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
A large granite carpet which displays the names and catchphrases of 1000 UK comedians was unveiled this week, in Blackpool, and much to my surprise and pleasure, my name is featured
I’ve never been interested in any award ceremonies, prizes, or competitions throughout my years as a stand-up comedian or performer, but this wee inclusion on an art installation does give me a rather nice glow of satisfaction, as it has a certain aura of working-class credibility, for me at least
I’ve always had a huge respect for my precursors in the world of comedy, and have read and studied the history of UK stand-up comedy, and written on the subject too, in the Scottish Encyclopedia of Cuture, and on BBC Radio Scotland
Being included amongst some of the greatest stand-ups of the past and present is a pure honour, and I’m well chuffed
Unfortunately, I’m now gonna have to try and visit Blackpool to see the bloody thing!!