M Theory - A question

I'm pondering an idea about M-Theory and would love someone with more knowledge than me to clarify. In M-Theory there are 11 dimensions, the 3 space and 1 time that we know and 7 more, 'curled up' dimensions attached to every single point in the universe. I want to know what these dimensions 'do'?

Although it's massively unscientific, I'm an advocate of the idea of meaningful coincidence or synchronicity. It's a subjective belief which I hold due to my own experience. Allow me to give you an example. At a gig a few weeks ago, there was a wall with a library of books on it. I picked up 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time', a book I've already read as my show involves autism. I read a passage in which a policeman says to the boy "any more of that and I'm really going to lose my rag". No more than 30 seconds later, Sam, one of the staff who was trying to thread a piece of string through a lantern said "This is really making me lose my rag"

I laughed and told him what had happened, then showed him the passage. He remarked "It's weird, I never use that phrase" and I (half) joked, "Ha! I 'popped it' into your brain by reading it"

This happens to me a lot, but I've always felt that it's unexplainable if the universe is as we think a 4 dimensional beast. But if there are 7 extra 'non spatial' dimensions then maybe these carry things such as thoughts, intention, a vibe and then maybe there's a physical explanation for things that we currently think to be bunkum. If you'd told people before the discovery of electromagnetism that there were waves floating through the air through which you could send data, that could destroy cells and give people cancer, etc it would have seemed ridiculous too. 

Anyway, I would love to know from someone who understands M Theory (probably noone at the moment) whether they have any theories as to what these dimensions might do as I cannot imagine that they're redundant.


The Hollywood Hustle

‘How long have I got left?’ the act on the stage enquires. A man in the second row glances at a countdown timer on his phone and responds clinically, ‘27 seconds’. ‘27 seconds…’ the act confirms, his eyes move towards the ceiling, pondering.


I wonder what he’s pondering. Which of his myriad 27 second jokes to do? How to engineer a big finish from a standing start in less than the time it takes to watch a TV commercial. Or whether, 2 minutes and 33 seconds into his set he’s out of his depth and attempting 3 minutes was overextending himself in the first place?


I’m at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, Los Angeles. I’m on holiday in California but I’ve come to a comedy club because one of my girlfriend’s friends is performing. Welcome to the open mic scene, LA-style, a place where a compere is a luxury, paying for the privilege of stage time is more likely than playing to paying punters, and you’ve got three whole minutes to set yourself apart from the rest of the branded comedy cattle being herded through the stage.


As there’s no compere, a guy in the audience who is the closest thing the gig has to a MC (let’s call him the ‘announcer’) reads the names of the next three comedians on the bill before each act. This is so you have a warning before your glorious stagetime, at six and three minutes. Then you’re on and three minutes later you’re off. It’s cutthroat stuff, and nights can continue in this vein for over two hours, without an interval.


This format has real consequences for the comedy presented. No one says hello, that’s a luxury that vanished around the same time as the compere. Stories are thin on the ground as there isn’t enough time to build up a narrative. And it’s generally patchy, stereotype-heavy stand up. In half an hour, I heard two ‘eating dogs’ jokes from Asian comedians and countless black acts do variations on ‘black people do this, white people do this’.


There is also a tension, an urgency to impress and impress QUICKLY that pervades all performances. The irony, of course, being that comedy predominantly works best when the tension resides in the audience and the calm, confident authority sits with the performer. Flappers was a good name for the club, because flapping is exactly what each act is doing; flapping about for laughs like a hummingbird on speed.


The gig reminds me of every time I return for another pointless open spot at the Comedy Store and my irrational desire to try to fit as much as possible into the ten minutes so I can impress. Every time, my rushed performance suffers accordingly.


Speaking to a few of the acts, they tell me that this gig is unusual as you don’t have to pay to get on. At other open mics you can pay anywhere between $5 and $20 to get on, or be required to bring up to five friends who all have to buy two drinks each. And that might only secure you 5 minutes stagetime. I guess promoters can demand whatever the market will bear but to me it’s not what comedy is about. Ayn Rand might have been a good businesswoman, but I bet she wasn’t very funny.


