At last a break from my relentless self-promotion (plus dog gig in Kent)
I don’t have any more videos to share from Edinburgh yet. And I’m not sure if I can ever share my roast battle against Jonathan Kogan without risking prosecution under the Race Relations Act 1965.
Also, I have no gigs this week.
So instead this newsletter is going to be just recommendations of other people’s gigs that I think you should see.
Thursday 8th September 7pm - New Comedian of the Year
Go and support Ed Mulvey in this heat for the Museum of Comedy’s new act competition. Ed is consistently funny and original. I don’t know who else is in this heat, but everyone will be doing their best stuff so it should be a good show.
Box office: 020 7534 1744
Museum of Comedy, The Undercroft, St Georges Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SR
Saturday 10th September 8pm (doors 7:30) - Kill the Messenger
Opening night of a new regular show that “combines the spirit of unique artistic expression and free speech”. All I know is that this is organised by Wes Defoe, who is very funny, and it sounds like my kind of night. I’m seeing a lot of promoters starting to think it’s OK to police what jokes stand-ups can do, and I don’t like it. I can remember when free speech was a progressive value, and it’s good to see the pendulum start to swing back the other way. I urge you to support this night.
Blighty Tottenham, 266 High Road, London N15 4AJ
Sunday 11th September 6pm - Comedy Lock-In
I lied, I have one gig this week. It’s in Faversham, Kent and I’m doing my dog act. By the way, if you’re a comedian, I recommend doing this night. It’s not too hard to get to, there’s a good crowd and you get a bucket split to offset the train fare.
The Alexander Centre, 15-17 Preston Street, Faversham, Kent
Don’t forget, if you’re a comic and you’re reading this, I will plug your competition heat/Fringe preview/podcast appearance/latest TikTok/whatever.
Recommended media and nerdy game shit
Stewart Lee’s show Snowflake is available on BBC iPlayer, with the companion show Tornado due to come out next Sunday. I saw the two shows live and at one point I was laughing so much I couldn’t breathe.
I wrote up Everything I know about doing roast battles because a couple of people have asked me for tips.
“Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason of righteousness, temperance, and of a judgment to come in their presence.” - Plea for Freedom of Speech in Boston by the freeze peach gammon edgelord Frederick Douglass is worth reading today.
Not Okay (Disney +) is an interesting movie about a social media influencer who pretends to have been at the site of a terror attack for clout. Good premise, but they leave the part where she gets found out until way too late in the film, instead focusing on her friendship with an actual survivor of a real school shooting until Act 3. Not enough black comedy, too much heartfelt emotion and white guilt, but there is some good satire of social media dynamics and also The Actual Caroline Calloway plays herself pretty well.
Rick and Morty Season 6 is out! I was going to recommend pirating it but it’s actually available legally in the UK on All4 or My4 or E4 or whatever. So well done them for realising that people aren’t going to wait months.
For all the other shows that still aren’t available legally in a reasonable time frame, I recommend renting a Plex server from Bytesized Hosting (EUR14 a month for a server with a terabyte of storage). It’s like a private Netflix that lets you put whatever files you want on there, and you can watch from the Plex app on your smart TV, Fire stick, Xbox, Roku, phone or whatever.
You can find a magnet link for Bittorrent and use that to torrent shows right to the server, which is 10x faster than downloading it to your home computer because the server is in a data centre with a very fast internet connection. You can also use an app called Flexget to take in a feed of the shows you like from ShowRSS and download new episodes automatically:
If you’re nerdy enough that the image above doesn’t frighten and confuse you, it’s well worth fiddling around to set that up, because then you get this with no further effort:
I am still loving my Playdate console. It’s a true handheld that you can fit in your pocket and play for ten minutes between Tube stops, unlike the Switch and the Steam Deck.
If you’re nostalgic for the days of the Gameboy Advance SP then you should check it out (due to supply constraints, order now to get one in 2023). It’s not an exercise in nostalgia though, the crank controller makes for some really fresh and original games. $179 for such a low-powered console might seem expensive, but you also get a season of 24 games that are delivered automatically, two per week, after you power the thing on. The standout included games for me so far are Pick Pack Pup and Demon Quest ‘85, as well as the indie titles Eyeland, Rocket Bytes and A Balanced Brew which you can buy from Itch.io for a few bucks each. You can also make your own games for the thing pretty easily. They even have a podcast covering the making of each game.
I’ve also taken advantage of my lack of gigs to catch up on what’s available on Xbox Game Pass. I recommend:
Next Space Rebels (also on Switch/PC) - like a more approachable Kerbal Space Program where you’re filming model rocket launches for a YouTube-like video service. Genuinely funny in places, would be inspiring and educational for kids if they can handle a bit of swearing and dark humour - like at one point you can choose to launch a little girl’s toy doll high into the atmosphere, and she is not best pleased.
Nobody Saves The World (also on Switch/PlayStation/PC) an action RPG where the gimmick is that you have a wand to shift between forms, so you can play as a rat or a horse or a turtle as well as the more common classes like ranger. Very fun and inventive, some Metroidvania elements where you face a challenge you can’t pass until you have unlocked the right form/upgrades.