So my radio show and podcast has completed a whole season. Woo go team me!
My friends and family often ask me what I’m up to in my busy creative world. The sad thing is that I am often too flat out to call and update them on all my happenings. Sitting at home in my undies, watching Scrubs and eating cereal can be very time consuming.
So to avoid any potential of meaningful human interaction, this is a little update on what’s next for me post-Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Thanks to money I earned by making jokes about obscure psychological phenomena, I recently booked tickets to Los Angeles at the start of May. There I have writing and stand-up comedy work for a month. I will be living in West Hollywood, spending days creating, and nights performing. Much like I do in Melbourne, but surrounded by more poor people and a shitty health care system. Exciting.
I’m also writing for TV. That may sound impressive but when I say ‘I’m writing for TV’ that doesn’t mean what I create will definitely be on TV. Such is the process. Some of my stuff has made it onto the ABC and I have ghostwritten for other performers, but overall I’m just working on projects that interest me. If they get picked up, great. If not, it’s no real bother because the process is the fun bit. There’s being famous and then there’s being visible enough for people who would like your work to find it. For now at least, I only feel compelled to persue the latter. Who knows though, I may want groupies one day. Boobs.
Aside from the commissioned work, I have started working on my new solo comedy show, One Man Debate. The idea of the show is to explore masculinity and the concept of modern day manhood. If you have listened to my radio show and podcast, Manthropology, you will know that this is a topic I have been stewing on for a while. I’ll post more on the stage show concept at a later date as it’s still in its infant stages.
The podcast itself is going well. I’ve been trying to edit a three minute recap of the first season, which I will post here soon. I’m glad I am listening to all the conversations back as it gives me the chance to rediscover the little gems of wisdom I learned from my guests. I was both inspired and discomforted by my chat with American author, public intellectual and neuroscientist, Sam Harris. For an academic he sure made me feel that I need to have some psychical capabilities when it comes to responding to violence. It has given me a lot to consider. Look out for that episode next Tuesday.
My web comic is chugging away nicely. It gets updated every Sunday with new strips that I’ve written and I’m giddy to soon announce new characters. I have a great creative momentum with the comic and I feel it is enriching my joke writing skills in a big way. Plus nothing generates emotional validation like website views. So. Gen. Y.
Keep in touch babes. x
So I was asked to host the Global Atheist Convention Gala Dinner this year. I decided, given that I am the least prolific out of all the speakers, that it was my job to be a court jester of sorts. I felt that the best way to do this was to make fun of the atheists and the speakers.
The first part of the speech is below. I omitted the housekeeping stuff at the end. I realise a lot of the jokes may not come across well without the delivery, but hopefully the video of the night will be available online soon.
Good evening, my name is Simon Taylor. And for my first miracle… I’d like to welcome you to the Global Atheist Convention Gala Dinner…otherwise known as Revenge of Nerds Live.
We’re back in Melbourne for our second coming. It’s a pleasure to be at the Melbourne Convention Centre, a venue prestigious for hosting esteemed events such as: Sexpo and nine months later The Baby and Toddler Show.
Thank you to the convention organisers for having me as your host. I must say that I feel so honoured…that Ben Elton wasn’t available tonight.
I have put much consideration into my hosting as it was quite hard to work out what to say. There is risk I could regress into petty religious bashing.
I COULD say that, for me, growing up in the Catholic Church was like living in a nightmare. When you wake up you realise that none of it was real, you’re sweating because it’s all based on fear and sometimes you have a really confusing erection.
I COULD say this, I COULD make all these cheap stabs at religion…but I won’t. Because we’re Atheists and we’re better than that.
We should celebrate being together tonight. We all know the expression: ‘organising Atheists is like herding cats’. So I hope you enjoy your meal tonight which will be canned tuna and a bowl of milk. Enjoy.
Some people say that we Atheists act like we know everything. Which is fine, everyone is entitled to their wrong opinion.
We know that we don’t know everything. And knowing that we know that we don’t know everything, gives us the knowledge to know that knowing is something you can’t always know that you know…you know?
But something I do know, is how amazing our speakers are this year. Let me welcome some of the people here tonight.
Dan Dennett, let’s welcome Dan Dennett. As you know, the author of Breaking The Spell. For those who haven’t read it, Breaking The Spell is a step-by-step guide to getting over the Harry Potter series; a powerful book and a powerful tittle of course made credible by Dan’s wizardly beard. Dan Dumbledore Dennett.