The next day I’m walking down Hollywood Boulevard with my girlfriend. Here, artists of all persuasions try to peddle you their CD or DVD.

After buying a documentary about old school rappers giving their opinions on more contemporary hip-hop I meet an American comedian named Tyrell Robinson (not his real name) selling his DVD. Tyrell is your archetypal ‘cool African-American comedian’, baseball cap, slick sunnies, baggy trousers and funky trainers. Halfway through his sales pitch I mention that I’m a stand-up from Australia and he immediately tells me that he’s gigged with Hughesy (Dave Hughes)


We swap stories. He’s originally from Baltimore, but he’s living in Hollywood now. He’s Eddie Griffin’s opening act and not only is he being mentored by Eddie, but also by Eddie Murphy’s brother Charlie. He’s going to be on TV soon and he doesn’t give a fuck that a lot of bookers don’t give him the time of day now because once his shit hits on TV they will all ‘be on his dick’.


We chat for a while about comedy, about getting yourself seen and whether I should move over to the States (In his opinion I’d be better off in New York than LA). I like Tyrell. I admire his hustle. There’s something genuinely inspiring about someone tenaciously standing on the street promoting themselves. It’s VERY American. I especially admire it because I can’t see myself doing it even though I know it would probably be extremely helpful to my career. In the end I buy his DVD for $5 and I genuinely look forward to watching it when I have the time.


A few days later that time comes. I slide the DVD into my laptop and the menu screen comes up. There are two options, I can either watch the R-rated version or the PG-rated version. It bemuses me that ‘soon to have Hollywood on his dick’ Tyrell has included a PG-rated version. This is also VERY American.


I’m feeling dangerous, so I say ‘fuck it and click on the R-rated version. What follows is a few good jokes, but a large case of style over substance. Also, I won’t say I feel shortchanged, but with the R-rated version clocking in at a mere three Flapper’s sets long and its cleaner cousin at two I can’t help but think I’m glad I didn’t pay him the $10 he originally asked.


The American approach to comedy seems to mirror the American approach to health insurance. It’s a dog-eat-dog free-for-all where the people at the bottom suffer the most and you have to pay for absolutely everything.


I know that I was only in LA for ten days, and I know I only went to two gigs. But from that experience, and from talking to some of the local comedians, I return to the UK very happy that I have access to the British comedy scene.


We can bitch all we want (and we’re comedians, we certainly will) but we can be grateful for the extremely vibrant, diverse and plentiful scene we all enjoy. We should also appreciate the fact that the majority of gigs are set up in a way that honours the art form and nurtures stand-up for stand-up’s sake rather than for a secondary objective, such as funneling talent into television. We should take great care to preserve all that is good about it, including cherishing the vital role good compering plays and resisting ‘pay-to-play’ gigs where the comics fund the show.


And just to be clear that I’m not some thoughtless negative Nelly who thought the entire LA scene sucked, I performed at Set List the night before I left, and it was one of the best things I’ve done in 12 years of comedy. There is also a thriving improv scene which we would kill to have in London. But that’s a different story for another time…



Who's funnier - Bugs or Daffy

Who is funnier, all-American hero Bugs Bunny, or hapless perma-flop Daffy Duck?


Bugs is your textbook smart-arse.  He leans down the barrel of a loaded rifle goading Elmer Fudd because he knows that nothing ever goes wrong for him.  Not only does he know this, he revels in it to the point of supreme arrogance. Being Bugs is like playing a video game with the cheat mode on.  Victory is assured, but it’s a hollow, boring victory.  Where’s the risk? There’s no surprise he’s that lucky though, he does have two rabbit’s feet.


On the other hand, you have to feel sorry for Daffy.  Nothing ever goes right for him.  He’s arrogant, just like Bugs, but life doesn’t deal him aces, it deals him shotgun facials.  He looks at Bugs’s charmed life, adulation and fame and rages at the sheer injustice of it. 


But who is funnier?  Who do we laugh at more?  Or more to the point in a Bugs and Daffy cartoon, say Rabbit Fire, what exactly are we laughing at?  Daffy getting his head blown off, or Bugs outsmarting him?


