Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Dappergate - The mobbing and cyber-bullying of an overnight sensation by a gang of jealous comedians

The london comedy circuit, a friendly and supportive group of comedy performers all struggling to chase their dream and make it big in the world of comedy, how lovely! we need each other don't we? I know stand-up is a solitary profession but even so, if we are to progress in our field we need to remain likeable to our audiences, we need to remain bookable by promoters and desirable to agents and casting people

We want to succeed don't we? and we are happy to help our fellow performers who are on the same journey to succeed, aren't we? there are hundreds of us all chasing this dream and most of us will probably give in long before we achieve it

Many comics will spend 10 years or more performing for free or the occasional nominal fee that may just about cover their expenses, they will throw thousands of pounds into loss making Edinburgh shows in the hope of reviews and recognition, getting solvent or even famous in the world of comedy can be a lengthy and expensive task, most of Britain's wealthiest comedians languished in debt and poverty for years before they could break even, the success they eventually achieved was hard won

So when a relatively unknown comedian comes along, seemingly bypasses the pub basement open mic slog and gets money, recognition and fame in what seems like the blink of an eye we are all really inspired and happy for him, aren't we?

Who is DapperLaughs?

Well in the case of Daniel O'Reilly a.k.a DapperLaughs it would seem many are vexed, angered, outraged even, so who is DapperLaughs and how did he instantly rise to this meteoric fame?

I've known Daniel O'Reilly about 3 years since he first appeared on the London comedy scene, he started an open mic night in a railway arch in Clapham and imediately upset a clique of comedy pontificators that lurk online all day in the Facebook "Comedy Collective" his crime? he was advertising his gig as £5 for everyone, acts and audience alike, he was berated, told that "pay to play is evil" and called some very nasty names

Seeing the poor newbie getting a good online kicking from this open mic lynch mob I couldn't resist going to his inaugural comedy night, it wasn't perfect, trains rumbled overhead every few minutes and the stage lighting wasn't right but as far as open mic gigs go it was a relatively successful one, acts showed up, punters showed up, many acts were funny, I didn't want to perform but I paid a fiver  for young Ben Adams to do a turn as he said he had no money

One thing that struck me about Daniel who MC'd that night was his stage presence, you could tell he wasn't a newbie performer, he had a great deal of charisma, he's a handsome young lad with a likeable cheeky chappie demeanour, one well known comedy promoter would no doubt describe this as "star quality"

Chatting to him afterwards he was apologetic about blundering onto the scene in a pay-to-play scandal, he vowed to put this right and talked of other gigs he had planned, it was clear that this young fellow was a go getter, an enthusiastic grafter who just wanted to put on some really good comedy shows, he runs a property business by day and clearly wasn't doing this for the extra money, he waived the £5 pay to play fee a week later

Subsequently he went on to form "Brand Spanking Comedy" a brand which has put on some of the best attended open mic gigs in Britain, I've regularly seen over 100 punters squeeze into his weekly open mic gig at the Jam Tree in Clapham, he put on "Fight For The Funny" at the iconic Clapham Grand night club and sold out, a capacity audience of around 400 paying punters, his new media marketing skills were behind this, Twitter, Facebook, websites, meetup, Wowcher etc all played a part

In the interests of full disclosure I'd like to mention at this stage that I have at some point been paid to MC his Clapham gig, aside from this I have no vested financial interests in any of his ventures and I've only seen him once very briefly in the past 12 months

Just over a year ago I sat down with Daniel to "write" some comedy in a bar in Clapham old town, we ended up mainly drinking and discussing his plans for the DapperLaughs character, we agreed that for this kind of Jack the lad, Lothario character to work the comedy would have to be highly self deprecating and the joke would always have to be on him, I advised Dapper Laughs at the time that he'd do much better with this character comedy on the internet rather than slogging it around the open mic stand-up scene, Vine wasn't invented at that point but it was agreed that with his skill set, video sharing sites like Youtube would get him much bigger audiences and a faster route to fame

