Stand-up comedy from the Hammersmith Apollo. In the first episode, host Sarah Millican introduces rising star Tom Allen and US comedian Arj Barker to the stage.
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This programme contains some strong language
Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome your host for tonight...
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
MUSIC: Somebody Told Me by The Killers
Good evening and welcome to Live at the Apollo!
-Are you well? AUDIENCE:
I'm glad. I'm also well. I'd a migraine a few weeks ago.
I don't get them often enough to worry about, but I do get them now and again. I thought,
"I'll go on Twitter. I'll ask people on Twitter how they get rid of their migraines."
Give us a cheer if you are on Twitter.
I got the usual sort of expected responses,
and then my favourite one came up.
It said, "Two Nurofen and a wank."
And it totally worked.
If anything, it just pushed the throbbing down a bit.
About a year ago, I had a sore throat for a bit too long.
I went to see my doctor. My doctor sent me to see a specialist -
an ear, nose and throat specialist.
I said, "OK." So off I go to see this fella, lovely fella he was.
He said to me, "Do you suffer from acid reflux?" I said, "No."
And then, when I got home,
I realised I should have said yes, cos my husband and I eat so many
Rennies that we call them bathroom sweets.
He said, "I'd like you to take Gaviscon after every meal."
I said, "After every meal, or every time I've eaten?"
Cos those two are very different numbers.
He said, "What I'd like to do is put a camera down your throat so we can
"have a proper look at what we're dealing with."
I thought, "This is the bit where he sends me away and I
"come back in six months with a new appointment." He went,
"No, no, we can do that now." "Oh, shit!"
So he got out this contraption, metal like this and metal like this.
The main thing you need to know is that it's very rigid -
-none of it moves - so
-had to move because it wouldn't move.
And he put it down my throat and I instantly gagged.
SHE IMITATES GAGGING
And he pulled it out and said, "Are you going to be OK with this?"
And I went, "Yes."
And then he put it back in.
SHE IMITATES GAGGING I was mortified.
He said, "Do me a favour -
"the next time you think you're going to gag, do this."
I said, "Why?" He said, "It stops you gagging."
And I thought, "Noted."
My husband's going to think he's
being sucked off by a Geordie pensioner.
Who knows? Some day, he might be.
No, I meant that we're pensioners -
I don't mean, like, for a present.
Come on in, Doris, he's ready for his gift now.
SINGS: "Happy birthday to ee-e-e-e-e."
I've got pets. I've got two cats and a dog.
I'll tell you about those. My cats, they don't always get on.
Sometimes, they kind of chase each other,
it looks a little bit aggressive,
so what I do to break that up to kind of distract them is we use
a laser pen - you will have seen these.
So the cats will be chasing each other round then one or both of them
will become transfixed by a little red dot that has appeared on
the ceiling or the walls or the floor.
And it's so effective that we've started using it
in our own relationship.
So I'll be saying something like, "All I want you to do when you've
"finished with your wet towels is put them in the... Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!"
But whenever you introduce a new cat a household that already has a
cat, there's always a bit of aggro while they work out the hierarchy,
then it settles down. The day I knew our two were going to be OK with
each other was the day that I walked into our bedroom
and they were lying on the bed like that.
They weren't quite spooning, but it was good enough for me.
I tried to come in behind them. "Big Mama Spoon's getting on."
"I'll be the ladle." I don't know what that means.
And for about two minutes, it was utter perfection,
and then Brodie leaned over to Ripley, the little girl cat,
and just started licking her arsehole.
I don't think Mama Spoon's supposed to be here for this.
She was brilliant. She was lying with her legs shut like that.
As soon as he started licking her arsehole, she went,
"Ah, that's lovely."
I turned 41 this year.
I like being in my 40s. Give us a cheer if you are 40 and above.
SCATTERED CHEERING I like it.
I don't give a shit about unimportant things any more.
I think that's what it boils down to.
Quite a few things changed when I turned 40 last year.
