I just finished watching Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog by Greg Davies again and I realised that he may well be my favourite comedian.
Those of you outside the UK probably have no idea who he is, so for the uninitiated, he’s a middle-aged man that used to a be a teacher and found his calling as a stand-up comedian in his thirties.
He’s clearly a very funny man and I think that perhaps the most endearing thing about him is that he’s still just like the funny guy in your group of friends, who laughs his way through his stories. There’s no persona, he freely makes fun of himself, and you just want to be his best friend. Genuine bloke.
I’ve been reading Wait But Why for a while now ever since stumbling upon Tim’s excruciatingly-long dissertation on how cars came to run on fossil fuels and despite the best efforts of the oil industry, electric cars can and will prevail.
What is Wait But Why I hear you ask? It’s a website by a guy called Tim Urban who is an extreme procrastinator, like I can be. When something intrigues him, he researches it until he’s read all there is to read about that subject. Then he digests and regurgitates that information for us to consume.
John Oliver is something special. He jumped into the limelight last year with his own show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver after a brief 8-week stint guest hosting The Daily Show.
Last Week Tonight is an HBO show and as such, I’ve never seen a full episode. However, they put the main segment of each show on their YouTube channel which I look forward to watching each week. The main segment is a 15-20 minute piece looking at a topic that John wants to shine a light on. Sometimes the topics are current and other times they’re longstanding issues.
John does an excellent job of making us care about things that we’re either unaware of or that we’ve just had a tendency to accept as a society. He and his team of journalists research the topics in great depth and show just how much of a mockery they have become, both from a social and a political standpoint. He publicly highlights and humiliates politicians that pander to big business and lambasts companies that conduct themselves unethically, all while threading through a wave of comedy.
I think watching a few clips will do a much better job of highlighting the kind of show this is, why it’s such a hit and maybe cause you to take action on a few things yourself.
Ever since I first saw Dollar Shave Club’s first ad, I was in love. Their marketing is genius. I was so in love with their ad that they really got my attention and made me wonder what their service was about, building on the introduction that they gave in the video.
Had I just seen the name “Dollar Shave Club” online, I almost certainly would have ignored it and passed on it, but DSC’s branding genius used the power of humour and social media to deliver their message.
The video above has been viewed over 18 million times and their follow-up, about their “One Wipe Charlies” has been seen nearly 3 million times and is equally representative of how powerful their brand is.
Me and my wife have been married for 8 years now, but while she may be a bit more familiar with British English, as it’s something I expose her to every day, she has a lesser grasp on the cultural and societal differences in England, given that she’s only spent a few weeks in the UK (compared to me having lived here for 9 years).
One thing that she couldn’t quite grasp lately caught my attention. Me and my brother were having a friendly spar on Facebook where we tease each other and take the piss out of one another. Martina didn’t see it that way, thinking I was just being nasty. It’s a disconnect that I’ve noticed for a long time, especially when I consider how this bonding ritual is now all-but-absent from my life.
I am a Christian, so I have to acknowledge the irony in some of this, but the Oatmeal’s latest comic on religious extremism is a humourous and thought-provoking read, that is, assuming that you’re open to criticism and discussion (unlike the guy shouting “Jesus! Abortion! Monster Trucks!”)