Bill Bailey

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Bill Bailey (born 1964 as Mark Bailey), British musician and comedian.


Cosmic Jam (tour 1995, DVD 2005, 2006)

  • What I'd like to do now - well, what I'd like to do now is grow my beard very long, weave it into my pubes and strum it like a harp.
  • I'm quite lucky, because I've got a small, decorative concrete pig.
  • But our country's equivalent of gritty reality is more like "Look out Sarge, he's got a shooter!"
  • Aldous Huxley famously took mescaline and wrote about the experience in The Doors of Perception. Actually, I don't think that was the first thing he wrote: the first thing he wrote was probably 'my brain is melting' four thousand times, but it was the book that the critics latched on to.
  • And just as he said that a feminist jumped out of a manhole - just jumped up and oh, and she didn't like that. That she didn't like that.
  • Who photographs kebabs?
  • Three blokes go into a pub. Well, I say three; could be four or five. Could be nine or ten, doesn't matter. Could have been fifteen, twenty - fifty. Round it up. Hundred. Let's go mad, eh - two-fifty. Tell you what, double it up - five hundred. Thousand! Oh, I've gone mad! Two thousand! Five thousand! (adopting auctioneer persona) Anyone? Five thousand, six thou, six thousand, ten thousand! Small town in Hertfordshire goes into a pub! Fifteen thousand blokes! Alright, let's go - population of Rotterdam. The Hague. Whole of Northern Holland. Mainland U.K. Let's go all the way to the top - Europe, alright? Whole of Europe goes - I say Europe. Could be Eurasia. Not the band, obviously, that's just two of them. Alright, continents - North America! Plus South America! Plus Antartica - that's just eight blokes in a weather station. Not a good example. Alright, make it a lot simpler, all the blokes on the planet go into the pub, right? And the first bloke goes up to the bar and he says "I'll get these in." What an idiot.

Is It Bill Bailey? (TV, 1998)

  • Three blokes go into a pub. Something happens. The outcome was hilarious!
    Episode 1, 1:36
  • I am a confectionary-based existentialist.
  • Toughest job I ever had: selling doors, door to door.
  • Nostalgia: How long's that been around?
  • A lot of people say there's a fine line between genius and insanity. I don't think there's a fine line, I actually think there's a yawning gulf. You see some poor bugger scuffling up the road with balloons tied to his ears, he's not going home to invent a rocket, is he?

Bewilderness (DVD, 2001)

Note: Chapters and running times refer to the 2005 'director's cut' of Bewilderness enclosed with Cosmic Jam.

