Posted tagged ‘comedians’


November 14, 2010

Never smile for newspapers. When your firm makes a loss they will print your photo on the financial pages with you smiling.
–Alan Sugar, British entrepreneur, The Observer, December 12, 1992

Thus spake Alan Michael Sugar, founder of Amstrad and TV star of The Apprentice. His harsh quote is hung on the walls of most budding tycoons. For eighteen years I refused to smile. Even in holiday photographs or at private parties. The family would try and cajole me, “Come on, it’s easy. Just curl the lips upwards”, still I remained steadfast in my sternness.

My unshakeable belief in Sugar’s maxim was almost broken on a few occasions. To force a smile and bring me happiness incredible gifts were given to me. Happiness usually goes hand in hand with smiling. My wife handed me a blue vinyl Bohemian Rhapsody and I could feel my lips quiver as I held in my hands a limited edition rarity; only 200 copies were pressed. Then I noticed blue paint underneath my fingernails. She had painted over a black vinyl issue (3 million sold, not very rare) with a dye of blue. This took the gloss off my joy and my lips curled downwards.

Other more frightening remedies were inflicted on me. The gang of them caught me by surprise and bound me hand and feet. Soon I was subjected to a prolonged session of tickling. Luckily, I had been taught interrogation resistance techniques from my mate, James Bond. He stayed just round the corner from my gran next to Elvis’s chip shop.

Being dour-faced has fringe benefits. By not chuckling I have no laughter lines and completely wrinkle free I can get on the bus for half price. Buying alcohol can be difficult, though. My facial immortality has been attributed to a Faustian pact. I tell my detractors I have never used cream or pacts on my face. My face will never crack.

And then yesterday I overheard two men arguing over whom was the funnier comedian: Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay? Both of them recited material from their favourites and I could feel a smile coming on. I bit my lip.

-I was doing some decorating, so I got out my step-ladder, I don’t get on with my real ladder.
-N for…erm…knickers.
-I’m not homophobic. I’m not scared of my house.
-We trust the fridge!

I laughed a loud hyena laugh. I’m not like Sugar any more; I’ve sweetened up. The uncontrollable laughter has made me look a hundred and eighty. Pass the Oil of Ulay, please.