I can be found on Twitter, at http://twitter.com.twitter.computers.
My username is @AstonishingSod and I write jokes there on that. I've been doing so for either more than three years or less than four years or both.
Graham Linehan encouraged me and eventually - after I showed him an early draft of my joke book, in fact - asked me to submit material for consideration for his most recent TV show, The IT Crowd. It was a huge thrill to be asked to "try out" for it, and after that, I started to take my comedy writing much more seriously. The joke book is now finished - and I'm hoping to have it published sooner rather than later.
(L-R: Astonishing Sod.)
Since then, I've had great support from the likes of Peter Serafinowicz and Michael Kupperman (Snake'n'Bacon, Tales Designed To Thrizzle, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1920-2010), and people such as Russell Brand, David Walliams, James L. Brooks (The Simpsons), Alec Sulkin (Family Guy), Michael McKean, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), Paula Pell (SNL, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation), Limmy, Rebecca Front, Mark Gatiss, Andrés du Bouchet (Conan), Joe Randazzo (The Onion, Thing X), Andy Riley, Robert Popper, Tom Ceraulo (30 Rock), T.J. Miller, Caitlin Moran, Josie Long and Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock) – not to mention Simon Evans, Aisling Bea, Frankie Boyle, Jim Bosha, Mitch Benn, Arthur Smith, Iain Kevan Morris, Alexander Armstrong, Ed Byrne, Colm O'Regan, Uncle Dynamite, Adam Hess, Al Campbell, Rufus Hound and Tara Flynn - have followed my Twitter feeds, along with at least 14 presidents, although those presidents are almost certainly not real ones. I mean, "Jijaboj Martasputant"? "Ergomantian P. Kerponk"? Never heard of them. I've made Hank Azaria "literally laugh out loud", which was nice. There are at least a thousand more sweet and lovely things which talented and wonderful people have chosen to say to me for no apparent reason. This is what can happen to a complete unknown if they keep doing what they're doing for long enough. What a happy place!*
It became very clear to me just over 2 years ago that what I wanted to do for the rest of my life was write comedy. Write for comedy films. Write for stand-up. Write for sitcoms. Write for magazines. Write funny books. Write funny t-shirt slogans. Write jokes. Write sketch pilots. Write comic strips. Write absurd text adventure games. Write gags for the undersides of rocks. Write for and with comedians and comedy writers I respect and admire.
So I set up a Tumblr page for longer bits of writing, all the while hunched over a rock with a crayon, putting the finishing touches to a very silly book. Next was the pilot for a sketch show, which I've finally finished writing. It's surprisingly funny, but if it ever makes it to television, I will eat Werner Herzog's shoe. I suppose I'll have to send the script to someone first. Good idea. You're full of good ideas!
I've also created two other Twitter accounts, Freints and Crimer Show. You might have heard of them.
In February 2013, I won two Comedy Poop Irish comedy awards, for Best Tweets and Best Joke Writer, which is nice, because people voted. Strangers, no less.
And I'm looking for work. If you might be interested in hiring me, head over to the Hire Me page. Take a look at some of my Writings and amble around the site. I've also written a Book and I'm looking for a publisher.
Aside from that, I write and write and write, make music, watch BBC4 and Pages from Ceefax, eat food and breathe regularly but not excessively. I think puppies are better than ice cream, but ice cream has a better invisibility cloak.
Some comedy I like: Vic and Bob, Father Ted, Emo Philips, Chris Morris, Joyce Grenfell, Leonard Rossiter, Mitch Hedberg, Peter Serafinowicz, Robert Popper, The Actor Kevin Eldon, Limmy (that's his DVD on my face in the photo above - no copyright infringement intended!), Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Stewart Lee, Bernie Mac, Norm MacDonald, Arrested Development, Peter Cook, Louis CK, Steve Coogan, Amy Poehler, Conan O'Brien, Withnail and I, Harry Hill, Joan Rivers, Dylan Moran, Tina Fey, Reggie Watts, The Kids In The Hall, Woody Allen, David Cross, George Meyer, Peep Show, Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, George Carlin, The IT Crowd, Eastbound and Down, Tim & Eric, Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule, Adam Buxton, Jackie Mason, Smack The Pony, John Shuttleworth, Kristen Wiig, Spaced, The Rubberbandits, The Adam And Joe Show...
You're still reading this? Then you've clearly got time on your hands and you've got no excuse not to hang around and spend some time in my laughs place.
*Except for all the racism! (Stop the racism, random strangers. No good can come of it!)
**There is no second asterisk.
Astonishing Sod interviews Astonishing Sod.
On the 11th of May 2012, I gave an interview to myself. It could also be said that I interviewed myself. Here is the resulting interview.
Me: Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I know you're busy.
Me: Sure, no problem. What magazine is this for?
