It’s a big day for me and religiocomedy. Today I not only preached to the nation (well, a few truckers) in the coveted 5:45am slot of Radio 2’s Pause For Thought (listen again from 44:30 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r4xxq – I’m after Ladies Night, which is how it should be), but also did similarly in text form via the 40Acts website – http://40acts.org.uk/blog/share-a-good-joke/.
They’re setting 40 challenges each day for Lent: rather than give something up, give something out. So today I’m ‘challenging’ people to share a good joke. May not sound like much of a challenge – it wouldn’t last a full hour of Challenge Anneka where they paint a ceiling or something – but then I’ve heard some people at gigs try jokes on me, and clearly they found it very challenging. “Here’s one for ya… There was a nun, a Muslim and a… no hang on, not a nun – a plumber…”
Both these Christiocomedic serherhermons come one week before my book hits shelves (or shelf): So A Comedian Walks Into A Church. There’s a theme here: comedy and Christianity trying to work together. It’s a very narrow overlap on the Venn diagram, but it’s there – after all, vicar and stand-up comic both are used to performing to people who’ve been dragged along, trying to hold the attention while the microphone breaks, and starting their piece with a couple of dodgy jokes.
So it looks this is the year I ‘come out’ (as a Christian, not as a homosexual – that’ll be years away yet). Not that I’ve ever hidden my faith on the circuit – I just don’t profess it from the mic, cos, well, it’s not that funny. If I find an angle, I’ll do what I can with it, but for now apart from the odd car journey if it comes up (whereupon it’s become a very odd car journey), I’ve kept the church gigs and the circuit gigs pretty much separate.
Non-churchy people: fear not. I’m not about to use the microphone/keyboard to sneak bits of God into stand-up routines/sitcom scripts. I’ll sneak bits of me in, because that’s what all writers do. That’s unavoidable, and necessary, and nice.
…for the next 5 Wednesdays, you can hear me at 5:45am on Radio 2’s Pause For Thought, or more likely, on iPlayer thereafter.
…you can buy my book about church and the comedy circuit, from next Wednesday (or pre-order now: http://www.darton-longman-todd.co.uk/books/9780232529791/So-A-Comedian-Walks-Into-a-Church).
….you can see me on BBC1 during Easter Week chatting to Ann Widdecombe about Christianity and comedy, and where the line is, and if there’s a line at all. Basically you won’t be able to move for me waffling on about gags & God, punchlines & pews, pulpits & bearpits, (Subscribe here http://paulkerensa.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1 to my mailing list for details of all this nonsense)
What I’m really saying is, vote Kerensa for Pope. I may not be Catholic but I do like ceilings with nice pictures on. Simply put, I miss Challenge Anneka.