Another brilliant man here tonight is Lawrence Krauss. I learned so much from him, like that my hand is made out of a star. Which is funny because I often imagine my hand is Natalie Portman.
Speaking of stars. Stella Young you’re here. Stella can I ask you something personal?…Stella would you…would you…would you give me Tony Jone’s phone number? I know you’re smarter than me, but stop hogging all the good TV shows. I can whinge about politics too. Waa waa waa carbon tax, asylum seeks waa waa waa. See: Q&A‘s easy.
Peter Singer is here. Not only did he speak but he is also running a child care facility here. Drop you babies off in the morning and you will get them back…. if they’re not a social burden.
Geoffrey Robertson is here tonight! Geoffrey Robertson QC. Let’s say I made a joke about Geoffrey Robertson and he sued me for defamation of character. What would I do? …No punchline, just a hypothetical.
Ayan Hirsi Ali is here. What an honour and a privilege. I have a lot of jokes about Ayan Hirsi Ali…. and she has a lot of bodyguards. (Throw away joke card).
PZ Myers has come over. We all know his science blog, Pharyngula, which is hugely popular. PZ has 5987 likes on Facebook. That’s only 41 326 132 less than Justin Bieber. An amazing effort.
Fiona Patten is attending. Please make her welcome. Fiona is the founder of the Australian Sex Party. If you would like to join the sex party, I’m staying at the Hilton room 403.
But putting the sex into secular, Sam Harris is here. Seriously, Sam Harris is so attractive I’m not sure whether I love him more for his mind or his soulless body. How can we not believe in a higher being when the jaw line of Sam Harris can only have been chiselled by God himself. I know we’re both straight and you’re married Sam, but I just want to run away with you, hold your hand and watch the sun set over a Moral Landscape.
And finally I’d like to mention that we are in the presence of Professor Richard Dawkins.
Richard Dawkins is so prolific it’s hard to stand next to him without him having a book written about you.
I bet you even his tomb stone will have citations.
Richard (can I call you Richard? Thanks) Richard coined the term meme. That’s right, he invented the word that describes when many people share a video of LOL Cats on YouTube. What a visionary.
Richard has even released a children’s book The Magic of Reality. It’s rumoured that he is now writing more books just for children, such as The Blind iPhone Maker and The Very Naughty Gene.
Yet it would be remiss of me not to mention Professor Dawkins’ most famous work. The piece of work that has been seen by most people out of everything he has ever done… his appearance of episode 12, series 4 of Dr Who. Amazing stuff.
I know you are all excited to see the keynote speakers here but please give them some space during the meal…because they’re special. They’re the chosen people.
Click image for tickets to Simon’s current season at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Reviews for the Melbourne Fringe Festival season.
Reviews for the Adelaide Fringe Festival season:
While I was sipping a soy chai and listening to a band that does exist yet, my housemate gave me a fortune cookie with a Confucius quote. I decided to look up his old philisophies and put a modern spin on them. Enjoy.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and everyone tries to copy me.” – Confucius Hipster
“Everything has beauty, but you wouldn’t know about it.” – Confucius Hipster
“Do not blog about others what you do not desire to be blogger of yourself.” – Confucius Hipster
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. i.e. anything in Social Media” – Confucius Hipster
“An oppressive government is more to be feared than non-organic foods.” – Confucius Hipster
“Ability will never catch up to the demand for it. Especially if the demand for it rides a fixie.” - Confucius Hipster
“A superior man is modest in his speech, but is totes awesome in his actions.” – Confucius Hipster
“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. And that’s how you ride a fixed gear.” – Confucius Hipster
“I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being. As long as you don’t listen to shit music though.” – Confucius Hipster
“Study the past if you would define the future. That’s why I shop at Savers.” – Confucius Hipster
“Better a vinyl with a flaw than a CD without.” – Confucius Hipster
“I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking cool cafes.” – Confucius Hipster
“Things that are done, it is needless to speak about…things that are past, are so in right now.” – Confucius Hipster
I met Jim Stynes when I was fourteen and since then I always looked to his work at The Reach Foundation as inspiration for doing good in the world. Sad to head of his death and felt affected by it in my own way. I made this video as tribute.