  • BB: I'm actually from the West Country...
    (solitary cheer from audience)
    BB: Hypnotized, or actually? What are you doing here?
    Audience member: I had to come.
    BB: What do you mean you had to come here? What, you were on some dark purpose?
    Ch. 4, 07:38
  • Arbroath; it was the scariest heckle I ever had. Arbroath, I don't know if you've ever been - very very cold throughout the year, and I was pacing up and down, primarily to keep warm really, I was freezing. And this chilling voice came from the back of the room, it just said "Stand still"... (mimes holding a rifle)
    Ch. 4, 08:18
  • The national [Welsh] dish, cheese on toast, that's fantastic. "That's no bother". "We're having a big ambassadorial reception." "All right, I'll get the grill on shall I? You want a bit of chutney on it?" "No, don't go mad Rhodri, it's only Fiji." I think though that it has actually hampered Wales's cultural diversity, because if you think of the other national dishes, like Ireland - Irish stew, bubbling away for hours on end, during which time poems are written, plays are written, fine linen is crafted, the whimsy is spun; Scotland, you have haggis, many many days it takes to pulverise the eyes, lips and all the toes, every [part] of the animal, the hooves, the shirt, the trousers, the abbatoir worker's laundry, everything goes in there, and it's bubbling away for days on end under the ground in the lung of a small burrowing animal, during which time electric light is invented, penicillin, a fine legal structure, those little things you lick, press down and they ping back up, 'Oh, I forgot about them, oh yeah'; England, roast beef, roasting away for days on end, during which time poor, defenceless countries around the world are brought under the relentless yoke of imperial oppression; Wales, cheese on toast, "Right...oh, it's ready. Shit."
    Ch. 9, 17:43
  • I'm English, and as such I crave disappointment. That's why I buy Kinder Surprise. Horrible chocolate; nasty little toy: a double-whammy of disillusionment! Sometimes I eat the toy out of sheer despair. I call them the Eggs Of Numbing Inevitability. And when I buy them, I always ask for them in the third person: "Bill Bailey would like the Eggs Of Numbing Inevitability." I did that the other day and it answered me back, and he said to me: "No, I am Bill Bailey. You are not Bill Bailey, you are just a mere doppelgänger. I am the true Bill Bailey, in another dimension." And I went, "Oh, I hadn't planned on that." Then I thought the only way to solve this, I have to run at my doppelgänger, then we will be fused forever. So I ran full-tilt at it, and just before I got there I realised it was the highly polished side of the cheese counter.
    Ch. 12, 21:57
  • I'm amazed by how compliant people are in this country. They go into service stations - 'cathedrals of despair', as I call them - where baseball-capped ghouls of the night lord it over their congealed bean kingdoms, their fried-bread twilights, their neon demi-mondes, tempting you to enter to become them, undead. "Ooh, beans on toast, £18.95, very reasonable. Oh no, I'm not going to complain. They probably pump them up from London in special tubes." God, £18.95? If that was the price, for my money, each bean would have to be carried over in a heron's beak and laid on an orchid and then placed on a very rare train set and carried all the way to my table on the train set and then pinged off by a tiny little rare vole and it rolls onto a beautiful silk leaf and I eat it with a Fabergé egg. Then you'd get your money's worth.
    Ch. 16, 26:40
  • At parties, sometimes, for a laugh, I introduce myself - people say 'What do you do?' and I say 'I'm Aled Jones, its all gone wrong for me. No, look, I've still got it! (drunken bawl) I'M WALKING THROUGH THE AIIIIIIR.'
    Ch. 19, 32:55
  • There is one language I can't understand, because it's from another planet, another dimension - that is the language of dentists. They speak in some kind of code, it's quite disturbing and sinister. They'll talk to you perfectly normally. You'll be sitting there like that [[simulates someone sitting on a dentists' couch with some kind of dental equipment in mouth) and they'll look down at you. 'Everything alright?' 'Yes, thank you very much'. Then, they'll turn to their assistant, and it all changes then, doesn't it? 'Jane. Some four. Some nine over the two. Mix me up some kraal (mimes antlers) over the ma-ma-ma-ma (does something strange with hands) Cheese. Go. Im. Shh. Nuhnuhnuhnuhnuh.' (in chair, frightened expression) 'What?' 'Seek out the chalky dust of the love-salmon' (in chair, confused expression) 'What?' Well, obviously, they can't refer to the instruments as they appear to us, otherwise we'd be out of the chair in a trice, wouldn't we? 'Jane, The Claw.' (in chair, terrified expression) 'Hand me The Colonel! The Punisher! The Talons of Saloth Sar!' Just to let them know I'm onto them I always freak them out right back - they look down and say 'Everything alright?' and I look up and I say (in chair, psychotic voice) 'The pheasant has no agenda'.
    Ch. 23, 51:53
  • BB: Are there any men in?
    (no response)
    BB: Any women?
    Female voices: Yes!
    BB: Ah, you see, there's this crisis in masculine identity at the moment. Women, totally at home with their sexuality. 'I am woman, wo-man, I, wo-MAN.' Men 'Er.. (awkward expression) Someone else'll shout out'. Alright, is there any blokes in?
    Masculine voices: Yeah!
    BB: You see, there's a term that men feel more comfortable with. Bloke, blokey bloke bloke. It's a kind of friendly term. 'Oh, he's a bloke, lovely bloke, nice bloke, blokey bloke. I'm a bloke, you're a bloke, wahey!' It doesn't impose any unnecessary demands on us as men. 'Bloke', that's just basically 'carry stuff, don't get in the way'. 'Man', that's all kinds of other things, isn't it? That's nobility, gallantry, wisdom... that conjures up some image of a bloke in a cardigan with a pipe saying 'Cover up those table legs, mother, they're inflaming my sexual ardour'.
    Ch. 24, 53:21
  • This is a song inspired by the work of Phil Collins; the nasty, whining little git.
    Ch. 36, 1:18:46
  • When I was a child, I was terrified by this. (plays theme from The Magic Roundabout) It was very sinister, wasn't it? It just went on and on, like Dante's seventh circle of Hell. I recently found out there was a secret middle section deemed unsuitable for small children. There's about four hours of this, then it all starts to go a bit weird.
    (plays discordant music)
    (Booming echoing voice) I am Zebedee, lord of the woods! Bow down snail, I have dominion!
    Ch. 38, 1:24:37

Bewilderness: New York (audio CD, 2002)

  • Marijuana? It's harmless really, unless you fashion it into a club and beat somebody over the head with it.
    'Beards' (track 12) 5:29
  • It's not a beard, it's an animal I've trained to sit very still.

