Bitcoins and Gravy Episode #56: Michael Connell - Bitcoin Comedian! (Transcript)

Episode notes and comments page :


Professional transcription provided by a fan and consultant of the show, who can be found at :



John Barrett (announcer and host) : Welcome to Bitcoins and Gravy, episode #56. At the time of this recording, Bitcoins are trading at $238.00 each, and everybody’s favourite, LTBCoin, is trading at $0.000205 U.S. dollars each. Mmm… Mmm… Mmm. Now, that’s gravy!


[intro music]


John : Welcome to Bitcoins and Gravy, and thanks for joining me today as I podcast from East Nashville, Tennessee, with my trusty dog Maxwell by my side. Say hello, Maxwell.


Max : Grrr…


John : We’re two Bitcoin enthusiasts who love to talking about Bitcoins, and sharing what we learn with you, the listener. Thank you loyal listeners for your continued support, and new listeners, welcome to the show. Hope you enjoy it.


[End of intro music]


John : On today’s show I travel to Australia’s Gold Coast, the Miami Beach “down under”, where beer does flow, and men do indeed chunder. All except my special guest, Bitcoin comedian Michael Connell. Michael talks to us about how he got into comedy, and how he got into Bitcoin. Throughout this episode we get to hear Michael’s classic and hilarious bits about money, the NSA, philosophy, and of course, Bitcoins. Listeners, get ready to laugh your butts off, and rest assured that this is clean comedy that can be enjoyed y the entire family.


[Segway music]


[recording of Michael Connelly doing stand-up comedy act on stage]

Money versus Currency (Michael Connell - YouTube)

Michael : I don’t understand money. I don’t. That’s probably why I’m a comedian. [laughter]  This is a terrible financial decision. [laughter] Like sometimes I do gigs, and I try to work out how much money I’m making on the gig, and I’m like, “Okay. It cost me about $3 a kilometre to drive my car. I drove 20 k’s to get here. They’re paying me with a sandwich. How does that work out?” [laughter] It doesn’t work out, is the answer. But I don’t think money is real, right? And whenever I say that people say, “Oh, of course money is real, Michael!  Look, here’s some notes. Here’s some coins.” No! That’s currency. Money and currency [are] two different things, right? Like if money was beer, currency would be the glass it comes in. Right? [laughter] We have currency so when you go to the bank, you can get your money out in the form of notes. Kind of like how, when you go to the bar, we have glasses so that when you order a beer it doesn’t just spray in your face. [laughter]  This guy’s like, “Oh, that sounds delicious! Let’s do that for now on.” [laughter]  The notes just represent money. Right? In the olden days it used to represent gold. Like a 10 dollar note was worth 10 dollars of gold. But now, the notes just represent, like, 10 dollars of the IDEA of money. [laughter] That is like playing musical chairs, but instead of chairs you’ve got the “concept of chairs”. [laughter] I’m worried [that] the music’s going to stop, [and] everyone’s going to get hurt. [laughter] I think it’s a problem. But people go, “Oh Mike, it’s not a problem. Because we all believe the notes have value you can use it to buy goods and services. You know, believe in it, [and] you get stuff. That’s how money works.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but that’s also how Santa works.” [laughter] They’re like, “Yeah, we just made it up. We thought it would make you behave.” [laughter] Apparently not right?


But that’s the idea, right? The money gets its value because the government says it has value, right? Now, when the government makes a note, and says it’s money, that’s called “fiat currency”. When YOU do it, that’s a crime. [laughter] Don’t try it at home. But that’s the idea, right? The government makes a note, and goes, “This is money.” Kind of like how McDonald’s make Nuggets and goes, “This is chicken.” [laughter] People there are going, “I don’t think that’s chicken.” They’re like, “Yes it is. That is “fiat chicken”.” [laughter] Enjoy that. Well, that’s what we have. There’s no gold, no silver. It’s just people’s faith and hope and trust. That is terrifying. That’s like being on the Titanic, and realizing that they replaced all the life-jackets with “happy thoughts.” [laughter] You know? Like shouldn’t it be something tangible? Shouldn’t it be something real? Maybe gold is a good idea.  It’s always been valuable. We’ve had that expression, “Oh, as good as gold. It’s good as gold.” It means very [valuable], very trustworthy, very reliable. Good as gold. No one ever goes, “Ah, it’s as good as an abstract concept of value.” [laughter] That just never happens, right? So that’s the position we’re in. We could be on the edge of a massive, monetary collapse, right? All of our notes and coins could suddenly become worthless. That would be terrible. But if that did happen, I would look like a genius. Because I’ve been getting paid in sandwiches. [laughter]

[end of performance]


[Segway music]


John : All right, ladies and gentlemen. Today on the show I am very pleased to welcome, from Australia’s Gold Coast, the one, the only Bitcoin comedian, Michael Connell. Michael, welcome to Bitcoins and Gravy.


Michael : Hey, thanks for having me on the show.


John : Oh, yeah sir. It is great to have you here Michael. So tell us, if you would, where are you right now?


Michael : Right now, I am on the Gold Coast, which if you don’t know Australia very well, it is south of Brisbane, which is in Queensland, which is the tropical north-northeast of Australia. But I’m from Melbourne.


John : Okay. Nice. Nice. Yeah, being an American I have a horrible sense of geography. [laughter] Even in my own country.


Michael : Well to give you an idea, there is a suburb here called Miami, and it’s kind of like your Miami, but a lot smaller. So think of a mini-Miami. Very tropical. Very beachy. And that sort of thing.


John : And with a lot fewer South Americans, I assume?


Michael : Yes. [laughter] Yes. Quite a few less South Americans in our Miami.


John : Well it sounds pretty nice there. What’s you’re weather like there today?


