I met the comic Tom Ward briefly, years ago, while sharing a flat with his mate, another up-and-coming comic at the time, called Josh Thomas. It was during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and they were two wide-eyed young comedians on the make, all of â I donât know â about 18 years old, give or take. They were as keen about comedy as I was at their age, only, there was no internet or Raw Comedy or podcasts or anything other than television, videos and libraries requiring dedicated diligence and perseverance in order to make the most of them, when I was 18. It was harder to âknow aboutâ a lot of stuff, is all Iâm saying. Still, I was impressed that Tom knew about an old film Iâd just purchased on DVD. Iâd picked up a cheap copy of Tommy Cooperâs The Plank.
âYouâve heard of this?â I marvelled.
âYeah,â Tom said. âMy grandad told me about itâ.
I was, at best, only twice their age. I may have had friends with kids nearly as old as them. But being compared to the grandad made me feel even older. Yet both kids clearly did know about comedy. And still do.
Turns out that Tom has made a lovely little filmed item called Subtitles for the hearing impairedâ¦ if written by a 14-year-old girl thatâs received an airing in Joshâs current show, The Josh Thomas Variety Hour. Made me laugh.
Maybe in 30 years time someone who was born five years ago will show it to someone who wonât be conceived for another 15, only to be compared to that kidâs grandad.
ADDENDA â âAinât Nothinâ New Under The Sunâ Department
I doubt the idea was âpinchedâ â rather, itâs a good idea that some people had independently of each other. Punxie Poison has also pointed me towards this version â some English political âsatireâ.