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Comedians getting Christmas Lattes (series three)


Sarah Roberts

Originally not aired on 23/12/22

This year has been the worst year since years began. The Queen died, everyone is poor, and Jamelia hasn’t been in the charts for over 15 years.


I’ve thought to myself many times these past 12 months, How do I go on? How do I find the energy to create when energy is so expensive nowadays? How do I bring the heat when the heating’s off?


I go through phases where I think comedy is dumb. The world is massively messed up so what is me writing about my erectile dysfunction gonna do? I should be out there doing something about it – my erections and the world. The only thing limper than my penis has been my efforts to actually do something worthwhile. I could be doing so many better things with my time -- volunteering at a foodbank, raising money for charity, forming a militia to protect me in the event of societal breakdown.


But then, what can I do alone? I may be impotent but so are our leaders. The problems we face are systemic, and I only learned what systemic meant during lockdown. This is a job for someone bigger than me.


Maybe sticking to your skillset isn’t such a bad thing. Sometimes making people laugh, or mildly smirk, is the best antidote you can offer.


That’s why I’ve decided to do another festive series of my unrecorded podcast “Comedians Outside Edinburgh Getting Eggnog Lattes”. With all the talk of a looming recession and ongoing strikes across the public sector, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas: content.


Tragic, really.


One person who is no stranger to tragedy – whether it be personal trauma or the Bee Gees’ song later covered by Steps – is my first guest this year, Sarah Roberts.


Sarah is a London-based comedian known for her deadpan delivery and razor-sharp razors.


“How many razors do you own?” I asked her, as we sat down with our lattes.


“Loads,” she replied.


Recently going Viral on TikTok and reaching the final of the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year competition, Sarah’s clearly destined for big things. When you see, hear, taste, smell and touch her material, it’s not surprising she’s doing so well. One-night stands, unemployment, vaping – this girl can write a joke about anything.


“Where do you get your ideas from?” I asked.


“They spontaneously emerge from complex neurological processes,” she replied.


“Fair play.”


“But I guess on a less scientific level,” she said, “I get my ideas from my everyday life.”


“How so?”


“Well, I vape, I don’t like working, and I, you know…”


“Have sex?” I replied.






“Sometimes I think you can’t win whatever you talk about,” she said. “A lot of my material is about sex, and then you get criticised for only talking about that, while at the same time being constantly sexualised just because you’re a woman.”


She’s right. In comedy, as in our wider culture, misogyny is rife, and arguably women are its biggest victims.


As a society, we often put women into boxes; we tell them what they can or can’t do; what they can and can’t talk about; maybe not directly, but subtly, through expectations and taboos. If you can’t handle a strong independent woman talking about sex, then you Sir, are a prude.


This is a show Sarah feels she needs to get off her chest. Even if that chest is incredibly ample, that shouldn’t be our focus.


Yes, she has a big chest, but, if you stare at them for long enough, you realise that behind those huge magumbos she has an even bigger heart.


Maybe that, rather than content, is the real message of Christmas. 


See you next time! X


Carla Gordon

Originally not aired on 26/12/22

Right, now that’s out the way, I can get back to writing.


Christmas is the worst. You go back to your hometown, see people you used to know, and they tell you about their boring lives. They corner you on Christmas Eve. They’re a biomedical scientist now. They’ve bought a house. They’ve just discovered the cure for cancer. Blah blah blah.


Then you have Christmas Dinner with your family, and they ask you about your life.

How’s the comedy going? When are you going to start making money from it?


Worst of all, on Christmas Day, there are no comedy gigs. The only gift I wanted yesterday was the gift of getting on a train, rocking up at a sparsely populated comedy venue and telling my jokes to a largely indifferent audience. 


That’s what I live for. If you’re not being funny, or not at least trying to be, then what’s the point?


That’s why I’m glad it’s over and I can get on with some comedy content, specifically another episode of my unrecorded podcast, “Comedians Outside Edinburgh Getting Eggnog Lattes.”


