A personal taste of Nelson de Gouveia

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Tinder Decoder 2.0: Does she want to date you or destroy you completely?

in Life by
tinder texting while having dinner

I read a lovely piece on W24 entitled “Tinder Decoder: Does he want to date you or just sleep with you?“, a wonderful example of literature lifted entirely from a Grade 10 student’s essay book, the kind that sits forever under that dusty DVD copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You” after you’ve watched it with your ex-boyfriend.

I enjoyed it, and the first line caught my eye so:

“Okay, let’s face it, the majority of Tinder users are on the app for one reason and one reason only – to get laid!”

And yes, the little man brandishing his gnarled stick at the sun inside me began to cry havoc and stomp his feet, as I reacted angrily to how double-sided this article was. It’s all just the men, she says, it’s just them that do it, she says, men on Tinder want to fuck women and that’s all they’re there for. Meanwhile, the soft-padded little man inside waited patiently before reminding me:

“She’s right, and you know it. But the other side of the cake has the same frosting.”

So, in the interests of fair play, I’ve come up with a similar list of common traits I’ve found women to have on Tinder:

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Applying Business Practices to Stand-Up Comedy

in Comedy by
business of comedy

When approaching projects in my employment, I put forth a variety of business practices that ensure I manage them on time and to budget within cost agreed to with clients and get them the product they require. But when it comes to stand-up comedy, I’m as guilty as anybody of treating it like any other hobby; whenever I get to it.

As it turns out, professional stand-ups have to treat their work like any other work: just like a business.

So, without further ado, here’s the top ten practices I’ve learnt in business that I, as an aspiring stand-up comic, would apply: Keep Reading

VIDEO – #ThatsFunny at the All Star Theatre, Brackenfell, November 2014

in Comedy by
nelson comedy comedian
The following video is a 10 minute stand up comedy special performed live in front of an audience at the All star Theatre in Bracknefell in November 2014.
I hated that suit.

Nelson’s Personal Top Ten Commandments Slash Resolutions of 2015

in Life by
mel brooks ten commandments

In my vain quest to better myself, I wrote the “Nelson’s Personal Top Ten Commandments Slash Resolutions of 2015”, which I’m printing out and framing somewhere so it looks all cool and stuff:

  1. Thou shalt be funnier
  2. Thou shalt allow thyself more time for creativity
  3. Thou shalt NOT be sequestered into banal activities that succumb thee to procrastination like “videogames” or “let’s go visit my mother”
  4. Thou shalt write some more, including another script. The wise sage Luc Besson wrote “Leon” in 2 weeks and that turned out fucking awesome.
  5. Thou shalt return to a major inner-city comedy club to perform and make the proletariat laugh and giggle at new and fancy shit.
  6. Thou shalt live in a palatial home with a marble…kitchen counter, and a functioning toaster.
  7. Thou shalt NOT use said toaster, as thou hast denied thyself ALL carbs.
  8. Thou shalt stay focused and driven…and by driven, meaning thou shall have sold thy motor-veHEEcle and opt for walking to thy abode of employment
  9. Thou shalt continue to love those near thee, and remember to call at least one person a week for a chat and a debate.
  10. Thou shalt love thyself…and remember that thou were the fastest swimmer out of a couple of trillion others that didn’t make it.
Happy New Year for 2015, everybody.

 

Say what I meant…and mean it.

in Comedy by
bill hick said what he meant

“You’re really brave to say the things you say.” And Bill smiled.

I read that and was amazed at that observation. Bill Hick’s autobiography, American Scream, opened my eyes up a little. Has that been my failing all along, that I’ve not been talking about what’s really inside me?

I’ve noticed the greats are doing that; Bill Hicks talked about his passion for an America he hated, “I’m gonna overthrow the government and replace it with a democracy.”. Richard Pryor was open about his failings, “Nothing like setting yourself on fire to make you realise you’re in deep shit.” Louis CK, in paying tribute to George Carlin and what he learnt about being a writer, “I have to dig deeper everytime I throw away old shit to find something new to talk about.”

I feel like I’m scared to really talk about what I’m thinking, that I hide my real comedy behind a layer of diatribe that’s been pulverised into a blender and regurgitated out for a massive few, while the greats constantly strove to work hard at being themselves.

There have been moments, however, when I’ve felt like myself. Most recently, I headlined Ellingtons in Bellville, Cape Town before one of the major soccer matches, and they had it on the big screen behind me. As I went up, I knew I had a short space of time to say before the game started, which reminded me of those many times when my dad told me to move out of the way from the television set, and the crowd bought it, it made sense. “Was your father a glass-maker?” “I don’t know, dad, I’m 4, what do you do?”

But I categorise my persona in two ways:

– When I’m surrounded by people that I think will get me, and that includes the comics and the promoter
– When I’m in an alien environment I’m unsure of, and I dish out familiar, bottled material in order to keep it safe.

How I should categorise my persona is as follows:

– Say what I like about what I’m thinking, and hopefully the crowd will get it.

I did a show last night in Melbourne, Australia, in a beautifully packed room with a good stage. No one knew me, I didn’t speak to the other comics, but I kept thinking about that line from Bill’s biography and decided to open with something familiar and proceed with something fresh:

“Hi everyone, nice to meet you. My name is Nelson Jose Goncalves Ribeiro, I’m 34 years old and I was born in Venezuela, to a Portuguese family and grew up in South Africa.

