NewsJack is coming back! Get your writing hands warm

Excited! Its nearly time to start writing again!

I just got an email from the BBC

Nish Kumar is back for another series of Newsjack, the open-door topical sketch show filled with sketches, one-liners and voxpops written by the public.

Nish is joined by the best sketch and character comedians on the scene bringing the week’s news stories to life.”

I’m happy about this for 2 reasons.

  1. You can apply for tickets for it via the BBC to attend the recordings for free.
  2. ANYONE can make submissions for it! If it gets broadcast then you get paid!

I have written for Newsjack before but nothing has been broadcast (and therefore nothing has been paid to me!), but I have NEARLY been broadcast! I’ll tell you about that on another blog post.

Topical Joke Writing – 19th January

As part of the comedy course I am part of we had to write 3 minutes on something that felt more to our character. I had previously done 5 minutes for the showcase of the last course I did but I felt this wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. I wanted to write topical and political jokes.

As usual, I had left it until the last minute. So with time chasing me down I created the attached.

3 minutes stand up 19-01-16

It is rough but there are 2 sections I really am proud of.

Firstly, someone called their son Thatcher. Not exactly mainstream but definitely some oppertunities for a joke

“At least if he grows up to be a drag artist he can use the catchphrase – This lady is not for turning! The biggest problem is he might grow up into Paedofile. Well you know Thatcher, always fucking miners! At least while still in nursey school he can legitimately snatch other kids milk. And when he gets older HIS son can help a military coup in Equatorial Guinea.”

Secondly there were complaints about the pollster….

“Who cares? The results of an election poll has no real meaning. What we need is in an election, some way of finding out what EVERYONE who voted, voted for. If only we could instigate some sort of election pre-polling. But its very important that only people who have the right to pre-poll get invited so we will send them pre-polling cards through the post. And when they arrive at the pre-polling station, they will need to confirm they are the person on the card. THEN we need to make sure no-one can see how they pre-poll, so we will keep them in private booths. Now, we can’t force people to pre-poll but what we can do is give them the option to spoil their pre-polling slip. We will count up these spoiled pre-polling slip for no real reason. At the end of the day we can just count all the votes on the pre-polling slip. This might take a while but some northern county with nothing better to do will probably get all the pre-polling slips counted before anyone else. During the night we could have some overnight pre-polling rolling coverage on the BBC while each constituency gets their pre-polling results and the following day we can eventually see the outcome of the pre-polls. This is definitely the way forward for future elections. “

I’m sure the twitter joke about ‘things you read when on the shitter’ is probably hack, but as thats not the punchline I think I can get away with it.

in other news, the other people on my comedy writing course are desperate to do their 2nd gig. I’m not sure. I want to write more and not just re-hash my material from the 1st gig.

Rufus Hound on the NHS

I attended a recording of the Museum of Curiosity and one of the guests was Rufus Hound. The show was great but Rufus was amazing. He appeared a little drunk (nothing wrong with that) but at one point went on a tangent about the NHS. It was amazing and I thought it was a special moment only the lucky people in the room would get to enjoy it.

Until Now.

I have just found that a recording of it was loaded to YouTube.

If you’d like to listen to the rest of the episode then it should be broadcast in February on Radio 4. The other people are on are John Lloyd, Sarah Millican (curator), Sir Tim Smit (Eden Project), and Doris Vickers (archaeoastronomer).

I’ve been a massive fan of Rufus for years but unfortunately haven’t seen him perform live. This is something I definitely want to rectify.

If you fancy a Rufus Hound fix then you can currently get 4 DVDs he has been involved in. 1 is a stand-up show and the others are either movies he was part of or his childrens tv series, ‘Hounded’.

My First Ever Gig – 21st December, 2015

At the end of the beginners comedy course we were given the option of taking part in the showcase or not. I really was undecided about it, especially as I didn’t feel my set from the previous week (that we performed to the other people on the course) was any good. Based on this I had 1 week to write a completely new, and untested 5 minutes that I thought people would be happy with. Nothing like a bit of pressure to help get your mind in the right place for writing comedy!

With the pressure on I did nothing about it until the day of the show. Then I gave myself the rediculous task of working out what I was going to perform. There was little chance of me writing brand new stuff so I printed out some of my previous writing from the course and started to re-work that. Eventually I had 3 seperate 1 minute bits that I hoped would stretch out to 5 minutes. And then I practiced them.

I probably have 15 different recordings of me performing the set. Ranging in time from 3.58minutes to 9.32 minutes (I think I got distracted halfway through). Happy that on average i was getting to 5 minutes I decided what I’d wear for the performance and headed out of the flat.

