As my loyal fans will surely have seen me bleating about today, I finished Alexei Sayle’s memoir. I am not a huge fan of the man – though that’s not to say I dislike him in any way; he was just one that generally passed me by.
Apart from Lenin Of The Rovers, of course, and his appearances in The Young Ones.
But he is an interesting man – I knew he was raised a communist and was always a stand-out voice for being so bleatingly, delightfully left wing. So I read the book. And I liked it quite a lot. Very warm, very funny, very much a man willing to laugh at himself for being such a twat growing up. But there was very little mention of comedy – the main reason I picked the book up.
It didn’t harm the overall read in any way, as it more than stands on its own feet without endless tales of life on the road as a stand up. But the brief mention of comedy includes this passage, and it is one I cannot help but feel a great deal of familiarity with. Speaking of how he would discuss and analyse comedy with friends, Sayle points out that his analysis was always that bit deeper:
“When I looked at the performance of a comedian on TV or the radio it was as if I could see inside it, know what the comic was attempting, what would be coming next; also I would sometimes hear or see something that got a laugh and yet I would feel that the response was undeserved, on account of it being obtained through some trick or because the audience were too cooperative, too willing to laugh uncritically.”
This does seem to be me saying ‘hai guyz I’m well cool and funny like and I well gets comedy innit’, and it sort of is. Because that passage of text resonated with me quite a lot. There’s no neatly tied-off ending here, it’s just something that’s popped up today.
Plus I genuinely told some people off the other week for laughing ‘too easily’ at a joke I made. HAVE SOME STANDARDS, PEOPLE.