Me and Mr Bobo's booze

Special Report: American Networks Woo British Comics: Boothby Graffoe, stand-up comedian, went to Los Angeles to talk about making a TV show. Here is his diary

Monday 21 July 1997

9.45pm

I am on the tenth floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles. They do not know I am here. I am hiding. I wonder whose room it is?

Tuesday 22 July

2.13am

There is a man on the telly who killed his partner by drowning him in a vat of cheese. Americans are weird. I sat in a room today with about 15 of them. Only two of them spoke, five of them were taking notes. I think the rest were there for feng shui. One of them stared at me all the time. Maybe that was his job.

The one that talked the most looked a bit like Sid Caesar. I didn't say much. I tried a couple of funny jokes and they just stared. A woman did laugh. She had too much hair and every time I said anything she peed herself. One time she started laughing before I got to the punch line. Just before I said the very funny part she was rocking back and forth in her seat and slapping her leg as if she was trying to get a vein up. A few others sitting around her started to laugh so I pretended that was it and didn't say the end of the joke. I'd love to hear her try to tell it.

Anyhow, she likes me.

I met my manager after the meeting with Fox to find out how it went. Weird how I was actually in the meeting, and I have to ask someone who wasn't there how it went. The manager was his usual evasive self. "They hated you," he said. What about the woman with the hair? I said. She loves me. "Of course she does," he said. "She's your lawyer."

7.35am

Turns out she's on 7.5 per cent of anything I earn. She wasn't laughing loud enough.

Wednesday 23 July

12.06pm

Wednesday has not been good, but it was Tuesday's fault.

4.14pm

Met NBC an hour after Fox. There were even more people in the meeting with NBC, at least 25, maybe even 30. It was like playing the Guilty Pea. They laughed at all my funny jokes and the hotel just moved. Jesus! What sort of country is this? They build high-rise hotels on wobbly ground.

9.34pm

Point four or something on the Richthoven scale. Hardly got a mention on the news. They were more concerned about the man who drowned his friend in cheese. I swear the newsreader just said the man's case was being processed. These people are way ahead of me.

11.30pm

So, Fox are fed up. They feel as though I have wasted their money and time. Then, an hour later I meet with NBC. NBC sit around on low, comfortable chairs. Fox sit around a big table. NBC have a bowl of sweeties. There are no sweeties in the Fox office. Well, there are, but they're not in a bowl. They're in an Armani suit, sitting opposite, staring.

As usual I have to wait until after the meeting to find out how it has gone. My manager is waiting outside. He has raised the flap of skin around his neck, so he is either happy, or suspects someone may be trying to steal his eggs. He is happy. The meeting with NBC went so well that Fox now love me. They heard about it before I did. It seems that Fox don't not want me as much as they do not want NBC to have me.

Saturday 26 July

1.30am

My lawyer gave me a lift back to the hotel. I noticed she only laughs at my jokes when there are other people around. Both Fox and NBC have made offers. Fox felt they had first refusal because they paid for the trip over. I said I felt better about NBC because I wasn't over-keen on Rupert Murdoch's politics. She said I'd probably be happier with NBC then because they were part of General Electric, the biggest single arms manufacturer in the entire world. Who says Americans have no sense of irony?

3.09am

Me. It was me. I say it all the time.

Monday 28 July

5pm

Both Fox and NBC have made offers and baskets of fruit and booze have begun to arrive at my hotel room, one of them addressed to Bobo Graffle. I like that. NBC are prepared to spend all that money, and they aren't really sure what my name is. I forgive them though, because their basket has the most booze in it. The one from Fox Studios is mostly wood shavings, a couple of bottles of Miller Lite, and a tin of Captain Treacle's New England Sweeties. They are obviously trying to make up for the lack of sweeties in their network office, but it is too late.

Whosoever sent the booze-laden hamper has won my hand in marriage. I have drinkled the very nice vodka stuff and the weirdy liquid in the blue bottle. Ooh, don't feel well...

Tuesday 29 July

10am

I am beyond hangover. I have fallen off.

10.30am

Today we start meeting networks. The difference between studios and networks is confusing. Studios send fruit and booze baskets, networks don't. That's the only way I can tell them apart so far. I don't feel well. NBC seem like the best deal to me. They're more relaxed, the people in the meetings don't seem as paranoid about losing their jobs as they do at Fox.

Jobs are delicate here. If you back a turkey you lose your job. If you pass up the turkey and someone else takes the turkey and turns it into Christmas dinner you lose your job even more. Fox had clearly finished playing with me and put me down. NBC toddled. over and picked me up. Fox saw this and came and snatched me back. Baby children.

12.20pm

I talked to the manager about what we should do. He was down by the swimming- pool, basking. I told him I was ready to sign with NBC. It had been a difficult decision to reach as Fox had been very kind and really looked after me, apart from the premium economy bit, but NBC had impressed me more with their commitment to produce a quality programme we could all be really proud of.

12.22pm

Signed with Fox.

12.30pm

Well, they offered more money. They say they're going to pay me thousands of dollars and all I have to do is not work for any American TV company, except them, for a whole year. I am considering asking them to backdate it as I've never worked for any American TV companies ever.

7.30pm

When I got back to the hotel there was a note from the concierge. The concierge wrote apologising because he had delivered a basket of fruit and booze intended for a Mr Bobo Graffle, the Indonesian champion wrestler, to my room by mistake. Mr Graffle was arriving later so could he have it back please?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

Guru Careers: Product Design Engineer / UX Designer

£20 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a tech savvy Product Design Engineer /...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor