BBC 2. Home of Top Gear and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Showed something awesome tonight, very good. If you missed it or have not heard of it’s subject matter. Stop reading this, go seek it out now. BBC 2 showed, Dave Allen: God’s Own Comedian.
Dave Allen is without a doubt my favourite comedian, yes I will talk of Hicks (who even has the honour of adorning this page) I will talk of the genius of Pryor. But Dave Allen, the first TV comic to make a young Sudo laugh. In 1990 I was 10, my Mum (she of Ed McBain influence) would tell me about Dave Allen. I was allowed to sit up late, probably about 10:30pm and watch. The Classic theme tune would start and a grey haired man, aged to a 10 yr old, would walk past a backed bar stool to the microphone. He would then begin to talk in a captivating irish tone.
I always wondered why he never sat on the stool. Only later thanks to the wonders of VHS would I find out that Dave used the stool on his earlier shows. I remember my whole family laughing at the stories this one man on his own on stage would tell. Exposing the absurdities of life long before the likes of Michael McIntyre, doing it in such a subtle nature that is nowhere in comedy these days. The pauses, the timing. The anger, the vitriol.
The show the BBC showed tonight was great because I have made every attempt to learn about the work of Dave before I was even a twinkle in my Dad’s eye. Dave hated repeats, so nothing is ever shown. This documentary showed footage of his early break in Australia, which I had never seen. Also featured was Dave’s documentary making which had past me by.
What however prompted me to write this blog piece was this there is a very small segment of this around 52 mins where Dave is being interviewed by Clive James where he says that language (swearing) is emphasis. I have always used this to explain when challenged on my own filthy fucking language, not sure where I got it from. It surprised me, how much of the wisdom of Dave Allen I picked up.
Allen like Hicks, I feel is needed in todays world. In the 8 years since he died the world, religion, politics and every aspect of life needs someone to poke away at it more than ever. Make the common helpless man feel sane for at least half an hour a week.
Thanks for reading and…. may your god go with you.