One of the things that changed is
that I've stopped sniffing me leggings.
AUDIENCE LAUGHS AND MURMURS
I used to sniff them to see if I could get another day out of them.
Whereas now, I just assume that I can.
But I read on a proper form - a proper official document - recently
the term "women's problems".
And I thought, in 2016, really, it says "women's problems"?
I thought, why doesn't it just say periods and menstruation?
There's nothing wrong with those words, nothing wrong with the actual thing.
It's perfectly normal, it's natural, nothing to be ashamed of,
it's part of life. Seems peculiar to me.
So what I've decided to do, and you can come with me if you like,
I've decided to bypass the word "periods",
if people find it so offensive, and I'm going to say this instead...
So if somebody says to me, "Are you all right?"
I'm going to go, "Ugh, I'm clotting."
See, the word period isn't so bad now, is it? No!
But a lot of the euphemisms for periods are really horrible.
It's such a bad reflection of how normal it is. So if clotting horrifies you, I get it.
So I made up another one - a bit lighter, a bit more playful.
Perhaps this will appeal to you more. This is it -
it's WI week, because I'm making jam.
Do you get it? Do you get it? AUDIENCE GROANS
Some of you are more horrified by that than you were by clotting,
and I think I have ruined afternoon teas for everyone.
Sorry about that.
I read a really good statistic that said that 67% of women -
so two thirds of women - don't bath or shower every day.
And my first reaction, because I bath or shower every day,
my first reaction was, "That's disgusting."
My second reaction was to start sniffing my friends.
And my third reaction was, "Well, if they're not doing it,
"I'm not going to do it."
I do mostly bath or shower every day but, every now and again,
if I'm running late or I've got an early appointment or I've slept in,
anything like that, I'll do instead
what my mum would refer to as a flannel job.
This is a good tip for the women in the room who do have pubic hair.
The next time you do a flannel job, if you do it in a circular motion,
you can Afro it right up, it's really fun.
Proper bouffant going, if you like.
That's not a joke. That's just a tip for you to take home and try.
In a room of this size,
at least 40 or 50 women tomorrow morning will be like,
"I'm going to give it a go, I'm going to give it a go."
Ugh, massive pants.
Oh, yeah. I went for a massage.
Give us a cheer if you've ever been for a massage.
CHEERING See, I don't like it.
I like the bit at the end where I feel all floppy and relaxed,
that bit where I'm like, "I might never wear a bra again."
I don't like the actual activity itself.
I feel very uncomfortable being in front of a stranger just
in my pants. So what happens is I book the massage,
I get so stressed and tense on the build-up to the massage that the
best you can do at the massage
is get me back down to the level of stress I was at
before I booked the massage.
Now, one thing they do in those appointments that I don't like
is when they teach you how to breathe. They do that, don't they?
Like, "I'm 41. The breathing's been going pretty well, thanks."
But they do that, don't they? They go, "And breathe in."
"And breathe out." I could have died!
I could have died if I'd waited for her.
The last massage I had, she said, "This is an aromatherapy massage."
I said, "That's correct." "I've got three different oils.
"I want you to smell each one, pick the one you like the best,
"and we'll use that one." "Champion."
She unscrewed the lid off the first one, wafted it in front of my nose.
I said, "Is that Eucalyptus? Eucalyptus? Like a menthol?
"Like a menthol? Is it menthol? Is it menthol? Is it menthol?
"Like a mint? Is it mint? Is it mint? Is it mint? Is it mint?"
She said, "You don't have to guess what it is."
The second one, she wafted it in front my nose, I said,
"Is that lemon? Is it lemon? Is it lemon? Is it lemon?
"Is it like a citrus? Like a citrus? Like a citrus? Like a citrus?
"Like a general sort of citrus? Is it grapefruit? Is it grapefruit?"
She said "It's not a quiz".
The third one, she wafted in front of my nose, and I did like it but
I didn't know what it was. I said, "I'll have that one."
She said, "Good." She read the label on the bottle,
she said, "That's happy".