Michael : It’s beautiful. It’s about 30 degrees right now. I’m not sure what that is [in] Fahrenheit. But it is lovely and tropical and summery.


John : Mmm…Mmm. Sunny and hot, that sounds pretty nice, man.  Well, I’ll tell you, today here it was 29 when I woke up. And that’s Fahrenheit, so it’s freezing. We had a freezing rain last night, so the temperature has continued to drop, and now it’s – I don’t know – 15 or 20 out. So the roads are just sheets of ice. Everything outside is just covered with a sheet of ice, which is really beautiful, but treacherous. So we’re hoping that the power lines don’t come down tonight. That’s what we’re hoping.


Michael : Well, I’ll be thinking of you while I’m enjoying a lovely Mocktail in my Hawaiian shirt.


John : [laughter] And let’s see here, it’s 7:30pm. What time is it there?


Michael : It’s 11:30, so that’s why it’s a “mocktail hour”.


John : Oh, I love it, man. Okay, so you’ve got your Mocktail, [and] I’ve got my hot tea, “I’ve got my hot tea, here”, and we’re ready to go. So, let me ask you Michael, how did you first find out about Bitcoin, and what you into the Bitcoin world?


Michael : I’m always interesting in tech stuff. I’m always on the internet. I spend a lot of time online. I’m always mucking around. And I think, probably late 2010, 2011, I heard about it. People were like, “Oh, it’s a new kind of money. It’s this thing. You’ll be using it online in the future”. I thought, “Ah, that’s kind of useful. That’s kind of interesting. How much is a Bitcoin?” – at this time it was like 50 cents, and I was like, “Oh, 50 cents. I don’t know if I’m going to spend that kind of money.” [laughter] Then I just kind of forgot about. Then like a couple of years later it shot up, and everyone was talking about it. It broke in the mainstream, and I was like, “Oh yeah. I remember.” And then I was kicking myself for not investing.


John : Right.


Michael : Oh man. So have you since invested?


John : I’ve since, yes. I got some Bitcoin. I’m sure we’ll talk about this in a bit, I did the routine. People tipped me, and I sold some albums. So yeah, from doing that I’ve made a little bit of money in Bitcoin. Wonderful.


John : Okay. So you say you sold some albums. What do you mean? Explain that.


Michael : Yes. Well, what I did [was] I performed this stand -up routine about Bitcoins, and I packaged it together with a couple of other little routines – vaguely related to money, or the internet. And I put them all together on a zip folder, a zip file, and made them available through my web site. People bought them using Bitcoin.


John : Oh nice.


Michael : So yeah, it was great. It was a fun little experiment. And it was good for me, because it really taught me how Bitcoins work, and how to set up a wallet, and the whole process.


John : Oh man, that’s great. So prior to meeting Bitcoin, did you have a background in comedy and entertainment?   


Michael : Yes. I had a fairly long background in comedy. I started doing comedy [and] performing as a kid. So I was in school plays, and amateur theatre since about the age of five. Then when I was about 14 I taught myself to juggle. I joined the local youth circus, and I [basqued?] and performed on the street. Then when I was about 18, I started doing stand-up comedy in clubs and pubs around Melbourne. And yeah, I’ve pretty much been doing it ever since. So about a bit over 10 years now.


John : Wow, that’s great. And you mentioned the “Youth Circus”. What is that?


Michael : Youth circus. Okay. So there was a school next to my school, which was like an alternative education school. They had an after school club, which was a circus club. I didn’t go to this school, and so I knew nothing about this circus club. But one day I was walking down the street, and these three kids rolled by on unicycles, and I was like, “Ah!”, because I always like being weird and unusual, and I was like, “How do I learn this? How did you kids get these unicycles?” And they were like, “Oh, we have a club. You could probably come and…” Once I heard about the club I was like, “I’m doing that.” So I would ditch my school, and go next door to the other school and join the circus club.


John : Oh man. That is great. So you’ve been performing for 10 years. Now what do you do now? Do you still do comedy? You mentioned to me earlier that you do a radio show.


Michael : Yes. I’m a performer. I do comedy all the time. That’s been pretty much consistent. Ever since I did comedy for the first time I was like, “This is what I want to do.” So I’ve been pretty much doing it non-stop ever since I started.  So, I’m still doing it now. Wherever I can get out, you know, “Have gig? Will travel.” In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started doing a breakfast morning radio show, up here on the Gold Coast. But I still travel around a lot. On Thursday of this week I’m about to head over to Adelaide – another city in Australia. They’re having a big, big arts festival over there. I’m about to a whole bunch of shows over there. Then I come back here and do some more shows. Then I go back. So, I’m traveling all over the place, doing all sorts of things.


John : Wow. That’s really cool. I just interviewed a guy from Adelaide last week. It was Simon Edhouse with BitTunes ( ). I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of BitTunes.


Michael : Oh, all right.


John : But yeah, he’s got a great project. So, yeah, I’m covering all of Australia over the next couple of weeks. So let me ask you, as far as your comedy routines go, do you have a clean show or a dirty show? Is it a family-oriented show, or is it for, you know, adults only?


Michael : Uh. I always work clean, but that’s mainly because I’m lazy. I know some comedians [who] have one routine for comedy clubs, and then they have another routine for TV, and corporate gigs, and that sort of stuff. But I’m too lazy to write two routines. So I have just one routine that I try to make work everywhere.


John : Nice.


Michael : And yeah. I find it works very well. It’s gotten me a lot of work I wouldn’t have got otherwise. I guess I’m family-friendly by default, but I don’t set out to be entertaining to family groups. I mean, you can bring your kids along to my show, but I don’t know if they’ll get the jokes.


John : Right. [laughter]


Michael : How many five-year-olds are going to enjoy my routine on Bitcoin? You know?