Me: It's for Time Magazine Boobs Edition.
Me: Great. I have a subscription. So, what would you like to know?
Me: Well, let's start with your early life.
Me: Wait, is this interview set entirely in the past?
Me: Well, mostly.
Me: Okay. I can do this. How many things do you need me to remember?
Me: One per year? Or thereabouts. That okay?
Me: Fine with me. Do you want to know about the time I was born?
Me: Absolutely. Was it a positive experience?
Me: Being born was the most positive experience I had had up to that point. I couldn't remember a happier time.
Me: But wasn't your birth fraught with complications? Such as copyright issues and allegations of bribery?
Me: This is clearly a touchy subject.
Me: No, not at all. It's just that I hoped all of that was behind me. I've grown.
Me: Let's move on. It's fair to say that your childhood was full of incident.
Me: Oh yes. On a second-by-second basis.
Me: For example, your presidency.
Me: Yeah - due to an administrative error, I was president for exactly one second.
Me: Was there much paperwork involved?
Me: To be honest, I wasn't focused on paperwork back then. I was more hands-on.
Me: Did you meet anyone interesting in your time in office?
Me: There simply wasn't enough time to schmooze. Pity.
Me: Looking back, would you do things differently?
Me: Definitely. I would have gone to war with the Pacific Ocean.
Me: Really? Why the Pacific?
Me: Oh, it knows what it did.
Me: It's important to note that you were only 6 at the time.
Me: I wasn't ready for the presidency. I see that now.
Me: Was school a happy place for you?
Me: Not my own school, no. But I did get lost once and find another school.
Me: It says here that you excelled at sports.
Me: That's not for me to say. I mean, I captained the computer team.
Me: Your school had a computer team?
Me: Not technically. I trained some computers to swim.
Me: Computers can swim?
Me: They can be taught the basics. You can lead them to water. They're allergic, I think.
Me: Did you make many friends in school?
Me: What do you mean by that?
Me: Well, I just- are you angry?
Me: Well, it's a simple question. Did you or did you not have friends in school?
Me: I can't entirely recall.
Me: You can't recall having any friends?
Me: Well, I do remember playing Russian Roulette with the school counselor.
Me: Tell me about the shooting.
Me: How did you know about that? Man, the shooting. Yeah, I shot a balloon dog.
Me: But why would you shoot a balloon dog?
Me: I was aiming for the clown.
Me: What have you got against clowns?
Me: Nothing whatsoever. But this one owed me money. We had a lemonade stand.
Me: Can we talk about the time you disappeared at the age of 12?
Me: Yes, those were the longest 3 years of my life.
Me: What happened? You've mentioned aliens before.
Me: Yes. I was kidnapped and forced to watch Aliens for 3 years.
Me: That must have been...challenging.
Me: I can't begin to imagine what I must have felt.
Me: Wow. So who were the kidnappers?
Me: They never showed their faces. Turns out it was the old computer team.
Me: What did they want?
Me: They wanted to make me watch Aliens for 3 years.
Me: That's all?
Me: They're ruthless.
Me: How did the ordeal end?
Me: The TV broke. I think they were torturing both of us.
Me: When you re-entered society, had you changed?
Me: For a while, I only spoke in snatches of dialogue from Aliens.
Me: Did you feel like an outsider?
Me: No more than any other 15-year-old. But I thought it was the 22nd century.
Me: How did that affect your relationships?
Me: I thought every bedroom was an egg chamber. In a way, I was right.
Me: Did it take long to recover?
Me: Years. I only got my first job - fireman - through overzealous hose wielding.
Me: You have said that you were only ever truly comfortable as a fireman. Why's that?
Me: The antithermal underwear.
Me: You must have seen your fair share of suffering.
Me: Honestly, no. I generally fainted when we reached the fire.
Me: Have you had many jobs since then?
Me: Sure. Dog painter, pencil tester, astronaut, musicianist, nude model.
Me: Hang on - you were a nude model?
Me: Yes, at a school for the blind.
Me: You've lived such a full life. Except for those 3 years when you were kidnapped. What's left to achieve?
Me: How do you "achieve Pi"?
Me: I plan to achieve Pi in all aspects of my life. It guides me in all I do.
Me: Such as?
Me: I turn around Pi times before I go to sleep. I eat Pi kg of food each day. I have Pi friends.
Me: And can you recite pi?
Me. Oh no. I refuse to do so on principle; I only permit myself to learn pi things each day.
Me: Some quick questions before we finish. What's your proudest moment?
Me: Dream dinner party guests?
Me: A dozen clones of Henry VIII and the real one. I'd shoot one every 5 minutes.
Me: Finally, what's your motto?
Me: Always shoot yourself in the foot BEFORE putting your foot in your mouth.