And I thought, "I was never going to win the quiz, was I?!"
My worst bit of a massage is the bit, in a full body massage,
where they make you turn over on the table,
cos the tables are very narrow, and I am not.
They do at least hold the towel up, don't they,
so you can flubber, flubber, flubber over, then plank it,
or so I thought.
The last one, she held the towel up, I flubber, flubber, flubbered over.
I was almost in position when our eyes locked in the mirrored wall
at the end of the room.
My friend said to me, "That's not my worst bit of a massage."
I said, "What's your worst bit?"
"I don't like the bit where they pull your knickers down a bit."
I said, "They'd have to do that with me, otherwise they wouldn't get half me back."
I went for a massage with a friend of mine.
We were in the waiting area, and the woman came out and said,
"Ladies, ladies, ladies. Just to let you know that on staff today
"we have a male massage therapist.
"I was wondering if either of you would mind...?"
And my friend went, "I'll have him".
I said afterwards, "Look, you're single, you can always have the bloke if you want,
"but just let her finish her question first.
"Maybe leave it a second and then say, 'I suppose I don't mind,'
"rather than, 'I'll have him.' "
She came out of this massage with this huge beaming smile on her face.
I said, "Was it a good massage?" She said, "Oh, yeah."
I said, "That's good." She said, "I felt his erection."
We take turns to pay and it was my turn.
I thought, I'm not paying if she's had extras.
I said, "You felt his erection?"
She said "Yes, on me elbow."
Now, I don't know what your elbows are like,
but mine is like rhino skin.
I'd be hard pushed to tell hot from cold with mine.
That would be an excellent game show, wouldn't it?
"Cock or not? Cock or not?"
One thing I don't like - this might come across overly mean.
I hope it doesn't, but it might.
I don't like a skinny massage therapist.
The one I use at the moment is about my size, maybe a little bigger.
I don't like the skinny ones. They've never said anything to me,
but in my mind, when they're massaging me, they're doing this -
"I'm going to need more time, it's a bigger surface area."
The whole time I'm being massaged there's an inner monologue going on
up here. Outside, I'm the picture of composure.
In here, it's going crazy - it depends on where she starts.
If she starts at the bottom, I'd be like, "Tickly feet, tickly feet.
"Oh, she's gone up to the bit where I've got broken veins,
"I don't like that bit.
"Oh, too close to me fanny! Too close to me fanny!"
So I'm lying there, covered in "happy".
Very different version of Snow White than we're used to, yes?
And the massage ends.
She did what they always do, she put like a chocolatey voice.
She said, "Just relax, there's plenty of time.
"There's no need for you to rush.
"Please just stay relaxed, there's so much time.
"I just want you to stay relaxed, there's no need for you to...
"Please just stay relaxed."
What she didn't know is I'd been dying for a fart for 40 minutes.
The door had barely clicked shut when I let out the loudest,
most trombonious fart you've ever heard in your life.
Remember, I was covered in oil.
It was like a Salvation Army band had popped in.
And I am right in the middle of potentially
the best fart of my life,
when she came back in with a glass of water.
And I half expected her to go, "Is that curry? Is that curry?
"Is it curry? Is that curry?"
And if she had, I'd have gone, "No, love, that's happy."
Are you ready for your first act? CHEERING
Your first act it is a good friend of mine
and he's one of my favourite comics and one of my favourite men.
Please give it up for the wonderful Mr Tom Allen.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello, everyone, hello.
Are you well? CHEERING
Oh, good. Well, it's so wonderful to be here in, erm...
And...so I'm gay.
I don't know if I needed to explain that.
And if you've seen me before, I'm still gay.
The gay thing, it's getting worse.
And I'm completely gay - I've never tried it any other way.
I've never tried it with a woman.
I'm...I'm...I'm a thoroughbred.
I mean, really, I wouldn't know a vagina if it hit me in the face.
I mean, can they do that? Have they got hands? I've never seen one.
