British Comedy Guide

Published: Monday 14th August 2017

Tony Law.

Tony Law's jobs

As the Fringe swings into action, every August comedians from across the land run to Edinburgh to either start a career in comedy, desperately try and maintain a living from comedy, or in my case, finally do better than ever and take over the world. Or just be less desperate. But everything could have been so different had I not discovered my gift of inducing laughter using my funny making talents.

One August I spent boiling hot days mowing the playing fields at all the schools in the county of Lacombe. That's a place in Alberta. The county of Lacombe is bigger than the UK and France put together. It is not. And I sorted out all the ditches. I had a brown back.

Another year, I was working at an abattoir, sorting through guts and pulling fat off of rib cages. Pigs mainly, and cows. I feel like I should put in some witty remarks about the parallels between working in an abattoir and working in comedy. But there aren't any. Working in an abattoir is fucking awful. Working in comedy is a privilege. (Not sure what this next bit was meant to say?) I met a lot of 1% bikers that year. Stylish baddies with colourful language.

And I could have been a farmer, working for my dad. Most years we were in the fields on the farm doing jobs that if messed them up, they would destroy the crops, and damage our livelihood. Spraying, swathing, combining and driving the grain trucks. The idea I was more suited to comedy and nowhere near farming started to form then (by others).

Other jobs included, for two summers, I worked at a National oil well, machining oil well parts with my 72-year-old Vietnamese mate Minh, and other alcoholics. Then selling paintings door to door in England somewhere. I also became a tour guide. Taking Korean (mostly) 18-35 year old tourists around Europe on a coach. I had to lie and say I had a history degree to get that job. I'd take them around the cities and get some of the information right. But a lot of the time I just made it up. I learnt my riffing skills here. Erm. Others. Let's see. A chateau in the south of France where I again mowed the grass and tended the veller.

All these things are meh. What I really like to do for an August is act like a clown for a living in a place that steals summer. I'm very lucky. It's nothing to moan about, apart from my general arrogance and bitterness but that lies within me. I could be back driving garbage trucks for the Royal Parks again. Stay in school kids. Don't go into comedy unless you have no other options.

P.S. I could add in some others because I've lived much time BUT I have a family now and no need for them to know EVERY thing. Spy? Shhhhhhhh. August is only one month. See you there.

Tony Law: Absurdity for the Common People is on until 28th August at noon, at The Stand.

 

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