Sunday 27 November 2011

Youtoobling, big round-up

I've done a fair bit of Youtoobling in recent weeks (stringing pop vids together, surprising myself with what comes next) as well as joining in with hashtag gags. For posterity, because sometimes posterity can be a little bit too interesting, here's what I've filled the air with...

Nov 11, Party Down Youtoobling

My Struggle, Kyle Party Down #youtoobling (see also Mel Brooks Hitler Rap)

Lizzy Caplan (Casey) Mean Girls Party Down #youtoobling

Ken Marino (Ron) pop stardom Party Down #youtoobling

Roman "I'm into hard sci fi" Party Down #youtoobling

Party Down - Steve Guttenberg's Party, Party Down #youtoobling

Party Party, Elvis Costello Party Down #youtoobling

It's My Party, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin #youtoobling Party Down

Left To My Own Devices (with a party animal) PSB Party Down #youtoobling

Grandma's Party, Paul Nicholas Party Down #youtoobling

Party Like It's 1999 Prince #youtoobling Party Down

Ain't Nothing But A House Party J Geils Band #youtoobling Party Down

Ain't No Party Like an S Club Party Party Down #youtoobling

We're Having A Party, The Osmonds in Cardiff, on a cameraphone #youtoobling Party Down

Fight For The Right To Party (revisited) (oh this is worth watching, fun) #youtoobling Party Down

Fight For Your Right To Party remade by some kids Party Down #youtoobling

Frank Zappa's Jazz Discharge Party Hats, Mike Keneally #youtoobling Party Down

Nov 13, Waterford to War

Waterfall, Stone Roses #youtoobling

Waterfalls, Paul McCartney (wait, where did this video come from?) #youtoobling

Goodnight Tonight, Wings (Now this video I remember from the time) #youtoobling

Goodbyee, Cook & Moore #youtoobling

Goodbyee, Oh What A Lovely War #youtoobling

19 - Paul Hardcastle Armistice Remembrance Poppy #youtoobling

Same Old Song, Weathermen (flipside was Why Should I Fight?) #youtoobling

War (what is it good for?) Bruce Springsteen #youtoobling

Poppy Day, Siouxsie & The Banshees #youtoobling

Between The Wars, Billy Bragg. A Top Of The Pops classic #youtoobling

Nov 24, Inspired by The Cafe (sitcom on Sky, for the benefit of posterity, who might not remember it)

Sad Cafe Everyday Hurts #youtoobling

Brass In Pocket, Pretenders #popcafe #youtoobling

Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Telephone & Rubber Band #cafepop #youtoobling

Street Cafe, Icehouse #youtoobling

Unfinished Sympathy, Massive Attack #youtoobling

Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve #youtoobling

You Can't Always Get What You Want, Rolling Stones #youtoobling

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2 #youtoobling

I Still Can't Accept What A Nob I Am, U2 & The Chasers #youtoobling

You're Beautiful (literal version) #youtoobling

Weird Al The Streets Have No Name, U2 #youtoobling

Get Up & Go, The Rutles #youtoobling

Get Low Mary Poppins, Chim Chimineree Mofo #youtoobling

Greatest Day, Take That #youtoobling

Breakfast At Tiffanys, Deep Blue Something #youtoobling

Living For The Weekend, Hard Fi #youtoobling

PS: Demographics of the above Youtoobling selections:
1960s - 3 vids
1970s - 6 vids
1980s - 15 vids
1990s - 5 vids
2000s - 13 vids

There's a rhino in the corner of the room

Nov 24: There's a rhino in the corner of the room, plugged into a mains adaptor... oh no, it's charging! (Fave gag I wrote this week)

I so rarely use this blog to just bring my diary up to date, and yet I so love looking back on past entries to remind me of what the hell I've been up to. And my it's been a busy time.

In the last couple of weeks the domestic scene has been unlivened by a big plus and a big minus. The big plus was that the downstairs neighbours, a notorious couple who've been a thorn in our side for the last couple of years by dint of being the noisiest, most argumentative (between each other, it sounded like an episode of Eastenders turned up to 11) neighbours we've ever had, in the many years we've lived in our otherwise perfect flat. I won't rake over old ground, suffice it to say it is a delight that we'd almost forgotten to be able to sit here in bed of a Sunday morning and not have to listen to hacking cough in the garden, smell and pall of smoke rising up, then have to listen to the sort of domestic row that is the reason we don't watch Crimewatch.