Though I have been twatted.
One of the most exciting things that happened to me,
when I was about eight years old...
I'm 33 now.
I know - Nivea.
But when I was about eight years old, in the early-to-mid-'90s -
the mid-John Major years, as we call them.
The most exciting thing that could happen to probably anybody
during that time - and lord knows there weren't many exciting things
unless you were Edwina Currie...
But the most exciting thing that could happen to you during that time
would be that your local authority would open up a leisure centre.
These leisure centres were not ordinary sports centres, no, no.
What they had inside them were subtropical paradises!
And these subtropical paradises were basically swimming pools -
swimming pools that were designed to look like the sea,
if the sea had been...
And the other thing they also had were flumes,
and flumes were water slides which
went outside of the building,
because nothing is more exciting
than being on a water slide
over the car park.
They were wonderful places to go,
and we knew they were subtropical paradises
because they'd have one palm tree made of plastic,
and they'd have huge windows which overlooked the dual carriageway.
But the best thing that could happen to you while you were in the
subtropical paradise would be that
they would start up the wave machine!
And the wave machine would be heralded with a siren,
and the siren sounded a bit like this -
And when you heard that siren, it didn't matter where you were,
everyone would come flocking to the water, wading into the water,
wading into the water,
wading into the water like they'd come to hear the Good News.
Like they'd come to be baptised.
Everybody would come into the water, you'd see everybody you knew.
You'd see people you knew, like you'd see your mum's friend Joyce.
She'd be there...
in her bikini - basically just in her underwear.
Never thought I'd see you like that, Joyce.
Everyone would come wading in up to your ankles,
up to your knees, up to your hips - wherever you felt most comfortable.
And then when the wave machine really got going,
when it really got going, the best thing that it would make you do
is that it would make you go like this...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
It was a wonderful time to be alive!
But then the wave machine would stop very abruptly,
and that's probably when you'd decide to go on the flumes.
So to get on the flumes, you'd have to queue on the stairs at the side.
You'd have to stand on the staircase in your trunks,
basically in your underwear, on the staircase, getting cold.
It's a very unusual feeling, I think, standing on a staircase
in your underwear getting cold. Unless maybe you have a lot of affairs?
You'd just stand on the staircase, you'd have to queue for ages.
There'd probably be two flumes,
but one of them would be closed because last week somebody died.
And you'd have to queue,
and the flumes would be managed by a 16-year-old
who had a whistle and no qualifications at all.
And he was using some sort of red and green lighting system which we
couldn't...we couldn't possibly understand.
Couldn't understand it. And eventually, when it was your turn,
you'd have to wait and wait, and when it was your special moment
on the flumes, you'd have to get in position at the top.
You'd have to hold on to the handles at the side.
Otherwise, you'd just be sucked off into oblivion.
And when it was your turn, your special moment on the flumes,
the 16-year-old, he would turn to you, and he would say,
"You can go now if you want".
And you'd launch yourself off.
And where the flumes had been
manufactured rather cheaply during the mid-John Major years,
they were made of panels of fibreglass which had been bolted
together. And where those panels joined, as you went over them,
would cut into your back like knives.
But because you'd be queueing so long, you were desperate to have a good time.
So you'd be on the flumes going,
"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.
"Oh, it's gone light, you must be over the car park.
"Ow, ow, ow, ow."
And there'd probably be a trickle of water going through
that was designed to lubricate your passage.
And because it was a cheap and shoddy manufacture,
sometimes that trickle of water would have just trickled away.
And suddenly you would find yourself in a dry bit.
And because you were eight years old and you had no momentum at all,
you'd just stop!
You'd just stop and there'd be no way of getting out of it.
You'd try and scoot yourself forward,
there's nothing you could do. You'd think, "Oh, my God, am I dead?
"Is this what it is to be dead?
"Is that what the light is? Oh, no, it's just the car park. Oh, good.
"How am I going to get out of this?
"Thank God for the 16-year-old upstairs.