Part Troll (2004)

  • Three blokes go into a pub. One of them is a little bit stupid, and the whole scene unfolds with a tedious inevitability.
  • My first job was selling doors, door to door. That's a tough job innit? Ding Dong. Can I interest you in a- oh shit you've got one already haven't you? Well never mind...
  • But we won't have any genetically modified food, oooh no, we won't have any GM. Which is a shame, I think we've missed a trick there. We could develop wheat with the properties of catch whatever it is that's forming those crop circles! But then the spaceship would have to have the corresponding Velcro so it's a bit of a long shot!
  • (responding to scattered audience applause) Ah, lovely: the ripple, the ripple there. That's nearly the Zen clap of acceptance there, wasn't it?
  • I'm a vegetarian. I'm not strict; I eat fish, and duck. Well, they're nearly fish, aren't they? They're semi-submerged a lot of the time, they spend a lot of time in the water, they're virtually fish, really. And pigs, cows, sheep, anything that lives near water, I'm not strict. I'm sort of like a post-modern vegetarian. I eat meat ironically.
  • You're absolutely right, Hitler was a vegetarian. It's very unseemly to think so, but there he was. Just goes to show, vegetarianism, not always a good thing. Can in some extreme cases lead to genocide.
  • Talking of white supremacist violent types, I was in America recently...
  • I can't ever remember ever seeing any charity porn, though. "Farmyard Frolics 3: A portion of this goes to a women's literacy programme in Eritrea".
  • There’s this one celebrity, Rosie O’Donnell, a talk show host, and she said this: “I don’t know anything about Afghanistan, but I know it’s full of terrorists, speaking as a mother.” So what is this "speaking as a mother" then? Is that a euphemism for "talking out of my arse"? "Suspending rational thought for a moment"? As a rational human being, Al-Qaeda are a loose association of psychopathic zealots who could be rounded up with a sustained police investigation. But speaking as a parent, they’re all eight foot tall, they’ve got lasers under their moustaches, a huge eye in their foreheads and the only way to kill them is to NUKE every country that hasn’t sent us a Christmas card in the the last 20 years!! Speaking as a mother.
  • There's more evil in the charts than in an Al-Qaeda suggestion box.
  • (After asking the audience about their negative experiences with Marijuana)
    BB: So, what form did these experiences take?
    Audience Member: Swimming with dolphins! (mentioned earlier on the show)
    BB: (misunderstands) Dolby? What, you hear everything with a slightly reduced hiss? (As Audience Member) I like to hear the world in Dolby, it's fantastic! Mind you, it means that no snake will I ever hear. And I said that in a very strange way. (As Yoda) No snake will I ever hear, mmm! (Normally) Never put Dolby on snake detectors, that's what we must remember.
  • Anyway, beards and drugs leads me neatly to the Taliban; were they really that backward, or were they the finest minds of the fourteenth century? Nobody seems to know or care. That ideology was never going to work, was it? It was just cobbled together from different beliefs. The anti-intellectualism of the Khmer Rouge, the religious persecution of the Nazis, the enforced beard-wearing from the world of folk music, and the segregation and humiliation of women from the world of golf.
  • (as George W. Bush) I will tame evil, I will get the evil ones, We must find the evil ones. We must get evil, we must laminate evil, we must wear it round our necks at the backstage party in paradise!
  • I'm English, and as such I crave disappointment. I actively seek it out.
  • The reason we'd stopped was that the buffet car was on fire, that was the reason we stopped. One of the giant biscuits spontaneously combusted out of boredom. Whoever was charged with making the announcement momentarily lost all sense of procedure and we got this tantalizing glimpse into the chaos on the trains, and all we could hear was (bangs on microphone) "Gary, it's burning, what we gonna do?!"
  • God save our gracious Queen: Why would we invoke a non-specific deity to bail out these unelected spongers?
  • Three blind mice walk into a pub. But they are unaware of their surroundings, so to derive humour from it would be exploitative.
  • You get somebody to explain the Trinity to you, they'll say "Well God, he's God, and Jesus is God as well, and the Holy Spirit is...(mumbles indistinctly)". "What?" "He's the fecund spirit of the Lord who impregnates Mary, then gets a bit up himself and is reduced to light clerical duties?" Let's examine that in joke form: three male divine natures go into a cosmic essence, giving and receiving love, but not in a gay bishop way, to which the whole of Islam goes "Wha?"; Hinduism: "Nah!"; or Buddhism: "Ssh!".
  • Talking of tough gigs, I saw a very tough gig in New York, it was Whitney Houston. She was doing this open-air gig in New York. It was in the winter, and it was like minus eight degrees, in Lincoln Plaza. She was meant to be on at three, there were about three-thousand people there. Ten past three, no sign of Whitney. Half past three, crowd getting a bit grumpy, a bit restless. Eventually, four o'clock, Whitney sashays onto the stage in a fur coat. She comes up to the microphone, she says "I just want to say I love every single one of you." And this huge black guy next to me says "Sing bitch!". Tough crowd.
  • (Singing as U2, in Irish accent) Hello! Some old Celtic bollocks!

