Hold onto your bladders, folks, our cosmically renowned annual comedy fundraiser is back. Jokes and Spokes promises much and delivers more, with five of the funniest people on the planet courageously taking to the stage at the Union Chapel in Islington.
At stake: nothing more than the fate of the galaxy. …And also our annual drive to get more and more bikes into the hands of refugees around London.
Last year, gigglers just like you helped us smash our target of 3,000 bike donations. This year, we’re looking for 4,000. Only your laughter (and money) can get us there.
Headed up by the fearless Sara Pascoe, their names ring out like heroes of yore: Robin Ince, Andy Zaltzman, Phil Wang, Rachel Parris. (Will more be added to the bill at a later date? It would be careless to let that slip…) These are true giants of the funny-bone-tickling hoards.
If you doubt me, then doubt no more: I’ve hunted the length and breadth of the internet to bring you a selection of the devastating humour peddled by our line-up.
So laugh long and loud and, while you do, open up your wallets and buy hundreds of tickets for you and all your friends and enemies. I hear your postman is obsessed with Phil Wang. This year we want to fill the balcony as well!
Sara Pascoe is an absurdly intelligent standup. Her 2016 book Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body is a hilarious investigation of the biology, sociology and psychology of what it is to be female in our day and age – a topic that isn’t so much striking a chord right now as jumping all over the piano. Sara won an episode of QI, for goodness sake. So even if you don’t find her that funny, at least you’ll get an education. But you will also find her funny. As this Live at the Apollo segment demonstrates unequivocally.
Twitter: @sarapascoe “The only mouse in comedy.”
Robin Ince is another brainbox comedian, although perhaps most famous for playing the village idiot alongside the BBC’s resident genius Brian Cox on Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage. Expect science and political satire. To show off his twin talents of standing up and talking, he did this comically enthusiastic TEDx talk about super massive black holes and Brian Blessed. Robin will be playing master of ceremonies for us, so you’ll get multiple injections of funny from him. Medics will be on stand-by for any comedy overdoses.
Twitter: @robinince “Currently on tour both with and without Brian Cox.”
Andy Zaltzman is one of my absolute favourite comedians of all time (based on a limited knowledge of comedians from 1982 to the present day). Andy foun
ded political satire podcast The Bugle, alongside Greatest British Political Export (TM) John Oliver. He also writes funny things for the internet, including this review of 2017 for the Guardian, and this completely accurate review of 2018 for iNews: “2018 has brought joyous global unity, as fears for the present
and future melted away, leaving the polar bear of progress splashing around happily in its constantly-expanding sea.” You might also have heard The Zaltz as cricket scorer on Test Match Special, so don’t be surprised if instead of comedy you get a complete list of the 25 batsmen who have been run out in both innings of a test match.
Phil Wang’s Wikipedia page tells us that he grew up in Malaysia and took his GCSEs in Brunei, but I’m not sure that’s particularly relevant to the salient fact that he’s an exceedingly funny young man. Luckily, Phil does a much better job than Wikipedia at introducing himself on this episode of Live at the Apollo. He’s also part of sketch group Daphne, whose 2017 BBC radio series caused an unprecedented break out of good humour across the nation. Phil’s comedy is reassuringly opinionated and hopefully at Jokes and Spokes he won’t (just) find himself “performing to a sea of angry boners”.
Twitter: @philnwang “Thought I’d have more followers by now.”
Rachel Parris is absolutely smashing it at the moment, as the viral queen of satire on The Mash Report. Her bit on how not to sexually harass someone is, I believe, now part of the mandatory security briefing for visitors to the House of Commons and banned in 14 states of America. She has long been part of illustrious comedy troupe Austentatious, famous for improvising Jane Austen novels such as ‘Strictly Come Darcy’ and ‘Mansfield Shark’ to sell-out audiences all over the country. “If you’re laughing, you’re learning.”
Twitter: @rachelparris “Comedian/Actor/Muso.”
So don’t delay, buy your tickets today! Or tomorrow if you hate rhyming advertising slogans.