John : Exactly. Yeah, I heard the routine. It must be, I don’t know, three months ago I saw it on YouTube. I just came across it, and it’s hilarious.


Michael : Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m very pleased with how it’s gone, because it was quite a challenge to write that. I did it on a community television show I was part of here. The writer season was about six months long. It takes us ages to write these shows. At the start of the season I pitched it as an idea, because Bitcoin was really getting into the mainstream. It was about the time when the value of Bitcoin hit $1,200, or something like that.


John : Yeah.


Michael : It went over $1,000 a Bitcoin, and that’s when the mainstream, of course, got into it. And I was like, “We’ve got to talk about this. Let’s do something”. I pitched it, and the writers were all like, “Ah, no. This is crazy!” And I want to point out that we did some really crazy things on that show. Like, in other weeks I was like, “Uh, the magical unicorn.” And they’re like, “Yeah sure. Let’s write that.” I was like, “Let’s write about decentralized crypto-currency.” And they’re, “Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure.” But I was desperate to make it happen, because I thought if I could do it, I’d be the first comedian to ever do it.


John : Yeah.


Michael : There’s no other stand-ups who have ever written about Bitcoin, as far as I know. But I’ve seen other things on YouTube by sketch groups. Like, I think if you know the web site “Cracked” ( ). Cracked did a routine on it. But their whole sketch – and this is all of the other sketches on Bitcoin that I’ve seen so far – were, “What is Bitcoin?” They don’t understand it. It’s like, “What is this?” And I wanted to do a routine that actually understood Bitcoin, and had an idea of what this technology is, and presented it from not an “I’m a clueless idiot.” perspective.


John : I do remember those videos you’re talking about, and yes, they were capitalizing on the fact that Bitcoin was so mysterious. But it wasn’t from an informed individual’s perspective. So that’s why I loved yours, yeah. Obviously, you knew about Bitcoin, or had studied enough to be able to write things that would make people in the Bitcoin community laugh.


Michael : Yeah, well when I pitched to the writers I had already been studying it for a month or two. And when I pitched at them and they said, “No!” And they didn’t want to do, well that was like, “Oh, well now I have to do it.” Because when someone tells me “No” that makes me really determined. So, “I am going to do this.” It became my Everest, and I spent the entire season reading about Bitcoin, and listening to Bitcoin podcasts, and reading blogs and doing all these things. I wrote this routine, and eventually I went to the – there’s a meetup group in Melbourne, the “Melbourne Bitcoiners” ( ). I went down there, and I had written this like four-minute routine about Bitcoin, and I thought, “Well, they’ll be the perfect audience to test it on.” because they’re all knowledgable, and they all understand Bitcoin. If I perform it to them, and it goes well, it will be perfect for the show, right?


John : Yeah. [15:48]


Michael : And their meeting was like two days before I had to perform it on TV. And it was a live show, so we get one take to do it. So I went down there, I performed it for them, they loved it, [and] it was like, “Whew!... Relief.” There was like one or two jokes that didn’t quite work, and I just dropped them, [and] didn’t use them in the final performance. Then I performed it on the show, it was amazing, and I put it out there. It’s gone very well. I’ve been very happy with the response. The Bitcoin community has loved it. People who were writing on the show were like, “Oh, we didn’t think you’d ever be able to make decentralized crypto-currency funny, but you managed to pull it off. Well done.” So it’s like, “Yes. Triumph.” I’m very happy with how it all came together.


[pre-recorded audio of Michael Connell’s stand-up comedy routine]

Why you need to start using Bitcoin (Michael Connell – YouTube)

Michael :  I love Bitcoins. I’m really into Bitcoin, right? Now, Bitcoin is a new technology, and the problem when you’re into a new technology is there’s always people who are not ready to get into the new technology. You know? Like when the internet came out there were people going, “Nah, I don’t think this is going to be popular.” [laughter] Then email came out, and people were like, “Nah, this isn’t going to catch on.” And now Bitcoin comes out, and people are like, “I don’t thin…” and I’m like, “Aren’t you sick of being wrong?” [laughter] “Get on this train!” You know? If you don’t know what a Bitcoin is, usually the way people describe it is “digital cash”. It’s “money for the internet.” But I like to say it’s, “banking light.” [laughter] All of the convenience, none of the evil, right? With Bitcoin, instead of having bankers or politicians controlling your money, you get rid of them [and] you just have a computer program. Bitcoin, that’s all it is, a computer program. Basically, it’s maths, which is good, because you can trust maths. [laughter] You know, you ask maths, “What’s two plus two?”, maths says, “four”. Math always says, “Two plus two is four.” You ask a politician, “What’s two plus two?” and he says, “Hey, vote for me, and I’ll make it five.” [laughter] Some lobbyist shows up like, “Hey, make it fifteen.” [laughter] .You ask a banker, “What’s two plus two?” and he’s like, “Well, I can tell you, but there’s a fee.” [laughter] “Also, I can only tell you during banking hours : ten till two, Tuesday to Thursday. That’s when we’re open.” When bankers and politicians control money, they use it to help their friends. Bitcoin is good because it is neutral. It treats everyone the same. It’s very fair. Because it’s maths, and maths is very fair, isn’t it? Like, you never see a maths teacher going, “Yup. Six times six is thirty-six… except for Barry. It’s different for you Barry.” [laughter]. A Bitcoin, because it’s digital, is very portable, which is great. And people don’t get that. I was telling my friends about Bitcoin, and they were like, “What? Huh? Digital money? How  is that going to work, Mike? What are we going to be walking around carrying computers on us?” And I’m like, “Oh, you mean, like this?” [laughter] I reckon people will work out how to do this. And people are like, “Oh, I love my bank.” And I’m like, “Really? Can you play Tetris on it? Because that’s what I’ve got going on.” Bitcoin is also great because it’s an open-source program. That means you can open it up and check out any part you want. You can just investigate anything that you are interested in. Try doing that at the bank. Next time they’re emptying out the ATM just jump in the armoured care, “What’s going on?” [laughter] You start looking around. When you buy stuff with Bitcoin it’s more private than with credit cards, which is good because [with] credit cards, when you buy stuff online, banks and government can see what you’re doing. That can cause problems sometimes. Like the other week, I bought some books on Amazon about the Middle East. It came up with this thing going, “Customers who bought this item also bought ‘A Trip to Guantanamo Bay’.” [laughter] They just didn’t realize it. More and more stores are accepting Bitcoin now. You can buy like socks. You can buy cars. You can hire a plumber. You can hire me. I will work for Bitcoin. Although I should say, “I’m a comedian. I would work for sandwiches. I’m pretty poor, right?” My favorite thing about Bitcoin is the bank’s not in control anymore. The banks aren’t in control. The government’s not in control. It’s me. I’m using my money, my way. When I go online and I buy a pair of socks, if I pay with a credit card, I’m just buying socks. If I buy those socks with Bitcoin, it’s a revolution! I am sticking it to the man! [laughter] You know? I’m walking around and people are like, “Hey Michael. What’s that on your feet?” I’m like, “Ah. Freedom!”