One problem with doing an unrecorded podcast that offers no exposure whatsoever is you start to find it difficult to get guests. Especially on Boxing Day, when people are still enjoying the festivities of updating loved ones on their careers.


Luckily, my previous guest, Sarah Roberts, was able to help set me up with someone to interview. She told me her friend Carla Gordon was aware of the show, and still at a low enough rung on the comedy ladder for doing this to be worth her while. Excellent.


I’ve never been set-up with someone for an interview before. I was nervous. It felt a bit like a blind date. Will she like me? Maybe we’ll fall in love.


“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Carla said, shaking my hand firmly before we sat down to enjoy our delicious eggnog lattes.


“Thanks for agreeing to do this,” I said.


“That’s okay,” she replied. “I analysed the differentials in our respective followings, particularly taking into account demographics, and calculated it would be strategically beneficial for me to be exposed to your audience.”


“Exposed to my audience? This isn’t that kind of show,” I joked, playing with the double meaning of the word exposed.


She stared back at me in silence.


Carla, who just turned 30 and probably has Scottish heritage, started performing comedy in 2019. Shortly afterwards, the pandemic meant stand-up wasn’t an option for a while. Something a lot of us funny bastards found difficult.


“Was it tough for you not being allowed to do it so soon after starting?”

“No,” she said. “I took the time to do an online course in computer programming to further diversify my skillset and consolidate my position as an asset to employers.”



As well as being a comedian, Carla also has what’s known as a “real job”, working for ITV in some role I was too bored to catch the details of.


“I know you have another job,” I said, “but I’m guessing comedy’s the dream?”


“Not really, I just wanted to develop my public speaking, and add something eye catching to the hobbies and interests’ section of my cv.”




Bah humbug, this was Christmas all over again. I wondered if I could make the conversation a bit more light-hearted.


“Anyway,” I said. “I was thinking before that this is a bit like a blind date, because we don’t know each other.”


“I suppose you could say that.”


“Err… well… if you were on a date, what would your ideal man be like?” I asked.


“Hopefully he earns above the national median salary, for a start,” she said. “Then it would be a case of seeing whether our work schedules conflicted.”


“Right, and what about funny? He’d have to be funny, right?”


“Not necessarily.” 


I was taken aback. Surely, everyone wants to go out with someone who’s funny. Especially people who date men, a gender that brings nothing else to the table. We’re ugly, weird creatures, what else do we have?


“You know, Eric,” Carla said, “there’s more to life than being funny. And there’s more to a relationship. There’s gardening. There’s the pooling together of assets. There’s finding a joint savings account with excellent interest rates.”


Suddenly I was struck with a vision. It was the future. Christmas Day, I was alone, at the dinner table cracking jokes to nobody. So obsessed with funny that everyone had abandoned me. If I didn’t change my ways, that’s how I’d end up.


Carla was like The Ghost of Tenuous Christmas Parodies that had been sent to warn me. There is more to life than being funny. More than writing. More than content.


“Marry me Carla,” I blurted out.



“Marry me. I don’t want this life anymore. I want what you have. I want a pension and a stocks and shares ISA and a financial advisor and a rice cooker. I want to be an adult. I want a perfect nuclear family -- 2.5 kids and a dog that has a keen interest in cryptocurrencies. I want it all. Let’s do it. What do you say?”


Carla slapped me in the face and left.


It didn’t matter, I knew my life had changed for good. I left skipping down the street, asking people if they’ve had any recent bereavements, how much their earnings have increased this year when adjusted for inflation, how they’re protecting their employability from the looming threat of automation.


Anyway, I’ve got to go now. I’m headed to the Cratchit’s to surprise Tiny Tim with the biggest NFT money can buy.


A true Christmas miracle.

See you next time! X


If you like what you read, and would like to support me for the price of a coffee, you can do so here:


Mark Holmes

Originally not aired on 29/12/22

We’re now well and truly in that weird period between watching The Eric Rushton Christmas Special (available on YouTube) and New Year’s Day.


It’s a time when you feel slightly disoriented. Partly because of the constant hangovers, but also because time feels like it’s coming at you from all directions. 