Arriving in Leicester Square far too early I grabbed a Tea and waited outside the venue. Re-performing my set into my mobile phone over and over. I kept my headset in so that people would think I was on the phone but if they over-heard what I was saying they would have probably thought I was a bit mental. As more people arrived we headed inside and made our way to the basement where the gig would be held. After being asked to leave by the barman, Kate arrived and we began to set up the chairs. At this point Kate explained that we had well over 100 booked to watch the showcase and there wouldn’t be enough seats for anyone anyway. Us comedians would have to hide at the back of the room.

We were also given the running order and I was partway through the 1st half. This was a godsend to me as I’d only have to wait for 2 or 3 sets before I’d be able to do mine and get off stage to enjoy the rest of the performances. We had a great opener, Nick. He had the crowd in stitches with his ‘Canadian in the UK’ jokes. This got everyone laughing and help set the standard of the showcase. In less time than expected I heard my name called and the audience were clapping and cheering as I fought my way through the crowd to the stage.

There were over 120 people there and as such I really had to fight through the audience…to the point where they had stopped clapping long before I got anywhere near the stage. Luckily Kate in her role as MC got them going again and I arrived on stage to rapturous applause.

The lights were blinding, the time on stage appeared to race past while at the same time taking for-ever. I don’t remember them laughing once. That’s not to say that they weren’t laughing but even coming straight off stage I can’t remember any laughs from anyone. I left the stage to a great round of applause and as I made my way back to the comedians people congratulated me. It was a good feeling. The other comics did tell me people were laughing at my jokes so I’m glad I didn’t do as badly as I imagined it went in my head.

The other acts of the show all did great. The comedians were ace, the audience amazing. Performing to 120+ people really was something that no-one could have expected but it certainly helped make the gig what it was.

At the end of the night I went back home and thought long and hard about what I’d achieved and done. Not bad going at all. The first step of a journey has certainly been completed. Where will the next step take me?

NewsJack Submission 13 – 10 – 15

This was my NewsJack submission for the 13th October, 2015

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. PLAYBOY IS TO DROP PICTURES OF NAKED WOMEN FROM ITS MAGAZINE. IN UNRELATED NEWS, MILLIONS OF MEN WHO BUY IT ‘JUST FOR THE CAR FEATURES’ HAVE SUDDENLY CANCELLED THEIR SUBSCRIPTIONS.
  2. LEAKED GOVERNMENT REPORTS SAY THAT LEGALISING CANABIS WOULD GENERATE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS IN TAX. THIS WOULD BE A NEW ‘MUNCHIE’ TAX ON ANY SNACK FOOD PURCHASED FROM A CORNER SHOP AFTER 11PM.
  3. FACEBOOK PAID LESS THAN £5,000 IN TAX LAST YEAR. AMAZON, STARBUCKS, AND GOOGLE ‘LIKE’ THIS.

VIEWJACK:

  1. I DON’T CARE THAT HOVERBOARDS HAVE BEEN MADE ILLEGAL. IN THE SAME WAY I’M NOT GIVING UP MY TIME TRAVELLING DELORIAN.
  2. IT COST £12 MILLION TO WATCH JULIAN ASSANGE FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS. BUT WHEN I HIDE IN A TREE AND WATCH JANET FROM ACCOUNTS, I GET FINED AND HAVE TO PAY HER MONEY – WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?
  3. ALL THIS TALK ABOUT AN ‘IN/OUT’ REFERENDUM ON EUROPE. I VOTE ‘OUT’ AND THINK WE SHOULD BE PART OF THE BAHAMAS AS THEY HAVE BETTER WEATHER.

Breaking News #3 seems a bit ‘yawn’ now. I thought it would fit the format of the show well but I wasn’t really happy with it. I thought Breaking News #1 was go though. ViewJack #1 was about the fact hoverboards don’t exist, but I think the punchline (re-reading it) just help make that leap at all. I think ViewJack #2 could be better.

  • IT COST £12 MILLION TO WATCH JULIAN ASSANGE FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS. BUT WHEN I HIDE IN A TREE AND WATCH JANET FROM ACCOUNTS, THE POLICE ARREST ME, TAKE ME TO COURT AND I HAVE TO PAY HER MONEY – WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

its only a small change, but I think it makes it sound better.

ViewJack #3 is one that doesn’t sound right.

  • ALL THIS TALK ABOUT AN ‘IN/OUT’ REFERENDUM ON EUROPE. I VOTE ‘OUT’ AND THINK WE SHOULD JOIN THE CARIBBEAN AS THEY HAVE BETTER WEATHER.

Is that better? Is it not? I’m leaning towards slightly better when it is said out loud.

