I went to see Dapper Laughs. The comedically-clueless, half-arsed, shit-brained, misogynist internet bantersauarus was playing in my home town, and as I’m cursed by a nagging need to gravitate towards things that are bad for me, I felt obliged to go and run my eye over the fucker in real life.
Curious about the size and shape of his audience, I sneakily positioned myself in the window of the pub across the road from the venue (Sunderland’s cowboy-flavoured ‘Arizona’ bar) for an hour before Laughs was due to take to the stage.
I watched as his customers trudged in, in dribs and drabs, while I smugly sucked down my booze. There weren’t many of them – the low turnout that I’d hoped for was happening. I clapped my hands excitedly. The barman eyed me suspiciously.
I writhed on my stool, excited by what I might witness. Wounded by the latest Twitter storm and the miserly audience, would Laughs announce that he was jacking it all in and devoting himself to the eight independent estate agents that he had claimed to own earlier in the day?
Would he even top himself? He’d mused over the idea a few hours before – hunched over his phone in between wanks, no doubt. Fuck Laughs and his Vines and his customers and his turtle-neck and his pretend thoughts and his chain of eight independent estate agents. Fuck him in the eye.
I watched and waited, sneering as I drank, waiting for the gang of archetypal Laughs customers to pitch up – the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Visigoths, their tattooed gobs spewing bile and banter everywhere. But no – perhaps they were still in Nando’s.
The people who I did see going in looked okay. In fact, I was surprised by how many couples there were. No drool fell from their sagging lips and none of the men were dragging the womenfolk towards what I assumed would be a sawdust-strewn dancefloor.
Once I got inside, a head count showed that only about a hundred people had made the effort. Laughs regularly crows about his fan base of two million plus, but this was a shitty turn-out.
The crowd, such as it was, was asked to move closer to the raised area where Laughs would be plying his comedic trade. They shuffled warily, probably fearful of him putting his knob on them once the show got underway.
Suddenly, there he was – Dapper Laughs, in the fucking flesh. He played the wounded soldier card right from the off – having a whinge about the rough day he’d had on Twitter at the hands of the ‘feminists and journalists’, talking about his short-lived ITV2 show and THAT Newsnight appearance.
The audience weren’t with him – they didn’t give a fuck about his turmoil at the hands of the Twitter mob. This was shaping up to be an orgy of self-pity, with none of the sexiness. Lovely.
Fortunately for everyone, he got it all out of his system after a couple of minutes and launched into the act proper. And the fucker was… pretty good actually. That lazy boasting about his sexual prowess that made his Vines barely watchable still lingers, but Laughs has honed his material over the past few months.
His ability to think on his feet as he interacted with the audience was impressive, and I even found myself laughing at some of his ad libs, my internal organs contorting with self-loathing as I did.
Most jokes need victims, but it was men as much as women who were having the piss taken out of them here. Laughs even did some self-deprecation too, and I found myself warming to him as the show progressed. Obviously, I was livid.
Don’t get me wrong – this was still rough, earthy, scatological comedy, but who said there was anything wrong with that? Helpfully, no one was threatened with sexual assault either.
It might all be too late for Dapper Laughs though – he’s been branded as toxic, even though he’s clearly made an effort to raise his game (although getting involved in Twitter rucks with the army of dissenters isn’t going to help him either).
His best hope now is probably a successful stint in the Celebrity Big Brother house followed by a short-lived Channel 5 game show. Then he can fuck off back to where he came from.
But the 2015 Dapper Laughs isn’t Satan. Not any more than, say, Vernon Kay is.
Tomorrow morning sees the first solar eclipse to hit the UK since 1999. But what IS a solar eclipse and why should we even give a toss about any of it? Here – have some factual healing…
The eclipse and the moon’s arse
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon needs to revitalise itself by standing directly in front of the sun and drawing energy from it. It does this by extending a long tube made from a combination of rock and flesh out of its anus, then inserting it into the heart of the sun and ingesting liquid fire up into its large intestine.
Without this, the moon would begin to shrivel up, eventually shrinking to the size of a cannon ball before falling from the sky and completely destroying Earth upon impact.
Time to invest in a facial sieve
Humans should not attempt to look directly at the solar eclipse with the naked eye, but there are many safe ways to see this miracle of nature without blinding yourself. Try rubbing natural yoghurt into your eyeballs immediately before looking at the eclipse, or view it through a facial sieve. Alternatively, if you blink repeatedly or squint a bit you should probably be alright.
All hail the Fonguran babies!
For its short duration, the solar eclipse will unlock a hidden 13th star sign, called Fongura. Any child born during the eclipse will become a lifelong secret Fonguran and display characteristics such as extreme lethargy, immunity from close-up evil and the ability to strip a motorbike engine in under three minutes.
Mmmm… tasty eclipse…
Due to its extreme power, the eclipse will leave Earth covered in a fine coating of moon dust. This is harmless and can be swept up and added to boiling water to make a delicious lunar gravy.