The Museum of Curiosity (BBC Radio 4, 2008)

At the end of an episode broadcast on Wednesday, 5th March, he (ostensibly) misquoted Bertrand Russell as having said that, "Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you something something something", (with the last three words fading out).

  • The actual quote attributed to Russell is, "Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise."


  • They will take us
    And they'll make us
    Human slaves! In an Insect Nation!

(Insect Nation)

  • Where did we all go wrong?
    The insects used to be our brothers.
    Along came pesticide
    And on that day our friendship died
    And pouring boiling water down ants nests couldn't have helped.

(Insect Nation)

  • Beautiful ladies in danger. Danger all around the world. But I will protect them, because I am Chris de Burgh!
    Beautiful ladies in emergency situations.
    Beautiful ladies are lovely but sometimes they don't take care
    They're too busy with their makeup and combing their lovely hair
    To take basic safety precautions
    But I will protect them I will save the pretty ones
    With their smiles and their beautiful eyes
    But let the ugly ones die
    I have no place for them in my new world order
    I won't waste my seed on hideous trolls
    Kill kill kill kill kill the trolls
    hunt them down there shall be no clemency
    Kill kill kill kill kill the trolls
    Look under the bridges that's where they hide
    That's where they hide
    And beauty shall be my bride.


  • C'est lui, dans la nuit- Docteur Qui
    Il voyage dans le Tardis. Le boite de telephone. Fantastique d'espace!
    L'interieur est beaucoup plus grand que l'exterieur
    Et ca, c'est le mystere de Docteur Qui
    L'enemie, il s'appele Davros, le capitain des Daleks
    Il est demi-Dalek et demi-homme- incroyable!
    Il veut controller le monde, toujours controller le monde
    Il se leve le matin, il veut controller le monde!
    Apres le petit-dejeuner, il veut controller le monde!
    Mais ilne controllait le monde jamais! Ce n'est pas tres realistique
    Avec les Daleks, le Docteur est superieur.
    Exterminez-vous! Exterminez-vous encore! Ah, zutalors!
    Le docteur gagne, il rit 'Ha, ha, ha- j'ai gagne parce que je suis Docteur Qui

(Translation: It's him, in the night- Doctor Who.
He travels in the Tardis, the telephone box. Fantastic space!
The interior is much larger than the exterior
And that is the mystery of Doctor Who
The enemy, he's called Davros, the captain of the Daleks.
He's half-Dalek, half-man- incredible!
He wants to control the world, always control the world
He wakes up in the morning, he wants to control the world
After breakfast, he wants to control the world!
But he will never control the world- it's not very realistic.
With Daleks, the Doctor a superior.
Exterminate! Exterminate again! Oh, no!
The doctor wins, he laughs 'Ha ha ha- I won because I am Doctor Who

(Dr. Qui?)

  • You picked me up from school
    You attended all my sporting functions
    You bought me a car
    Gave me use of a credit card
    But how can I feel pain,
    How can I feel pain,
    How can I feel pain
    When you're being so supportive?

( On the self-pitying whine of modern rock. Part Troll (2004))

  • "I texted you on a Monday, but you did not get my text 'till the Tuesday, because of a network problem.
    I texted you on a Wednesday, but I did not know that you'd called, because the SIM card was not correctly installed. Oh no no no".

( On the shallowness of contemporary rock music. Part Troll (2004))

