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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Keep em' Laughing - Dai Bando

Seems to me that a blog is a place to write about one's passions and the Archive has always been eclectic in the subjects covered and so the coming week will see Comedy being a major theme, as I'm finding myself in the mood to write about the comedy that has touched me over the years.

I've done a bit of stand up comedy myself and until a few years ago I was regularly gigging, but the type of venues I played have been disappearing for some time now and comedy has suffered more than most from the bland march of political correctness - or at least the type of comedy I performed has. I used to perform under the name Dai Bando and my routine was a mixture of gags, many of them blue as well as observationial stuff. The latter I used to love writing and feel that I developed skills that have since served me well as a novelist.

I used to use a lot of material that relied on racial stereotypes, but there was nothing hateful in the routine, instead humour was used to explore race and, I hope, demonstrate that we're all the same beneath the skin. Nothing was intended to hurt and I'm of the opinion that racial jokes are fine as long as it's good natured. British Comedy has a long tradition of humour defined by race as well as gender with the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. I suppose Dai Bando was a mixture of Bill Hicks, Tony Hancock, Woody Allen and Tommy Trinder.

"There was a Welshman, and Englishman and a Irishman..."

"My mother-in-law's so fat then when you take her knickers down her arse is still in them."

Stand up comedy is a difficult art to learn and often dangerous to perform, as I know only too well. I still remember performing several years ago in Tonypandy. when a heckler didn't like my come backs to his insults - he promptly jumped up on stage and with one well aimed fist, knocked me out cold. To add insult to injury the biggest laugh I got that night was when the bruiser knocked me out - the audience apparently thought it was part of the show and found it the funniest thing ever. Comedians getting their noses broken always goes down well in the Rhondda Valleys.

And so it wasn't too long after that event that Dai Bando left the rat race of live comedy  - my props (an inflatable sheep, a funny hat and a microphone shaped like a penis) were packed away and Dai Bando walked off into the comedy sunset.

Will he ever return?

Well, every now and then I feel an itch that need to be scratched as the urge to take to the stage  makes itself felt. Thus far I've not given into it and Dai Bando remains in retirementnever say never.

Next: Laurel and Hardy

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