Author Topic: Before & Laughter: A Life-Changing Book by Jimmy Carr (unfunnyman autobiography)  (Read 7549 times)

thenoise

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There's an interesting article on the BBC about him revealing he's massively into NLP which says a lot. Also claims anyone can do comedy and it's completely a learned skill but think he's doing a lot of comedians a disservice. Of course the harder you work and more you practice, the better you get but there are people who do have the advantage of being naturally funny and those who could practice for years and still be awful. Not everyone who learns comedy goes on national tours for a reason.

Its harder to learn how to be likable on stage, which Jimmy doesn't even attempt, but then you have the advantage of the audience being on your side even when your funnies are a bit sparse. Jimmy's act succeeds or fails on the strength of his gags - if he started telling a long form story for several minutes without any sign of a punchline, his audience would turn on him. Because they don't give a shit about what he actually did, they just want him to make them laugh.

I don't have an issue with that kind of act, but its not the only way to be a good standup. Apart from anything else, if you were a robotic gagsmith nowadays it would just come across as a Jimmy Carr impression.

Thomas

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I was reading Jimmy's Wikipedia page the other day, after hearing that his ascent from open-mic starter to paid and televised act occurred remarkably quickly. The article, however, doesn't note that he 'he took redundancy to work for his father's production company'.

I'll often read stories of beloved acts who won massive Edinburgh prizes in their first year of stand-up, praised for their sheer talent and unbeatable ability  - and then comes the near-inevitable mention of private school or being Alistair Campbell's daughter.

Of course, this is nothing new, and is increasingly the dominant route into the creative industries. I know incredibly funny acts who've forked out for the trip to Edinburgh, where nobody with a column in the Guardian saw them because they could only afford to hire a leaky cupboard, making their own posters with marker pens the night before.

BeardFaceMan

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I don't know if anyone does give a shit about that, nor should they. It's also not entirely true. A lot of comedians want to get on TV, and those that use stand-up as a stepping stone wouldn't still be touring and writing as relentlessly as he does. I don't like him really, but let's be fair, it's just cos his jokes can be crap and he's a bit annoying.

Yeah I'd say that was true of people like Rob Beckett, only doing stand up as a way to get on the telly and do other stuff, but Carr has released a hell of a lot of DVDs compared to his peers, he was always touring and performing and writing, he clearly likes doing stand up.

up_the_hampipe

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Yeah I'd say that was true of people like Rob Beckett, only doing stand up as a way to get on the telly and do other stuff, but Carr has released a hell of a lot of DVDs compared to his peers, he was always touring and performing and writing, he clearly likes doing stand up.

He also regularly goes to America where he's not very well-known at all, just so he can perform stand-up at some of their legendary comedy clubs.

BeardFaceMan

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It was funny seeing him on Roast Battle and everyone taking the piss out of him because he was reading his jokes from a clipboard.

neveragain

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He truly is the new Bob Monkhouse, in that all of his jokes were nicked as well.

That's not true. Bob was a prolific gag writer.

Does anyone remember the one series panel show he did for the American Market on Netflix? I don't remember the name or even the premise but think it was a sort of Scruples After Dark type thing (or what the mainstream American market considers risqué).
There are various reasons it seemed a clunker but a leading one was Carr's USP offensive aloofness had to be rounded off in his interactions with the panelists. It surprises me that he so popular (if not that well known) in the states because of this.

PlanktonSideburns

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I've never bought his reason for being a virgin until he was 26 because he was very religious. Would have more respect if he said he struggled with women for whatever reason but feels like he has to save face by being pious.

There's an interesting article on the BBC about him revealing he's massively into NLP which says a lot. Also claims anyone can do comedy and it's completely a learned skill but think he's doing a lot of comedians a disservice. Of course the harder you work and more you practice, the better you get but there are people who do have the advantage of being naturally funny and those who could practice for years and still be awful. Not everyone who learns comedy goes on national tours for a reason.

Anyone could be a comedian like him, but the challenge is doing an act that will pass the Turing test

PlanktonSideburns

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Jimmy had a run-in with an incessant heckler in Poole last night. Can't really fault him for getting security to throw out someone who was ruining his show. There's some footage of the incident here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPfTj3gI1mI

Wonder what his username is on here

PlanktonSideburns

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Its harder to learn how to be likable on stage, which Jimmy doesn't even attempt, but then you have the advantage of the audience being on your side even when your funnies are a bit sparse. Jimmy's act succeeds or fails on the strength of his gags - if he started telling a long form story for several minutes without any sign of a punchline, his audience would turn on him. Because they don't give a shit about what he actually did, they just want him to make them laugh.

