Being Funny: John Bishop

My interest in being funny started from an early age.  Laughing hasn’t been a problem.  I enjoyed laughing ever since I can remember.  I grew up with siblings where the rivalry was such that having quick wit was essential.  Yet it was when we moved house and I became more insular-inclined that the virtues of being funny became all the more evident.  I realised that anyone can make someone laugh, but being funny is a gift.  I don’t pretend to have that gift, like other lesser mortals I just listened to funny people all the time and developed my own schtick (i.e. corny one-liners at any given opportunity and also being funny with what people say twisting it to mean something esle).

As a result of those experiences I have thus had a great appreciation for funny people – not just people who make you laugh.  Funny people reek funny and see funny in whatever shade they do through a variety of life’s scenarios they have my respect and admiration.

I was fortunate enough to meet a quality professional comedian who shall remain nameless (Andy Kind) who worked with me when I did some stuff at the YMCA.  He did comedy workshops that included a trip to the Frog & Bucket up in Manchester on Monday nights to see how amateurs did it and appreciating the art of being funny.  It really is not that easy at all just to be funny, so when you see people who are – you acknowledge them for it.

John Bishop strikes me as one of those guys.  Of course I have to declare from the outset that the fact that he is a Liverpool and absolutely everything to do with me giving him a chance.  I’m not even sure if he’s aiming for the heights of comedy fame and all that, but the guy is just plain funny.  His gift lies in his storytelling and his rather laid-back approach to setting up the scenarios with the gags in them.  He is no straight quip comedian and goes to show that being funny is as much what happens on the journey to the punchline as the punchline itself … if there needs to be one.

Another thing about John is that he is not a physical comedian like Lee Evans and he’s not into the gurning and facial stuff that others depend on – nothing wrong with that – just that Bishop is funny because of the storytelling style. You could enjoy the routine for what it says about life’s issues.  It’s not always about observational humour, it’s about the humour that life brings out anyway, you don’t have to see others doing it, your own can give you enough laughs in itself.  Really engaging stuff.  Plus there is the skill of touching areas that others would crudely rush into for the sake of the laugh, that he pulls off well without resorting to it being crude at all.

That’s what makes this guy funny.  Enjoy.




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