[end of pre-recorded audio of stand-up comedy routine]


Michael : There was a ton of people at that meet-up. It was absolutely crazy. And this probably might been the time I was going. It was right before it peaked, and then the value went down. So maybe there was a bit of the mainstream hype attracting the people. There might have been, in the room, a lot of speculators – people just looking to get in and make a quick buck. But I got the feeling [that] most of the people I was talking to were really informed. They were really interested, and they were looking at it as a long-term solution. Something they could run their business with. Something they could use to sell things online. People were doing all sorts of different and interesting things with it.


John : And how do you feel Bitcoin is being received, right now in Australia, by the Australian government?


Michael : Ah… I haven’t kept up to date, but last I heard they decided, I think if I’m correct, that they followed the Americans’ lead and determined that it was a property. The IRS in America have determined that it is a property. Is that correct?


John : That’s right. Yeah, real property.


Michael : Yes, real property. And I believe our tax agency, the ATO, have followed your guys’ lead.  So, I don’t know, that’s an interesting way to see it. But I think that the Australian Bitcoin community is going quite well. Certainly, I’m new to the area up here, in the Gold Coast, so I don’t know really what is going on up here, but back in Melbourne it was really going well. After I did the routine, and I met everyone in the Bitcoin community, they all invited me, “Hey, come to my restaurant. You can buy things with Bitcoin. I’ve got a coffee shop. You can buy coffee with Bitcoin. You can buy some of my organic vegetables [at] my organic vegetable farm.” There’s a chain of restaurants called “Subs”, they sell hero subs, and you’re able to buy them with Bitcoin. And there’s a chain of them in Melbourne. And because I did this routine, all my friends – whenever they go there – they take a photograph, [and] do a bit of a selfie with them next to a Bitcoin acceptance sign, and then tag me on Facebook.  So whenever a new branch opens up, I hear about it.


John : Or you can say you “hero” about it.


Michael : [laughter]


John : Sorry about that. Okay, as far as the ATO, what does ATO stand for in Australia?


Michael : The ATO stands for the Australian Tax Office. They’re like our IRS.


John : Do you guys love the ATO as much as we love our IRS?


Michael : [laughter] Yeah, those guys are wonderful.


John : I love them, man. They just make me feel warm inside whenever I talk about them.


Michael :  Ah yeah. It drives me nuts every time.


John : Yeah, me too man. You know, of all of the things that piss me off about our IRS, this probably has to take the cake. You know when you have a utility bill to pay, and you write the check and you put it in the envelope? Well, at the bottom of the bill there’s a perforated part that you can tear off, right?


Michael : Right.


John : Yeah, well the IRS – of all of the bills, I have to pay the IRS a monthly payment, because I’m self-employed. Of all of the bills that I get – utilities and everything – the IRS is the only one that I get [that] – it’s like a throw-back to 1940, where instead of having a perforation at the bottom, they have a dotted line and a little picture of scissors. I have to cut it myself!


Michael : [laughter]


John : I mean, these guys are so cheap they can’t give me a perforated piece of paper.


Michael : Ugh, man. I can believe that. In Australia we have a thing called the ABN, the Australian Business Number. Every business has to register, and you have a number. And a couple of months ago they called me up out of the blue, and they’re like, “Yeah, we cancelled your number.” And I’m like, “”Why?” And they’re just like, “Oh, it’s just something we’ve done, and if you want to have it reinstated you have to call us.” And it’s like, “Ugh! Ugh!” I was on the phone, ringing them up. You call them. They’re running around.


John : Oh, they’re as bad as we are.


Michael : Yeah. Yeah. They drive me nuts, and I’m constantly tearing my hair out, hating to deal with them.


John : Well that sounds bad. What is that number you have to have?


Michael : It’s the Australian Business Number, the ABN. I’m not sure why we have to have that number, but they want everyone to have it. Even if you’re just a self-trader like me – when I say I have a comedy business, I mean I send a lot of emails, and I talk to people on the phone. It’s me and someone on the other end of the email, just working out a deal between two people. But for some reason I still have to have an Australian Business Number.


John :  Hmmm.


Michael : Yeah, and if they cancel that you can’t send invoices. It’s a real pain. And they just decided they were going to do that to me. And I had to ring them up and go through all of these hoops, and -- Ugh! It was crazy.