On the minus side, the flat above started leaking again. Back in 2009 our flat was destroyed by a leak from above, causing over £10,000 of damage. That was all put right, we thought. So when Hev, left alone at home while I was away in Ireland for the week, had to contend with bucketloads of water streaming through the light sockets in the suspended ceiling, you can imagine it didn't lead to the calmest time. Hopefully it is all sorted now.

My being away in Ireland is indicative of the amount of travel I've being doing this year, and the reason my personal diary doesn't get attended to as much as it should. I just totted up how many visits I've made to Ireland in 2011. Nine. In all,how many journeys by plane I've made? 23. Well, no, those are all return flights, so in fact I've made 46 flights this year. So far. I apologise globe, that cosy warm sensation you're experiencing is entirely down to me, sorry.

I'm sure it'll calm down next year. After all the Socks 2012 tour only has 14 dates so far. Plus a month in Adelaide performing every night, and the same again in Edinburgh. And I'm sure I won't do over 100 days teaching comics in schools as I've done this year. Surely there wouldn't be enough year for all that. God I've been busy.

Here are some random notes from Twitter, summing up my recent activities and thoughts:

Nov 26: Caricaturing at Bat Mitzvah in Hampstead last night, good fun. 1st since I got into Party Down. So not like this:

Nov 25: New exhibition by Heather Tweed opens Bristol Dec 16. Check it out (& try try try to get an invite to the Private View)

Nov 25: This Socks show in Aberdeen in April 2012 has now out-sold 2 dates from the recent run, in advance. Fit like?

Fabulous. Darth Vader sells Christmas Toys. via @Glinner

The McGurk Effect

Nov 24: There's a rhino in the corner of the room, plugged into a mains adaptor... oh no, it's charging! (Fave gag I wrote this week)

Nov 24: I keep thinking I'm an obscure 70s record label that featured The Moody Blues. I'm living the Deram. (Runner up, less good gag)

To celebrate Doctor Who's anniversary, 50-year old @steven_moffat gets his own Radio Times cover via jonnymorris1973

Nov 23: Amazon email to suggest I would like books by Jason Manford, Miranda Hart, James Corden & Louie Spence. What the hell have I been buying?

Nov 22: Dublin. Feel a little dicky, thought I'd be sick overnight. Wasn't drinking. Cold tap in this hotel makes hot water (so does the hot). Coincidence?

Do you think Mark Thompson of the BBC's fed up of being asked if that's a Movember beard?

Nov 15: Irish train tannoy says "thankyou for travelling by Here Nor There". Given their punctuality, that's about right. #iarnrodeireann

Nov 14: Today in Waterford I ate my first Blaa. Tastes as good as it looks.

Nov 14: Wexford (where I am) is birthplace of Eoin Colfer, Oscar Wilde's mum, The Kennedy's (JFK came in 63), & Father Ted director Declan Lowney.

Nov 14: Tomorrow's school is on Milehouse Road Enniscorthy. The bad news? Milehouse Rd Enniscorthy doesn't bloody exist

Nov 14: Which reminds me, I saw the Occupy Waterford camp yesterday. Yes there is.

Friday 25 November 2011

Chapmans Monkey - Heather Tweed new exhibition Dec 16-21

Heather Tweed has a brand new exhibition taking place in Bristol in December, and you must go to it. Here are the details:

Chapmans Monkey - Artefacts Of The Apocryphal, opens on December 16th and runs until Dec 21st at Centrespace Gallery in Bristol. If you would like to get an invitation to the Private View on December 16th from 6pm - 8pm, contact Heather by Twitter @heathertweed or by Facebook here. I'll be there and would love to see you there too.

If you're not familiar with Heather's work, here are images from some of her recent shows.

So, that's Heather Tweed's exhibition, Chapman's Monkey, on from Dec 16th-21st at Centrespace in Bristol, and you could come to the Private View by contacting Heather. See you there.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Benton! Scottish Falsetto Socks

Brand new from the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, live from Richmond Park, it's Benton!

If you have no idea what this is about, you've missed this. Enjoy.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Doctor Who birthday with the Scottish Falsetto Socks

It's Nov 23rd, the 48th anniversary of the start of Doctor Who, and the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are playing their last London show of the year tonight, so what better excuse to look back at David Tennant's finest hour:

Thursday 17 November 2011

Jellyfish In A Jar - More comics by kids

I've been travelling far and wide bringing my Comic Art Masterclasses to kids, and here are some of the results. These are the front covers of the comics that each class produces, in a morning or an afternoon, and takes away. Each comic contains a strip by every single one of them and a caricature by me, showing how well they've learnt to tell stories with pictures so they can grow up, leave school and steal my job. Click to enlarge, and see more in the gallery.

