Philip Simon’s the name of a comic.
His homeschooling boredom was chronic.
He’s one of these blokes,
Who loves telling jokes.
School's Out Comedy was the tonic!
Before the Coronavirus lockdown started in March 2020, I was a professional stand up comedian and actor. Almost overnight my diary cleared and I became a supply teacher in a homeschool that OFSTED would have probably rated “Inadequate”.
I loved having all the extra time with my two boys (then 3 & 5) but I also knew that, to stay creative for when gigs started up again and for my own wellbeing, I needed a comedy project to focus on. Realising that children (and grown ups) would need breaks from homeschooling I started developing a joke show that would provide short bursts of entertainment. And that show was School's Out Comedy Club.
Within a very short amount of time the jokes were flooding in, with children from all over the world sending in their favourite gags and one-liners. Some were well known, whilst others were modern takes on old favourites but they’re all hilarious.
"The comedy world's Joe Wicks" (BBC)
It was during an interview with the BBC that the interviewer coined this accolade and as a result of this, when Lockdown III started I committed to host daily live stream shows via Zoom where kids could log in and take the limelight to tell their jokes. This was a huge success, and was a big part of the 2021 Leicester Comedy Festival, where the show was shortlisted as one of the nominees for Best Kids' Show.
In all 45 shows were recorded, equating to over 23 hours of free children's entertainment. The shows were a huge success and you can see all episodes HERE.
School's Out Comedy Club Live Shows
One of the most joyous developments of School's Out Comedy Club was being asked to do some live shows for Cubs, Brownies, Guides, Scouts and other youth groups, which were all great fun. These were usually hosted via Zoom and involved the children sending jokes for me to tell live during the 20-30 minute shows.
You can see an example of one of these shows HERE.
If you'd like one of these shows for your own youth organisation, please do get in touch.
School's Out Comedy Club Joke Book
During August 2020 I was fortunate enough to make the School's Out Comedy Club part of the Edinburgh Fringe #FringeMakers Crowdfunder, which was partly raising funds to self publish a children's joke book. Some supporters pledged in return for the rewards, such as personalised limericks like the one above, or personalised Daddy Pig greeting videos. Others donated for the sheer love of comedy and entertaining children. Either way, I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed to the crowdfunder, and can’t wait for you (or your children) to enjoy the book, which is available in my shop now.
Profits from the sales of this book will be donated to FareShare, redistributing surplus food to charities that turn it into meals. For each book sold, FareShare are able to provide 4 nutritious meals. This is especially important at the moment in ensuring that families and especially children don't go hungry during these very uncertain times. The campaign was given prominence by footballer Marcus Rashford, so I'm delighted to be able to do my bit to support this cause.