As a comedian, sometimes you have to be Daffy.  Comedy is predicated on weakness, vulnerability and failure.  All achievement, success, adulation is an ephemeral superstructure existing for no other purpose but collapsing in the most spectacular fashion, leaving nothing but shame, guilt and embarrassment in its wake.  And laughs. 


Laughs of blessed relief, like waking up from an unspeakable nightmare.  We inhabit the wretched butt of the joke’s soul for a second, breathe in their plight then run out screaming, with a maniac grin and a bellowing laugh that says, ‘thank fuck that’s not me!’


I once had a massive argument with a circuit comedian around a dinner table.  I asserted that what made a really great comedian was someone who exposed their soul, stripped themselves bare onstage and allowed an audience to see the real them, warts and all.  Said antagonist disagreed, saying that what made someone funny was just ‘gags and being funny, innit?’


I never rated his act as great because he never showed any vulnerability.  Sure it had some funny lines but everyone else ended up being the butt of his jokes: women, northerners, southerners, gay people, etc.  Never him.  He was always Bugs and never Daffy.  I wondered where his Daffy was.


Back to the question, who is funnier, Bugs or Daffy?  It is, of course an oversimplified question.  It’s like asking what’s funnier, a setup or a punchline?  The simple answer is the punchline, because it immediately precedes and triggers the laugh, but the real answer is that the question doesn’t make sense.  The punchline doesn’t exist apart from the setup.  One without the other is makes as much sense as a one ended stick.  They’re really just labels, parts of a larger, more unified whole.


To wit, Daffy is not funnier than Bugs.  Bugs’s unrelenting luck and success exist only to juxtapose Daffy’s failure.  They’re archetypes.  Winner and loser.  All the Looney Tunes characters are. Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.  Tweety and Sylvester.  This illustrates the comedy/tragedy dichotomy of life that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  Sometimes you’re Bugs and sometimes you’re Daffy. 


It was interesting that I had such an adverse reaction to the aforementioned comic’s act.  In retrospect, looking at my own act, I realized that I didn’t show much vulnerability either.  Comedians, like humans in general, are very defensive about admitting weaknesses.  As much as I was always trying to add more Daffy, my act was predominantly Bugs.  In that light, my dinner-table argument made perfect sense.  We always clash with people that remind us of the worst parts of ourselves.


Recently I’ve been forced to face a fair bit of vulnerability.  I have recently been diagnosed as having mild autism, something that – although not debilitating - has been quite difficult to come to terms with.  It’s something that might not be readily apparent, even to people who know me.  I’m hoping that knowing that about myself will lead to better self-understanding for me, and through that, better comedy.


Sociopaths aside, none of us want to upset other people.  I never set out to, but since I can sometimes struggle putting myself in other people’s shoes, sometimes I can fail at that quite spectacularly.  Which isn’t funny in real life, but when given the comedic treatment can be the best kind of comedy gold (Fawlty Towers and Curb your Enthusiasm anyone?)


As hard as it is to do in real life, confronting the weaknesses in your character will – in my opinion – lead to your best comedy.  Since my autism diagnosis I’ve had to face a lot of my Daffy-like struggles that I’d previously Bugsied over.


Surprisingly (initially at least), when I shared these struggles onstage, people reacted brilliantly.  Which brought home a truth to me.  That the best comedy is knowing when to win, and when to lose.  The best comedy is a holistic commentary on the human condition, and that means winning and losing.


I acknowledge that thus far I have been far too Bugs. This year for Edinburgh my show is about discovering I have mild autism at age 33 1/3 through the lens of my lifelong obsession with numbers.  This Edinburgh, I’m embracing my Daffyness.  This Edinburgh I’m shooting my own beak backwards and dropping an anvil on my head. I encourage everyone else to do the same.


I am going to win the Edinburgh Comedy Award

"I am going to win the Edinburgh Comedy Award" won the prize for 'Best Correspondent's Piece' for January on industry website Chortle


This year, in the fourth week of August, an event both usual and unusual will occur. A panel of judges will hand out the Fosters Comedy Award for the best comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe. That – of course – is the usual part. The unusual part is that they are going to award it to me. And the really unusual part is that when that happens, the whole comedy industry will be winners too.


You’re confused. If you’ll allow me to digress, I’ll clarify.