John : Man, do you ever think it was because of your Bitcoin comedy routine, that they found out about it.


Michael :  Yeah, it could have been.


John : You’re on the list.


Michael : Yeah, I’m on the list. I could well be on the list.


John : You just made the list, pal. [laughter]


Michael : Yeah, exactly. Well, it’s funny you say that. I did a routine about Bitcoin. I also did a bit about the NSA scandal, and then they cancelled my ABN. So, now I’m kind of looking out for black helicopters. I don’t know what’s going on.


John : Hey man, you never know these days. Now do you have any plans to do another Bitcoin comedy routine at some point?


Michael : I would like to do a bit more about Bitcoin. I’d like to check in more about it. It’s just like I’ve got so much on my plate. I’m currently in the middle of a bit-writing routine about – I’m running a whole show, actually, about – philosophy. I’m working with another group. They’ve hired me, and asked me to do a bit of a philosophy show. So, Bitcoin, I’d love to do it, but so far no one has stepped forward to say, “Write this Bitcoin show.”[But] somebody else has come forward and said, “Write this philosophy show.” So, I’m a businessman, [and] I have to go for where the money is at.


John : Yes.


Michael : But, hopefully I will finish that philosophy routine and get working on some more Bitcoin stuff.


John : Yeah. And also, you did the Bitcoin routine when Bitcoin was on its way towards the moon, and then Bitcoin came back for a while – came back toward Earth. Bitcoin is still planning to go to the moon. It’s just taking its time. So when Bitcoin does go on its next flight to the moon then, of course, we will have the same thing again. But this time it may be ten times that, because we have so much more infrastructure than a year, a year-and-a-half, two years ago. So I would imagine that you will be doing another Bitcoin routine down the road. At least, I hope so.


Michael :  Yes. Yes. Can I make a point though? You just mentioned the price, [but] people who don’t know about Bitcoin, or if they only vaguely know about Bitcoin, they always talk about it as an investment. But I’m even more interested in it as a technology, as a way to offer frictionless micropayments online – that sort of thing.


John : Oh yeah.


Michael : And I think it’s really good that I’ve written this routine now, because in the future I’m sure it’s going to be something we’re going to use online. Like I can’t predict what the price of Bitcoin is going to be in five [or] ten years, but I think it’s a fairly confident bet that we’ll be using this technology to facilitate transactions online. That is an easy thing to predict, I think.


John : Absolutely. I think it takes everyone a while before they understand it’s not just a currency, right? It’s a distributed ledger that can track your [?] right? This technology is changing the world. It’s going to change the world of finance, change the world of smart contracts – of contracts generally – in law, in finance, and real estate, and everything. So, yeah, it is an amazing thing. That’s why I think that now, with this new knowledge, you’ll be able to come up with a Bitcoin routine that is like the next step in your Bitcoin routines.


Michael : Absolutely. And the stuff they can do with the blockchain, we are just beginning to scratch the surface. Like you said, smart contracts, escrow – all that sort of stuff. We’re just working it out now. In five or ten years we’ll be doing stuff online with it that we wouldn’t even have been able to imagine now. So I’m sure I’ll be coming out with more material about that down the line.


John : Man, I hope so. [29:05] And you know, I always think because the tech is going to go so well – because the blockchain technology, and the Bitcoin protocol is going to do so well – I assume that Bitcoin the currency – Bitcoin the token, the very first one – I assume that that is going to do well, because it has such a great network effect.  Now, it may not, though. It may cap at $300, or $200, and it may stay there until the end of time. But I tend to think that as it travels around the world and gets more and more popular, and as we see more startups, more mom and pop companies, more large companies – like Microsoft, for their digital products, ( ) – all of these bigger companies accepting Bitcoin. I tend to think that the value of Bitcoin is going to be substantial at some point. But yeah, I’m like you, man. I can’t predict what it’s actually going to be in five years. People try to do that, [and] it’s hilarious.


Michael : Yeah. As an investment it’s a bit risky. But as a technology, it’s definitely the wave of the future.


John : Yeah, that’s well put. Now let me ask you about your philosophy bit that you’re writing. I have to assume that you’ve heard The Philosopher’s Song by Monty Python.


Michael : Yes. Yes.


[recording of music and lyrics of The Philosopher’s Song performed by Monty Python]

Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl - Philospher's Song


Immanuel Kant was a real pissant,

Who was very rarely stable.

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar,

Who could think you under the table.

David Hume could out-consume,

[Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [Schopenhauer –(alternative version)].

And Wittgenstein was a beery swine,

Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.


There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya'

'Bout the raising of the wrist.

Socrates himself was [permanently] pissed.


John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,

On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.

Plato, they say, could stick it away;

Half a crate of whiskey every day.

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,

Hobbes was fond of his dram,

And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart, "I drink, therefore I am."

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;

A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed!

[end of The Philosopher’s Song by Monty Python]

John : One of my favourites, man.


Michael : Monty Python. They’re great. I was a huge fan. Definitely, when I was a kid. I’m still a fan, but I watched them a lot when I was growing up. The, and I don’t know if you know the Goodies?


John : Yes.


Michael : Yeah. They were always on TV when I was a kid. I would just stay up late, watched them on TV, and loved them. A big inspiration.


John : What was the other one called? Was it the Young Ones? I am thinking of the…


Michael : Oh, the Young Ones, yeah. I used to watch the Young Ones all the time as well. They were…


John : Yeah, those guys were nuts, man.


Michael : Yeah, all of that [was] BBC, British Comedy – you know, the Alternative Wave – yeah, it was awesome.