"He knows I'm here, he'll send for me, he'll send for me.
"It's all going to be fine, he'll send for me."
And at that moment,
you'd look over your head and that's when you'd see
the shadow of somebody else on the flumes.
You'd think, "Oh, God, it's all on a timer, he doesn't care at all.
"He doesn't care, he doesn't care."
You try and scoot yourself along, you'd peer over your shoulder,
you'd see the toes of somebody else coming round the corner.
The legs of somebody else coming.
The whole body of somebody else coming round the corner,
and that's when you'd realise that
it was your mum's friend Joyce,
coming round the corner, legs akimbo. She'd smash into the back of you.
Suddenly, you'd both be hurtling along together
like you were in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
You nestled in the bosom of her thighs,
going so fast from side to side, to side to side, both of you screaming
for different reasons!
So fast from side to side.
You've never been so fast in your whole life. How will it ever stop?
Will it ever stop? Eventually, you'll be thrown out the
other end of the flumes.
You'd fly across the sky, past the palm tree, across the window,
and then land in the landing pool.
Then you'd look at each other in a way that said,
"I never thought we would touch like that!"
But which also said, "We will never speak of this again."
And that's when I first realised that I was gay.
Thank you very much, Apollo, my name's Tom Allen.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Give it up for Tom Allen!
Are you ready for your next act?
Your next act tours the world, has come all the way from America,
he's absolutely brilliant. Please give it up for Arj Barker!
ROCK MUSIC PLAYS
All right, all right.
Good evening, I'm really excited to be here tonight.
I'm just very happy to be back here in the UK, and I want to start
by thanking the BBC for letting me be on the show.
It's really awesome that they did.
It doesn't pay that well, but it's just really cool to be here.
And they've been so generous. They've put me up in a hotel
right next to a casino in the city, and they didn't have to do that.
I'm not criticising the BBC. It's not their responsibility to know
that I have a gambling addiction.
Cos it's about self-knowledge.
When I go to the casino,
I only bring the equivalent of 100
to gamble with cos I know I can afford to lose that.
And I bring 25 for food
in case I get hungry.
And 800 for bus fare...
..in case I forget something and have to go home
a couple hundred times.
So most of my adult life I've been a bachelor.
But about three years ago I met somebody and we started dating, and a year just flew by.
And then I said, "This is cool, you maybe should move in."
She said, "Great, Arj."
So she moved in and now I've been living with my girlfriend
for just over two years.
And I want to say living with someone has been such a major
eye-opener for me.
It's like the first time in my life
when I feel like I truly understand
why murder happens.
Because up till now, I would always just think,
"Why would somebody kill somebody? It's so extreme."
But these days, at least once a week
I think, "Well, we can't take that option off the table."
I mean, not that I ever would. I would never kill anybody
intentionally and I'm a pacifist, 100%.
And I also don't want you to think that in any way that I'm trying
to minimalize the serious issue of domestic violence.
All I'm really trying to say is that living with my girlfriend has
introduced me to new levels of anger within myself...
that I didn't even know were there before.
You know they say... Have you ever heard that thing, sir,
"When you meet the right person, it completes you"?
Have you heard about that?
It turns out the missing part of me was the really pissed-off part.
"Oh, OK. There you are.
"Get on in here, you big red-faced son of a bitch."
Now, I am whole.
I know that some people here might be a little concerned and think,
"Jeez, Arj, how does that joke make your poor girlfriend feel?"
You ought to know something, London.
Any joke that my girlfriend's involved in,
she gets to hear it first and she has to sign off on it
before I do it onstage.
That's a self-volunteered policy out of respect for her,
so when I thought of that joke,
I thought, "OK, it's a little dark, but I can make it work."
Then I thought, "Oh, shit, now I've got to tell her."
So I want to wait till the right time - till she had a little bit of red wine in her hand.
I'd just opened up a fresh box that night.
She's about to watch her favourite show of all time, Downtown Abbey.
