Sunday, March 26, 2006

Not yet beaten

Having recently outed my dad as a comedy genius, I feel it only fair to reveal to the nation the best conversation I've ever had with my mum ever. This was a while ago - pre-blog, but was going to come out sooner or later...

We were discussing whether mysterious origins of my gran on my dad's side (she was adopted, and never talks about her past. Dad was raised C of E, but went to one of them Haberdashers schools). And my mum said:

MUM: Well we always thought there might be a bit of jewishness on your dad's side, what with his nose...

At which point my dad, confused, crosses his eyes, trying to check out his own nose (which is biggish, and got broken years ago in a boxing match - my dad is tops). And then mum looks at me and says:

MUM: And you've always been very tidy.

I laughed solidly for about an hour, and that was as far as that discussion ever got. But ever since then, Jews = the tidy people.


UPDATE: just to add to this, Best Mate said a while ago: 'You just love the idea of possibly being a bit jewish so you can have the slightly exotic outsider thing without actually having the emotional fucking awfulness of members of your family dying in the Holocaust. You monstrous twat'.

To which I said 'Oooooh! Jealous!'.

Or I would have done if I'd thought of it in time.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your parents sound great...

james henry said...

They're not really, they're monsters. Wouldn't let me watch 'The Young Ones' or Blackadder when I was younger. And my mum used to cut my hair for me 'because it was cheaper'.

Monsters.

Who is this Dave? said...

Being a little bit older than you, I did get to watch The Young ones. I made a point of doing so whenever my mother-in-law called in.

I'm renowned for my tidyness. Glad I can now explain it's not because I'm gay, but Jewish.

james henry said...

There you go - it's really a very simple, workeable system.

woot said...

Hang on, I was born in 1980 and I got to watch The Young Ones and Blackadder

Also got to watch Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure when it first came out and took me many, many years to figure out why both sets of Bills's and Ted's were thinking of "69 Dude!"

My parents obviously don't care much about me...

woot said...

Also my flatmate now cuts my hair, not because its cheaper but because I hate going to the hairdressers as I am rubbish at small talk with strangers...

I have no holiday plans, this IS my holiday...

patroclus said...

As well as The Young Ones, Tiswas and anything else on ITV, I also wasn't allowed to watch The Kids from Fame, in case I ran away from home to become a ballet dancer.

Anyone who actually knows me and my powers of physical coordination would probably agree that my parents really had very little to worry about.

smoo2 said...

I wasn't allowed to watch those progs either, or allowed to go and see Grease. There are thousands of emotionally-scarred adults walking about, all because they weren't allowed to watch The Young Ones.

Jane said...

Um, I went to one of those them there Haberdashers schools (with Matt Lucas, actually, name drop, name drop - not that I knew him) and I'm not very tidy...

james henry said...

I think this was a particularly tidy school, with my dad and one other pupil being the only non-tidy attenders, with the irony being that my dad might technically turn out to be tidy anyway.

His dad was buried in Golders Green as well, which is famously tidy, although the service itself was Anglican.

I must run this past PP, although as he's an official homosexualist jewite, he might skew the survey results somewhat. He's probably so tidy, the concept of untidyness doesn't really occur to him.

Is this all becoming really offensive now? Apologies if so.

But not to fat wheezing lisper PP though, obviously.

james henry said...

Deleted a load of comments - apologies to Nick/Patroclus/Dave/Me, but I found myself edging into dodgy ground where I knew what I meant, but others might not, and I just can't be arsed.

Who is this Dave? said...

That's the trouble with jokes, isn't it? Other people may think you're being serious. It's a pit into which I often fall.

james henry said...

It's not the jokes, it's that my basic distrust of the way most people use religion leads me very quickly into complete foaming incoherence, which I often have cause to regret.

Am working on a post about it now, although probably the whole thing will collapse under its own inanity.

EDIT: Just realised that looks like I'm having a dig at you, which I honestly wasn't. You see? Minefield.

Who is this Dave? said...

Yes, and I wasn't upset, or having a dig at you in my comment, which you deleted. Perhaps I was flagging up the minefield into which you were drifting.

Oh, and I did mean the bit about transformers and monster names on my blog too.

james henry said...