Like many of you reading this, I just submitted my tax return for 2010-11. The welcome news is that I was due a tax refund of about £500 (yay!) The bad news is that that refund can be solely, exclusively and tautologically pinned to my expenditures of approximately £10,000 at my longstanding, gold digging tax sink of a friend, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As a lot of people are currently planning their expenditures for Edinburgh 2012 I think this piece is timely.


Oh boy did I buy the works in 2010. I paid some hibernating bears for timeshare access to a cave (as an added bonus, my audience could also hear Henning Wehn’s cave, doubling the value of their ticket). I sent a Scottish family I’d never met on a luxury holiday for a month. I even paid to have tickets to my own show printed, alleviating that horrible nagging feeling you get when you don’t exclusively shoulder every last bit of the financial burden of an enterprise.


Yes in 2010 I, like so many otherwise sensible people, paid three months wages to work one month for free. I squeezed an elephant through a cat flap for every last audience member, and boy do threadbare audiences of 12 make procuring gales of rolling laughter even easier than the Sunday stroll that it already is.


Last year, however, I did my show on the Free Fringe and it was an out-and-out delight. I averaged 70 people per show, 150 on weekends, we took £3,000 in the bucket over the month – more than the amount we both took in from and paid for the cave the year before. The only catch (there’s always a catch!)... no industry.


And that – of course – is why we comics become financial fools. Because the system is set up such that if we want anyone to come and see us: if we want the reviewers to come, if we want the BBC to come, if we want any of the movers or even the shakers (I know, even the shakers!), the producers, the agents, the important people (anyone but punters really) to come. If we want access to these hallowed gatekeepers, then we need to pay for the privilege.


And so we pay. I paid. And why? Because I, like so many of otherwise sensible people, have an ego, an enormous ego massaged by delusions of grandeur, that knows, that just knows that there’s something unique about me. A singular, as yet unrecognised genius. I saw the £10k less as profligate, foolhardy expenditure, more downpayment on my first BBC series. The whole setup reminds me of the sage words of Homer Simpson: ‘In a world gone mad, only a lunatic is truly insane.’


It is ridiculous. It’s more tragicomic than anything that anything even the most gifted of us have ever written. Ever. And we all see the effects, both financial and personal. Friends having nervous breakdowns. Acts gigging gratis for months afterwards. Fruitlessly trying to track down Three Weeks student reviewers by their initials to ask how they could possibly have missed the point.

I know we say this every year, but it really has to stop.


And so, in an act of supreme selflessness, I, Yianni, have resolved to win the Edinburgh Comedy Award this year while performing on the Free Fringe in order to help reshape our Edinburgh, from the current financial gangbang into a more financially palatable one in which we don’t need to bankrupt ourselves in order to be seen.

There is no need to thank me. You are all welcome.


I do understand that as hard as I might try, that this is patently unlikely. It would be unlikely even if the way they awarded the prize was to write the names of all shows on fish in a barrel, drew one out and then shot it.


It is unlikely. But it is possible. And if it’s not me that achieves it, I hope that someone else does. Because when it happens, it will benefit all of us.


The last two years have seen Imran Yusuf and Cariad Lloyd nominated for the Best Newcomer award both while performing free shows. These were fantastic achievements, both in their own right, and as a signal to less experienced comedians (who can least afford these massive outlays) that they don’t have to bankrupt themselves for their first show and still be in with a chance of recognition if their show is good enough.

But that’s only half the job. I would like to see a day where the Free Fringe is a legitimate choice for any comedian who still harbours aspirations of having a BBC producer come and see their work. I don’t feel that that is currently the case. Comedians, rightly or wrongly, still feel that they forfeit any chance at critical exposure by performing there.


I do realise that Robin Ince is an exception to this. However Robin is successful enough and has enough of a following to be able to make it clear that it his his choice to do the Free Fringe. He doesn’t need the career boost, he’s already got the Radio 4 series. I would like things to change, so that the comedians in the middle, the ‘90 per cent’ so to speak, no longer novices, yet not household names see the Free Fringe as a viable alternative for performing in which they don’t have to sacrifice the chance at recognition for financial austerity.


