Saturday Smiles 4: Stand Up

It has been more than three months since I last posted in this series and I think it is about time for another. One of the scariest things I’ve had to do is to stand up in front of an audience and speak in public. Over time I got better at it, and even managed to throw in a few jokes along the way – fortunately, audiences laughed in the right places. Knowing how hard it is to do that I am always impressed by people who have chosen to make it their career, so I’m sharing a few pieces from some of those who make me laugh. Apologies to those not from these shores, who may not have heard of any or many of these guys but comedy can travel, I think, if done well. In deference to your delicate sensibilities, I’m doing my best to keep this selection clean – believe me, there are plenty more that make me laugh but which might not be suitable!

My first is from a comedian who tends to get sneered at by the cool kids, but I don’t think we have many better than him at observational comedy. This is a compilation of four short pieces by Michael McIntyre:

He has now been given his own Saturday evening show on BBC TV, one of those light entertainment melanges which involve music, comedy, and some superb gotchas. He’s a favourite of mine – I’m not cool!

Milton Jones, my next selection, is rather different. He is the king of the one-liners, with some very clever wordplay. See what you think:

In sharing these I’m doing my best to keep to a minimum the references that might not make much sense to a non-UK audience. Milton mentioned Pearl & Dean in that, and hummed a tune. If you didn’t get the reference, they are a UK company which since 1953 (an auspicious year) has controlled a large part of the advertising we see in cinemas. It has changed a bit over the years, but their signature tune is recognisable to anyone who has been in a British ‘movie theater’ in that time – if you want to check his accuracy you can find the tune here.

Another comedian I enjoy is the Welshman, Rhod Gilbert. He does rants better than anyone else I’ve seen, and this is a typical clip:

When I watched this on YouTube it was followed by an advert, and then there was his story of wanting just one baked potato in the supermarket. It doesn’t follow on if you watch the embedded version, but is well worth a look. You’ll find it here, if you liked this one – both reduce me to tears of laughter.

Technically, this next one isn’t strictly ‘stand up,’ as Joe Lycett is sitting down, but I’ve seen him tell this as part of his stand up routine so I think it counts. I prefer this version, which then morphs into a few other observations on British comedy, for reasons best known to the uploader:

That clip comes from a TV show called 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, which came about from merging 8 Out Of 10 Cats, a comedy panel game, with Countdown, a long-running daytime words and numbers quiz programme. It has frequently given me a great deal of hilarity, often provided by one of the other panellists you might have seen in that clip: Sean Lock. Sadly, Sean lost his battle with cancer recently, at the age of just 58, and I think it fitting to include him in this piece by way of tribute. His humour, which was often seen in stand up routines, often involved surreal stories that make me hoot, and it is sad to think that he won’t be there any more. The TV company that broadcast those shows put together this compilation of some of his sitting down humour, which is a little bit on the naughty side in a couple of places but please don’t let that put you off – it is hysterically funny:

“You can’t write tears” is such a great line to remember him by.

In the second of these posts I gave you a couple of examples of the storytelling ability of Greg Davies, who reduced a couch full of Hollywood A-listers to helpless laughter on the Graham Norton Show. Some of his stand up routines are a bit sweary, but this one was broadcast on the BBC’s Live At The Apollo series, so it’s quite safe(ish). For today’s final clip, I give you Greg’s story of his massage in Thailand:

I’ve had loads of fun watching these while compiling this post, plus several others that I might share another time. I hope you’ve enjoyed them too, and that they have brightened up your day. It is dull and rainy here, so this is just what I needed to lift my spirits!

See you again soon, and enjoy the rest of your weekend 😊

42 thoughts on “Saturday Smiles 4: Stand Up

  1. Pingback: October Skies | Take It Easy

  2. So funny – and love the second video one liners
    Then taxi driver and being a professor
    And the math can maths !

    Going to finish the last two
    Later – and quick question for us
    How do you set it up for the video to start halfway through?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Milton Jones is very clever with his wordplay – he often appears on a comedy panel show we have here, called ‘Mock The Week,’ and reduces his fellow comedians to helpless laughter. I wanted to include this set, as it has those little digs for my American readers 😉

      I hope you get to see the rest, as there are some very funny bits in them too.

      I also hope that question doesn’t mean that one of these started part way through: it certainly wasn’t intentional, and they all worked as they should for me when I tested them! If it’s a general question, the answer is that I don’t know, but will take a look when I’m on YouTube finalising tomorrow’s post and will let you know if I can see a way to doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Clive and I think it might be the way that I press play – but I know some
        Bloggers have things start mid way through – like John H shares an hour long video sometimes to share an old commercial and he has it start right at the commercial he wants – so I was wondering if that happened – hmmmm – but it might be my device or just me

        Liked by 1 person

      • How many ways are there to press play?! As I said, I’ve never had that happen to me on any video I’ve shared or on those I’ve watched on other blogs. If you get the ‘Watch in YouTube’ button on the video it may be best to try that rather than the embedded version. I don’t know how John H does that, but I’ll have fun trying to work it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is likely TMI
        But I got my nails done last week and they look nice but have been encumbering on a using the small keyboard on this device – so I feel all thumbs – I don’t plan on keeping my false nails on – but thighs I might want to have them again – anyhow – being all
        Thumbs of changing my fingertips to the side might mean that I was sliding the little dot under the play triangle and it was starting where I moved it (if that makes sense)
        Anyhow – I really admire the folks that have extra long fingernails and are able to do all tasks with finesse – mine are natural length and not Uber long- but it really changes stuff – like opening a bag of something or even washing my hair – but see the biggest challenge with typing

        Liked by 1 person

      • Update: I’ve worked out how to do it, and did a successful test run on an unpublished draft post. It’s not that hard, but I fear the explanation might be more complicated 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I doubt that draft will ever see the light of day! The solution I found depends on how you embed videos and whether you use the Block Editor – it won’t work with their ‘embed’ option in which you put in an http address, you need to be using the older copy and paste embed codes approach. Let me know if you take it on and need any help

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Actually, that sounds very like New Mexico when it snows. I thought they were kidding when they were like “It’s a snow day” and there’s like barely a groundcover helping of snow out there! So I loved that video!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched them all, Clive. I think my favorite Rhod Gilbert and his luggage routine, although the last one with Greg Davies and massage was pretty humorous as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved Milton and Rhod; I think I’ve seen the skit from Joe before. The Tiger Who Came for a Pint was quite funny. sad that he dies at such a young age. and Greg was a great one to close with.

    thanks for all the laughs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are so many great comedians, and they will all have their boosters and boo-ers. Some comedians’ routines don’t age well for obvious reasons. I think these days it takes a unique talent to write things that make people laugh.

    Thanks for sharing the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are all from the past five years or so, and should be future proof for now. But a lot of 70s comedy, in particular, wouldn’t be suitable today, so your point is well made. Hope these gave you plenty to laugh at 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, I get it now. I thought you meant the age of what is now seen as racist comedy. I think a lot of comedy these days is judged on what is suitable for tv: comedy clubs, where the more cutting edge stuff can be found, have taken a real pasting from the pandemic. Hopefully they can rebuild, even if the audiences aren’t comparable with more mainstream acts.

        Liked by 1 person

Please leave a reply, I'd like to know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.