The Sound of Laughter: The Autobiography of Peter Kay
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Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a widespread everyman appeal. These vivid observations, when coupled with a kind of nostalgia that never fails to grab his audience's shared understanding, have earned him comparisons with Alan Bennett and Ronnie Barker. In many ways he is an old fashioned comedian, a fact reflected by the scope and enormity of his fan base. He doesn't tell jokes about politics or sex, but rather rejoices in the far funnier areas of life—elderly relatives and answering machines, dads dancing badly at weddings, garlic bread and cheesecake. This autobiography is full of this kind of humor and nostalgia and covers everything from Kay's first ever driving lesson back through his childhood, the numerous jobs he held after school, and his first tastes of fame.
video was so big it took two of them to carry it into the lounge (or the best room as my mum liked to call it).1 It was a true silver dream machine. What a beautiful beast. It had a twenty-one-day programmable timer and came with a remote control on a wire. I was speechless, all I could do was stare at it, as it sat nestled in its new home, a specially constructed pine video unit from MFI that my Dad had put together the weekend before. It also sported a top drawer with enough room for over
spot to be a success, I didn’t return to stand-up again until the following spring, when it would become part of the HND timetable. There weren’t a lot of universities that could boast having stand-up comedy as part of their curriculum in 1996. In fact, saying that, I don’t think there’s that many today. Every Tuesday afternoon eight students, including myself, would do our very best to ‘stand-up’ to our tutor, the uncompromisingly bitter Paul J Russell. I don’t know what experience you need to
no, Mum, tell my dad to stay there, I’ll be all right, my pips are going to go.’ ‘Oh my God, his pips, his pips are going now, he’s losing his pips,’ said my mum in a lather. ‘His what?’ asked my dad. ‘MUM, PLEASE TELL MY DAD I DON’T WANT HIM TO COME DOWN!’ I shouted after her, but it was too late, she’d gone. ‘Shit!’ I hung the phone up and turned round to find half the A&E staring at me. Lord knows what they made of that conversation. The last thing I needed right now was my dad coming
to say. ‘I knew I’d lose my bottle’ I said, and the audience laughed. I looked round: where on earth did that come from? Continuing to think on my feet, I decided to run with it and, picking the bottle up, I began explaining to them why I had a Coke bottle filled up with orange cordial. I told them about my mum making me a packed lunch and about the note that she’d secretly stashed in between my bread. ‘I was still choking in the gents when I heard my name being announced,’ I said. The sandwich
curtains at one point. After much denial I finally went to see the doctor. He was a big, bearded fellow with a booming voice and reminded me of Brian Blessed. In fact, if this book is ever made into a film Brian Blessed would be the perfect actor to play the doctor. I told him about my burning sensation and for some reason he weighed me. ‘Fifteen stone, my God, boy,’ he boomed, ‘you must have balls made out of ivory.’ Then he handed me some dolly mixtures out of a jar on his desk and sent me to