After he attended the inaugural launch of the Heroes Grotto of Comedy in December 2014, anticipation was high for everybody's favourite Horse & Hound reporter, Jizz Nostrils, to return to the Grotto in 2015. I'm the only person who has his landline, though, so was happy to arrange him a comp at Bob Slayer's behest, this time on the understanding that he would be reviewing the launch. Unfortunately, Mr Nostrils has since informed me that he has been sacked by Horse & Hound due to their having discovered him in a lift at work so high on coke that he was unable to pick up his own credit card, and they are now refusing to run the review. I have graciously agreed to post it here instead. Below is Jizz Nostrils' official review of the Grotto launch for Horse & Hound:
I was delighted to be invited back to the Heroes Grotto of Comedy after the fucking lovely time I had there in 2014. The only negative feedback I'd had in the twelve months since then was that our readers were marginally disappointed in the lack of horses, or indeed hounds for that matter, in my coverage, but everybody deserves a second chance, so after threatening Grotto head honcho Bob Slayer on pain of fucking death that there better be some fucking horses or hounds in his Grotto this year, I festively skipped along to the big do, finishing off my Monster Munch in a doorway outside Drapers' Hall before going in.
"Pleasant approach via street," I've written in my notebook. Ok, whatever. I've also given the door 7 out of 10. As I went in, I was approached by comedian Madge Hooks. "I thought it was you!" she exclaimed. "I recognised your walk from behind!" "I don't know what you're fucking talking about," I quipped. "I'm a reporter from Horse & Hound and I've never seen you before. Where's my comp?" I then demanded of Brouhaha, the girl on the door. Cue some fucking foot-shuffling from her and Bob, and some hurried apologies that that dick Joz Norris hasn't managed to sort out my comp like he said he would. Such a colossal bumhole. "Trouble with the comp," I've written in my notebook. I'll say.
Anyway, now I've got to mill about the bloody Grotto and chat to all these industry bods. A lot of them seem to be from the Krazy Komedy Klub, the bunch of bloody stupid comedians who are doing some pantomime in here next week or something. I'm introduced to their leader, Adam Larter, a sort of Northern lad with bushy hair like Dennis the Menace, and his sidekick Ali Brice, a hairy guy in glasses, and Larter's right-hand man Matthew Highton, a gimlet-eyed type with a massive moustache. I can't remember all their names, I think that's right. They all seem fucking excited to be interviewed by Horse & Hound. They tell me that that bumhole Joz Norris is retiring. "Good," I quip, before stamping my right foot down hard onto my left foot for no real reason. "He's a twat," purrs Ali Brice. I'm inclined to agree after that nonsense with the comp.
Katie French, Adam Larter and Martin Besserman.
I also have a chat with Jack De'Ath of Laugh Out Funny Comedy Club, a sort of Scottish glasses man. He says he's collaborated with Krazy Komedy Klub on a few things, like a comedy night dedicated to the director Gary Marshall on Valentine's Day, an improv night based on Thundercats and an upcoming night about board games, which Jack said would be "Taking a Risk." "That's fucking great," I quipped, writing it in my notebook. "The readers of Horse & Hound will fucking love that." I then have a lovely fucking chat with Katie French, Matthew Highton's girlfriend, who I'm told is a PI who works in PR, but I'm not supposed to say that. "Don't tell them I'm a PI," she says, "or that I work in PR. I really like the Grotto this year, it's better than last year." "Yeah, yeah, don't worry, mum's the word," I quipped before sneaking off to do a quick line.
I've got a note here that says "Joz Norris has a crinkle-cut jib and a wrinkly face." Fuck knows what that's about, was kind of buzzing at this point so can't really remember who said what. Guess we were talking about that dick for a bit. Anyway, then I met Martin Besserman, a sort of business suit James May man who runs the Monkey's Business Comedy Club. "I'm here scouting for the new hot talent," says Mr Besserman, "I always book the best talent for the Monkey's Business, especially lovely girls." "Great," I quipped, "I know what you mean. Get me a fucking press comp sometime, yeah?"
Buzzing out of my fucking skull, I went for a wander round the bar to chat to these other dudes. There's a sort of ponytail guy who says his name is Fuck Dat Hat, and he's just passing through. Might have imagined him, I dunno. Then there's Paul, who kind of owns the building or something. "Anything to say about the relaunch of the Grotto this year?" I quipped. Can't remember what he said, but the note I've got is "Life's too short." Dunno if that's what he said or what I thought. Oh well. "I'm enjoying it," said Charlie Miller, a sort of smiling bald man. "I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas." "Yeah, fuck off, mate," I quipped, pleased with my sharp wit.
Eventually I wandered over to the other press bods, Steve Bennett and Bruce Dessau, who both run comedy websites. They seem to be having a nice time, though the first thing they do is have a pop at fucking Horse & Hound and ask what our professional interest in the gig is. "Fuck off, you clowns," I quipped, "I'm here under the strict understanding that there's gonna be some fucking horses and hounds at some point, ok? So just back off! Anyway, what do you make of all this?" "So far I'm impressed," says Bruce Dessau of Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, ah hold on, that's a fucking Steve Hackett album, it's something like that though. "It can only go downhill," says Steve Bennett of Snigger.com.
We're interrupted by Bob Slayer, a sort of Father Christmas man who takes us on a tour of the Grotto. It's really fucking picturesque and gorgeous and the perfect place to raise money for Shelter and Great Ormond Street. Here's a photo I took on the tour:
This whole bit I can't really remember. I was really fucking jazzed by this point and Bob's leading us round this torture dungeon telling us stories about goblins and Margaret Thatcher and to be honest I can't work out which bits happened and which bits I made up. There's one good bit where Bob leads us into a burned-out corridor and says "Come on then, let's make the running," which is a horse reference and fucking good enough for me. The readers of Horse & Hound will be delighted. Anyway, I can't remember the context, but here's a photo of Bob and Alex Hardy from the Times and Steen Bennett from Snigger.com locked in a walk-in freezer. Bruce Dessau has ducked out of sight. Fair enough.
Anyway, this whole bit happens and eventually I'm led back upstairs and my pupils are like pinheads and eventually I run into this guy Thom Tuck, who says he's a comedian or something. So I guess we'd better have a chat and wrap things up. "What do you make of the Grotto?" I quipped. "I haven't seen downstairs yet, but the upstairs seems more serviceable than last year, if you'll pardon the rubric." "Yeah, that's fucking great," I quipped, scribbling it down, "a really great line. The readers of Horse & Hound will be delighted. Do you have any thoughts for our readers on horses, or indeed hounds?" "One of my favourite dogs to fantasise about owning," says Thom Tuck, "is the Swedish Valhund. You want to wrap your peepers around one of those puppies." "Great. Well I've got nothing planned after this," I said, staggering out of the doorway to go and get a massive Lemsip and google some pictures of dogs.
And that's my review. Still no horses or fucking hounds.