  • I was alone, my heart was cold, it was a stone, My soul was lonely like a stone there was no moss. And when I danced, I danced alone, But then I did not dance, because I was alone, so I did not dance. I shuffled through life invisible to all the happy couples Who would mock me with their merry laughter - ha ha ha. The only sound I heard in my lonely silent world was the rusty hammer of my heart, nailing at the hatred of my soul... But then you came... And my life was turned upside down. You showed me the beauty of the things that I had never seen like the, snowflake that melts on the eyelash of a startled deer. Or the painting of a dog that wears a deerstalker and smokes a pipe that made you laugh so heartily, but I had previously thought was rubbish. Or the duck that lands so clumsily on the frozen pond in Winter, but the intoxicating power of our love transforms this simple act into an anthropomorphic drama. Where Mr Duck is embarrassed and the other ducks are laughing. Quack, quack, quack. And then you left. And I died a thousand deaths and I will die a thousand more. And I thought you were an angel but you turned out to be a whore. And everything has turned to dust and everything is infected with a plague - Why did you have to sleep with Craig? 'Oh, he's so sensitive, he's got a tattoo' Yeah, carving your name with a compass on my forehead was not enough for you! The snowflake on the eye of the deer has turned to pus that oozes from an open wound... The deer now blinded stumbles into a ravine. The duck lays shredded in a pancake, soaking in the hoisin of your lies. The dog has moved from a pipe to 60 cigarettes a day and coughs his life away in the cold neon research lab of your betrayal. Of your betrayal.

("Love Song", Part Troll (2004))

  • Man streckt die linke Arm ein, die linke Arm aus
    Eis, aus, ein, aus
    Man schütteln alles rund
    Man macht das Hokey-Kokey und man dreht sich herum
    Das ist die ganze Sache
    Ja, das Hokey-Kokey
    Ja, das Hokey-Kokey
    Ja, das Hokey-Kokey
    Knien gebogen, Armen gestreckt
    Ra, ra, ra

("Das Hokey-Kokey", Part Troll (2004) (presented as a "lesser-known, lesser-performed" Kraftwerk track))

  • I stole some pins from the noticeboard
    And pressed them into my skin
    And they spelled 'why?'
    Why did they spell 'why'?
    Because there weren't enough pins for 'oblivion'.
    • ("The Song Written From The Perspective Of A Young Man Who Works At Starbucks and Self-Harms", Tinselworm (2007))

Camilla lights a candle, starts to turn around, 'Charles, what is it, baby? You seem kinda down.' He said, it don't seem fair, and it just ain't much fun, When your mama's got two birthdays, And you only got one! You got that Royal Birthday blues, That lack-of-an-official-birthday-blues,

Phillip takes a drink o' wine, And tells it like it was, 'This is what you have to do my boy, and here's the thing, because.... One day you're gonna rule the world, but you're gonna have to hang around... 'Coz you're mama's not goin' anywhere, She ain't givin' up that crown!' You got that Royal birthday blues, They gonna creep up on you just like that. Yeah, you really been paying your royal due,

Well, in and out and up and down, That's the way the money goes, and whether the pound will finally stop... Nobody really knows!

One thing that you don't want, that what really ain't that funny... Is when your...face even ain't on the money! We got badgers and lizards and hedgehogs and squirrels and even Darwin too, They've even got one elegant Scottish Hebrew, But the one thing that ain't on the money, that definitely ain't on the money.... Isn't it strange that you ain't even on the change, It doesn't make sense that your not on the pence, I never found you on the pound! Not even on a lottery ticket or a subway token or anything around there, or anything around there, now. There ain't nothin' on the money, you ain't definitely on the money, The one thing that ain't one the YOU!!

  • (Song for Prince Charles, performed with Robin Williams on We Are Most Amused (2008))


  • [Re:Claims Direct] No win, no fee, no basis in reality. Just a room above a minicab office in Acton and a steady stream of greedy simpletons whose delusion is only matched by their clumsiness.

(Comic Aid, 22 February 2005)

  • I was like you once, Tim. Blonde hair, scraggly beard, child-like ears. Full of beans and spunk. I once punched a bloke out for saying Hawk the Slayer was rubbish... but that's not the point, Tim. The point is, I was defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity when what I should have said is "Dad, you're right. But let's give Krull a try and we'll discuss it later."

(Spaced (as Bilbo Bagshot))

  • God, I'm in the same studio as de Burgh! He may have stood right where I'm standing now... and just thought his mad thoughts. Like "I am brilliant."

(The Ultimate Collection (2003))

  • The scotch egg is such a Scottish food. It's as though a great Scottish chef said "I need a tasty snack. Let's take an egg... and wrap it in meat! Makes it a bit harder".

(Never Mind The Buzzcocks)

  • (after Phil Jupittus had insulted Michael Jackson, and David Gest had said 'be nice!') Aw, be nice to the baby-dangling freak.

(Never Mind The Buzzcocks)

  • It's like a mohican on your pancreas, man!

(Never Mind The Buzzcocks)

  • Or, as I call it, a Cheesel, it's a Weasel with a Cheese finish.

(Never Mind The Buzzcocks)

  • This shed does not contain me.

(Game from DVD version of Bewilderness)


  • The hedgehog is sacred.

(From I'm Sorry I haven't A Clue)

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