Last month I took part in You Have To Laugh‘s interview series So You Think You’re Funny. If you haven’t visited this site yet you really should – it hosts a whole heap of hilarious parenting blog posts from some of my favourite and funniest writers around (and a couple of mine just to balance it out). But to save you from abandoning me immediately here is my interview so you can get to know me a little better:
- Tell us about yourself in 20 words or less:
Practically perfect in every way. Narcissist and liar.
- Now do the same as if through the eyes of your worst enemy:
My English teacher once called me ‘vulgar for vulgarity’s sake’ so I’ll go with that.
- When and why did your child(ren) last make you laugh?
This morning, the Husband was trying to do some work on his laptop and my daughter kept whispering ‘you’re a stinky bum’. It was really quiet like she just wanted to subtly undermine his self-esteem. I was so proud.
- Do you try to be funny when you are writing? Tell us a bit about your blogging ‘process’.
You know what I’ve never thought about it. I don’t think so but I know when something I want to write will be funny. I hardly do any editing (you may have noticed) so I certainly don’t go back and try and shoehorn a few more laughs in. Maybe I should?
- What do you think is the funniest thing you’ve ever written?
Well if you ask the Husband he’s say this piece I submitted in my final year at Uni:
Once upon a time there was a potato whose only dream was to be baked. He was mashed. The End.
It was the only time I got a first. I used to use it a lot when I was teaching to demonstrate the traditional story structure and the kids all thought it was fricking hilarious. I like to think this won’t be what I remembered for though.
On my blog, there have been a couple of posts that when I’ve finished writing them I thought, this is good. The three that spring to mind are Rage, Rage Against the Dying of CBeebies (my first proper post), Walking With Toddlers and Mother Knows Best: Ten Kick-Ass Disney Mums. I’ve also written a few scripts which I think are funny but they’ve all been rejected so maybe not!
- What or who do you rate as the funniest…
I LOVE British sitcoms and cannot possibly choose one. I grew up on Blackadder, Red Dwarf and Absolutely Fabulous. The Office was the show that inspired me to study creative writing at uni and I could watch endless repeats of Gavin and Stacey, The Vicar of Dibley and Spaced. But the TV show that has made me laugh the most recently is Catastrophe – it’s just a perfect representation of pregnancy and parenthood in my view. My favourite bit is when they’re having a party to celebrate their new daughter and the dog gets run over. Sharon (the Mum) is crying and Rob (the Dad) is trying to comfort her when she says “I’m not crying because the dog’s dead, I’m crying because everyone is still here”. That pretty much sums up my feelings towards guests after about 20 minutes.
I’ve always liked Eddie Izzard’s routines from the 1990s but his most recent stuff hasn’t really done it for me. You can’t beat a bit of Peter Kay for good belly laughs but my absolute fave is probably Victoria Wood. She created so many fantastic characters and I’ll always remember watching her TV shows with my mum, tears rolling down our faces. Watching her and Julie Walters was the first time I realised that it was ok for women to be silly and disgusting and unashamedly funny. I’m gutted I never got to see her live.
Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell are always guaranteed to make me laugh. I love a good rambling grump. In the blogging world the two funnies I read without fail are Whinge Whinge Wine and Mouse Moo and Me Too.
- Do your friends/family find you funny in ‘real life’?
I hope so or I’m not sure what else I bring to the table. I do remember the first time I made my mum laugh with a quip rather than being silly or telling a joke. I was about 7 or 8 and it was to do with mice being a cat’s version of fast food. When she laughed a light bulb went off and I was like ‘fuck me (well I was 7 so it was more likely golly gosh) that felt good. I want to do that again.’ And then following some pretty solid bullying in my teens I cottoned on to the fact that it was a lot harder for people to be mean if I was making them laugh. Not impossible but definitely harder.
- Go on, tell us a joke.
- What’s your tipple?
I like a whiskey (neat as you asked), any fruity cocktail and a nice G’n’T.
- If you could only have one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
A buffet incorporating hundreds of dishes.
- Complete the sentence; ‘Before I had a child…’
I didn’t know I could grow such enormous placentas. It caused much excitement in the delivery room.
- In your opinion, what is the worst children’s TV show, and why?
Everything’s Rosie. All the female characters are caring, sensible bores and all the boys are arrogant, adventurous idiots. It’s just the worst example of subtle gender stereotypes that drive me mad. Why do girls always have to be the softly spoken peacemakers? Maybe we want to start a war for fuck’s sake. Stop trying to limit my potential Rosie.