NewsJack Submission 29 – 09 – 15

These are the submissions I made to NewsJack on the 29th September, 2015

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. JEREMY CORBYN HAS SAID MOST PEOPLE SHARE HIS VALUES. THE TELEGRAPH LED WITH THE HEADLINE ‘RED JED GETS IN YOUR HEAD – HAS THE COMMIE BOUGHT MIND CONTROL DEVICE FROM NORTH KOREA?’
  2. FACEBOOK GOES DOWN FOR A SECOND TIME IN A WEEK. WE APPROACHED A MAN IN THE STREET WHO TOLD US HE HAD JUST HAD A ‘CHEEKY NANDOS’ FOR LUNCH AND HIS GIRLFRIEND HANDED US SOME PHOTOS OF SOME CATS.
  3. DAVID CAMERON HAS SAID HE IS ‘TOO BUSY’ TO SUE LORD ASHCROFT FOR CLAIMS MADE IN HIS BOOK. SEPP BLATTER IS ALSO TOO BUSY TO SUE ANYONE ABOUT THE CLAIMS ABOUT HIM BEING CORRUPT AND ALSO I’M TOO BUSY TO SUE MY GIRLFRIEND ABOUT CLAIMING I SPENT LAST NIGHT WITH TRACY FROM ACCOUNTS.

VIEWJACK:

  1. THEY SAY THAT HOW YOU SLEEP REVEALS LOADS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS AND SEX LIFE. I STAY UP ALL NIGHT PLAYING CALL OF DUTY AND DRINKING RED BULL….BUT THAT DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP AND SEX LIFE.
  2. WATER HAS BEEN FOUND ON MARS? THAT DOESN’T SURPRISE ME. I KNEW THEY HAD BEEN GETTING SMALLER, BUT WATERING THEM DOWN AS WELL?
  3. THE FAKE SHEIK HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE. I DIDN’T REALISE IT WAS SUCH A SERIOUS OFFENCE! I ONCE HAD AN INCIDENT INVOLVING A FAKE SHEIK. I ASKED FOR VANILLA AND THEY GAVE ME BANANA.

Favourites from this submission are Breaking News #3 as I could really hear this in Nish’s voice (a real strange thing to say but it really did seem like that) and none of these ViewJacks I’m very happy with. Obviously I wrote these just before the submission deadline as I think with a bit of work they could be better. For example

  1. THEY SAY THAT HOW YOU SLEEP REVEALS LOADS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS AND SEX LIFE. I HARDLY SLEEP AS I STAY UP ALL NIGHT PLAYING CALL OF DUTY AND DRINKING RED BULL….BUT THAT DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP AND SEX LIFE.

I needed to make reference back to ‘sleep’ and not ‘staying up’. It certainly reads better and that helps it being funny.

  1. THEY HAVE DONE SOME DRILLING AND WATER HAS FINALLY BEEN FOUND IN MARS? THAT DOESN’T SURPRISE ME. I KNEW THEY HAD BEEN GETTING SMALLER, BUT WATERING THEM DOWN AS WELL?

Water ON Mars? That doesn’t make sense for the punchline. Water IN Mars… that makes much more sense. Just not any funnier.

 

NewsJack Submission 21 – 09 – 15

This is my NewsJack submission on the 21st September 2015

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. NICK CLEGG HAS SAID THAT THE LIB DEMS ARE ‘COMEBACK KIDS’…..NO SORRY, THAT SHOULD BE “‘AND DON’T COME BACK’ KIDS”.
  2. JCB TO CUT 400 JOBS DUE TO A MARKET SLUMP. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE COMPANY HAS SAID THIS IS A TEMPORARY SITUATION AS THEY ARE WELL USED FOR DIGGING THEMSELVES OUT OF BIG HOLES.
  3. THE EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE OF NETWORK RAIL HAS SAID SHE CAN’T RULE OUT A SELL-OFF. INSIDERS HAVE ADVISED THAT IF YOU WISH TO BUY IT TOMORROW MORNING THEN THE PRICE WILL BE HUGE, BUT BUY IT ONLINE, 6 WEEKS IN ADVANCE AND THE PRICE IS MUCH CHEAPER….AS LONG AS YOU HAVE TAKE IT AT A WEEKEND.

