Is Writing Satire like Being a Stand-Up Comedian? by Andrew Mackay – Guest Post

Is Writing Satire like Being a Stand-Up Comedian? by Andrew Mackay – Guest Post

The Belch Park Field Trip With Cover satire

Today on the blog we welcome author Andrew Mackay, with his guest post ‘Is Writing Satire like Being a Stand-Up Comedian?‘ as part of the tour for his book, The Belch Park Field Trip. Post contains affiliate links.

Andrew Mackay

Some authors are afraid to cross the line.

Me? Oh, I’m glad you asked! I make “the line” my starting point…

My brand is satire.

I hop between genres like madman on crack because my razor-sharp literary knife is hungry for political and social commentary. One genre just can’t cut it (if you’ll forgive the pun.) I’m obsessed, I tell you!

I write straight-up humor and farce, horror, crime, romance… all under the banner of satire.

My novels often contain a ruthless commentary on society, delving into the darker machinations of modern life. They can be uproarious, funny, outrageous and shocking. Make no mistake, though. They are this way for a reason, and always come equipped with a sense of humanity and wit.

My influences include John Cleese, Tom Sharpe, Kurt Vonnegut, James Patterson, Hunter S Thompson, Douglas Adams, Imogen Edwards-Jones, Michael Frayn, Chris Morris, Jerry Sadowitz, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, George Carlin, Jordan Peterson, Pat Condell, and writer/director Larry Cohen.

My obsessions include (and are essentially limited to) obscene amounts of: smoking, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, debating, daydreaming and writing about himself in the third person.

Guest Post sign

Is Writing Satire like Being a Stand-Up Comedian?

Is it? The short answer is:

I have no Idea.

Although, people have suggested I give stand up a try. I can see why they suggested this. A lot of them were former students of mine.

I used to be a teacher. I did it for fifteen years, both at college and high school level. I jacked it all in because I just couldn’t stand it any longer. The paperwork was getting stupid. The real work was done after you arrived home. All that marking. The constant screaming of immaturity.  It’s not their fault, they’re children. I used to be a college governor, and I’ll never forget what he said: “Those who are in teaching for the money are in the wrong profession.”

He was right.

I am a natural born storyteller.

I like money.

And I really dislike children.

So, I couldn’t be a teacher any more. I quit in summer of 2016 and became a writer.  It’s just as well, really. Had I been a teacher any longer I’d have probably killed myself by now. There was simply no way I could teach into my sixties, or seventies, or whenever retirement age will be when I get there.  If I got there, at all.

That said, teaching offered me the chance to get close to stand up comedy.  I’m someone who always sees the humor in situations, no matter how tragic or inappropriate. Much like the kids, I sniggered at rude words.  But I had to pretend to be the adult and accost them if they did it. One of the reasons I grew to hate the job so much.

I had a rule in class.  No-one could curse or swear UNLESS it got a laugh from the others. No other teacher had this rule. No other teacher knew about it. What did it do to my class?  I’ll tell you. It made the kids think twice before speaking. Occasionally, one of them might say “shit” or something, and it didn’t get a laugh.  So I’d punish them with a detention.

Occasionally, though, a kid would make a screamingly funny and witty remark, and I’d laugh along with them. In my view, it taught the kid in question – and their peers – a valuable life lesson with regard to their impending trundle into adulthood. Swearing, comedy and impropriety has its place in the world.

It’s fair to say that I spent a lot of my teaching time doing stand up comedy. I was bored of teaching the same damn thing year after year, so I’d spice it up with games and stupid jokes. I usually got laughs. Not always, but usually.

Now that I’m a writer and make a living from taking the piss, the desire to stand in front of an audience and making people laugh has been diluted.  I’m a storyteller, first and foremost.  I’m not sure I could hack walking onto a stage with the express purpose of making people howl with laughter. It might not work.

The Belch Park Field Trip (Kindle Cover)

The Belch Park Field Trip
Chrome Junction Academy Series Book Three

Author – Andrew Mackay
Publisher – Chrome Valley Books
Pages – 258
Release Date – 12th March 2018
ISBN 13 – 978-1980427230
Format – ebook, paperback

New Synopsis


Henry Williams has never been a leader.
Or stood up to the bullies.
Or kissed the girl of his dreams.
In fact, he’s never stood out from the school crowd.

Mind you, he’s only twelve years-old.
And a foot shorter than his classmates.

All that will change today, though.

The school inspectors are visiting Chrome Junction Academy.
The principal needs to get rid of the cream of the [email protected]!
He would have preferred to send them to another galaxy far, far away…

Instead, the obnoxious, high-on-energy-drinks brats are off to…


Roller coasters! Mega-drop towers! Ghost trains! Ferris wheels! Bumper cars!

No end of opportunities for fun, thrills and spills!
The perfect place to run rampant and enjoy themselves…

But wait!

South London’s notorious Our Lady of Sacrifice Roman Catholic school is also there.
They’re Chrome Junction Academy’s natural enemy.
Oh bugger…


Limbs will break…
Dares will result in irreparable damage…
The innocent will be caught in the crossfire…
Even the park may not survive

Henry’s destiny awaits…

Chrome Junction Academy’s underdog must step up… and grow a pair.

He’ll have to ensure the safety of his friends.
Fend off the bigger, badder kids.
…and get them out of Belch Park in one piece

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