Tag Archive: Mark Watson

Saturday, 12 March. Tonight I went to see Scottish comedian, Danny Bhoy at 7pm and English comedian, Mark Watson at 9pm.  Although Danny Bhoy seems to be the better known of the two in Australia, I was actually more excited to see Mark as he’s from my home town of Bristol and I’ve followed his daily blog since March 2010.

I’d booked the tickets as soon as they went on sale so I had excellent, centre seats in the first and second row. My husband missed out on the fun because he had to work (he’s a mobile DJ,) so I arranged to go with my friend and fellow comedy fan, Kim.

It was my first time seeing Danny and Mark live, they are both observational comedians, but they deliver their stories in completely different ways.

Danny’s work was unfamiliar to me so I didn’t really know what to expect. I found his style easygoing and relaxed. He’s the sort of person you invite to a party, knowing that he will have your guests in stitches, confidently telling stories from his past with great flair and hilarious accents. And of course his anecdotes are always much more colourful than everyone else’s in the room.

I really enjoyed Danny’s mimicry. He brought his observations and imagination vividly to life with funny and convincing characters; from drunken girls on a night out, to camp vikings. He told one story from his schooldays  incorporating a French accent and smoking a pretend cigarette. It looked so real I expected smoke rings. Danny is an excellent performer, and I was left wanting more, so after the show I bought one of his DVDs, and I definitely want to see him live again.

After Danny’s merch-queue and autograph, and a shared bowl of chips from the restaurant, (thanks Kim, I owe you a coffee,) we went to see Mark’s show. As I’ve mentioned before, I know more about Mark, not only from reading his blogs, but I’ve also read all his novels.

Mark is less like your gregarious happy-go-lucky friend and more like your slightly dishevelled friend, who’s always a bit ‘glass half-empty’ but tries hard to be ‘glass half-full’. His humour is insightful and sometimes darkly delightful, and he’s a genuine person, just like you, well, like me, I can’t speak for you.

Anyway, he rambles on, well actually ramble is not really the right word, it implies a leisurely pace. Mark speaks quickly and earnestly, more like a power-walker on a caffeine-high with no defined route as he goes off on tangents.  I couldn’t let my mind wander, or I’d have been lost.  He talks about things which most people can relate to, like how to cope with confrontation, or the terrors of being a new parent, or indeed that niggling worry of  “did I lock the door?” All the usual stuff.

I’m sorry to say that the mosquitos of Brisbane seem to have been on a ‘seek and destroy’ mission with Mark Watson as their target. His arms were covered in nasty, red bumps, he told us he was allergic to the bites: poor Mark. Mossies just love thick, fresh English blood. Although I think the blotchy arms probably added a new layer of vunerability to his pale and scrawny look. I just wanted to dab his arms with calamine lotion and invite him over for a sunday roast with Yorkshire Puddings. Hmm, there’s that motherly instinct again. The same instinct that made me want to comb Josh Thomas’ hair and give him a hug last week.

After the show, we went to Mark’s merch-stand where instead of the usual fare of comedy CDs and DVDs, and possibly posters or Tshirts, Mark had his latest novel “Eleven” for sale for $30.00. I had already secured a signed copy thanks to a fellow comedy fan in Melbourne when Mark visited for his book launch last year, (thank you Witchy). So, in the spirit of bringing something interesting for him to sign, I brought him a plate with a picture of Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge that had been given to us when we emigrated from Bristol to Brisbane in 1988. He was chuffed to see it and I told him it will be proudly displayed on my kitchen wall: and for that I was later immortalised in his blog.

Not wanting the night to end, we also went to Chalkboard where we were lucky enough to see Mark again, along with Josh Earl (MCing,) Geraldine Quinn, and a couple of local comedians. If I had more money and time and could travel down to Melbourne I think I’d go and see a full Geraldine Quinn show. Her performance and singing was so amazing I wasn’t actually listening to the words half the time, so I’m sure I missed out on a few funnies. By this time it was obvious that Mark was really dying to give his arms a good scratch, but he performed well without repeating too much of what he’d said earlier that night. The room was so tiny, he didn’t even use the microphone, which made it all the more like having your friend there on stage, just talking earnestly about his view of the world we live in, and life in general. (Sly inclusion of Depeche Mode lyric.)

So that was it, my second night at the BrisComFest. Next weekend I’m seeing Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven.

Oh, and I do have two important reminders:

  • When going to a Mark Watson gig, make sure you get there early for bonus laughs.
  • Mark Watson’s books are very good. Do go and buy them.


Running for charity

Lots of people are running for charity these days; not me, other younger and far more energetic people. Amongst those people are two fabulous comedians, Tim Minchin and Mark Watson.

Mark Watson recently ran a half marathon in my home town of Bristol, and those that sponsored him raised money for a small charity called The Moldova Project, set up by his sisters.

On October 10th, Tim Minchin is running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London to raise money for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.

Now, Tim and Mark are friends, so when Tim found out that Mark had completed his run in less than the two hours Tim was aiming for, he decided he had to beat Mark’s time and now has a new goal of 1 hour 45  minutes. There’s a £150.00 bet riding on it. If Mark’s time of 1 hour 50 is quickest, Tim will donate to Mark’s charity and if he beats it, then Mark will donate that amount to Tim’s chosen charity.

The idea of this friendly rivalry tickled my parody bone and after a long break from parody writing I was prodded into action by a fellow Tim and Mark fan to get writing again.

I picked the song Da Do Ron Ron Ron and using the friendly ‘bet’ between the comedians as my theme, this is what I came up with.

I’m a musical comedian trying to stay slim
I do run run run, I do run run
Let me introduce myself, my name is Tim
I do run run run, I do run run

Yeah, I’m not a SIM
Yeah, my name is Tim
I live in London
I do run run run, in London-don

I have a friend and nemesis who lives close by
He too run run runs, he too run runs
He looks so weedy, but my oh my
He can run run run, he can run run

Yeah, he’s quick alright
Yeah, soon out of sight
When he races me home
Mark Watson son son, Mark Watson son

He ran a half a marathon in quite good time
Mark Watson son son, he did run run
On October 10th I’m gonna beat his time
I will run run run, half-marathon

We’ve got a bet on it
Cash to Moldova or kids?
And you can sponsor me too
On the run run run run, half marathon

I’m not sure if they actually do live close to each other, but if they don’t then the racing each other home bit is artistic license okay?