Gangster to gagster

John McVicar turns to stand-up

John McVicar, the notorious armed robber who was once top of Scotland Yard’s ‘most wanted’ list, is turning to stand-up.

The 60-year-old former underworld figure, who escaped from jail several times after being given a 23-year sentence for his crimes, has since become a noted author and journalist.

And later this month he will add ‘comedian’ to his CV, when he performs at the Guffaw club in Brentwood, Essex.

McVicar, whose criminal life was turned into a film starring Roger Daltry says he is taking to the stage in tribute to Bill Hicks, who he called his ‘friend and colleague’.

‘I used to do it as a hobby ten years ago,’ he told Chortle. ‘I was watching some of Bill Hicks's old routines and I thought, why not let rip against the banksters, the Etonian mafia, Charlie Windsor... instead of just using stand-up to swear a lot and talk graphically about sex. Use it to say what you can't print.’

‘Bill Hicks and I both used to write for Spiked Magazine and we had a few beers when he gigged here in 1992.

‘I was watching some of his stuff on the Web and thought how come none of the new rock 'n' roll stand-ups are working what would be Bill's beat? He would have been running amok on this banking crisis

‘Now I'm not saying today's stand-ups are not funny. They are. Some of them brilliantly so. A lot of funnier than I can ever be. But there are no bullets in the jokes, no blood on the stage.

‘Bill would have taken a Browning 50 cal to Wall Street and the City. As for the Etonian bumboys we've just put in charge of our government! I mean come on. I take prisoners in my set... just so I can execute them publicly.

‘If you watch TV or read the newspapers you would think the banking blowout that has bought the economy to its knees was caused by speculators, Greedy Gekkos. When Vince Cable called them spivs and gamblers there was outrage in the City and Cameron had a word in his lug. It wasn’t spivs and gamblers it was crooks, thieves, fraudsters.

‘These banksters rolled over the global economy in the biggest heist since the Conquistadors looted South America. It was more than a trillion dollar swindle. And get this. They then took the perfect crime caper to a whole new level.

'The trillion dollars bailout that governments then put back into the financial system to keep the global economy afloat was managed by the many of the same banksters who committed the swindle in the first place. Think about it. The bank robbers were put in charge of the banks they’d just bankrupted! Just say no to that. And no one serves a day, not even a pair of handuffs.

‘That really was the 24 carat hallmark of a heist that will never be beaten. The Noughties decade should be respelled as the naughties decade.’

McVicar will be performing at the last ever Guffaw Club in Brentwood Theatre on January 24, before it moves to Walthamstow, East London.

Published: 10 Jan 2011

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