On January 21st 2004 the Rob Gotobed story began at Paddington Station, London, England, where Rob Gotobed and Ricky Gervais accidentally bumped into each other.
Rob invited Ricky to help him stand up. Ricky, merely an amateur drinker, agreed and on that very spot, a legend could have been created.
Instead, Rob gained Shaggy Epstein as a manager. So unimpressed was he with Gotobed’s style of comedy that he immediately sent him to Berlin. Thinking that Berlin was just outside London, Rob accepted.
On his return ’Shaggy’ put Gotobed into the studio. His first comedy album ‘What the hell just happened?’ took 12 minutes to record. The second, ‘Why is there hair?’ took even longer.
In 2006 ‘Gotobedmania’ hit England. It seemed that Rob could do no wrong. A string of comedy hit singles followed, including ‘Shag Me Do‘ and ‘Baby, Don’t You Be Ovulating Tonight Coz I’m In The Mood For Love’, which brought unprecedented scenes of mass ovulation all over the United Kingdom.
At one point Rob had nineteen out of the top twenty jokes in England, even the Queen was a fan, by that we mean Boy George, not the one at Buckingham Palace.
In 2007 the ‘Fab One’ made the all-important breakthrough in America. 10,000 screaming fans were at Kennedy Airport to greet him. Unfortunately, Gotobed arrived at La Guardia.
He was due to be a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno but as a security precaution he arrived by helicopter a day early. This enabled him to be safely in and out of the studio before the audience arrived and the show was recorded.
It was a brilliant public relations coup. The audience were shouting and screaming so hard that the millions watching at home never even noticed that ‘Gotobed’ didn’t even appear on the show. Jay Leno described it as the most exciting two minutes of his life.
But, in the fall of 2007 the ‘Fab one’ faced the biggest threat to his career. Gotobed in a widely quoted interview had apparently claimed that he was now bigger than God, and was reported to have gone on to say that God hadn’t told a good joke in years.
The story spread like wildfire in America. Many fans burnt his comedy albums, although many more burnt their fingers attempting to burn his albums. Gotobed album sales skyrocketed. People were buying his cds just to try to burn them.
But in fact it was all a ghastly mistake. Gotobed, talking to a slightly deaf journalist, had claimed only that he was funnier than President Bush.
At a press conference Rob apologised to God, Michael Moore, and the press, and so his world tour of 2008 went ahead as planned – but it would be his last.
In 2009, Rob Gotobed faced an even bigger threat to his career when Will Ferrell introduced him to ‘Twinkies’.
Gotobed enjoyed the pleasant effects of its creamy fillings, despite warnings that it would lead to stronger things, and it enormously influenced his greatest comedy album, ‘Sergeant Gota’s Lonely Darts Club Twinkie Light Show’.
With such standout tracks as, ‘Judy on Sky with Johnny Carson’, ‘Andy Kaufman’s Leaving Home’, ‘With a Little Help from Dan Aykroyd’, ‘Lovely Gilda Radner’, ‘Being For The Benefit of John Belushi’ and of course ‘A Day with Adam Sandler’s Wife’.
The release of this album – a millstone in comedy history, contributed greatly to an idyllic summer of bells, flowers and Twinkies. But it was not to last. Under questioning Rob refused to lie to the British Press and admitted not only eating and enjoying Twinkies, but ‘3 Musketeer Bars’ as well, especially the ones with peanut butter.
And so, while Gotobed sat seeking spiritual enlightenment from Twinkies fate dealt him an appalling blow. For it was now he learned the shocking news of the loss of his manager Shaggy Epstein.
Tired and despondent and unable to raise any friends over the weekend, Shaggy had gone home, and, tragically - accepted a job with Wal-Mart.
But, the news was not entirely unexpected. Shaggy’s recent behaviour had been giving grounds for concern.
He had been investing heavily in South American bullfighters and NFL American Quarterbacks, and in California he had been arrested for giving the kiss of life to a rubber duck. But he had for many years held Rob Gotobed together – often forcibly. Now he was gone – it was the beginning of the end.
In amidst all this controversy Gotobed released his ‘I’ve Arrived! (And To Prove It I’m Here)’ Album, now famously known worldwide as the ‘Beige Album’.
Ambitious in its nature, it has gone down in history as the first comedy album to contain no jokes, in fact the album consists of two sides of silence apart from a very large belch 0.02 seconds from the end of the record.
Meanwhile, Rob had hidden from the public so much that in 2009 a rumour went around that he was dead. He was supposed to have been killed in a flash fire at a waterbed factory and replaced by a wax replica of Justin Bieber from Madam Tussauds.
Several so-called ‘facts’ helped the emergence of this rumour. Firstly, on the cover of his latest album he was wearing no socks, an old Irish custom of indicating death. Secondly, Rob says ‘I am dead’ when you repeatedly play the last track on his Sgt Gota album backwards – in fact he says “E burres Gotobediano!! Which is very bad Spanish for “Have you a water buffalo?”
Thirdly, on the posters for The Gotobed World Tour of 2008, Gotobed is leaning in the exact position of a dying Yeti! (From The Gotobed Book of the Dead). And finally, if you say the title of ‘Sergeant Gota’s Lonely Darts Club Twinkie Light Show’ backwards, it is supposed to sound like ‘Gotobed has been dead for ages honest.’ In fact it sounds uncannily like “Wohs thgil eikniwt bulc strad ylenol satog tnaegres”.
Gotobed was, of course, far from dead. Although not far from Scunthorpe. He had fallen into bed with a large-breasted, German Fraulein called Heidi whose father had invented the sauerkraut sausage simulator.
Gotobed then spent a year in bed as a tax dodge. Paul McCartney believes he must have received appalling financial advice.
When he finally got up to answer the telephone Apple Gotobed Corps was in a perilous financial state.
In the midst of all this Gotobed released ‘Shit Happens’ as a film, an album, and a lawsuit. The documentary showed Rob Gotobed as never before – tired, unhappy, cross, and just like the rest of the world. Gone forever was the image of the happy 'Brazilian-bushed' youngster who had set the world a-laughing.
Then, finally in December 2009 Rob accidentally sued himself, three times.
I asked Adam Sandler, ‘why do you think Rob Gotobed broke up?’ He said, “Women. Just women getting in the way. Cherchez la femme you know.” So then I asked Adam ‘Do you think he’ll ever get back together again?’ He replied, “I hope not!!”
But then in mid 2010 from the ashes via www.funnyordie.com Rob Gotobed reformed and once again started from rock bottom to create the most spectacular comedy the world would never want to see.....
PS: The Rob Gotobed Archaeology Cds 1,2 & 14 featuring jokes with different punch lines, (and some even with no punch lines at all), outtakes, and the almost legendary lost comedy album, ‘Smile You’re at Shabby Road Studio’ is still available for export on the Apple Tart LP: PCS #7088.