Over the years, I’ve done quite a few prison gigs, including running prisoner’s comedy classes, and various concerts in chapels and dining halls
In a strange way, they were some of the most rewarding and enjoyable gigs I’ve ever done
Firstly, the audience is sober and unstoned
Or, allegedly so – ?
Secondly, these guys don’t laugh unless they want to, and there’s quite a bit of pressure to look hard, be tough, and don’t laugh
So, not an easy crowd
But when they do relax, and have a laugh, it’s an amazingly receptive crowd of guys, who could fair do with a laugh – anyone who seriously believes that life in jail is cushy and easy is a fukken eejit – and a fukken eejit who has never been inside
This documents a gig compered and organised by Alan Anderson, with myself and Scott Agnew doing the funnies
The Funny Farm was a co-operative of new comedians, based in Glasgow, in the 1989-90 period. We were a varied bunch, thrown together by necessity in our need to do-it-ourselves, as there was literally no comedy scene whatsoever at that time in Scotland, outside of the mainstream club comics, and pantomime and summer season vaudevilians.
We set up our own gigs in pubs, clubs, and community centres … did improv comedy and workshop nights, and in the course of a couple of years established ourselves to the extent that Scottish Television recorded an eponymous series of stand-up comedy, based around our members, which I hosted each week, on Friday, late-night
The original Funny Farm members were a lovely bunch of people … keen, funny, and great to have as friends … our enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment spilled onto the stage, and it was a great experience to be involved with such a fine bunch
Here’s a foto of myself, Parrot and Bruce Morton
Here are some really low quality shots, taken from a contact sheet I found, of some of the original gang.
DAVID COSGROVE / KEVIN KOPFSTEIN
FRED MAC AULEY / GORDON ROBERTSON
BORIS VESTA (LEWIS MACLEOD)
MAY MACREADIE / STEWART MACDONALD
The Funny Farm tv series, was produced by the wonderful Kim Kinnie, whose Comedy Store connections in London allowed the show to feature guest artistes of an astonishing quality and pedigree, such as Bill Hicks, Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Jimmy Tingle, Sean Lock, Nick Revell, Paul Merton, Eddie Izzard, The Comedy Store Players, and practically every good comedian who appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe over the years the show was broadcast
CLICK ON THE DRAWINGS TO ENLARGE
I’d forgotten about these illustrations, done for a wee story I wrote
The first drawing is a view of the Land Of The Celts, where Musky The Wuskie was born
The second is an illustration of The Grand Wazoo, indulging in the ceremonial act of, Sky Ski-ing , and was done to accompany a story I wrote about a wee character called Musky The Wusky – who is trying to save his village from the influence of the marauding Pictish hordes.
The long road you see in the 2nd drawing, runs through a 23-mile long canyon, which was eventually flooded, and is now known as Loch Ness
And, here is Musky, leaving home to set off to find his fortune and save the tribes colour fields, where all the world’s colours and hues are grown & harvested.
As I related in an earlier post,… https://stuwho.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/chou-pahrot/ … the mighty Chou Pahrot were a weird 70’s Glasgow phenomenon that only the truly stoned & deranged could and would appreciate
A cacophony of deranged syncopation and discordant mayhem which would take you to the point of teeth-gritting surrender, and would then suddenly drop off a cliff of feedback and bass to emerge as a beautiful violin melody of exquisite toe-tapping sensibility … and all done with a huge tongue wedged in a Clydesdale horse’s cheek
Their studio recordings were enjoyable diversions but could never even come close to the sonic assault of musical claustrophobia and joyous dementia that their live performances could induce
Here is a hissy, old recording of that experience that is worth the effort … if you dare
Not for the faint-hearted
Chou Pahrot – Live at the STUC Birthday Party, in 197?ish