Fast forward to the present day, the DapperLaughs character blew up on Vine, a micro video blogging service where you upload looping videos that are just six seconds long, he has well over 300,000 followers on Vine, some 800,000 fans on his Facebook page and many more hundreds of thousands on other new media platforms, in total he's heading towards 1.5 million new media subscribers, despite the shrill hectoring voices screaming MISOGYNY! DapperLaughs fan base are predominantly young, fun loving and female 

On the strength of his Vine fame alone he has managed to sell out a UK wide comedy tour in comedy venues such as  Komedia Brighton, over 7000 tickets sold in less than an hour, even big name, well established, professional comedians sometimes struggle to do this, on top of this he has worked with celebrities and been offered TV presenting gigs, he's produced a single using his Vine catchphrases "Proper Moist" and "She knows" which in just a few days has made the top 5 of the iTunes singles chart gaining national radio airplay, a phenomenal rise to fame, engineered and driven by his hard work, ambition and self marketing prowess, he now has an agent and is selling merchandise with his trademark #ProperMoist logo on it

Jealous Comedians

A couple of weeks ago I learned about a Vine war that was developing between DapperLaughs and another comedian, I smiled at first as the other comic is fairly well established, has done bits of TV presenting and is well known as a serial shagger of women, despite his competence as a comic and TV presenter though his Vine following of just over 3000 is just above one percent of DapperLaughs fan base, I didn't think he was really mad when he started making Vines accusing DapperLaughs of being "Racist, Sexist & Homophobic" the cynical marketer in me saw this as the usual internet drama engineered to raise his own views and followers, this Vine war was direct and personal, it didn't really make him look too good and I believe he actually lost followers as a result

In the past week a whole host of other "comedians" have ganged up and virulently hated on DapperLaughs, the hate has grown from silly claims that the DapperLaughs comedy character is really the true personality of Daniel O'Reilly into accusations of "shit comedy" and have spiralled through calling him names into rabid Internet hate mobs jealously wishing he would die a horrible death

"He needs to die" a credible death threat?

So who are these hateful "comedians" and why would they wish death on an overnight success story

One of them seems to be a young "student comic" called Joe Wells, I seem to recall encountering his online wrath before in the tired old "women in comedy" debate, (see a few posts below) he likes to position himself as a "Feminist" and he gave me a ticking off followed by much abusive name calling when I used the term FEMINAZIS which for me is an important denominator between decent, moderate feminists and the extremist, radical, man-hating kind

Joe is one of the "Right-on" members of the comedy police, always vocal about what kind of comedy is acceptable and what kind is "shit" what kinds of topics are acceptable in comedy and what subjects are off limits, we've met most of these people before, self appointed nobodies, bigoted politickers, trying to oppress every viewpoint that doesn't fit their own world view with abusive name calling, slandering other acts with terms like "racist, sexist and misogynist" when they're clearly holding a mirror up to it

Social justice campaigners, hero posters who constantly tweet banal and condescendingly self evident right-on slogans that tell us "Racism is bad" "Women need to be respected" etc etc ad nauseum

Caring people with a moral compass and vigilant social conscience right?  WRONG !

Joe Wells "Genuinely hopes he dies"

Joe Wells, internet white knight, right-on chief of the comedy police, defender of the feminists "genuinely hopes he dies" but not only does he wish successful fellow comic DapperLaughs death, he wishes it "in the most painful and degrading way possible" what kind of hateful spite is behind that?

This extreme bitterness has to spring from the lack of similar success in their own flagging comedy careers

What really saddens me is the jealousy, jealousy is fuelling this virulent hate, this mob of cyber bullies has now gone way beyond the pale, this clique of comedy thugs has overstepped the mark, we live in a country where 2 people were jailed last week for tweeting "fuck off and die" to a feminist who was pretending she couldn't see the matriarchal female monarch we've had since 1953 on the front of every unit of our currency, whilst I think that in itself is an injustice these jealous, less successful comics ganging up on, bullying and wishing death to a fellow comedian is utterly vile

In another Facebook thread a mob of vexed comedians were campaigning to get Chortle's Steve Bennett to "review" DapperLaughs current UK tour, many comics would argue this is a fate worse than death threats, the hatred in that thread was so tangible it rubbed off on Bennett who was wrongly accused of writing horrible reviews of comedians and later removing them at the behest of advertisers 