Going back to your hometown can give you a sense of nostalgia, make you yearn for your childhood, a simpler time when all that mattered was playing Xbox and accessing porn when it was developmentally damaging to do so.   


The imminent New Year makes you think to the future. What resolutions will you make?  Get fitter? Be more disciplined? Quit porn?


Then the present raises its own dilemmas -- Am I happy or am I drunk? Am I sad or am I drunk? Can I watch porn in my family home without someone walking in on me?


My next guest is also a blast from all temporal directions – someone from my past, present, and hopefully my future.


Mark Holmes and I went to university together, where we both studied maths, a discipline defined as the abstract science of number, quantity and space. 


More than just a couple nerds, though, it’s also where we started performing stand-up comedy, the abstract science of talking about how unhappy you are to strangers.


We haven’t seen each other for a while but you know someone is a real friend when upon meeting them again you instantly pick up where you left off. When Mark sat down it was apparent our chemistry hadn’t faded one bit.


“How’s it going man?” I asked.

“Yeah good, you?”


“Yeah, all good.


“Nice one.”


Just like old times.


We do still keep in touch, but our lives have diverged since those heady days of telling jokes to 15 other students in the corner of a pub. While I’m now performing to slightly older but equally indifferent crowds, Mark has left the comedy game altogether, becoming just another regular Homo Sapien.


“What made you hang up your boots?” I asked. 


“Part of it was how hard it was to perform stand-up comedy in football boots,” he replied, hilariously.


This piece of wordplay was typical of Mark’s comedy. A craftsman and a wordsmith, Mark toyed with language, caressing it like a clitoris, except he didn’t have to be dirty. With lines like, “I do like me horseracing… it’s just those horses are so much quicker than me” Mark’s comedy was a throwback, to a time when jokes were jokes and blokes were blokes.


“If I’m being honest,” he said. “I guess I just didn’t fancy the lifestyle. It’s a lot of travelling, you’re constantly having your anxiety and adrenaline levels spiked before gigs. It wasn’t for me. I do computer programming now and it suits me a lot better.”


“Do you enjoy it?”


“Well, it’s not as fun in the moment but honestly mate I’m wicked at computers now.”


He’s not being boastful; Mark is so well versed when it comes to technology that he knows every keyboard shortcut on Windows and most on Mac. I didn’t ask, but with skills like that I imagine he’s earning a fortune, and as he was talking I couldn’t help but wish that I could Ctrl-C and then Ctrl-P his life on to mine.


I do love doing comedy but when you allow yourself to think about the downsides it does seem like a pretty stupid thing to pursue. It doesn’t pay well, the chances of success are slim, and you work at unsociable hours which make maintaining relationships difficult. Maybe if I took the same path as him then I’d be wicked at computers too, and, more importantly, happier.


As I was pondering this, and possibly because we’d been in silence for longer than is socially acceptable, Mark piped up.


“I’ve been really enjoying you clips online, mate.” 


“Oh really?”


“Yeah, you’ve come on so much since uni.”


And that’s when I realised how stupid I was being. Sure, maybe I could’ve been wicked at computers, but the path I’m on has its own merits. Plus, I’m doing something I love. I do have a twinge of regret that I didn’t follow a more sensible path, but regret doesn’t mean you’ve gone wrong in life. You regret whatever you do. And even if there are things you genuinely regret, you can’t press Ctrl-Z and reverse them. You just have to get on with it and make better decisions going forwards.


“What are you talking about?” Mark said.


I realised I said all of that out loud.


“Oh, erm, well, I was just thinking that sometimes I’m envious of you and your highfalutin career with all those city folk,” I said, suddenly becoming a cowboy. “But I guess you might have the same feelings towards me. You probably look at me having all this fun going around doing comedy and wish you were doing the same sometimes?”


“Nah, not really.”


“Oh, is there anything you regret?”


“Doing this interview.”


What a great catch up.


If you like what you read, and would like to support me for the price of a coffee, you can do so here:

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