Frog dies, sketch dissected

I’ve been submitting sketches to Newsrevue for about two years now. Many sketches have been sent. Not all have been shown. And that is fine. I am still a Learner with a capital L when it comes to comedy writing so I would expect my failures to outweigh my successes. (The fact that I have any successes at all fills me with glee.) As I submit material over time my level of success increases. In other words, I am getting better at a craft I love.

I want to show an example of an old sketch that didn’t make it in and the rewrite that did. I’m going to talk about why I feel one was successful and the other one wasn’t. One key point, that will not be apparent in reading is that there is a difference of about a year with these sketches. I like to think that that is a year of growth, of increasing my comedy chops.

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A Comedy Of Crows and other news

In September I got my third broadcast comedy credit in Newsjack. Weirdly, I had it in my head that only the third credit would prove to me that I was a comedy writer. One credit is a fluke, two credits is insufficient evidence to prove hypothesis. Three credits is undeniable scientific FACT.

I’ve been mixed up with a bunch of film guys at Seven/Five productions and recently made a 20 second short. It confirmed to me what I already know. I love film. I love working with people. And the fact that this film was my film was a lot of fun.

Anyway, at the film group we’ve been talking about forming a comedy collective. I’ve been thinking about what the name of my production company should be (i.e the name under which all my projects should go).

I’ve been researching Trickster Gods recently for another project and in North American mythlology the crow was considered to be both the creator of the world and a Trickster God. Pretty cool credentials! So I decided, naturally, that my company should be A Comedy of Crows (also echoes a Murder of Crows.)





Best o’me Twitter Puns March to May


God to Noah: ‘Yay, our ark must have 4 bees. The normal bees and the historian bees. And let the historian bees rest in the ark hive.’

Drunk on fortified wine singing to my wife. Sherry-nading

Alan Smithee is my favourite director so how comes he never does interviews and stuff?

Hooray! Works given me 2 weeks off to eat as much ground meat as I want. I bloody love Pâté-rnity Leave

All my son wanted to do this Easter was play Minecraft. Chip off the old block.

Let’s make the next song pitch perfect,’ said the shark on drums. ‘Leave it to me,’ replied the guitar tuna.

My new job is manufacturing unattributed quotes for the Daily Mail – said a close friend.

Shy people at the theatre – always getting the reserved seats

I just threw a patronising hustler out a plane. Condescending condescending.

The David Bowie train service is awful. 4 hours and 5 different trains to get from London to Brighton. Too many Choo-choo-ch-Changes. (interestingly, NO-ONE liked this one and I still bloody love it. I’ve heard so many people, comedians especially, riffing on the chu-chu-chu-changes that I wanted to try something different.)

I’ve created a chastity belt for men that can only be opened by the pleasing sound of wind instruments. I call it ‘Oboe Locks’.

A music critic has said all songs of the 70’s with a groovy, rhythmic beat are absolutely awful. He’s clearly dissed funk tune all.

By day, they maintain the dams of our rivers. But come the full moon they become terrible howling beasts. The dreaded weir wolves.

My door just went to South America, took over all the countries and stole all their silver. It’s a Conquistidor.

My neighbour kicked over a tin of beans into my yard. I kicked it back. He did it again. So did I. I tire of this constant can-flicked

Does anyone else remember Quango Leap – the less succesful spin off of Quantum Leap?

Kicked a volcanic island too hard – crack a toe AAAARGH!

A witch told me that one of my legs was permanently dirty. She knew about my dusty knee.

You have to travel to a town in South Ireland to dispose of antique flutes. It’s a long way to tip a rare reed.

My parents started using vegetables as sex toys after dads operation. Mum really loves pa’s snip.

Doctors can talk rubbish sometimes. You can’t cure pneumonia by glueing small change onto your ceiling. Tut! Penny ceilin’. Useless.

Doctors in A&E tend to hide between cases so they can be the best at a medical emerge and see.

Fed up with my garden always drying out so I moved to a hill made of astroturf. The grass is always greener on the rubber side.


Batman vs Superman vs ?????

You all know how well connected I am. Yes you do. Yes you do. I got the Hollywood connections, I got the superstar connections, the music people and the – I got the Hollywood connections yeah I do. Anyway, yeah, I’ve found out who the suprise villain is in the upcoming Batman vs Superman film.


Naughty ATM #1

Finally, after years of legal wrangling I’ve secured the rights for all works of my great uncle Luther Samjam. This does, of course, include the legendary strip ‘Naughty ATM’. It’s been so long since this comic has been in print that it’s hard to remember that back in the 80’s it was a worldwide sensation, with T-shirts, books, animations and even a major Hollywood blockbuster (with Emilio Estevez playing the part of Naughty ATM)

So to celebrate I’m proud to present the first ever Naughty ATM comic strip – first published in ATM Monthly (Britain’s Most Popular Monthly ATM Magazine) in December 1983.


Change It Up Week 13 – Music to my ears

Find out more about ‘Change It Up’ here

“Before the podcast, before computer games and back to back episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix people used to entertain themselves with music.”

“Moo-sick? Was that watching cows vomit Grandad? Was that what you did in the weird old days before going out to drink all the world’s petrol every evening?”

“Listen, you idiot. Music is a thing of beauty, and I’ll tell you a story of someone who nearly lost sight of that beautiful truth”

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First Year of Writing – M’Learnings

I’ve been writing all my life. Fighting for little scraps of time here and there to write all these ideas fizzing in my head. But this year there’s been a crucial difference.

This year I’ve had at least one day a week to dedicate to writing and it’s wonderful. It’s sometimes frightening and overwhelming. I feel like I’m still learning my way, and there is a whole lifetime of learning ahead. This year I’ve made some baby steps into becoming the writer I want to be. And I’d like to share what I’ve discovered – in the hope that it might help (or resonate) with fellow writers and writers-to-be.

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Change It Up Week 12 – Write a Song

Find out more about ‘Change It Up’ here

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to get up on various stages in London and wield one of those electronic guitar thingies and scream into the microphone about girls, love, religion, popcorn, my new shoes (no – hang on that’s Paolo Nutini) and other rock and roll things.

It was a great, exciting, drunken part of my life that stopped because –  life, innit. I wrote my last song at the age of twenty-four and played my last gig at the age of twenty-five. After that, it was drinking bottles of whisky and telling my former band members that I was retired, no matter how much they begged me to come back.

So after sobering up, wiping the dust off my rusty guitar and going through an intensive training course did I manage to produce a Bohemian Rhapsody?  Or was it a Bohemian Crapsody? (sorry)

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