Maybe it's not quite time for the panel to award its best show prize to something on the Free Fringe, but I certainly hope that one could at least get nominated. And when that happens (and it will happen at some point) I hope that it makes it that much easier for performers to opt out of the financial lunacy which is the current standard model without compromising their ability to have their work seen by people who can help exhibit good work to a much wider audience.

It would also have the pleasant side-effect of allowing comedians to spend more of their hard-earned money on such lavish luxuries as their families.


So that’s my wish. Am I a dreamer? Undoubtedly. But all change starts with a dream. Change only comes about by people providing a credible alternative to the status quo. And let’s face it, everyone would love to live in my dream world. Hands up any comic who likes paying so much for Edinburgh? Anyone? Didn’t think so. As long as we all see the current nightmarish ego‐fuelled financial hell hole as our only option for career progression, then we will continue to pour our hearts, souls and wallets into it to our own financial and emotional detriment.

Remember, a show isn’t any less funny because the comic didn’t pay for the venue.


I am and will continue to do my bit. Two hours a day working on my show until August, which will be on the Free Fringe. If the unlikely should happen and I’m standing on the podium on August twenty somethingth, then please remember, I did it for all of us.



Birthday, chat and cock

Yesterday was my birthday. Today is my first of 364 concurrent unbirthdays (to borrow a bloody awesome concept from Lewis Carroll)

At the time of writing (9am Australian April 6th which means that it’s just ticked over midnight on my birthday in the UK) I have 64 wishes of Happy Birthday on my Facebook wall. That’s 2 for each lap around the sun. Sadly, I have received no real, physical cards. I have been assured by one person that there is a card on its way but sheer weight of numbers suggests that a Facebook wall post seems to be the ‘choice du jour’ of telegraphing birthday wishes in 2010.


I had a bloody great birthday. Having it fall on a Monday – the collective festival day off – is great. Most comics are prone to not turning up to anything, any night that they have a show. Thus, the famous mathematical equation governing comedians attendance at events that aren’t their show on nights that they have shows.


Show = No show


For those interested in further mathematical equations regarding comedians, please see Blog 7.

The day began with Yum Cha (Dim Sum for those in the UK) I have discussed this with my brother and we both agree that in the unpalatable hypothetical situation where we were forced to eat one and only one kind of food for the rest of our lives, Yum Cha would be our choice.


Yum Cha is slightly cheating as a single lifetime food choice encompassing as it does a variety of different dumplings and dishes. It’s kind of like choosing to marry Siamese twins to facilitate sexual variety within monogamy.


We ate prawn dumplings, prawn and chive dumplings, calamari and Chinese greens amongst other things. My Mum was telling us that when she moved here in the 50’s, that Australians wouldn’t eat any foreign food limiting themselves to ‘traditional’ cuisine (meat and 2 veg, chips and eggs, etc) It boggles my mind when you consider the richness and variety that each and every one of the world’s cultures can bring to enrich the lives of the rest that people still to this day stubbornly resist “foreign” things and people out of some sort of misguided sense of local superiority. That said, I didn’t eat the chicken feet.


After coming home I watched a quarter of the Geelong v Hawthorn match before heading down to St. Kilda to catch up with my friend Graham, his wife Sarah and their friends James and Clare. We sat at Republica on the beach and had a lovely natter. I went to uni with Graham, we have the same degree (Commerce with honours in Finance) His is on a wall, mine is in a drawer. He also pulls 80 hour weeks at work, a madness I only vaguely remember from my previous life as a suit.


At 6:30pm I wandered down to St. Kilda pier to meet up with a gaggle of off duty comedians, friends, partners and revellers to watch the penguins emerge from Port Phillip Bay and ascend up the rocks to take care of the serious penguin business of being a penguin.


There are two areas in the penguin reserve. One is fenced off and inaccessible to punters, the other is the viewing gallery so to speak. Apparently the penguins who get off on prancing around for the hoi polloi are known as ‘Hollywood Penguins’ for their attention seeking tendencies. As a group of stand up comedians stood there gazing upon them, I couldn’t help but be struck by the similarities. And when Phil Nichol garnered a laugh from some of the assembled gawkers by quipping “Hey! That penguin stole my wallet!” I was pretty sure I saw the penguin shoot him a dirty glance for stealing his limelight.