Mind you, I quite like minefields*. I just think rather than wandering absent-mindedly into one, it's far preferable to think about it, then take a really big run-up.


* I'm talking about the concept of a minefield of course, rather than a real minefield. Blimey, talking about minefields turns out to a bit of a...

Never mind.

Anonymous said...

so i just saw a picture of you on that Bloc writing site or whatever it's called.

"tidy", huh?

james henry said...

I should set up a poll - 'tidy, or 'non-tidy'.

Probably ought to find a picture where I look less 'fat', 'sweaty' and 'furtive' though...

patroclus said...

"Fat, sweaty and furtive" - there's a blog tagline if ever there were one.

Anonymous said...

puh-leeze!
"fat sweaty and furtive"?

fishing for compliments, are we?

james henry said...

Always.

Anonymous said...

nah, you look very nice.
like in the exam scene. although you can only really see your hand there. nice tanned hand, though.

james henry said...

*blushes prettily*

Maud said...

You were suprisingly pretty when I met you, completely subverting the general 'Internet people are ugly' rule. In fact when I first saw you I thought 'That can't be him, he's too good looking to be so clever.'

My parents have always encouraged me to get as much Blackadder and Young Ones as possible. I owned the complete Blackadder scripts when I was nine, or possibly a little younger, and the Young Ones has been on the tellybox whenever my mother could find it.

james henry said...

Your parents clearly rock - and are quite possibly are younger than me. Argh.

In case anyone's thinking '?' at this point, I should point out I talked to M's writing group in controlled circumstances, with my parole officer never less than three feet away.

la said...

I just read all your toy-fus. they are so brilliant! you just have to love them! :)

"You're not being sarcastic?"
[pause]
"'No.'"

Maud said...

They are a good deal older than you. They're the generation of the Young Ones and Blackadder. I believe my mother went to University with a good few of the people involved.

"What are you doing later?"
"I'm meeting a 16-year-old girl I met on the internet."

james henry said...

Well in fact I'd arranged to meet a group of at least twenty sixteen year- wait, that sounds even worse.

When I told Rob how I'd spent that afternoon, he put his head in his hands and made a low moaning sound, and quite rightly so.

Anyway, he said briskly changing the subject, who prefers Guy to Mac? I know I do.

cello said...

And me. I've seen the light.

james henry said...

Huzzah! Steve will be sooooo happy.

woot said...

Ooooh no! Still luuuuurve Mac!!

Although Guy is more like all the blokes I've ever dated...

Anonymous said...

Oooooh - Is that you in the pic with your interview (duh, obviously - I'm good with the stupid comments)

Tasty and much better than if you google image your name as you just get a load of really old pictures of old men and gravestones...

Not that ive looked...

Latigo Flint said...

I tried to eat lentils for years after MTV aired the Y.O.s over here. They gave me gas every time and I ended up loathing Neil for it.

cello said...

James, will you make some money personally from GW1 DVD sales? I do hope so. I have obviously ordered it for myself, and for my sister and for a couple of people at work who never saw it. Oh, yes and for a client. But I also got it for Mother's Day. Didn't admit to the boy I'd already ordered it for myself so I will have one copy at home and one at work.
If you can persuade every fan to buy six copies you will be able to afford to come to London soon!

WV - pttigra. It gives you an erection - just not a very big one.

Maud said...

Well you were very successful, and not at all predatory. Which I think some of them thought was a shame.

As for Mac vs Guy, Boyce blows them both out of the water. Boyce love!

james henry said...

Latigo: mmm... lentils...

Cello: I don't think we make much from the DVD (I remember hearing that Stephen Merchant - co-writer of The Office, obviously, got about a twentieth of RG's earnings, what with RG starring in it and all. And as GW is a team thing, it gets divided by eight again after that. I think the percentage goes up slightly if the sales nudge into the 'gosh, hasn't it done well' category though, so every sale is appreciated, obviously. And it's great to see the beast so high in the Amazon sales chart...

Maude, yes, Boyce is tops. Oli Chris can sing every Disney song ever written you know, and will, at the drop of a hat. He's a strange boy.

woot said...

Ooooooh! You shouldput that in an episode. He could be singing a different song everytime we see him or only speak in lines from disney songs!!!

