this evening. There’s something every night. “I didn’t like it when he said cunt, because my mum’s a cunt.”

There’s always something for these people. And… And, Owen, you’re 17. Owen, right? Your generation, you get the blame for being easily offended. That’s what we say. Snowflakes. That’s what they call your generation. I mean, I don’t blame them. I just try and move with the times, right? I know they’re a bit strange, aren’t they? You know what I mean? They’re a bit like… I don’t know. They make me feel older than I should feel. Like other new celebrities, YouTubers. I don’t know who people are until they’re fighting Floyd Mayweather. That’s a strange age to be. I’m saying, “Who’s Logan Paul?” “I don’t know, but a ten-year-old would put a knife through your windpipe for a bottle of his energy drink, so he’s done something right.”

Fucking 25 quid for a bottle of juice. And then they’re chain-vaping their wee disposables, their wee Elf Bars. What happened to the youth is the big tobacco companies thought, “Not enough young people are smoking cigarettes, so why don’t we get a packet of Marlboro Red and a packet of Haribo Tangfastics and…” “…and empty them into a blender and get that liquid? We’ll put it in a wee heated element and take couple of puffs.” That’s what started the vaping. They’re a strange bunch, with their vapes and their bottles of Prime, and they’re always fucking whining about something. The youth of today are a strange bunch, and if Michael Jackson was still alive, he’d be saying, “I’m no’ sharing a bed with these fucking weirdos!” He’d be saying… Nah! He’d… He’d be saying, “Get me an adult in here for a decent conversation!” “Oh, it’s my anxiety.” “Shut the fuck up, shamone!”

See, I don’t believe that they should… Even Covid, that was… The way children were represented during Covid, all that time that they missed off school. That was all you would see on the telly, the wee stressed-out dweebs complaining. “We are being robbed of our futures. Covid has stolen our education from us! We’ll never get this time back and we are the forsaken generation!” And that’s when I thought, “Fuck off!” There’s no way that was an accurate representation of every child’s attitude to such lengthy spells off school. Would it have been too much to have heard from the kids who hit the jackpot during that whole time? They never had to sit exams. Wow! What a time to be fucking stupid! Stick one of them on the telly. I bet some belters made it to university the past few years. Put them on the telly. Cheer people up a bit. “I was gonna do travel and tourism, but I got into medical school.” “It’s cos I’ve got emotional intelligence, everybody tells me!”

That’s the new polite way of telling a child he’s a fucking dunce, innit? See, I’m trying. I try and keep… I don’t want to be a dinosaur, Owen. Right, I’ll tell you… I try and stay open-minded. I try and stay… I try and understand the generations behind me and all that. I try and stay woke. It’s just hard. It’s hard to keep up with the constant software updates. There’s always something new, like… I’m helping my mum. My mum is in the process of moving house, right, and we found a box in my mum’s loft. We’re clearing out all the old shit. Found a box full of my old school books and a bit of nostalgia got the better of me. I’m looking through all my old school books and on the front of one of the school books, there was graffiti. It said… This might be a bit Scottish, but I will translate.

It said, “Your maw.” Right, you get that. It said, “Your maw’s got baws.” Right? Baws are balls. It said, “Your maw’s got baws and your da loves it.” Now this… This was a very common insult in Glasgow in the late ’90s, but I’m now reading it in 2023, thinking how this has aged beautifully into an empowering, uplifting message of self-acceptance. If I showed that to Owen’s generation, they would get fucking emotional. “Oh, my God. Isn’t that just beautiful what they wrote? ‘Your maw’s got baws and your da loves it.’ Your mother found the courage to embrace her true identity and your father was supportive. Beautiful.”

See, that’s how woke a city Glasgow is. We don’t get enough credit for how open-minded and progressive we are. And sometimes, we don’t mean it. Sometimes it’s very subtle. Like, I was in a taxi in Glasgow and the taxi driver had recognized me and he was telling me how difficult it is to be a comedian. He’s telling me, right? He’s going… Right, every taxi driver in Glasgow is a savant. He’s going, “Must be hard, eh? Must be fucking hard being a comedian. You cannae joke about anything these days. You cannae say anything.” And then the conversation naturally led to the subject of Sam Smith and the driver… The driver said, “Sam Smith. Did you see what that cunt was wearing? Did you see what that cunt was wearing at the Brit Awards?” And I thought, “Bravo, driver, bravo. You have educated yourself. What a proud moment this is to hear such a progressive attitude.” Because in Glasgow, “that cunt” is a gender-neutral pronoun. I thought, “Bravo, driver. This has given me hope. If you had said, ‘Did you see what he was wearing at the Brit Awards?’, I would have stormed out of this taxi in disgust! I would’ve said, ‘Don’t you dare misgender that cunt! How dare you?'”