Then I said, "Honey, I've got this new joke -
"it's about us and it's so stupid.
"I mean, it's so over the top, it's flat-out ridiculous."
"Just tell me the joke, Arj."
So I told her. And you know what?
She laughed. And she didn't just laugh,
she laughed at a level of laughter
to the point where I started thinking,
"Shit, I gotta watch my back."
But I didn't want to tip her off to let her know that I was onto her
and that I'd discovered her plan to eliminate me.
So I played real cool, but I'm a lot more careful now.
If she said, "Hey, Arj, do you want to go cliff-walking with me later?"
"Uh, no, actually. I got a tonne of shit to do inland."
You guys are an awesome crowd.
Did anybody watch Game of Thrones?
Best show ever. I assume everybody's all caught-up.
Can we talk about it in detail?
-PORTION OF AUDIENCE:
A couple of people, who said no?
You're not caught-up? And what's your name?
Oh, good to meet you in person.
Thanks for all the presents over the years.
You're a lot different than I pictured.
Lovely to meet you.
..on behalf of yourself and anyone else that isn't caught-up on
Game of Thrones, I want you to know that I will happily skip over this
small part of the show because spoiling popular TV in our culture
is a huge taboo, Santa.
Far be it from me to break that taboo, and, yes, I pronounce taboo "t'boo".
So you have nothing to worry about, Santa. But at some point, yes,
perhaps a wider discussion about implementing a
statute of limitations with regards to how much authority the
spoiler police have in our world.
Because at some point, I would like to freely discuss the movie ET
with my friends...
in public without getting my head ripped off.
"Shut up, Arj. Shut up, I haven't seen ET yet.
"Shut up, I'm going to watch it this weekend.
"Shut up, don't talk about it!"
Well, he goes home! He goes home!
He goes home, Santa.
Maybe YOU ought to go home.
And start watching some shit.
It's called must-see TV - is there something unclear about that?
It's not called see-it-whenever-the fuck-you-get-around-to-it.
Meanwhile, slap a gag order
on the rest of civilisation.
You know something, Santa? You seem real nice, but you know what?
You're the spoiler.
You spoil enjoyable conversation for other adults...
..because you're too goddamned lazy to sit around and watch TV
all day like the rest of us.
And I'm glad to see you're still smiling, because you've
actually helped me out a lot, OK?
This is part of my show, Santa.
And if on any particular night when I'm doing this joke and I say to the
audience, "Are you all caught-up on Game of Thrones?"
And on that particular night, Santa,
the entire audience says, "Yup, we're all caught-up, Arj."
Guess what, Santa? I'm fucked.
Cos I would have just lost two minutes of arguably some of the
strongest material in my whole set.
And I've never even seen Game of Thrones. OK?
I'm not going to watch that bullshit.
This has been wonderful. I'm about to get out of here and I want to
just thank you all for coming out here and being a great crowd.
You've really cheered me up.
And I was a little bit low when I showed up here tonight,
I'm going to admit that.
And don't worry, it's not clinical.
Depression is a serious thing - I was just feeling a little bit low.
And it's my fault anyway!
I'm the one that choose to watch Marley And Me on Blu-ray
right before I left the hotel.
And it's even more sad in high def.
1080. Even though I know what was going to happen,
it was still even more sad. Have you seen Marley And Me, sir?
You haven't seen it? Well, you'd better brace yourself emotionally.
Because it is very sad.
I'm not going to ruin it, but just be prepared.
I don't know if you know, but the sequel's just called Me.
Just be careful.
That's it from me, thank you very much.
CHEERING Thank you.
Give it up for Arj Barker!
You've been such an amazing crowd, thanks ever so much for coming.
Please give it up for the people you've seen tonight, Tom Allen,
Arj Barker, and I've been Sarah Millican. Goodnight!
Stand-up comedy from the Hammersmith Apollo. In the first episode, the fabulously funny Sarah Millican is host, introducing rising comedy star Tom Allen and US comedian Arj Barker to the stage.