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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

I had written something today at work that will instead appear here tomorrow, but I've just heard this news and it just seems glib to write about anything else now that I've been sitting here muttering "fucking hell..." over and over for the last ten minutes.

Malcolm Hardee, for anyone who knows anything about the British stand up scene, was a fucking legend. I've only seen him on stage a handful of times, and he was never anything but drunk and overly aggressive, but most people still loved him, and if you didn't love him, you'd still begrudgingly respect the ridiculous nature of his life and career.

We were once lucky enough to be accosted by him in the bar at The Pleasance a couple of years ago during the Festival. It was the night before he walked out of his show in the Gilded Balloon and went back home to London because he couldn't be arsed with it all anymore. I wish I could say that we had a long and revealing chat with him, as he exposed his reasons for doing the things he did - driving tractors through tents while comedy shows were being performed, or painting his genitals fluorescent, or stealing Freddy Mercury's birthday cake, or even just justifying The Greatest Show On Legs. But I can't, because I don't remember the conversation at all. What I do remember is being continually struck by the fact that we were sitting with an actual living breathing legend.

Stewart Lee contributed "I'll Only Go If You Throw Glass" to the Sit Down Comedy book that Malcolm edited, and Malcolm always claimed this was about him. If you've never experienced Hardee's comedy, I think this is the closest you can get in printed form.


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