There’s always been easily offended people and I will defend millennials like myself and the generation younger than me, cos 36 is a good vantage point to tell the youth what the older people used to be like. They were the original snowflakes. They were easily offended. And it’s summed up in a game that a lot of you probably played, the game called chap, door, runaway in Glasgow, er, knock… knock a door, run, knock-a-dally, knock down ginger, whatever it was called. The game has largely gone extinct, Owen. The game, it involved… You would come home from school. I’ll tell you the premise of the game, for those of you unfamiliar. You’d come home from school, you would change out of your school uniform and into your civilian wear and then you go and would meet up with your associates and you would patrol your neighborhood aimlessly. And then, at one stage in the evening, you’d play the game where you’d walk up to people’s houses and you would knock on the door and run away, confident in the knowledge that the man, always the man of the house, was gonna come to his door, expecting to greet somebody as the knock suggested. But instead, he would see you and your associates fleeing his property and laughing, and that would trigger a reaction so strong in that man that he would abandon whatever plans he had made for his evening, whatever he was gonna watch on the telly, whatever he was gonna eat for his tea, insignificant. The only thing on that man’s mind from that moment henceforth was hunting you and your associates down for as long as he deemed necessary. Now, that’s a fucking snowflake. You never damaged his door. You never entered his property. You knocked the door and ran away. Now for context, as a millennial, if somebody knocks on my door, I’ll look at my wife. My wife looks at me. We both look at our phones. “Did you just order some…? Are you waiting for somebody? Are you expecting anything? No. Same here. Let’s just stay calm and hopefully they will fuck off.”

Or maybe one of us would tiptoe over to a window to get a visual on the door, stealth-like. And if there was nobody there, and I’d just seen kids running away, I would think, “Thank fuck!” I thought there was actually somebody at the door. I thought I was poised to have a human interaction there, an unplanned human… Who needs that shit on a Tuesday night in 2023? I was quite enjoying sitting on the couch in the basement of my mind. I thought I was gonna have to come up to reception to go live and greet somebody! I could only imagine saying to my wife, “I’m heading out there to hunt these wee bastards down.” Unthinkable! “Where’s my Trespass fleece, darling? I might be a while!” “I cannot be expected to show restraint in the face of such blatant provocation!” I could only imagine my wife on the phone to her mother, “A bunch of kids knocked on the door and ran away, so that’ll be Kevin for the night.”

They’re the snowflakes! They were the real snowflakes, the older generations. I remember spending hours in exile, cos you’d knocked on the wrong door. Having to hide in bin sheds. The street lights would come on. Somebody in your platoon would eventually crack and start crying. “Do you think he’s still fucking coming for us?” “Just keep your voice down. He could be anywhere!” “I just really… I just want to go home. This has been hours. Why do youse always knock Harry McMaster’s door? You know he’s a loose cannon!” “Just fucking shut up!” “It’s all right for everybody else. I’m the one that needs to walk back past his door. He’s gonna get me on my own!”

Children reduced to tears for knocking a door and running away. That’s a snowflake. Right, if that was me, I would just stand at my window and say to my wife, “Isn’t it great to see children out playing?” That’s how we handle that! Anyway! Ladies and gentlemen, what an audience! Er, what a venue! What a city! Thanks for listening! Take care of yourselves. Thank you! Goodnight! Peace! Thank you! Thank you very much! Yes, thank you. That’s just a wee optional ending for any… for anybody who really needed a piss. Er… Thank you, genuinely. The warmth in here’s been amazing and it’s appreciated. So, thank you, people, yes! It’s er… I hope I finished on a nice message, a bit of hope for the young team there. Just trying to defend ’em, cos they’ve got a lot going on, haven’t they? We’ve got climate change and stuff like that. Every news story’s so intense, innit? And it’s quite hard. That’s a difficult one, if you’re Scottish or Irish, to really give a fuck! I know it’s a serious issue, but we’re only Scottish. We’re only Irish. It’s quite hard to have… It’s pretty low down on a list of immediate concerns, the planet getting warmer. Like, we even hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference. That was held in Glasgow in November 2021. Glasgow in November! That is a tough fucking crowd to spread alarm about the planet heating up! We had Greta shouting at us. “How dare you?” “What the fuck have we done? It’s fucking freezing!” “If we don’t act now, the planet’s gonna be two degrees warmer by 2050.” “Oh, no!”

