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Today’s episode of “Comedians In Edinburgh Getting Chai Lattes” featured the enigmatic Daniel Nicholas. Returning from the show’s mid-season break, the conversation got deeper than my ongoing legal battle with ex-intern Darren.
With regards to Darren, my lawyers say I’m not supposed to say anything, but I have a burning desire to try and put things right.
Darren was someone who was with the show from the start. The brains and energy of the operation, he put everything into it. He would come up with special features, book guests – he’d even do 10 minutes of stand up in the middle of the coffee shop to warm up our involuntary live audience. He would bomb horrifically every single time, but he kept going, and that’s what I admired about him. He was the best producer/cohost/plucky-sidekick anyone could ever ask for.
But he was also much more than that. He was my friend. We met a few years ago at the University of Warwick: I was 18, overwhelmed by university, and searching for a way to feel better. And Darren just seemed to have the answers – to my maths assignments, specifically.
Copying off him for three years helped to form the rock-solid foundation of our friendship, and because of certain things I did, that friendship is no longer there. It’s hard to believe that foundation has fallen apart.
Last week Darren decided to leave the show and it’s made carrying on with it very difficult for me. But for the fans, I want to try and put the last two episodes out there.
So let’s crack on and find out about Dan Nicholas.
Dan is a quirky act who self-identifies as an “alternative comedian.” He told me he saw all these comedians doing well-crafted, polished, funny material and decided to do the alternative.
Besides being a maverick-comedian, Dan is also very perceptive. As tears were streaming down my face, Dan clocked that something was up.
“What’s up, Eric?”
“Well, it’s just, I’ve kind of fallen out with someone who matters to me and it sucks.”
Dan laughed. It was that mocking kind of laugh you receive when you’re having dinner round your posh mate’s house and you ask if there’s any ketchup.
He grabbed me by the cheeks, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Eric, let me tell you a little something about life.”
He said a natural part of growing older is that friendship’s drift. Nothing is permanent – you learn that anyone who ever loves you will one day discover you weren’t what they thought you were.
“Love is built on an idea of perfection,” he said. “When that idea is shattered, so is the love.”
Well, after he said that, I got even more sad and decided to wrap-up the interview. As I looked mournfully into my chai latte, I thought that maybe he was right. Maybe it was just one of those things and Darren is gone forever now.
But Darren, if you’re still following the show, I just wanna say I miss you. I’m sorry for being a prick, for never giving you the credit you deserved. I’m sorry for all the times I made you do those degrading things because I thought it would be good for the show. Making you get naked for an unrecorded podcast segment was a step too far. In trying to make the show good, I lost sight of what was important.
And that’s you, mate.
I’m sorry that I still insist on calling you my intern, when really it was just as much your show as it is mine. My ego doesn’t want to admit that, but it’s true.
I’ll always remember when I did the first episode with Josh Pugh and forgot to turn the recording equipment on. You looked at me with a glint in your eye and said:
“This is the show.”
“This is the show, Eric.”
In that single moment you changed podcasting forever. Meanwhile, I was working out how to take the credit.
But now, all the fame, all the industry respect, all the Chai Warriors that turn up at my shows – it means nothing to me. I’d give it all up to be friends with you again.
Please come and get a Chai Latte with me soon.
I hope you know I love you.
Anyway, to everyone else, the season finale is tomorrow. It will feature the return of Josh Pugh + a very special guest.
See you tomorrow x