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How I ended up getting a tattoo as part of a comedy sketch by Dan from Best Boy

26th Jul 2016

I don’t go up to Edinburgh every year for the Tattoo. But a tattoo is what Edinburgh and I have in common… although mine’s not Royal or Military. 

Permanently dying parts of your skin isn't something you should do lightly. I’ll never be one of those people who gets a tattoo on a whim. I am one of those people who gets a tattoo as a joke.

I’m in a double act called Best Boy with my friend and tattoo enabler, Charlie Mizon. He thinks he’s a dab hand at magic and so we wrote a sketch around that. The first time we ever did it (and I won’t give away what happens exactly so as to tantalisingly encourage you to come and see the show) someone said ‘oh it would be funny if the *magic thing* appears on you somewhere, how about a massive version of it on your back?’ 

That got us thinking. 

At first I was quite content to use a permanent marker before every gig and show, but reader I tell you, if I could share one piece of advice before I leave this earth, it would be this: do not draw in permanent marker on your back before getting moderately sweaty. You will ruin so many t-shirts and even your bed sheets. 

Eventually, I decided to take the plunge, and as a show of commitment not only to the joke but also to the art of comedy (or dicking around, take your pick), I went to get inked, as they say on the street. 

(this is a genuine picture of Dan getting the tattoo done in Topshop)

I had to make sure I was getting the finest artiste working on my skin, so naturally I went to Top Shop. Who knew that as well as selling all manner of garments for the gal about town, they will also draw on you for money? The tattoo artist there was a charming woman from Italy. Charlie came with me to take photos and hold my hand. He began by asking her how long she’d been tattooing for; ‘Six weeks’ was her answer…

It later emerged that she meant she’d been working in the UK for six weeks, but had been tattooing for about eight years. Which calmed me down quite a bit. The experience was actually not as painful as I’d been expecting, more uncomfortable. And it didn’t take that long before I was done; forever turned into a prop for one of our comedy sketches. 

The best thing about this tattoo now is that when we perform the sketch audience members will talk to us afterwards and always ask the same things: ‘is it real?’ ‘did you have the tattoo before you wrote the sketch?’ ‘if Buzz Lightyear doesn’t think he’s a toy, why doesn’t he talk when humans are around?’ 

I can answer those questions once you’ve marvelled at the piece of art that now sits forever on my left shoulder blade. And if I ever regret it, at least it’s on a part of my body I don’t see that often. 

See Best Boy in Underbelly Cowgate's Delhi Belly 4 - 28 August (not 15). For more information, click here.

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