FOR one proud Croydon man there is no shame in his hometown being the butt of jokes.
Comedian Jonny Awsum has built a career on turning the absurdities of life into hilarious songs and his favourite topic for musical mirth is the borough he loves.
The 35-year-old started as a comic only two years ago, but is in demand in both the UK and abroad.
Almost wherever he goes, the sound of Croydon comes with him.
"I don't really want to give it away but it is a celebration of Croydon to the tune of Downtown," he said of his song.
"So when it goes 'Downtown', we sing 'Croydon'.
"It is really good fun and it is not at all having a go at Croydon.
"I even sang it at the Download Festival. The crowd sang it back – and that was a good crowd."
Readers rushing to YouTube to see for themselves will be disappointed, however, as Jonny is determined to keep his live act fresh for audiences.
"If it is on YouTube a lot of the magic is gone by the time they come to the show," he said.
Jonny ventured into comedy in 2011 after playing guitar in "many" bands and eight years spent pulling pints at The Chuckle Club comedy venue.
"I started to watch lots of comedy when I was at work so I had this really good schooling in all the best comics around," he said.
"After a while I thought, 'I am going to have a go and just try it.'"
His cheerful one-man-and-a-guitar act has been widely praised; the Daily Star newspaper called him "cooler than a hypothermic Samuel L Jackson".
He has also starred in high-profile comedy adverts, including for Cravendale milk and Savanna, a South African cider.
"It has just gone crazy; I have been completely blown away by how it has gone," he said. "Sometimes I can't believe I am getting paid for this."
This summer he took his show, Jonny Awsum's To-Do List, to the Edinburgh Festival after perfecting it at previews in Croydon.
Among the items on the list – which he completes with the audience's help – is making people's day
Jonny, who keeps his real name a secret, comes from Hull and moved to central Croydon to be with his girlfriend.
His work nowadays takes him far afield but he says he can, happily, never escape the borough.
"There is always someone in the audience connected to Croydon," he said.
"I went to Romania and did two shows at their main comedy venue and a couple of people there were from Croydon and they absolutely loved it."
He added: "I would quite like to be the face of Croydon."Crocked hack tickles comic's funny bone AMONG the items on Jonny Awsum's To-Do List is making people's day. Last weekend at the Hull Freedom Festival he tried to make the day of Brian Haran, a former Advertiser reporter. Mr Haran, who now works at the Surrey Mirror, had broken his wrist while playing in goal during an office football match. A colleague got in touch with Jonny in the hope these funny bones could be the subject of one of his songs. Jonny performed the song to the tune of Flash by Queen. He said: "I really wanted to do something for that guy Brian; I just thought they are all kicking the ball at him really hard. I thought of a song that makes someone a hero and thought there is no one bigger than Flash." The song goes: "Brian, saved every goal for us. "Yeah. "Brian, saved every goal for us. "He's just a man, with a man's courage, he knows. "Nothing but a man with a pair of goal-keeping gloves. "He's a man with a pure gold heart and he took one for his team. "Woh, Brian. Oh, Brian. "This one's for you, Brian. "Brian, saved every goal for us."