Omid Djalili on Bristol Slapstick Festival: Silents are golden
OMID Djalili recalls the night he performed in front of a packed audience with blood dripping from his head and his underpants showing.
It sounds horrific, but this was the launch of a hugely successful career for Omid, who comes to Bristol in January.
It also gave him a life-long appreciation for the acknowledged master of slapstick, Charlie Chaplin, which is why the comedian and actor is so thrilled to be opening Bristol's 2014 Slapstick Festival, Britain's biggest festival of silent and visual comedy.
Omid explained how his bloodstained debut night and subsequent success was thanks to Chaplin – albeit inadvertently.
FREE WHEATGERM WITH EVERY POND HEATER www.blagdon-water-gardens.c...View details
Protect your pond fish this winter. Purchase the resun 100w pond heater £39.99 from www.blagdon-water-gardens.co.uk and we will give you a pot of Tetra wheatgerm 1l winter fishfood worth £4.99 FREE
Contact: 01934 316673
Valid until: Friday, February 28 2014
"At my very first stand-up comedy gig I slipped on some spilt beer and fell violently as I took to the stage.
"Then, as I grabbed the mic, it wouldn't budge from the stand so I pulled harder and it flew into my forehead, drawing a line of blood.
"The cord of the mic had come out so I went to gather up it up from the edge of the stage and before I knew it I'd fallen off.
"I tried to get back on stage but it was too high, so I lifted my left leg to walrus on and I ripped my (black) trousers, revealing (white) underpants. The perfect comedy rip.
"Everyone was in hysterics. A week later, my friend told me there was this 'new Charlie Chaplin-style' act around town. 'Who's that?' I asked. 'You' he said. And that's how I started in comedy."
The international star, who has featured in films including The Mummy, Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, will host the festival's gala evening on Friday, January 24, launching three laughter-filled days of comedy across the city.
Omid told the Bristol Post: "I'm honoured to be invited to host the Slapstick festival gala.
"I'm a huge fan of silent screen comedy and of those early comics who brought it to the screen."
At the gala, previously hosted by comedy luminaries including Paul Merton, Michael Palin and Victoria Wood, Omid will pay an extra-special tribute to Charlie Chaplin.
This will be the first in a series of global events marking the centenary of Charlie Chaplin's best-loved character, the Tramp, and will include a screening of the 1931 feature City Lights, accompanied live by a 39-piece orchestra.
"Chaplin is a long-standing hero of mine and it's a particular treat to be introducing a Charlie Chaplin tribute in the centenary of his debut as the little tramp," said Omid.
"City Lights is a true masterpiece of comic cinema and when I heard it was being accompanied with Chaplin's original score and a 39-piece orchestra, I couldn't say no."
In fact, Omid will also be introducing the classic Laurel & Hardy short Two Tars (1928), accompanied live by the European Silent Screen Virtuosi, and Pass The Gravy (also from 1928).
Festival organiser Chris Daniels said: "We're absolutely thrilled that Omid Djalili is coming to Bristol to launch both our tenth birthday festival and the world's centenary salute to one of cinema's most iconic figures.
"Omid is not only a talented and popular performer but he is a genuine fan of silent film comedy and particular admirer of Chaplin."
Bristol Slapstick Festival runs from Friday, January 24 to Sunday, January 26. For more information, visit www.slapstick.org.uk.