‘If you ask me, rechargeable batteries are positively revolting.’

I’ve not felt very funny recently. Combination of family things, work things, just thing things really. Nothing major but a general comedy malaise.

Obviously with this being very much a part time endeavour I can dip in and out as my mood allows, but I do wonder how it must be for full time comics – having to go out on stage every night and be funny regardless of how they’re feeling.

I’m don’t particularly subscribe to the idea that comedians are more prone to depression than the general public. The whole ‘tears behind the laughter’ idea is so accepted within popular culture but I’m sure if you were to do a survey of accountants, bricklayers or cheesemongers you’d find a similar level of mental illness. Just that you probably don’t see many depressed Cheesemongers on TV. Not on primetime anyway.

It does remind me of a joke I heard once though.

Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The Great Cheesemonger Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him and eat some cheese. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.”

I think that’s how it went anyway.

Perhaps because my comedy synapses haven’t been firing on all cylinders I haven’t really been able to nail that last set I wrote – each iteration has certainly improved it but it’s still not really doing it for me.

I was struggling to write anything new and then on a long train journey the other day I thought up a one liner that would work great as an opener. It’s not the funniest thing I’ve ever thought up but it gave me a direction and from there I knew pretty much straight away where I wanted to go with the rest of the set. It probably took as long to write the whole set as it does to say it.

The concept seems expansive which is good – most ideas I’ve had previously have felt a bit restrictive – great for 5 minutes but limited by the central conceit whereas this feels like it has a lot more space both within the main concept as well as in the various canals and tributaries I can divert off in.

If only it were that easy all the time. All those hours spent trying to force myself to write something and what I actually needed for inspiration was a 2 hour train journey thinking about nothing, staring out the windows at passing cows, sheep, and Milton Keynes.

Surely that must be the first time the word Inspiration and Milton Keynes have ever appeared in the same sentence?

I had an open mic slot booked that night so was able to try it out straight away and despite not really knowing it well and stumbling a bit, it seemed to flow nicely and go down pretty good. I think with a bit of polishing and chopping around it could be a really good set.

Anyway, it feels a bit like I’ve got my mojo back a bit – whatever the fuck a mojo is.

Paul Entwistle