I might need to ditch a vest! In Scotland, we’ll reap the benefits of climate change. We’ll become, like, a resort when… Cos we love… We appreciate… We appreciate nice weather more than any country in the world, and maybe it’s time to switch it up a bit. Maybe nice weather has been wasted on too many countries. Well, like Iraq. Like Iraq. In my whole adult life, I’ve watched the news go live to Fallujah and it’s never a happy story. There’s a big blue sky. The reporter’s got a wee short-sleeve shirt on. He’s never reporting live from a pool party. He’s never… “So, Gordon, back to you in the studio.” Getting fucking, “Whoa!” It’s always misery. Oh. “Violent clashes here between Sunni and Shiites.”

Come on, man. Religious violence in that heat. It’s too nice a day for that. Come on! Leave that to Scotland and Northern Ireland, man. Sectarian violence is a winter sport! Why do Catholics and Protestants hate each other? Because it’s fucking raining, that’s why! I’ve got hope. I’ve got hope for the youth. Like, I believe… Childhood, that’s what kids need to realize. When they’re suffering and they’re worried about stuff, but I think a lot of kids need to realize that life is long, right? It’s not about being a kid, right? For example, some people just don’t suit being certain ages. I was shite at being a kid. I was quite anxious and nervous, but then, my time came. I came good in the end, right? A school bully, for example. A school bully is just somebody who was good at being 15 when you look back at life. The youth, they’ve got it difficult. They get cyberbullied. We don’t know what that’s like to grow up online. At least… There’s always been bullying, but at least back in the day, the hours were better. It was only Monday to Friday, nine till three, excluding summer holidays, Christmas, Easter. It was a skive realistically in comparison to them. They can’t even play the PlayStation without getting abuse over the speakers, as I learned during lockdown. I bought myself a PlayStation, playing FIFA. I’m a bit rusty. I’m getting hammered by kids online and I’m playing Liverpool. I’m getting beat about five-nil, and then a Scouse accent starts blaring through the telly. The kid I’m playing wants me to quit the game because I’m boring him. I’m no’ giving him enough of a challenge.

He’s going, “Fucking seriously, why are you still fucking here? You’re so shit. Just fucking quit the game, lad. You’re so fucking shit.” And the longer I played on, the more hostile the abuse became. “Seriously, lad, if you don’t fucking quit, I’m gonna find ya! I’m gonna slit your fucking throat, lad, when I find you.” And my wife walked in to ask me if I was all right! It took me straight back to school, like when my mum had witnessed me being picked on and you try and downplay it. I’m going, “Aye, I’m all right. He’s having a laugh. It’s my mate! Cos I threatened to slit his throat last night. That’s just our humor!”

I look back and that’s what I will teach my son, that your time comes. If my son was ever being bullied, I’ll teach him a school bully is just somebody who was good at being 15, somebody who abused that power and everybody else was a work in progress. If my son was being bullied, I would take him to Ladbrokes. I’d take him to the bookie’s on a Friday afternoon. I’d take him to my old school bully. I’d say… I’d say, “We’re not gonna laugh at this guy, son. We’re gonna learn from this guy. That guy. See that guy that just punched the fruit machine? That guy. He was an amazing 15-year-old. Oh, he was the main man. If you were ever late for a class in school, you’d be sprinting down the corridor. He would be standing in the corridor shouting, ‘Run if you’re gay.’ And you would have to… Cos we lived under his regime and that’s the stuff that made you the man at being 15. But the problem is that life is not about being 15. And that is pretty much where we left that guy. One day, people just kept on running down that corridor. That’s where we left that guy. That’s what happens. Just get to know yourself. Your time will come. What was that, son? Ah, I never seen him swim. I don’t know, but that’s your man.”

“Just get to know yourself. Be an individual.”

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen of Cork, can I hear a massive round of applause for my wife Kerry and my mother Patricia who have traveled over to see the show this evening? And this is a… an emotional one. This is the first special that I’ve recorded without my dad being here. Those of you who maybe read my book know my dad took me to my first gig when I was 17 and we drove all round Scotland playing pubs to 15, 20 people, and I never believed it would come to selling out places and recording specials, but my dad did, and it’s a pleasure to prove him right. He passed away this year, so this is for my dad. To Big Andy Bridges!

Thanks for listening. Take care of yourselves! Thank you! The craic has been mighty as always in Ireland. Take care! Thanks!


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