VIEWJACK:

  1. ITS NOT JUST VW WHO HAVE BEEN CHEATING IN THEIR EMISSION TESTS. I HAD A GREGGS BAKED BEAN AND EGG SLICE FOR LUNCH YESTERDAY, AND I’VE BLAMED THE DOG FOR ALL THE SMELLS AROUND THE HOUSE
  2. EVERYONE LOVED THAT SEAL WHO WAS SPOTTED SURFING A HUMPBACK WHALE…BUT WHEN I JUMP ON A PENSION DEMANDING A PIGGYBACK SOMEHOW I’M A MONSTER?
  3. I BET YOU’VE HAD A MILLION PEOPLE TALK TO YOU ABOUT A CERTAIN MP THIS WEEK. YOU WONT HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT HIM FROM ME. WHAT? ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR? LISTEN MATE, I DON’T TELL PORKIES……

I think Breaking News # 3 could be improved as it gets a bit sloppy in the middle.

  1. THE EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE OF NETWORK RAIL HAS SAID SHE CAN’T RULE OUT A SELL-OFF. INSIDERS HAVE ADVISED THAT IF YOU WISH TO BUY IT TODAY THEN THE PRICE WILL BE £5.2 BILLION, BUT BUY IT ONLINE TODAY, 6 WEEKS IN ADVANCE,  AND THE PRICE IS MUCH CHEAPER….AS LONG AS YOU HAVE TAKE IT AT A WEEKEND.

ViewJack #1 should have ’emmisions’ in the punchline

  1. ITS NOT JUST VW WHO HAVE BEEN CHEATING IN THEIR EMISSION TESTS. I HAD A GREGGS BAKED BEAN AND EGG SLICE FOR LUNCH YESTERDAY, AND I’VE BLAMED THE DOG FOR ALL THE EMISSIONS AROUND THE HOUSE

ViewJack #2 should have the correct word in it! (Obviously not proofread by me!)

  1. EVERYONE LOVED THAT SEAL WHO WAS SPOTTED SURFING A HUMPBACK WHALE…BUT WHEN I JUMP ON A PENSIONER DEMANDING A PIGGYBACK SOMEHOW I’M A MONSTER?

ViewJack #3 was supposed to have this punchline but then it felt like the joke didn’t make sense. So I changed it and it just didn’t seem as funny.

  1. I BET YOU’VE HAD A MILLION PEOPLE TALK TO YOU ABOUT A CERTAIN MP THIS WEEK. YOU WONT HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT HIM FROM ME. WHAT? ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR? LISTEN MATE, I DON’T DO PORKIES……

NewsJack Submission 21 – 09 – 15 – Sketch

I thought I’d try doing a sketch, to see whether that would increase my chance of being included in the show. It didn’t work! I did think it was quite funny, and that’s what counts, right?

NEWS STORY REFERENCES / RELEVANT LINK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34282849

It was discovered that someone bought Stonehenge about 100 years ago as a present for his wife….This sketch is related to that.

(Scene)

A guy gets in late one night, his girlfriend is waiting up for him,

 

EXPLAIN THAT HENGE

  1. GRAMS: Door shutting
  2. Mister: (drunk)Darling I’m home.
  3. Missus : (grumpy) Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick.
  4. Mister : (playfully) I’ve brought you a present!
  5. Missus : (instantly happier)You shouldn’t have! What have I told you.
  6. Mister : Guess what it is?
  7. Missus : It could be anything…. Well at least give me a clue.
  8. Mister: I’m pretty sure its something you’ve always wanted.
  9. Missus : No….you haven’t got me a….
  10. Mister : Maybe….. Think big.
  11. Missus : My friends have been telling me this is happening…..does it have a big ‘rock’
  12. Mister : More than one….
  13. Missus : Is it bigger than Mrs. Jones from next door? She’s been showing it off to everyone.
  14. Mister : I’m pretty sure its bigger than anyone else’s.
  15. Missus : Oh My God! I can’t believe this is finally happening – shouldn’t you be getting down on one knee?
  16. Mister : Err…I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick here.
  17. Missus : (missing previous comment) Everyone will be so jealous.
  18. Mister : I think you might be confused…. I’ve not go you a ring…. I’ve got you something BETTER….and BIGGER.
  19. Missus : Two rings?
  20. Mister: No, its not a ring. Its for telling the time [aside] apparently.
  21. Missus: You’ve got me a watch? With diamonds?
  22. Mister: Diamonds? Watch? No….I bought you a Henge.
  23. Missus: A what?!!!!
  24. Mister: A Henge!
  25. Missus: What in the name of the gods is a Henge? And anyway you said it was a diamond!
  26. Mister: I said it was some big rocks….which it is. Its completely made out of stone.
  27. Missus : You bought me A stone henge?
  28. Mister: No….I bought you THE Stonehenge.
  29. Missus : And why did you buy me that?
  30. Mister : I was at a charity auction. I’d had a bit to drink…you know how it is…
  31. Missus : A HENGE!!!?!!
  32. Mister : I’d just lost out on a round of Golf with Ian Botham and there was only one lot left.
  33. Missus : Why did you bid on it?
  34. Mister : I couldn’t come home with nothing, I’d been gone all day!
  35. Missus : How much did you spend on it?
  36. Mister : Well Rachel Riley was the auctioneer and she was saying she was so impressed with my bidding that I should bid some more.
  37. Missus: HOW MUCH!?
  38. Mister : Did I mention I had had a lot to drink?
  39. Missus : I can’t believe this.
  40. Mister: only £6600.
  41. Missus : ONLY?
  42. Mister : Well in about 100 years from now it would work out at just under 3/4 of a million pounds.
  43. Missus : You are impossible!
  44. Mister : It could be worse…..your brother Dave won the Isle of Wight…..how is going to explain THAT to his wife.

