Friday, December 16, 2011

Tears of a Clown

We've all got a story to tell. We've all lived our lives, interesting or not, it's not important. It's the way we tell the story that matters.

And, of course, comedians are the best at telling their own stories. Although they may not have had the most fascinating lives, they are all natural story tellers. The way they use their words, well, they can make the most banal situation glitter. Take Russell Brand. Not one autobiography, but two, the second very necessary to give us a glimpse into the world of a transatlantic star.

Today, pushing a trolley up and down the aisles at Asda, I was encouraged several times to buy the autobiographies of James Corden and Rob Brydon. They were both addressing me, the customer, directly. James said his book was only £9. Imagine the value in that! James and Rob were speaking between the Christmas songs. Rob did his little man in a box voice which always cracks me up. It sounds like a tiny little man speaking from inside a box.

James and Rob starred together in my favourite sitcom of this century, Gavin and Stacey. James not only starred in it, he also co-wrote it! Imagine the stories he has to tell in his autobiography just pertaining to that sitcom alone. And Rob, giving his own unique view of the whole Gavin and Stacey experience. A different view from James's.

I am fascinated by comedians, what makes them tick, how they grew up different from but the same as the rest of us. I am fascinated by their relationships, how they relate to family and friends. I am fascinated by their addictions, their failings and their triumphs. The modern comedian's dissection of his life is an insight into the human condition, how we deal with the ups and downs of the most stressful age in our history. They are us, magnified.

I urge you to go out and buy these two books for your loved ones this Christmas. They will love you all the more for it.


  1. Just give me the nod when they turn up in Poundland will you Geoff?

  2. If it's all the same to you, Geoff, I will forgo those pleasures. I would rather read your blog.

  3. Rog - James Corden in Poundland? Maybe he could do a signing session.

    Vicus - But at nine quid you can't go wrong!

  4. Both of them have been funny in shows/films I have enjoyed. But they were also in Gavin and Stacey as well.

  5. *dog-ears page of Steve Jobs' book and rushes out to purchase Geoff's suggestions*

  6. Tim - I'm sure the adverts in Asda were aimed at Gavin and Stacey fans. As for Gavin and Stacey, it did have an initial charm but that wore off to be replaced by sickly sentimentality.

    MJ - Please don't. They're rich enough as it is.