Watch out for hoax eclipses
You should beware of fake eclipses that could appear in the sky shortly before and after the official one. These are staged by criminal gangs who take advantage of the brief periods of darkness and confusion to carry out robberies.
Always confirm the official time of your local eclipse by ringing your mayor.
Britain 2014. A nation that is in the grip of a million types of crisis. Need and want is evident wherever your eyes dare to wander. Today though, a new, desperate voice has been heard. A voice that roars, ‘Who will babysit my sourdough starter?’
To the uninitiated, this sounds like the confused howl of a lunatic but in fact a sourdough starter must be ‘fed’. You can’t just bang one out in a few hours like it’s a white tin loaf or something, you fucking tit. Jesus. Something something yeast, something something bacteria – OBVIOUSLY.
If you’re lucky enough to have a job or go on holiday, you’re screwed. As with a cat or dog, the sourdough starter needs to be nurtured, otherwise it’ll die. And like a dead cat or dog, the stink will soon become unbearable and there’ll be maggots everywhere. Probably.
Just like ghoulish, silver-topped human penis Paul Hollywood, we’re stuck with the cult of the sourdough starter, and it could be a 2015 election-winning issue.
Victory might hinge on whether Cameron or Miliband have the (dough) balls to introduce paid paternity leave for fathers of sourdough starters (because it’s mostly blokes, right?). At the very least, free nursery places for fledgling sourdough starters will surely be on the agenda.
Meanwhile, UKIP will dodge the issue as it’s too modern and weird, and a newly-independent Scotland will be immune, too concerned with fully utilising its shortbread mountain.
Britain 2014. A nation that is up to its neck in bread trends and can’t stop. A nation that has become an artisan bakery junkie, forever chasing that next, more elaborate, hit.
A nation that needs to get a fucking grip and just send off for some sea monkeys instead.
So, anyway, I’ve written a few pieces for the Daily Mirror’s website lately (mainly TV reviews), and hopefully there’s a lot more to follow. Why not go and have a look? You’ve literally got nothing to lose.
“The ball’s gone over the top, the defence have stepped up but there’s no flag. After that it’s a one-on-one biscuit race between Owen and the keeper.”
“When you’re taking a free kick, the wall’s a bit like a porn film. You’re better off ignoring it or else you’ll just get distracted.”
“You’ve got to blame the defence there. The left-back came home early for his tea and got jam in his eye.”
“You can’t legislate for skill like that. He’s done a right Pan’s People on John O’Shea there.”
“Seven hours Palace fans have waited for a goal, and when they get one they’ll probably spell it wrong.”
“He’s gone up and given the centre-half a short back and sides there. Look at the replay, there’s dead hair all over the six yard box.”
“Blanc’s been caught by the quick ball over the top there. He was expecting The Troggs and they’ve gone and hit him with a right Frank Zappa.”
“Villa’s midfield’s like a handful of premium bonds. They’re there but you’re not quite sure why.”
“Zola’s split the defence with a birthday ball there. Candles, the bumps, and a sloppy kiss off his Auntie Rita. The lot.”
I scripted these. Tim Major drew them.
Yesterday, a great man passed away. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka MCA, aka Nathaniel Hornblower died at the criminally young age of 47. The outpouring of grief around the world can be measured by looking at social media – at one point in the US yesterday evening, nine of the top ten trending topics were Beastie-related.
As I tried to get a handle on the shocking, sorrowful news, I remembered my own period of hardcore Beastie Boys fandom – hearing Slow & Low on an EP that was given away with Record Mirror in 1985 and having my 13-year-old mind BLOWN; avidly buying up everything they released over the next year or so; being disappointed when they broke into the mainstream with Fight For Your Right (it wasn’t hip hop – I didn’t like it). Yes, I liked them before you did – I’ve always been hipper than you.
But this morning, my sadness has turned to blind rage after seeing and hearing the ‘tribute’ to Yauch from those unwelcome suppliers of lite-rock corporate shite, Coldplay (the Hamfatter that somehow made it) – a piano-led cover version of the aforementioned Fight For Your Right. Here, look… see… cringe…
In case you don’t have the stomach to play the video, what Chris Martin and his gang of humming building society cashiers have done is take a goofy, dumb-as-fuck, rock anthem and clinically removed everything about it that made it great, before infusing it with their trademark empty, soulless earnestness. Yes boys, you’re sad; we get it because we’re ALL sad – just don’t apply the standard Coldplay filter to what is the Beasties’ best-known song and instantly rip apart everything that it represents.
The only thing they could have done that would have been LESS appropriate than this fucking fiasco would have been to break into the morgue, find Yauch’s still-warm corpse, flicked his penis into some kind of vague erection and then wanked him off while Chris Martin played the harmonica and tapped his foot on the floor to keep time.
NOW look what they made me do….