Posts Tagged ‘alternative comedy’
Bob Slayer describes himself as a “comedian, promoter, tour manager, idiot”. I would say he is a force of creative brilliance in the world of comedy. As one of the top performing alternative comedians you haven’t lived till you have been to a Bob Slayer gig. I caught up with him recently to discuss his recent antics on stage, the upcoming Alternative Fringe and all things comedy related.
So Bob, the first question has to be what made you get into comedy?
Funnily enough it was the Smoking ban… I was touring with The Bloodhound Gang just after the no smoking laws had come in; the band had been fined by the venue on the first gig for smoking on stage, so I was stood by the side of the stage ready to chuck a bucket of water over one of them if they lit up. So they decided to go for a mid-gig ciggie break. They unexpectedly thrust me on the stage to entertain, with the words: “Feel Free to throw stuff at our Tour Manager…” 1500 Bloodhound Gang fans immediately started to rain cups, cans and beer at me while I danced around on stage. I could tell when they were running out of beer because the rain started to get salty. After a few gigs of similar nonsense I found the magic words of control: “Do you want to hear what w*nkers the Bloodhound Gang are?” And they did. The band came back and was surprised to see a dry stage and me telling stories where they were not painted in the best light. And it was going down rather well! That was my first lesson in stand-up “make sure you are more entertaining than throwing stuff at a fat bloke”.
The first of many lessons I’m sure. So you learned all the lessons and then broke them….. Describe what “Alternative” comedy means to you?
Just like punk you can’t really define alternative, once you try to do so then it will move on. By it’s very nature it is anything that is not the mainstream. Usually independent, individual… It could be shit, could be amazing but it is unlikely to be bland.
Sounds like fun! So back to you then Bob. You recently broke your neck during a gig. Is there anything you won’t do on stage?
Alas if I had stayed on the stage then I think my neck would have been OK. It was leaving the stage in a wheelie bin, doing a bit of a crowd surf and falling out that done it in. You can see that crowd surfing here. But is there anything I won’t do? I don’t think I would ever go on stage and expect to get a laugh out of telling the audience what celebrity I have a passing resemblance to, I won’t go on stage and ask who in the room is in a relationship and then shoe horn in some pre-prepared guff about relationships and I certainly won’t go on stage and say Hello I am Jack Whitehall…
Hmm so not a Jack Whitehall fan then…. You often get members of the audience involved in the randomness of your gigs. Got any funny/and or embarrassing stories about any of them?
I think I am the one who ends up being embarrassed. I had a young lady on stage one time and I remarked that she was proving rather difficult to shock, to which she confidently replied that I could not possibly shock her. So feeling the gauntlet had been thrown down I informed her that I was approaching 40 and yet had never had my prostrate examined. I offered her the opportunity to go where no finger had gone before. Far from backing down she said she would happily have a rummage around up there if I could provide her with a glove. It just so happened that I had a blue marrigold in my prop bag so I was able to pull it out and hand it to her. I turned to ask the audience if this was too far for them. A supportive cheer told me that they were happy to see where this went. I turned back around to see that the she was now not only wearing the glove she was actually spitting on the finger… It appeared I had no choice so I dropped my trousers bent over and she double knuckled my poop naught. Was it Entertainment? Well who are you to say it isn’t. I now have a development deal with a TV production company who were in the audience of that gig. A proper bona fido TV production company who have made hit TV shows and they watched me get my starfish fingered and then they gave me money to develop TV ideas. I suspect they may be habitual drug takers. It might also be something to do with the fact that they are called Brown Eyed Boy?
Em…ok so Bob… Lesson there is to follow through on what you say eh? The name of your Edinburgh show is “Bob Slayer, He’s a very naughty boy”, you certainly live up to that name, with you being banned from a host of comedy clubs and all…. How does that feel?
This is how it feels to be lonely, this is how it feels to be small, this is how it feels when your word means nothing at all… It’s all part of sophisticated process to find the places that are conducive to my brand of the comedy?
I have to ask, what have you done to get yourself banned? Give us your worst (or best depending on your point of view I suppose!) story?
One time I was doing me Comedy in a Theatre in Oslo, it was a nice place with nice people. After the first night they asked me to calm it down a bit, which I did for the second, but after that gig they asked the same again, they wanted me to reign it in some more. They did ask me nicely and so I probably would have done, however on the last night members of the Cumshots, Mayhem and other Rock & Roll friends turned up. The Cumshots are infamous for inviting a couple calling themselves “Fuck for Forests” to join them on stage at Quart Festival. That is what they did and the band was fined £5k. I couldn’t deliver a calmed down version for them, it wouldn’t be right, so I entered the stage from the balcony down a rope I had found… During the gig I opened and started to swig from a bottle of Jagermeister on stage (apparently that was illegal steps one and two) and, when asked by a man in a Wheelchair if it was real Jager, I poured him one (illegal step number 3; they are quite strict about the drink in Norway). He had a little drink and confirmed it was the real stuff and so I told him: “Yes mate you have more chance of walking out of the gig than I have…” I was climbing back up onto the balcony when two kind security fellas decided to help me and carry me out of the building… I am told that I won’t be asked back… But I did have a very nice evening and some people even liked it… you can see them here