As you can see, I'm not a comedy writer...

Paul Pennyfeather said...

Sorry been off tidying other people's houses.

You are a funny little man...

Yes James is surprisingly pretty in the photo, but he doesn't look like that in the mornings.

Maud said...

Ah, singing random Disney songs. The pastime of kings. We do that a lot in art. 'No one's neck is incredibly thick as Gaston', 'Hakuna Matata' and 'Bare necessities' being particular favourites.

cello said...

'Just Around the River Bend' from Pocahontas, 'When Somebody Loves You'from Toy Story 2, and 'Under The Sea' from Little Mermaid, complete with offensive Caribbean accent. Can this be the theme of the next get-together please? We may have to sedate Patroclus.

Maud said...

When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful. Every hour we spent together lives within my heart, and when she was sad, I was there to comfort her, and when she was happy so was I. When she loved me.

*howls*

Oh I love that song.

irony in motion said...

I really don't like Disney. But please don't stone me.

Nicole said...

Well, I hate to admit this, but now that I know that, I love Mr. Chris more than I thought was actually possible.
Second, I just finished watching Sarah Alexander in Teachers. On American television. I don't care if it's a cheap imitation: HA!

(This is supposed to somehow make up for the fact that GW2 is denied us.)

(It doesn't.)

james henry said...

Off for meetings now.

Talk amongst yourselves.

PP - sit on your hands please. Not a peep out of you until I get back.

woot said...

Have fun *waves goodbye*.

Oooookay he's gone now. So what does he look like in the mornings Paul?

smoo2 said...

I know where James is really. He's off secretly directing more episodes of Taggart.
It's true, just look in the Radio times at the Director by-line and you'll see his secret life in Scotland has been discovered.

Nicole said...

That bastard!

Maud said...

Green Wing were ace!

=D

Better Late Than Never said...

I just wanted to congratulate you on last night's Green Wing. It was everything it needed to be and more and the whole team did and astounding job. I was speechless afterwards, honest. Well done. Many, many, many congratulations to you and everyone involved. Thank you for doing an amazing job!

smoo2 said...

What Better Late Than Never Said. Excellent brilliant episode!
A million brownie points to all of you.

Kalista said...

Many pats on the back to you and all the other writers for lasts nights episode james! It was a corker! All those who gave it a bad review obviously eat ketchup sandwiches and laugh at little britain (simply put, they have no taste)

Anonymous said...

loved the episode as well.

apart from the martin/karen "kissing" scene. that was traumatising. not sure i'll be able to sleep tonight.

Nugglymammoo said...

Everyone sing happy birthday to me! I was out last night so I haven't seen ep 1 yet. I'm off to watch the 11.45 repeat. I like to keep the best present until last.

woot said...

Waaaahhhhhhh!

I Haven't seen it yet, when is it out in Oz James? When? When? When?

Nugglymammoo said...

James. When I read your script sample for Romey loves Jules (really liked it by the way, looking forward to seeing it/reading more scripts) I imagined the bar scene with Steve Mangan as Romeo and Nick Frost playing Balthazar. Bit spooky then to see Nick and Steve as new best mates in a bar scene in GW.
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Sorry to go on about it Woot, but it really was fab. I was wondering how I was going to go a whole week before getting my second fix and you still don’t know when you will get your first. Tragedy.

smoo2 said...

Ah, loved the 'pastafarian' scene. Presume that's the one you were talking about the other day, James. Yeah, that was a good ad lib at the end ...and a cool funny voice by Mr Theobald.

Not as good as the rest of the scene though of course...

Jennifer said...

*barges in like an Angry Alan*

Okay, who's idea was it to give Mac amnesia? :p

Nah, I'm only kidding. It's a great twist.

Sorry; I feel like I'm just barging in on your blog, James. I have to say, I'm a fan. Toy-fu is brilliant and Green Wing; well, it goes without saying. The first episode was inspired: whoever was responsible for 'Want You Mac, For Good' should be knighted, hehe!

I'm so happy you've got this blog; not in the scary-teenage-fan type way, but in the 'I'm doing a BA in Screen Practice next year and it's great to have an informal insiders view of the business' type way. Thanks James. :-)