NewsJack Submission 14 – 08 – 15

This is the submission I made to NewsJack on the 14th August, 2015.

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. A STOLEN DIAMOND HAS BEEN SURGICALLY REMOVED FROM A LADIES BOTTOM. APPARENTLY HER LAST WORDS TO HER BOYFRIEND WERE, “MARRY YOU? I’D RATHER SHOVE THAT RING UP MY ARSE!”
  2. THE TRIAL OF 6 WOMEN WHO LAUNCHED A PYRAMID SCHEME HAS COST BRISTOL CROWN COURT £1.4 MILLION POUNDS. IT SOUNDS EXCESSIVE BUT IF THE COURT CAN FIND 6 OTHER COURTS THAT WILL INVEST £1.4 MILLION POUNDS EACH THEN IT CAN EXPECT TO EASILY TRIPLE ITS MONEY.
  3. DAVID CAMERON TOOK TO TWITTER TO ANNOUNCE JEREMY CORBYN AS A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY. NICK CLEGG WAS SEEN TO REPLY, “R U ALRIGHT HUN?” AND TWITTER USER @POTUS CHIPPED IN WITH, “STAY STRONG. – WE GOT YO BACK SMILEYFACE WINKY FACE #THERESNOPLACELIKEDRONE?”

VIEWJACK:

  1. “I’VE FINALLY DECIDED TO GET THIS NEW APPLE IPHONE 6S. APPLE SAY IT IS THE BEST PHONE EVER…IF THAT’S TRUE, I DOUBT THEY WILL RELEASE ANY MORE AFTER THIS ONE….”
  2. I HEARD ON THE NEWS THAT THE QUEEN NOW HOLDS THE LONGEST REIGN EVER. I KNOW IT IS FAR AWAY, BUT HOW COME NO-ONE TELLS YOU WHAT IT IS ATTACHED TO?
  3. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ISSUE IS WITH LETTING ALL THE REFUGEES INTO THE UK. I LOVED THAT SONG, “KILLING ME SOFTLY”

 

My favourite jokes are Breaking New #2 and I really liked ViewJack #3….but there is a special place in my heart for ViewJack #2 for its silliness. Not the usual type of joke I write but it did make me chuckle!

NewsJack Submission 11 – 03 – 15

This is my submission for NewsJack on the 11th of March, 2015.

My first ever one. At this point I wasn’t even confident of writing a 3rd ViewsJack! I also only wrote about 1 topic for the oneliners and I think this was a bad decision. The news article was Robin Thicke/Pharrell being sued by Marvin Gaye’s family about ‘Blurred Lines’.

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. WHEN DOES IMITATING A SONG BECOME COPYING A SONG? IF ONLY WE HAD A PHRASE THAT COULD DESCRIBE THIS ‘GREY AREA’?
  2. PHARELL WILLIAMS HAS SAID HE WILL APPEAL AFTER BEING FOUND GUILTY OF COPYING ANOTHER SONG. IN A STATEMENT MADE AFTER THE COURT RULING HE SAID, “IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? OR IS THIS JUST FANTASY? CAUGHT IN A LANDSLIDE RULING, NO ESCAPE FROM REALITY….”
  3. ROBIN THICKE HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF COPYING…. MYSOGNISITIC VIEWS FROM THE 1980’S.

 

VIEWJACK:

  1. MAN: I CAN’T BELIEVE CLARKSON HAS BEEN SACKED FOR PUNCHING SOMEONE. I WOULD HAVE BET MY LIFE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR YET ANOTHER RACIST COMMENT.
  2. WOMAN: UNLESS THE TV POLITICAL DEBATE BETWEEN CAMERON AND MILIBAND HAS AN X-FACTOR STYLE SING-OFF, I’M NOT WATCHING.

Look at those ViewJacks! They are so poor and hack I deserved to not have them performed!