John : It really was man. And I don’t know if we actually had anything even close to that funny. I mean, we had sit-coms, and things like the Carol Burnet Show – which I never found funny. I don’t know why; I just didn’t. But there’s something about that British sense of humour – the Scottish sense of humour, the Irish sense of humour, the Aussie sense of humour – that is so, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just so rich. It’s something that I don’t see here in America. Don’t get me wrong, I love American comics, but it just seems to me like Brits, in particular, [and] Aussies, have this ability to laugh at themselves. And it seems to me that Americans take themselves so seriously that they really have a hard time laughing at themselves. And I think the only people that I’ve ever met that were more afraid to laugh at themselves – to have that self-deprecating sense of humour – are the Japanese. Wonderful people, but you slip on ice, or you’ve got something sticking out of your nose and someone points it out, it’s not just embarrassment. They’re mortified.  It’s like disgrace. “I’ve been disgraced!” I mean, I think it’s a sense of maturity, and I think it’s a sense of confidence that allows us to laugh at ourselves. And when we can’t, we look like dumbasses. I don’t know.


Michael : [laughter] Well, I don’t know if that’s true. People say these things, but Americans, you’ve got some amazing comedians over there. I don’t know if as much gets to TV is the thing, right? I’m a huge fan of American comedy. I love your stand-ups over there. Patton Oswalt… Jim Gaffigan… Louis CK… Bill Burr. You have some absolutely amazing, amazing comedians. That doesn’t always get made into amazing sit-coms or shows. Like, you haven’t had anything as revolutionary as, perhaps, Monty Python was. But, as a culture, I think you certainly have the talent there.


John : I agree. Yeah, my favourite comedian, currently, is Chris Rock.


Michael : Oh, he’s great.


John : He’s reigning, as far as the one who makes me laugh the most. But yeah, some of the ones you mentioned, those guys are hilarious. And some of them are not as funny as you. I’m serious.


Michael : It’s personal taste, you know? [laughter] You’re more street smart. You know what it’s like out there in the ghettoes, in the projects. You and Chris Rock growing up in Bed Stye.


John : Oh, I love it, man. All right, Mike. How can people find out more about you and your projects?


Michael : The best way to find out is just check out my web site : . Go there. I have an email mailing list. Sign up. I give away free downloads. You get sneak peaks at like coming-up routines that I haven’t released to the public yet. All sorts of stuff. Just . But if you just type my name into Google : “Michael Connell”, you will find me.


John : Okay. And you said right?


Michael : “dot au”, because I’m in Australia. Some squatter has got , but hopefully I’ll have that one day as well.


John : Ugh! And when you go to, what do you see there? Just a guy squatting?


Michael : Ah! [laughter] No. It’s just a blank page.


John : Oh, I hate that guy already.


Michael : I’m shaking my fist at it. I think [there] is an actual Michael Connell in Boston, because of course Connell is a very Irish name. Yeah, I think he’s a Bostonite.


John : Ah, Bostonites. I hate those guys. No, I’m just kidding. Hey, all right. So Michael, tell us your web site one more time please.


Michael :


John : . All right, fantastic sir. And Michael, I assume that people can go to YouTube and check out your other comedy bits. Is that right?


Michael : Absolutely. I’m all over YouTube ( ). I’ve got my Bitcoin routine there. I’ve got my NSA routine there. I’ve got stuff about money, finance. I’ve got routines on all ridiculous stuff. I’ve got a half-hour comedy special that I filmed at a high school. Yeah. A lot of fun little things on there.


John : Okay. Before we go, I have to ask you about the world of economics, when it comes to Europe, and it comes to [the] US, and it comes to Australia. How do you see things going? I mean, obviously if you’re sitting in a really nice restaurant there is Sydney, or Melbourne, or New York City, or London. Obviously, looking around, things look like they’re going pretty well. Maybe there’s a TV that’s showing a football game - or a soccer game (“football” game) – and if an alien were to zap down and sit across from you in the fine restaurant, they’d look around and they’d say, “Wow! Things on this planet are great! There doesn’t seem to be any problems. There’s a surplus of food, [and] entertainment. It’s warm in here.” But what do you think? What do you see as far as the economy, there in Australia, and around the world. Just your perspective. I’m just curious.


Michael : Whew! It’s very hard to talk about the economy, because it’s such a huge, big thing. It’s such a huge, involved, complex system. But this is something I’m quite interested in. Again, it’s something I want to do more about in my comedy. But a while ago I learned about how our current financial system is all based on debt. Private banks are creating money basically out of thin air. I wrote a comedy routine about that. That’s on YouTube. You can check that out. But it just boggles the mind that that’s the whole system. I mean, maybe they’ve got it going well. Maybe it’s not. It seems a little risky to me. But yeah, it’s a weird and unusual situation we’re in. We’re not producing things. We’re not making things. Money is being made from bankers repackaging debt, and these sorts of things. It’s very unusual.


John : Yeah.


Michael : I’m kind of fascinated with the rise of artificial intelligence, and automation. Currently, most people are paid to have jobs that move paper around, that are not technically – I suppose they are needed, because there is demand for them -- but, you know, we’re going to be coming out with AI that can probably replace like 40% of the population. When that happens, what do we do? Where do all these people go? The optimists say, “Ah, we’ll invent new jobs we haven’t even thought about.” But people are like, “Well, then won’t the robots just do those jobs twice as well as a human as well?” So it’s a very, very interesting time to be alive, economically, I think.


John : I agree with that. Yeah, yeah.  It’s an interesting time to be alive, and I agree with what you said about the artificial intelligence and robotics, and replacing jobs – human jobs. I read in a book called “Shop Class as Soul Craft”, pretty much any job that can be done over the internet – whether it’s finance, or insurance, or tax preparation – if it can be done over the computer, it will eventually be outsourced to a different country. So that’s the kind of thing that scares me too.


Michael : Absolutely.