Speaking of types of light, there was a woman in a lurid fluorescent yellow vest whose job it was to alternatively inform us about the wonder of penguins and upbraid us for taking photos with a white flash (Apparently white light elevates the heart rate of penguins)


She elaborated that only people with an infrared flash could take photos. Apparently red light has no effect upon the heart rate of penguins. How they found this out without shining a rainbow of different coloured lights onto penguins hooked up to heart rate monitors and whether this amounted to animal experimentation was not explained. You must forgive my cynicism, however I did begin to question her RSPCA bona fides when she later explained that the noise penguins make to communicate sounds like “a dog being strangled”.


After learning about penguins I drove up to Fitzroy North to have a dinner party with a great group of friends.


The thing I love about dinner parties is the way the conversation sways and eddies. Any person can come back from a toilet break to find the conversation miles away from where they left it. When Dave came back from taking a phone call to hear Andrew imploring Janine to answer the question “But why did you keep the spunk in the fridge?!?”, Janine replying “Because I guess it made me feel special” I couldn’t help but chortle (by which I mean laugh, not blog about it. Chortle.co.uk unlike Google has not yet obtained the sort of critical mass in Internet traffic to justify the word becoming a verb)


Dave listened in for about as long as he could hold his tongue to other tantalising tidbits of badinage, such as “Well I think he’s a hyprocrite if he doesn’t kill himself” and “Well I wasn’t going to turkey baste myself!” before interposing himself into proceedings with a vigorously inquisitorial “What?!?!?”


Some of you who were in Edinburgh last year may have already guessed that the conversation was in fact on the topic of Kim Noble’s show “Kim Noble will die” (6 stars – Time Out) in which he said he was going to throw himself off a bridge at the end of the run (a promise he REPEATED during his subsequent Soho Theatre run in London, a move seen by many on our table to be blatant hypocrisy) and each show distributed 4 phials of his own semen to 4 women in the audience with a promise of the proceeds of the run to any woman who used it to impregnate themselves (turkey baster optional)


After the firestorm that was the Kim Noble conversation died down, the next point of contention was the alleged statistic that 90% of the people on Chat Roulette (www.chatroulette.com, a website where each click of the mouse connects you to a video chat with a random person anywhere in the world) were cocks.


Not cocks in the sense that they were fuckwits. Literally that they were cocks. Not disembodied cocks who had learnt to operate computers independently. Men with their cocks out, playing with them in front of the camera. Wankers. But not fuckwits. I think you get the idea.

It was decided that the only way to find out was to conduct an experiment. 10 random chats. Count cocks. Multiply number of cocks by 100 then divide by 10 to obtain a percentage*


It is a sign of the times that stopping a dinner party to congregate 7 people around a computer, essentially trawling the Internet for cock didn’t seem the least bit strange. I remember when people just threw their keys in a bowl. At my suggestion we turned off the classical music in the background. I argued that such beautiful music shouldn’t be subjected to this potential cesspool. And with a deep breath and a curious click, we entered the world of Chat Roulette.


Person one (and I am not making this up for effect) was a cock.

Thankfully this person had decided that exposing his bare cock to the world was probably a bit much and had done us all a favour by only exposing an erection sheathed by tracksuit pants. There was definitely a distinct outline. Let’s move on. CLICK.


In between a couple of Emo kids who gave us the finger, a rather perplexed looking woman and yet more sheathed cock we woke up a teenager. I think he’d fallen asleep at his laptop. He might even have thought he was still half asleep as his field of vision coalesced into 7 grinning idiots waving like African children chasing a bus.


Finally, on the eighth guy we struck paydirt. Well maybe not paydirt. It was definitely dirty though. Framed on our screen was – in profile – the torso, upper legs and reproductory appendage of a member of the 90%.


We squealed in disbelieving, uncomfortable laughter as this someone, somewhere, chalked his cue for whose stimulation? Ours? His? We didn’t know and in the frenzied mental space between watching, screaming and clicking “NEXT” each of us to a man lost our innocence.

Afterwards, we all felt different. Some turned to drink, others to drugs, yet more to religion. Me? I write about it and hope that one day the visions will stop.