I don't have an issue with that kind of act, but its not the only way to be a good standup. Apart from anything else, if you were a robotic gagsmith nowadays it would just come across as a Jimmy Carr impression.

He’s the comedy equivalent of a dildo, no one can take that away from him

PlanktonSideburns

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That's not true. Bob was a prolific gag writer.

Monkhouse was an opersource collaborative project

Thomas

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Monkhouse was an opersource collaborative project

Last year I attended/lost the final of a rigged stand-up competition. The winner opened his set with a shamelessly word-for-word Monkhouser.

PlanktonSideburns

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Should be a spotify for jokes, AI reading from monkhouse/ Carr Realbooks generated from scrapes of their YouTube footage. This could easily exist now. A constant flow of hilarity coming out of your computer or mobile device. Jimmy Carr hologram tour beamed directly into every weatherspoons

Last year I attended/lost the final of a rigged stand-up competition. The winner opened his set with a shamelessly word-for-word Monkhouser.

That’s what they call ‘Monkhouser by proxy’.

That's not true. Bob was a prolific gag writer.

He was but the gags he wrote didn’t always originate with him. For example, when in partnership with Dennis Goodwin, they would listen to comedy shows broadcast on American services radio for ‘inspiration’.

Barry Cryer, a friend, commented:

Quote
He was sometimes accused of plagiarism, due to the wealth of material he churned out, and he once told me that he and his erstwhile writing partner, Dennis Goodwin, suffered from 'short wave ear', due to pressing radio sets close to their heads to listen to shows on the American Forces Network and making notes. Some may call that homage - some may have a different definition.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/comedy/2010/07/barry-cryer-remembers-his-frie.shtml

Does anyone remember the one series panel show he did for the American Market on Netflix? I don't remember the name or even the premise but think it was a sort of Scruples After Dark type thing (or what the mainstream American market considers risqué).
There are various reasons it seemed a clunker but a leading one was Carr's USP offensive aloofness had to be rounded off in his interactions with the panelists. It surprises me that he so popular (if not that well known) in the states because of this.

Not off the top of my head - but recall him fronting one American gameshow, which appears to have been airbrushed out.

BeardFaceMan

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The Fix, although to be fair that was crap more because Americans really, really don't get panel games.

the gags he wrote didn’t always originate with him.

Reading a Tommy Cooper jokebook with a bunch of biographical bits in it on the toilet, and he was also a prolific joke-pincher. It was probably less of a big deal back in th'day. It certainly sounds in this book like it wasn't controversial and was commonplace, and that there was even a market, where some guys in the USA wrote a jokebooks and then sold them to stand-ups in the Anglosphere.

PlanktonSideburns

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He was but the gags he wrote didn’t always originate with him. For example, when in partnership with Dennis Goodwin, they would listen to comedy shows broadcast on American services radio for ‘inspiration’.

Barry Cryer, a friend, commented:

Yea it’s more like aural tradition with them lot innit

PlanktonSideburns

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Reading a Tommy Cooper jokebook with a bunch of biographical bits in it on the toilet, and he was also a prolific joke-pincher. It was probably less of a big deal back in th'day. It certainly sounds in this book like it wasn't controversial and was commonplace, and that there was even a market, where some guys in the USA wrote a jokebooks and then sold them to stand-ups in the Anglosphere.

Beatles gotta a lot to answer for, a myth of an archipelago of islands

The Fix, although to be fair that was crap more because Americans really, really don't get panel games.

Oh yea - well done. Kathrerine Ryan too. Fair to say that its shitness wasn't really at Carr's feet as you say.

Clatty McCutcheon, that was a very clever joke!

They laughed when I said I was going to nick a load of jokes off the Yanks. Well they're not laughing now.

Noodle Lizard

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Aside from being a bit gruff with autograph-seekers, I've heard nothing but good things about him as a person from people who've worked with/adjacent to him. Really does seem like a bit of a nerd who managed to find mainstream success, however cheaply-wrought.

Personally, I've got nothing good to say about him. His output is universally dreadful.

Jimmy had a run-in with an incessant heckler in Poole last night. Can't really fault him for getting security to throw out someone who was ruining his show. There's some footage of the incident here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPfTj3gI1mI

Gone already "due to a copyright claim by Chambers Management". :-(

I think Carr's quite funny. Also, seems like the sort of fellow you could enjoy a quiet pint with if he wasn't in 'performance mode'.

On Monkhouse, there's an interesting interview with him from 1964 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yh4tJXoQ18 . It covers the Splott controversy and is filmed in Splott itself!

Petey Pate

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Gone already "due to a copyright claim by Chambers Management". :-(

You're not missing out much by not seeing it, if I'm remembering rightly it only captured some of the incident and I could only really make sense of what was happening by reading articles about it.

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