Posts Tagged 'humour'

“I got those piggy bug mutation blues…”

The feverish media response to the recent ‘swine flu’ outbreak inspired me to make this little comedy number the other week. After posting it on YouTube, I noticed there were already a few other videos entitled ‘Swine Flu Blues’, so now I’m thinking of changing the title to ‘Piggy Bug  Blues’ instead [edit: done]. If you like it, please rate it on YouTube (you can now sign in with a Google account). Also, it’s up on (here), too – so if it makes you laugh, I’d really appreciate a ‘funny’ vote there as well – thanks. (Geeks among you may also be interested to know I made the backing track using the iPhone app ‘Band’, from MooCowMusic.)


Fancy animating my latest CC-licensed grotesque comic ode?

Just posted a YouTude video of me performing my comic verse “Donna McGonagall”, a freakish, fishy tale about the perils of ill-advised cosmetic surgery (embedded below). I think it lends itself to a narrated animated short, so if there are any budding animators out there who share my sense of the the comedically gory and grotesque but who find themselves lacking in a storyline and audio for their next project, maybe you’d like to have a go at animating it. The ode is licensed under a Creative Commons (noncommercial-attribution-sharealike) license, and I plan to provide a higher-quality audio track (re-recoded on a pro mike) with sound FX if anyone’s interested – let me know if you are.

Twittourette: Profane Outbursts on Twitter

What the f$%~ing c^%$ are you doing? Tracking the most profane tweets… and it turns out the twitterverse can be a very sweary place. As regular readers of this blog will know, I am not averse to a bit of profanity every now and then. Okay, at times swearing is juvenile, unneccessary, abusive and unfunny. But it can often be cathartic, creative, concise and clever, too.  So, I put together a Yahoo Pipe to seek out the sweariest tweets (those using multiple expletives) and set up a Weebly page to display the results (though you can also subscribe to the feed). Turns out it’s also a useful way to see what’s really riling folks right now. Link [Edit, Feb 2011: the site seems to have stopped working due to the fact I was using a third-party Twitter search service that’s no longer active. I may update it someday.]

Uncle Disgusting

Me performing one of my old comic odes, “Uncle Disgusting”. Be warned: it is as tasteless and gross as I could make it, so don’t view if you’re offended by that sort of thing. Apologies for the poor audio quality – dunno what’s up with my webcam mic, but I’ll sort it out as soon as I can and post a higher-quality version.

Incidentally, the poem is licensed under a Creative Commons non-commercial/attribution/sharealike licence. If anyone wants to do something funky like animate/illustrate it, let me know and I’ll make you a high-quality mp3 of the audio to work with.

Next up, I’ll be posting a more recent (and better) ode of mine, “Donna McGonagall” – a dark, grotesque, comic fable on the perils of plastic surgery (again CC-licensed).

“My Perfect Present” – a musical thank-you for Tomy Air Guitar

Well, here’s a Flickr video of me performing a short pastiche song I knocked up last night to say thank you to my friends Stuart and Nadia, who brought me back a Tomy Air Guitar* from Japan for my birthday. It’s quite the best musical toy I’ve had the pleasure of playing since the Stylophone, and really is pretty versatile.

It can handle major and minor chords plus sevenths, arpeggio and capotasto, although the positioning of some of the buttons makes for quite tricky fingering – and it only seems to have one octave, which is also pretty limiting.

As you can see from the video, the instrument does have the disadvantage of stripping the player of all dignity by making it appear one is engaged in a frenetic act of onanism. That said, it could have great potential for live comic performance – although responsiveness seems to be affected by the lighting conditions, so I’m not sure how it would fare on a pub stage.

The video was recorded early this morning before work – hence the blurry-eyed demeanour (I’m not a morning person). Apologies for the shaky “singing” (if you can call it that) and fumbled chord changes. And even bigger apologies to the Undertones, from whose “My Perfect Cousin” I, ahem, ‘liberally borrowed’.

N.B. The out-of-synch audio-video seems to be a problem with the Flickr transcoding – nowt I can do about it, I’m afraid.

* Apparently, these will be on sale in the UK from June, priced at around 15 quid.

[Edit: embedded YouTube version now below]

Muxtape: Two Norfolk handfuls* of odd, overlooked and offensive comedy tracks

(*that’s 12, as in fingers)

I’ve been mucking about with, a great site (in concept, although still very basic in execution) that allows you to create and share ‘mix tapes’, just like in the old days (only by uploading MP3 files and having them hosted as streaming mixes on the site).

Here’s one of my first efforts, a comedy mix, some of which (be warned) is not for those easily offended (or, come to that, quite hard to offend). PLEASE read the sleeve notes below BEFORE you listen to the tracks (particularly 6 and 7). My intention is to share some laughs with similarly free-thinking, juvenile sniggerers as myself, not to cause palpitations in the unsuspecting or unwary listener. (Once you’re at the site, click on the name of the first song to start listening.)