“This means, Australia, that I’m not your f***ing problem.” That got laughs.

“You don’t have to fret, I’m not endangering the social structure here, I’m purely passing through. I know it seems unfair, this f***ing foreigner coming over here stealing our spots in open mic nights away from decent hard-working local comedians who happen to also be lazy scumbags that can’t hold down a job, the b******.

“My visa ends on the 15th, my ticket is for the 14th. So no matter what happens tonight, the immigration question has been answered.”

And applause.

Saying Goodbye to Robin Williams…wish I had said hello first.

in Comedy by
robin williams
So, Robin Williams has passed away from an apparent suicide.

And we’re all sitting around on our phones, our computers and our tablets on our couches, by our desks, in the car while the mom’s driving you to school, or you’re experiencing a near-fading experience listening to your CEO droning on about the four C’s that’ll drive productivity forward, as we read the how’s and the why’s about Robin Williams.

And Robin Williams, the human being that brought us the best version of alien you could get in Mork and Mindy, an unforgettable Genie in Alladin, the uplifting voice of reason in Good Morning Vietnam, the aspiring teach in Dead Poets Society, the deadbeat in The Fisher King, or even the creepy guy in One Hour Photo, amongst all the numerous standup routines and countless other characters per minute he portrayed, is today and for all time not breathing.

I’m not here to over-analyse why Robin Williams did it, nor will I fawn over his many accomplishments; more versatile bloggers, news outlets and intellectuals will provide such wicked commentary for you.
Nor do I wish to label Robin Williams by anything other than his name; “boisterous”, “excentric” and “over-the-top” have been some of the many that everyone’s been clinging to stick to.

And I’m not going to sympathise over Robin William’s battle with alcohol and drugs; he battled depression, yes, so do many of us, including me. You don’t know my depression, I keep it quiet. Those closest to me see it and they don’t understand what I’m going through, fighting their own battles themselves. And the best excuse, I don’t think I’m important enough for anybody to worry about, so my depression I wage war on alone. And he did too or with family, it doesn’t matter.

Remember, it’s not a tragedy that Robin Williams couldn’t win against depression if you’re loaded and got time to visit a counselor 5 times a week.

I just want to say, I’m sorry Robin Williams. Like everyone else I drew inspiration from, you inspired me. I liked his portrayal in movies and his stand-up is insane (not was, we haven’t lost his art, we just lost more of what he wanted to say), and recently I listened to quite a few. How could you even follow his brain as it spewed it all out??

No, I’m sorry I didn’t pay enough attention to you, Robin Williams (and I know you’re reading this blog, Robin Williams, Steve Jobs handed out a free iPad 2000 the minute you stepped through the Pearly Gates), as I’m sure you would’ve really taken notice if people paid attention.

And you know what, Robin Williams, I’m sorry I didn’t work hard enough to finally meet you and say, “Hey Robin Williams…”

And you would’ve gone, “Hey buddy, what you doing there repeating my name Robin Williams in every paragraph on your blog, you getting ‘robinrepetitis?'”

And I would’ve replied, “You know what, Robin Williams, I guess so. How very Williamsesque. Na-nu, na-nu.”

Just then, a twinkle gets in your eye as your recognition for the prank-parlour trick comes into play. “You second guessed yourself,” you’d quip, and we’d laugh because the anti-punchline would be more inspiring that pandering to the belief of trying to make the other person love you instead of just showing people how you try to love yourself, and how difficult it is.

I’m not making sense on this blog entry today, but I’m quite sure that I’m gonna miss the chance to have said hello face to face to Robin Williams, like everyone else on earth wished they could.

I painted my pink nails yesterday

in Life by
johnny depp pink nails

I painted my pink nails yesterday.

It started as a friendly game with my love interest as she straightened her hair, and I looked at the nail polish she had on her table. I picked it up and wondered, “What would she say if I started painting my pink nails?”

We had just returned from a brunch meeting about our relationship, highlighting our differences while keeping our emotions from flying. We intended to be upfront and straight with each other but, I’ll admit, it’s pretty hard. I keep everything close to me, I couldn’t admit being the soft one when the man in me should be huffing and puffing his chest around like a baboon with a huge erection.

Ok, I’m not a baboon. Keep Reading

I wake up to Louis CK…and I’m not ashamed of it.

in Comedy by
louis ck louie ck

I listen to Louis CK everytime I wake up.

For years, the sound I’ve used to play on my phone to wake up me up every morning has usually been the standard tones Apple adds preinstalled for the iPhones they’ve created…from the wistful yet semi-annoying “Bells”, to the utterly annoying and relationship-destroying “Radar” that, on many an occasion, an elbow has connected with my ribcage by an irate girlfriend who has already tolerated a few hours of my awful snoring.

 But then I discovered the ability to load Louis CK’s “Shameless” as an MP3 onto my phone to listen to, and that’s become my new wake-up call. Hearing the familiar white-noise HBO introduction, followed by a pattering of conversation before the announcer clears his throat and begins the performance with the familiar, “Ladies and gentlemen…Louis CK,” to thunderous applause.

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