Friday, 28 September 2007

Frank Carson in a Post Office

No facts for you today. Instead, it’s going to be a bit like ‘Points of View’ where you have a chance to comment on the recent programming on this blog. I’ve had a few emails from concerned readers (and a few viewers) who have expressed their disappointment in what they describe as ‘the trivial nature’ of The Richard Madeley Appreciation Society. Says one reader who calls themselves Gretna Green:
Why do you talk so much trivial rubbish? Are you really Richard Madeley? If you are then you’re really funny but if you’re not then your just a sad man and I won’t be reading you anymore. My advice to you is to look at Iain Dale’s blog, which is the biggest in the country. He knows how to blog. You’ll never get onto his list of the top 1000 UK blogs with your attitude, so grow up Richard. Talk some sense for a change.

‘Trivial rubbish’? I hardly see what’s trivial or rubbish about my life. Do you? Cycling accidents with Bill Bryson, the condition of Bill Oddie’s feet and Jeremy Paxman’s toenails… Only last week, I gave you an exclusive look at the poem I’d written to my darling wife, Judy, and before that I was posting about my holiday to America. I might have upset a polygamists along the way but they can handle it. They’ve certainly got enough shoulders to cry on.

The letter is typical of the hate mail I receive. The single most popular phrase in search engines that bring people here is ‘I hate Richard Madeley’. Another reader writes:

I appreciate what you’re doing Richard, but its [sic] making your TV show look dull. Why can’t you talk about these things on air? I’d love to see you go biking with Bryson. Can’t you make it into a series? It would be fantastic.

And then I get emails such as this one:

Hello Richard. Love your blog. You are the funniest writer in the world and I can’t believe that more people don’t know about your blog. I think it’s the best blog I’ve ever read. I read it every day and I just love love love it! PS. Can I have a job on your show?

Can you now see that I cannot possibly win?

I suppose if there has been a marked decline in the quality of this blog, it has come as a result of my being taken off a few blogrolls. Technorati say that fifteen blogs link to me. That’s pitiful. I don’t know why I bother. But I take insults and praise in my stride. People have a strange relationship to fame which makes them do funny things when they believe they’re in contract with a celebrity. They want to make contact with you, but as soon as they realise that the contact is only limited, they shun you like you’ve caught bluetongue fever.

Is a story inherently funny or is a story only funny if it’s told from the stage by somebody with ‘fame’? Frank Carson is one of the funniest men I’ve ever met. In real life, he’s exactly as you see him on TV. It’s a tragedy. Fame didn’t make him funny. It’s actually a medical condition which means he can only express himself through jokes. The sad truth of it is that the man finds it hard to cope with everyday life. I was saw him in a post office where he needed stamps.

Cashier: ‘Yes sir? Can I help you?’

Carson: ‘A man walks into a post office to buy some stamps.’

Cashier [now smiling]: ‘Yes? Go on…’

Carson: ‘A man walks into a post office to buy some stamps. He says, “I’d like to buy a book of stamps please…”’

Cashier [now laughing]: ‘Happens all the time…’

Carson [now crying]: ‘He says, “I’d like to buy a book of stamps please but I want you to lick them for me…”’

Cashier: ‘…’

Carson: ‘The woman at the counter says, “We can certainly lick them for you, sir, but would you like first class or second class stamps?” The man replies, “it doesn’t really matter just as long as they’re in my pocket and you’ve got a very long tongue.”’

The silence was like a scalpel drawn across the poor man’s confidence. Unable to explain what he wanted, Frank had to make a punch-line up on the spot. Carson was lost without his writers. It was a pitiful sight.

Which is the point of what I’m trying to say. On TV, everything is scripted. Here, I’m being myself. I'll leave it to you to decide which is more real.


Glamourpuss said...

Ah, Richard, I see you have much still to learn about this blogging lark...


Big Chip Dale said...

Richard, I'm delighted to see that I'm not the only one who thinks your deluded.

Dick Madeley said...

Glamourpuss, I do indeed. I might be tops on TV, but on this blog I'm a mere beginner.

Chip, and I'm delighted to see that you're still struggling to find your place in the world. Keep on working and we'll eventually have you on the show, but don't forget to bring one of the nurses from the home.

Swearing Mother said...

Richard: Are you being silly without me? I've been on holiday and it's obvious to me that I've got back in the nick of time. I see you have a case of bloggers' blues, it comes to all us now and then.

Chin up.

Dick Madeley said...

Swearing mother, I thought you were one of the people to desert me. I'm haemorraging readers and I don't know what to do about it. I'm glad you're back and still have faith in me.

Lord Higham- Murray said...

Never mind, old son. It's all sour grapes anyway [and other meaningless statements].

Swearing Mother said...

Richard: Maybe you need to put yourself about a bit, there's nothing like a bit of blog-socialising to encourage visitors.

Feeling better today?

Dick Madeley said...

LHM, I'm quite use to the sour grapes, it's the low viewer figures I can't abide. Judy might axe me if they stay so low.

Swearing Mother, the problem with that is I tend to get quite abused. Not everybody appreciates my turning up on their blog. I'm liable to get mocked.