Can Cycling Be Funny?

Me trying to be funny


Last year I completed a stand up comedy course organised by the very knowledgeable and lovely Jill Edwards who, through no fault of her own, has also ended up living in Worthing. The course was a real eye-opener and went so well, I graduated by performing at a New Act gig at Komedia, Brighton in front of a sell out 250 people (the audience was a combination of the graduates’ friends, families, work colleagues, former comedy graduates and ramdom people off the street and it was incredibly nerve-wracking). Since then I attended the Advanced Workshops to develop material and did a couple more gigs until my son arrived in May.

Now its time to go back to comedy school after a prolonged Paternity Leave. Although becoming a new father should provide acres of material, I was wondering if anyone has ever got any mileage out of cycling for comedy material?

Below is a picture of the brilliant comedian, Dave Gorman. Even when he’s not laugh out loud funny, he’s nothing less than fascinating to watch. For part of a tour he did recently, he cycled 1,600 miles to the four cardinal points of  Britian (most westerly, most easterly etc). This of course produced some interesting venues to perform at (and would make a fascinating CTC Touring Route Sheet) but the material wasn’t about cycling.

Dave Gorman on his ‘Sit Down, Pedal, Pedal, Stop And Stand Up’ Tour

So far the only potential snippet I have for inclusion regarding cycling into my set is as follows,

‘I’m a cyclist because I don’t think I received enough verbal abuse and persecution as a child….’

Obviously there’s a ton of other hilarious material that fits around it (trust me!) but I’m trying to develop the best way to approach this sort of material as cycling is a fundamental part of my life and always has been to varying degrees. The Golden Rule of comedy is to tell the truth from the heart.

Cycling has featured in comedy classics before such as Jacques Tati’s ambitous postman in Jour de Fete or the Bicycle Repair Man and Pither’s Cycling Tour sketches in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. But can material be gleaned from something utilitarian that we do every day? If Michael McIntyre can get mediocre material about driving into his set (about overtaking generally), I want to see if I can develop something funnier about cycling.

I thoroughly recommend Jill’s stand up course and I thoroughly welcome your thoughts. No jokes about Bromptons though. That’s just sick.

Bicycle Repair Man

As it’s Friday, here is a wonderful gem from Monty Pythons Flying Circus about Mr F G Superman and his secret identity. I sometimes wish he were real.

Incidentally the star of this sketch, the ever wonderful Michael Palin, is President of the Campaign for Better Transport