[update: link no longer works as Muxtape has been forced to stop hosting MP3s and has now changed its business model to become a promo tool for bands]

Compiled by Jim Jarmo

Incidentally, if any of the comedians or musicians featured in this mix object, let me know and I’ll remove your track. The tracks can only be played from the website (not downloaded as individual MP3s), no one’s making any money from this and my intention is purely to spread a little laughter (one byproduct of which may be that you gain a slightly bigger audience). Equally, if any would like me to add in a link to their website, myspace page, shopping cart or whatever, I’ll be happy to oblige.

On with the sleeve notes…

1. Boothby Graffoe – Planet Dog (2004)
Boothby Graffoe, the only comic to take his name from a Lincolnshire village, is a long-standing UK stand-up, both well known and well liked on the circuit. This is from his 2004 debut album “Wot Italian”, which I bought after his gig at Edinburgh. A few great tracks, and the album also features the talents of acclaimed flamenco guitarist (and fellow Edinburgh regular) Antonio Forcione.

2. Radio Free Vestibule – You’re A Hamburger (1994)
Uproariously funny Canadian surreal comedy sketch and song trio, now known more diminutively as The Vestibules. This is from their brilliant 1994 album “Sketches, Songs and Shoes”, which is quite hard to find. Someone “borrowed” my dog-eared cassette copy, but luckily I’ve since managed to find most of it online. Check out their website:

3. Jim Jarmo – Junk Food Junkie (2001)
I originally wrote this as a comic verse back in 1992, long before I knew of Larry Groce’s like-titled oeuvre. I finally turned it into this sample-stuffed song in 2001. (Incidentally, in its original context, the Michael Buerke “If you feed them to rats…” sample was actually referring not to Wotsits, but to Big Macs. Scant comfort, I know.)

4. The Popticians – Amoeba (1986)
An early vinyl release by comedy poet John Hegley and musical friends Sue Norton and Keith Moore, produced by Robyn Hitchcock. Bought this at one of his gigs in 1986. From a 12″ EP, also featuring “I Saw My Dinner On TV” and “Grandad’s Glasses”. I never got round to ripping the other two tracks, but it’s in the loft somewhere, so one day…

5. Ian Dury – Fuck Off Noddy (1983)
Okay, not *that* funny, but quite amusing to hear the normally more subtly comedic Dury belt out a childish stream of sniggering profanities on this hard-to-find white label originally destined for the album “4000 Weeks Holiday”. I think I seeded the first MP3 copy to hit the Net, on Napster/Audiogalaxy back in 2000/2001 (and likewise the previous track).

6. Chris Morris – Profane Doctor (1998)
In order to get some very close-to-the-mark sketches into his groundbreaking “Blue Jam” series on BBC Radio 1 (best described as dark, ambient comedy), Chris Morris would often create ‘decoy’ offensive material to take the heat off other stuff he wanted to get past the censors. This was one of the decoys, sourced courtesy of Warning: *highly* offensive if you’re the taking-offence type, but especially to Christians.

7. Former Archbishop George Carey – Queen Mum Funeral Speech Remixed (2002)
One of my own cutups, inspired by Chris Morris’s similarly-spirited remix of Carey’s speech of Diana’s funeral in “Blue Jam”. You will gather if you listen to it that I am neither religious nor a royalist. If you are either, this will probably be *highly* offensive to you.

8. Tim Minchin – Inflatable You (2005)
I think Australian Tim is possibly the best comedy song lyricist to emerge for a generation. He’s quite well-known already, but is destined for superstardom. He’s also a great musician. This, I think, is his best song to date.

9. John Hegley – Eddie Don’t Like Furniture (2002)
Although first recorded for his 2002 album “Saint & Blurry”, this has been a live Hegley standard for yonks. Pretty sure I remember him doing this with the Popticians back in the ’80s.

10. The Mighty Boosh – Eels (2007)
Darkly comic number from surreal comedy duo Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding’s third and latest TV series. I won’t witter on about the history of the Boosh, as there’s oodles online. Suffice to say I first saw them in their 1999 Edinburgh show “Arctic Boosh” and they’ve been firm faves ever since. Looking forward to their first album, which they’re working on now.

11. Jim Jarmo – The Internet Song (2002)
I did write to Eric Idle asking permission to use the tune to his “Galaxy Song” from “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life” for this, an affectionate pastiche in the spirit of the original (but about the computing universe, rather than the Einsteinian one). He never replied, so I used it anyway. If I ever get told to stop using it, I guess I’ll have to spend a little time coming up with a very-similar-sounding-but-in-no-way-actionable tune (rather like Idle collaborator Neil Innes did with Beatles tunes for The Rutles…) And if that happens, I guess I also ought to update the lyrics a little, to reflect the technological advances since 2002, when the Net was a very different place. I added the Bill Gates cutup early in 2003 to fill the musical interlude.

12. John Shuttleworth – I Can’t Go Back To Savoury Now (2006)
Always tickles me and thought it made a nice outro. The track featured on his 2007 “4 Rather Tasty Tracks” EP, although this is from his 2006 Radio 4 series “John Shuttleworth’s Open Mind”, in which he investigated the paranormal. Shuttleworth is one of the comedy characters of Sheffied-born Graham Fellows, who orignally found fame as Jilted John with the 1978 hit “Gordon Is A Moron”.


Mortlemania is my personal blog. For my professional blog, see

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