Monday, February 19, 2007


You wait weeks for a good punchline then all of a sudden three come along at once....

The BBC website reports a new Christian run comedy club in Birmingham, promising clean humour. Almost makes me want to live in Birmingham. But not quite.

My deep and profound book of the moment is Peter Kay's autobiography. It's pretty funny, and reminds me a lot of my own schooldays and experience of discos as a teenager.

There is one point at which the book goes all serious, and it's where he talks about his Catholic upbringing, and the irrelevance of most of the religion he experienced at church and at school. I've got so used to hearing the 'had enough religion as a kid to put me off for life' stories from people twice my age that it's quite a shock to hear it from someone in their 30's. It's pretty damning as well, there's clearly a vague faith there but the church seems to have done more to quench it than to encourage it. Fair play to Peter Kay that he doesn't just crack some snide jokes at the church and walk away, but tries to engage with what was going on.

Third story: some vicars in, I think it was Leicester, have been having sessions with a stand up comic to learn about preaching better sermons. About time too. The only people who will get an audience to listen to them speak for more than 5 minutes at a time are the comedians. Increasingly, they're the only effective political commentators: Rory Bremner and Ian Hislop have been a more effective opposition to New Labour than most opposition politicians. As Jesus once said 'did you hear the one about the man with a plank in his eye'.

To see the classic John Smiths ad with Peter Kay and the football, click here

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