Comedian. Writer. Biped.

Episode 8: Optimism, Guns and Trump

This episode may sound like the sequel to 'Guns, Germs and Steel', but in fact Nick and Carey talk about Steven Pinker's new book, 'Enlightenment Now', which continues from his previous book, 'The Better Angels of our Nature' in that it claims that things are, broadly, improving for humanity. Is this true? And if it is, why does claiming it make some people so angry? Carey explains the Mean World Syndrome, then they get sidetracked onto school shootings, gun control and, inevitably, Trump.

Jordan Peterson and Cathy Newman

Nick and Carey discuss the recent interview on Channel 4 News between journalist Cathy Newman and psychologist Professor Jordan Peterson. They are significantly less drunk than the previous episode, but it's still Sunday.

5: The New Year Episode

Every so often there's bound to be one like this: a hurriedly-recorded episode where one or both of us are drunk. That's what this is. We talk about various studies that we've half-read, and a bit about religion.


In this first-ever outdoors episode, Nick and Carey make some corrections and Nick apologises for using the N-word about the wrong cinematic dog. They then go on to talk about offensive language, and, towards the end, triggers and trigger warnings. Which should probably have come at the beginning. It should go without saying that there's strong language (it should go without saying, but it doesn't).

Disgust, discussed.

Are you easily disgusted? If you are, then you're probably more socially conservative, according to several experiments discussed in this talk by psychologist David Pizarro: 

In this episode, Nick & Carey talk about what -
 if anything - disgusts them, and wonder whether disgust could be used to change people's minds.
Oh, and they're both sick, so enjoy this recording of two men talking about disgust while bodily fluids stream from their faces.

Episode 2: School uniforms and 'your mum' jokes.

Nick and Carey totally intend to talk about Centrism but don't at all. Instead, they talk about how far back their resistance to tribalism goes, encompassing school uniforms, religious upbringings, tattoos, anti-Americanism, Trump, Bush, and 'your mum' jokes. The book we talk about is 'The Righteous Mind' by Jonathan Haidt,

Backstage in Cardiff / llwyfan yng Nghaerdydd

I bet you wonder what it's like to be a comedian on tour. That's what people wonder, I bet. It's what I would wonder, if I were a person.

It's one of the unspoken facts about stand-up comedy that it involves more ironing than you'd think. It doesn't involve much ironing, but assuming you'd think it didn't involve any, it involves more than you'd think. Basically, you're away from home, your clothes have to go in a bag, and to avoid everyone on the bill looking like they were pulled out of a skip before the show, most venues have an iron and ironing board. The irons are of varying quality, and the ironing boards are almost universally filthy - the sort of filthy that raises more questions than it answers. You know how if a two-year-old has jam all over their face, it answers the question of how that face got dirty? But if there are also runes and sheep's hoofprints on the child's face, it makes the dirtiness more mysterious? Like that. Most of the ironing boards I've seen on this tour are the sort of dirty that would make sense if you were given them with the words, "Here you go - it was used last week as a surfboard in a daring escape from an island prison in the middle of a lake of dogshit."

At the moment I'm on tour with Dave Gorman. The venues are of varying sizes, between about 600 and 3000 capacity, and usually within the 900-1200 range. I'm writing this backstage at Cardiff's St David's Hall, which seats about 1500. And it has no iron.

You heard that right*.

I had to go onstage 2 hours ago, in front of 1500 people, in an un-ironed shirt, because St David's Hall doesn't have an iron. And why doesn't have an iron?

Because the Waterboys stole it.

The fucking Waterboys. Yet again, they dog my every move. You might not know this, but they're called the Waterboys because they steal anything that contains water. Their audiences, being about 60% water themselves, don't know the danger they're in.

Now, maybe you're thinking, "You don't know for sure that the Waterboys stole the iron. You were just frustrated that the iron was missing and noticed the Waterboys had been on there recently. At best, your evidence is circumstantial."

Well, maybe you're right. So I say this: if the Waterboys are innocent, let them prove it. Let me go through all their houses, and if there is no iron, ironing board or ironing accoutements (little plastic jugs, etc) to be found, then fine - I will downgrade my assessment of their guilt to merely 'unproven'.

The ball's in your pool, Waterboys. Your move.

I better go. Dave's got to the Found Poem.

*Or read it right. I'm assuming someone else is reading this out loud to you**.

**If you are the person reading this out loud to someone else, please ignore this bit, or at least don't read it out loud.

By the way, I have no idea if the Welsh bit of the title above is correct. I don't speak Welsh. I just guessed by extrapolating from the dual-language fire alarm instructions, etc.