20 seconds after we watched Wang-boy rock out with his cock out the computer crashed. Granted, it was running Vista so you can’t really extrapolate much from that but I like to think the computer was making a principled and non-violent statement of opposition to being used in that way.


We tied up the loose ends at the party, I gave Andrew a lift home and drove back to my place, exhausted from the volume of what had been packed into a lovely birthday.


To everyone who was part of it, from my parents, to the penguins, to Phil Nichol, to the lovely Nikkita, to Pinger even to Captain Six-Inch thank you for making my 32nd birthday a lovely day. Keep smiling.



* By our reckoning, Chat Roulette is approximately 50% cock, of which 20% are exposed. These figures are in my way scientific.




I know that this blog appears under the name “Yianni Agisilaou” and hopefully, if yesterday’s Chortle microsite system kinks have been ironed out there will be a picture of me rather than Tommy Dassolo next to it. But I have to tell you. This isn’t Yianni.


I mean, I feel like Yianni. I gazed into the mirror and I look like Yianni.


But I can’t be. Because last night I went to sleep at 8:30pm. And Yianni hasn’t done that since he was forced to kicking and screaming at age 9.

I’ve got jetlag you see. People told me I’d get it. The time difference between London and Melbourne is 11 hours (London is behind chronologically, Melbourne is behind culturally) Which almost literally flips your body clock on its head.


So after flying in this morning at 10:30am I managed to brave the day. I saw my Mum and Dad, ate two of my favourite meals (Spaghetti Bolognese and Egg and Lemon Chicken soup. Yes, my Mum prepared BOTH for me in advance (don’t worry, it’s not rude to say it, she’s totally better than your Mum)


At 8:30pm however, tiredness hit me like a spade in the face. Never being one to ignore my body (except (1) when I feel full at an all you can eat buffet, (2) when I’m pondering whether I NEED a 5th Jager Bomb, or (3) when it’s 5am and I really need to know what happens in the next episode of ‘Lost’) I headed to bed.


At 1am I woke up. Which was unexpected. And now it’s 6am. And I’m not tired. Not in the slightest. And I just worked out why that is. Because it’s NOT bloody 6am. Not up here (taps head) Here, it’s 7pm. And I haven’t been tired at 7pm since the day after those 5 Jager Bombs.


But it’s quite good really this jetlag lark. I have had the most productive 5 hours OF MY LIFE. I’ve spent most of it doing marketing emails for my show, updating my website, writing my last blog and now this one.


And here’s a big call. If I’m not tired by 7 I will go for a jog. A morning jog. I am going to moonlight as one of those ‘morning people’ When I jog past genuine ‘AM’ers I will knowingly nod and smile at them and they will return the tacit, smug facial handshake; a gesture which says “Yes compadre. I understand. We really are better than anyone sleeping right now.” And they will not know that the only time I’m really ever up at 7am is when the aforementioned 5am episode of ‘Lost’ really gets its hooks into me, like the time Jack had to perform surgery on his arch nemesis Ben and then saw Sawyer and Kate kissing. While we’re at it, what’s with lead characters on US sitcoms being called Jack? There’s Lost, 24, er…um…


Anyway I’ve digressed. I could quite get used to this ‘being up early and being productive’ thing. I think sleeping less could be the way forward. I just googled ‘famous insomniacs’ and it’s proper A-List: Vincent Van Gogh, Napoleon, Thomas Edison, Charles Dickens, Groucho Marx. Sleep it seems, is for loser types who don’t want to paint anything, conquer anywhere, invent anything, write anything or become a member of any club who would have them.


I don’t know though. I love sleep. Well, I guess I love it. It’s hard to tell. I have a slightly bipolar relationship with sleep in that I’ll do almost anything to avoid it beforehand but then need to be dragged away from it kicking and screaming by the end. Actually, it’s a carbon copy of the relationship I had with my last girlfriend.


Whoops. It’s coming up on 7am now. Decision time. Should I go for that jog? Or slip on my snoozy sneakers for the metaphorical marathon through the land of nod?


All will be revealed in Blog number 4.


As always, thanks for reading. It’s a real pleasure writing.