Joe Wells runs a gig that had four people click attending on the most recent event, half of those four people were Joe Wells and his girlfriend, is it any wonder he is outraged to the point of wishing a horrible death upon a comic he can't fathom could sell out a major comedy club in a few minutes

The politicking, pretending they don't understand what a comedy character is and constant "sexist, racist, misogynist" name calling are bad enough, but cyber bullying and mobbing are an extremely malicious attack on a fellow comedian for no reasons other than the fact that he is far more successful than you and he has achieved his large following using methods that are unorthodox to you

Sasha Baron Cohen does character comedy, he plays an anti-semite, a sexist, misogynist, it doesn't mean that he himself holds those values and even the least comedy savvy idiot knows this, there is no difference between him and Daniel O'Reilly, There's no difference between comedy Character Lee Nelson and comedy character DapperLaughs, shut up you vile jealous excuses for comedians and focus on yourself being the main reason for your lack of similar success 

Joe Wells Havant Comedy Club - 4 attending

Daniel O'Reilly and DapperLaughs, rise above the death threats, the mobbing and the hate. I'm genuinely proud of all you have achieved in the past three years, as a promoter you have worked hard and provided quality stage time to hundreds of grateful comedians, as a comedian you have showed the mainstream circuit there are other ways to make it big in comedy and I salute you for this, long may your star continue to rise

If you'd like to help @DapperLaughs get his single to number 1 click here, you don't even have to like his musical prowess, it's just 79p to show a finger to these haters

Marc Burrows Cyber Bully Tag Team With Jayde Adams, he's doing "research" so he can write in The Guardian

The mob of cyber bullies continue their ongoing hate campaign via an abusive twitter account @CrapperLaughs, their jealousy is quite pitiful to witness 


  1. look man, lets just call this off.
    The comments screenshotted were from a private thread never intended to be read by the person concerned. Having said that the joke I made was meant to be of an over the topic melodramatic tone but I realise now that it was distasteful nasty and against my ethics, have apologised to those concerned. I don't like dapper laughs act because I find it very misogynist but it shouldn't have got personal, I said some stupid things and I've also had a day of threats and abuse from his fans.
    we are never going to agree on feminist/mra stuff so for either of us to spend time worrying about the others opinions is just that - a waste of our time.
    I don't want to have the situation where its awkward if we share a bill and we have to awkwardly avoid eachother on either side of the bar. lets put this to one side so that if we do gig together we can share a pint (I'll have a girly drink like a lambrini or something) and talk about music, football or comics that we both like.
    I disagree with most of your politics strongly with the exception that sometimes the left need to be pulled up on stuff. I'm being pulled up on what I said. Please can this not be something that gets dragged out and becomes a big thing. we're both going to be wasting our time and getting wound up when we should be working.

  2. Thanks for your message Joe

    The thread where you said you hoped he died wasn't a private thread at all, it was on your Facebook wall that I could clearly view even though we were not "friends" on that site

    I saw a lot of other stuff you said about me being a "middle aged open spot" on your wall too, obviously you blocked me later on so I can't see anything from now on but if you're getting backlash from DapperLaughs fans it's likely that they can view everything you've said on your wall too

    Please review your Facebook privacy settings, often they change without you noticing

    1. oh and to clarify I have deleted the offending posts. I don't want a circuit where people hate eachother regardless of what peoples politics are. I hope that you agree.

  3. yeah, you know calling you a middle aged open spot wasn't cool either, I haven't seen your work, we can all run our mouths off online and I apologize.
    please can we draw a line under this so that we can both work on what we both want which is a thriving british comedy circuit.

  4. I'm with you there Joe

    Comedy is about giving the gift of laughter, bringing joy and laughter to people, if every one of us focused on what makes us funny rather that what we can't tolerate about other comics or other genres of comedy then the whole world would be a happier place

    1. thats good to hear. I'm glad we could work this out. Good luck with it all.

  5. Good grief, I don't really have an issue with Dapper Laughs, but you're a proper Bell End aren't you?

    1. This "anonymous" abuse was posted by Marc Burrows, as online community manager for The Guardian he surely knows all about the Malicious Communications Act 1988

  6. Well, that went well...


    1. A very well balanced and researched treatise, well done Sir!