These comics were produced by pupils in Waterford, Wexford and Enniscorthy in Ireland, at Hull Truck Theatre, and at schools in Somerset, Oxfordshire, and Welwyn Garden City.

Any school, library, art centre or organisation who'd like to teach students from age 7 to adult how to draw comics, at the hands of a writer and artist who's worked for The Beano, Marvel comics and most points in between, please get in touch at

And I hope to make a brief appearance at the Thought Bubble comic convention in Leeds this weekend, if you want to say hello there.

RECOMMENDED COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS for Comic Art Masterclass students, teachers and librarians

Sunday 13 November 2011

Why do I not wear a poppy?

Why do I not wear a poppy? Well, what is it supposed to represent?

When I was a child the poppy was the emblem of Armistice Day, marking the end of the first world war, "the war to end all wars", and by extension remembering the dead of the second world war, "the war the war to end all wars didn't prevent after all".

This was fair enough and, to my young mind, A Good Thing. It served, so we thought, as a reminder that such things should never be allowed to happen again. I was all for this, as I was by then, and remain, a pacifist. A poppy that declares that wars are a bad thing which people did in the olden days, was something I could wear with pride.

Added to which we had a fun competition at school to see who could squeeze the most layers of paper petal under the black plastic stud on your green plastic stem without the whole thing falling apart. This, combined with the trend for the widest-possible knot in your school tie, and various badges on the turned-up lapels of your school blazer meant we were at best wearing just an anagram of a proper school uniform. Poppy day in the 1970s was simple, morally clear, and fun.

Then came the early 80s and with it The Falklands War, plus the Cold War brought closer home in the form of Greenham Common, and my becoming a student. All this led to war suddenly seeming a very different thing, ie a thing that was actually happening and of which I strongly disapproved. I marched with CND (though for some reason don't recall getting the opportunity to march against the Falklands War) and when it came to Poppy Day wore a white poppy... in theory. In practice they were nowhere to be found in the provincial town that housed my art college, so we went sans poppy.

And poppyless I have remained, though by the turn of the century I could have been tempted back had anyone pressured me to. Remembering the two world wars and their cautionary message was still valid, even if the memory of The Falklands would now be occasionally roped in as the regrettable and avoidable bastard step-war which needn't have happened in the first place and certainly shouldn't have ended up with dead Britons (or dead anyones come to think of it). But as long as we were remembering that stuff like this should Never Happen Again, I could second that emotion.

Then came Afghanistan and then came Iraq. And year by year we started accumulating war dead at such a rate that a small town in Wiltshire has found itself bemoaning the fact that they have been deprived of the ritual of lining the streets to watch a regular convoy of flag-draped coffins going by.

And this year, on the big 93rd anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars, there is a positive epidemic of Remembrance Day programmes and events. There's even a special edition of Antiques Roadshow for gods sake. And we are made to feel we are in some way not supporting our brave boys, even being disrespectful to their memory, if we don't wear a poppy.

Well I voted against our brave boys - and I am not for a second denying their bravery or suggesting their loss is another other than tragic - being sent to their deaths in the first place. If that's not worth more than wearing a poppy, just because no-one listened to our objections, then I don't know what is.

I don't remember being told in the 70s and 80s that my poppy represented those "brave boys" who were being sent to kill and die in Northern Ireland. Or did I just not get the memo?

If I am supposed to wear a poppy to honour all war dead, regardless of the validity of the war, I refuse. That would be tantamount to declaring my support for wars which I oppose.

If wearing a poppy becomes once more a symbol that says I believe war is a bad thing which we should avoid at all costs, and we go back to really trying our best to avoid wars at all costs, I may be back in.

Kev F

Snap! Airtricity vs Krusty

I'm in Ireland, in Waterford to be precise, ahead of three days preaching comics in schools here, and an ad just came up above my mailbox for Airtricity (as the name suggests, they're in Eire, they do electricity), with the oddest advertising character. Is it just me or is there a similarity...?

Krusty The Clown

Airtricity guy

Little things please little minds. As you were.

Friday 11 November 2011

Eurozone - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Brand new from the Socks, a look at the Eurozone crisis.

And if you're looking for the ideal Christmas present, there's always the 2012 calendar.

PS: Come to The Scottish Falsetto Socks London Showcase on Nov 23rd

It's at The Phoenix Artist Club off Charing Cross Road and tickets are on sale now. Space is limited, so get booking quick to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

History of Dance - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Brand new from the Socks, a brief look at a classic dance.

And, while we're on, the brand new 2012 Socks Calendar is now available. Check it out, only £10.25, perfect for Christmas.

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