John : Like what you’re talking about, artificial intelligence – not just outsourced to another country; outsourced to artificial intelligence.


Michael : Yeah, you’re right. Like even the artificial intelligence is further down the line. But  a while ago I needed some things done on my web site. I used Odesk or Elancer – you know, one of those online freelance-finders. You find people who have tech skills around the world, and you pay them. I’ve never used a site like that before. I was a bit cautious. I was look, “Oh, I don’t know. I’m going to hire someone from – I hired this guy from Lebanon. And I thought, ”Oh, I don’t know. Is he going to be able to speak English well enough? Is he going to be able to fix my web site?” He did a fantastic job. He was absolutely amazing. He did everything I wanted on the web site, and suggested things I hadn’t even thought to ask for. He fixed that up. And you just think [that] the only reason we’re not outsourcing jobs like that right now is because, I think, bosses don’t really understand they can. Maybe bosses like to have face-to-face meetings form time to time. But I think once most employers understand that through Skype and the internet, you can eliminate all of your work force in Australia and start shipping it overseas, they will be doing that. I hear stories about McDonald’s testing – instead of having a drive-through intercom connected to a kid in the McDonald’s - you can connect it up to a call center in India. I mean, you can have a robot produce the burger. You can have an Indian call center kid take the order. That could be very well our future [that] we’re looking at any day now.


John : Yeah, I don’t know what we’d do with all the other people. Put them into camps busting rocks and stuff, I guess. I don’t know.


Michael : Maybe it will be a great thing. Maybe it sounds worrying, but then it could go the other way. Maybe the robots will find a way to lower the cost of living so much that we won’t have to work as much. I don’t know. I do not know what’s going to come. But it could be a great thing.


John : It could be a great thing, yeah. We have to remain optimistic, right?


Michael : Exactly. Exactly. Look, I think either way, if you have your ear to the ground and you’re looking out and you’re aware of these things, you can react as circumstances dictate.


John : Yeah, we hope so. That’s for us, the guys who are fairly savvy and fairly intelligent, and already have a pretty good foothold. But then, of course, for those people who don’t have much, who started out with a deficit, don’t have much education, poor diet, not very much opportunity at all, things can be difficult for them, and they are going to need our help, I think.


Michael : Exactly. So if you’re talking about it, and you’re listening to this, you’re one of the lucky ones.


John : Yeah, that’s absolutely true man. That’s a really good point. Thanks Michael. Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve been listening to Michael Connell, “The Bitcoin Comedian”.


Michael : [laughter] Than you very much for having me on the show.


John : Oh yeah, man. [I’d] love to have you back again, and I hope that Bitcoin starts heading up toward the moon, so that all the attention worldwide can come on it again, and then you’ll write another Bitcoin routine.  And I’m going to play – if you don’t mind – for the listeners, your Bitcoin routine, and maybe one or two others, if you don’t mind.


Michael : Not at all. Not at all.


John : Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve been listening to Michael Connell – the one, the only Bitcoin Comedian – coming to you live from Australia’s Gold Coast.


Michael : [laughter]


John : Thanks for being with us, man. Take care.


Michael : Thank you very much. I will do.


John : Enjoy the sun.


Michael : Thanks man. I’ll be sunning it up here in Miami.


John : Hey, thanks Michael.


Michael : Cheers man.


John : Cheers.


Michael : Bye.


[pre-recorded comedy routine performed by Michael Connell]

Comedy the NSA don't want you to see (Michael Connell – YouTube)


Michael : The government is spying on us! Have you heard about this? They’re reading our emails. They’re listening to our phone calls. For me, I’m not too worried about them hearing what I say on the phone. I’m with Motofone. People I call can’t hear me. I’m simply the only one worried about this. People my age – like I told you, my friends - they’re like, “Ah, look Michael. Just don’t go on the internet if you don’t want them reading your emails.” And whenever they say that I go around to their house, peak into their bathroom, like, “Don’t use the shower if you don’t want me seeing your junk.” It’s a bit of a slippery slope, that argument, isn’t it? Like today we’re saying, “Ah, don’t go on the internet if you don’t want them reading your emails.” What will we be saying in like five years, “Ah, don’t go to the park if you don’t want a cavity search.” You know what the park’s like. The other thing people say, is they always go, “Well, if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about.” Really? That is stupid. I hope they’re giving that advice in other security-scare situations. You know, like their sister calls them up like, “Ugh. My ex-boyfriend. He’s hacked my emails. He’s listened to all of my phone calls.” “Well, if you’ve got nothing to hide… He’s just doing it because he cares.” See, this is the thing. They’re collecting all of this information about you. And the thing is [that] data can always be used against you. I’ll give you an example. Does anybody know what they caught Al Capone for?


Audience member : Tax evasion.


Michael : Yeah. Tax evasion. That’s how powerful data is. Right? Think about that. You can run around blowing up buildings and shooting cops, and if you’re clever they might be like, “Nah. Can’t catch you.” Tick the wrong box on a tax return, they can put you away for life.  Right? I don’t like the spying, but what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to use it to my advantage.  You know? I’m a comedian, and I like to share laughs around. So what I do is, sometimes I’m sending an email, and I say something pretty funny, but I’m like, “Oh man. This is only going to one person.” If only I could share this around more. So what I’ll do is I’ll say the joke… “And that’s what she said.” And then I’ll type in, “Jihad terrorist bomb.” Just share the laughs, you know? The other way I use the spying is sometimes I’m doing a comedy show, and I’ll look at how many tickets I’ve sold, and [I’m like], “Ugh! I’ve sold no tickets for this show tonight. How am I going to get an audience for tonight’s show?” So what I’ll do is I’ll send an email, “Hey! Come see me tonight at the Athenaeum at 8 o’çlock…Jihad terrorist bomb.” I go to that show [and] it is full of people. Mostly guys in black suits, [and] dark sunglasses. They’re watching the whole show like, “He’s doing the bit about airline food… Now he’s talking about men and women being different… Request permission to take the shot… Permission denied, damn it!” This is the thing, right? If you think people watching what you do online isn’t a problem, you should go check out the special deal they’re doing over at You just buy some fertilizer and the Koran, and you get a free swat team demonstration. Tough times for Muslim gardeners.

John : I know that it may sound absurd, but I have for you a magic word.  And today the magic word is “laugh” – L – A – U – G – H – laugh. As in the sentence, “No one makes me laugh about Bitcoin like Michael Connell.”


[pre-recorded comedy routine performed by Michael Connell]

A degree in Philosophy – Michael Connell (YouTube)

Michael : I went to uni a couple of years ago, and I studied philosophy. Yes, I have a philosophy degree. So I am poor, but I know WHY. [laughter]  I did philosophy because I am interested in – I’m very metaphysical, intellectual – I’m a wanker. I thought I was very intelligent back then when I was a kid doing philosophy. The very first week of classes, I was sitting in the lecture theatre, and this guy walks in and he’s like “Oh mate. You’re not in here.” And I’m like, “Yeah! I know what you mean. Because the self is just the projection of the ego, isn’t it?” He’s like, “No, no. I mean, this class isn’t happening.” And I’m like, “Yeah. Because reality is just perception, isn’t it?” He’s like, “No. I mean this lecture has been cancelled. I am the CLEANER.”  I was like, “Right. I am the Walrus. That’s what we’re doing here, right?” He gave up, just left and turned the lights out. I’m sat there for like twenty minutes in the dark going, “This is deep. I’m learning a lot in this lecture.” I did learn the sort of things you think you’d learn in a philosophy degree. Um, “If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Now, you might think the answer is yes, or you might think the answer is no, but what I learned is the deeper truth, which is, “Knowing the answer… won’t get you a job.” [laughter]  That never comes up in job interviews, right? “So Michael, a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to see it. Does it still make a sound?” “Yes it does. Sound waves still exist, even if there’s no one there to perceive it.” “Well done. Welcome to Target.” [laughter] That has never happened.

I am trying to learn Spanish.  I do that by listening to a little “Teach Yourself Spanish” podcast on my iPod. I do that when I traveling around on the train. And people say, “Isn’t that stupid, because you’re saying the words out loud? Don’t you get people staring at you?” I’m like, “No, because all I do is hang out in the back of the train with all the other weirdos.” [laughter] I’m standing going, “Me llamo Miguel. Mucho gusto en conocerlo.” Some dude next to me is like, “I’m eating pigeons!” [laughter]. I just blend in, you know? I’m learning Spanish, [and] he’s learning crazy.

[segway music] 

John : I’d like to thank my guest on today’s show, Michael Connell – the Australian Bitcoin comedian, who continues to entertain people of all ages with his hilarious comedy routines, and brilliant sense of humor.

And remember, listeners, coming soon you’ll be able to find full transcripts of each episode of Bitcoins and Gravy, in the transcript section at .

Professional transcription is being provided by one of our fans, Franky, who can be found at . Thanks again, Franky. Much appreciated, sir.


If you’ve enjoyed the show today, please take a minute to leave a comment on Let’s Talk Bitcoin, in the comments section, right there below the show notes :

You can also leave a message on Soundcloud :

Or do the old fashioned thing and send me an email.

And, of course, Bitcoin and Litecoin tips are always appreciated by the hardworking writers and podcasters in the Bitcoin world. Many of us work as volunteers, and sure could use those tips.

Signing off now from East Nashville, Tennessee. I’m your host John Barrett, with my trusty companion Maxwell by my side. Say goodbye Maxwell.


Maxwell : Grrrr…..


John : Y’all be good to each other out there now. And remember, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.


[show outro music]

[music and lyrics to “Ode to Satoshi” song]

John Barrett : Now climb aboard y’all! This train is bound for glory… and there’s plenty of room for all…


“Well Satoshi Nakamoto, that's a name I love to say,

And we don't know much about him, but he came to save the day.

When he wrote about the way things are,

And the way things ought to be,

He gave us all a protocol this world had never seen.


Oh Bitcoin! As you're going into the old Blockchain,

Oh Bitcoin! I know you're going to reign, gonna’ reign,

Till everybody knows, everybody knows,

Till everybody knows your name.


[guitar instrumental]


Down the road it will be told about the Death of Old Mt. Gox,

About traders trading alter coins, and miners mining blocks.

But them good old boys back in Illinois,

And on down through Tennessee,

See they don't care to be a millionaire,

They're just wanting to be free.


Oh Bitcoin! As you're going into the old Blockchain,

Oh Bitcoin! I know you're going to reign, gonna’ reign,

Till everybody knows, everybody knows,

Till everybody knows your name.


[instrumental interlude]


From the ghettos of Calcutta, to the halls of Parliament,

While the bankers count our money out for every government.

Oh, Bitcoin flies on through the skies of virtuality,

A promise to deliver us from age-old tyranny.


Oh Bitcoin! As you're going into the old Blockchain,

Oh Bitcoin! I know you're going to reign, gonna’ reign,

Till everybody knows, everybody knows,

Till everybody knows your name.

Till everybody knows, everybody knows,

Till everybody knows your -- "Give me some Exposure" --

Everybody knows your name.



Oh Lord, pass me some more,

Oh Lord, before I have to go.

Oh Lord, pass me some more,

Oh Lord . . . before I have to . . .

Go . . .


[instrumental finale]



John : Oh-ho! Thank you East Nashville! Y’all be good to each other out there, ya’ hear?


[Segway music]