Karl's Diary is a regular feature that began in Episode 8 of the first podcast series. Being one of their most popular features, it has appeared in every podcast since. The diary chronicles the day-to-day life of Karl Pilkington and his thoughts and ideas. The diary itself is a large desk diary that is usually read by Stephen Merchant.
Creation of Karl's Diary
Karl started keeping a record of his thoughts and experiences whilst on holiday in Gran Canaria with his girlfriend Suzanne. The segment first appeared in episode 8 of the Guardian Unlimited podcasts 23 January 2006. Later in series 3 however, it became clear that Ricky and Steve actually asked Karl to keep the diary and make sure he did it for a year. Karl compared his literary efforts to those of Anne Frank, claiming that "If she's sat in a, you know, a loft, knockin' stuff up, not much goin' on in 'er life at that point... yet she was still writin' it down... I thought, 'well I'm on holiday'... start a diary". Karl said he had never even heard of Samuel Pepys' Diary.
The jingles have usually gone along the lines of "Ooooh, Chimpanzee That! He's written it down!" (Series 2) and "Ooooh, I don't believe it! He's gone and written it down!" (Series 3). None of the jingles for Karl's diary have been exactly the same.
Memorable Diary Moments
Podcast Series 1
- The death of Tony Banks leads Karl to think of an invention - a wristwatch that counts down the remainder of the wearer's life. However he is unsure if it would know if you are going to die in a plane crash. When questioned on how it would work, Karl responds "Just pop it on your wrist".
- Karl notices a large number of cross-eyed people at the hotel on Gran Canaria.
- The owner of the café called Tattoo's in Gran Canaria had no tattoos, but Karl never saw his wife.
- Everybody watches a cat lick its bollocks in a bar.
- Karl comments about Steve eating "little octopuses" whilst at an Italian restaurant. Karl has a rule that he only eats things that look nice when alive and thinks that an octopus is "...an odd looking thing alive. Even worse when it's dead and limp".
- Karl has an idea that clothing companies should sponsor homeless people.
- Karl refuses to wash his hands after eating lemon cake at Ricky's house leading to a major argument.
- Karl thinks that both he and Ricky Gervais are bored when they attend a work meeting, as after twenty-five minutes Ricky starts trying to wrestle him.
- Suzanne tells Karl to come and meet her at the supermarket. Karl went to the supermarket but couldn't find her. It turned out Suzanne was in a different supermarket.
- Karl reminisces about keeping a diary whilst at school and recalls a trip to 'Twiggy's Dance Club'. However when he went, it was closed because they were having toilet rolls delivered. He never went back.
- Karl gets an idea for a television program called 'Look What We Can Do With Science', in which parts of a person's body are gradually removed and replaced with machines until just the person's head remains. The show would always end with the host declaring "Look What We Can Do With Science!"
- Karl receives some post that is addressed to Mr K. Dilkington.
- Karl learns that the word 'wewe' means 'an ugly female ghost with drooping breasts'.
- Karl recalls carrying a lamp and garbage bin when moving house on the same day and route as the London Marathon. Spectators were applauding him, thinking he was doing a fun run.
- Karl wonders if the Big Bang was really that big, or it just sounded louder as there was no other noise to drown it out.
- Karl invents a tongue twister: "If you can't treat a cheerful tramp, what sort of tramp can you treat?"
- Karl learns that certain tribesmen on an island in the Indian Ocean live like cavemen and wave their "tackle" about when they've had enough of visitors.
Podcast Series 2
- Karl explains that he can't put up pictures in his flat because of the mirrored wall. He found it too dangerous to take the mirror down so he just wallpapered over it.
- Karl reads on the internet that human heads and brains are getting bigger because we are being told too much information.
- Auntie Nora wants to have her back garden astroturfed because she's sick of the grass getting out of hand.
- Karl expresses his dislike for Ricky's cat and the 'special treatment' it receives.
- A girl shows Karl an ultrasound photo of her child in the womb. Karl thought it looked like a frog.
- Karl asks for 2 poppadoms at a curry house. He receives 5 poppadoms.
- Karl discovers a restaurant that "sells knobs to eat". He believes that it's a trend that won't last long, like hummus.
- Karl writes about a band from "The Conga" that won a 'best newcomers' prize in a Radio 3 competition, mistaking Conga for Congo.
- Karl discovers that an old school friend is now living underground.
- Karl writes about 'The Pig Headed Woman of Manchester Square' and wonders if there are more pig headed women about.
- Karl receives an e-mail from a friend about a man in China who has "a weird illness" where he can't have his photo taken. If he tries, he allegedly doesn't appear in the photo.
- Karl comes up with an idea to put a giant mirror on the moon to reflect the world back.
- Karl recalls when his Auntie Nora gave him a birthday present of a t-shirt with her face printed on it.
- Karl finds out about people who are so old fashioned, they still walk on 'all-fours'.
- Karl and Suzanne go to the Cotswolds for a holiday. When they arrived at the B&B (Bed & Breakfast) their room wasn't ready, so they went for a quick walk around the car park. They later "did the usual thing" and looked around the church graveyard to see how old the dead people are.
- While Karl and Suzanne have dinner he notices that a child had ordered a sorbet before his next course. Karl goes on to explain that this young boy "thought he was it"!
- Karl tries to explain some Lao Tzu phrases: "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know", "To lead people, walk behind them", "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step".
Podcast Series 3
- Karl has an argument with Suzanne. She wanted a lie in, but Karl says "insects don't have lie ins, so we shouldn't."
- Karl wonders why the word 'dictionary' is in the dictionary.
- Karl writes his first poem.
- A large wasp enters Karl's flat. He reckoned that its sting could have killed a kitten.
- Karl writes another poem.
The Podfather Trilogy
Episode 2 - Thanksgiving
- Karl's mum calls him for help to look for a magazine called "UFO Data", which she had seen an advert for in one of her ghost magazines.
- Karl is knackered and his face feels dry and spotty. He wonders if it's from the change in water or all the Madeira cake he's eaten.
- Karl contemplates the covers of gay magazines.
- Karl mentions a horse who has been barred from a pub.
- Karl wonders if less deaf people die of stress than people who can hear.
Episode 3 - Christmas
- Karl is annoyed by the trouble of "getting into" foods like avocados, coconuts and pineapples, which he compares to the act of getting into Doc Martin shoes. He considers it "an upheaval".
- Karl comes to the conclusion that "old news (olds) isn't as shocking" as the news.
- Karl mentions that the old woman who lives next door to his parents, "whose mam was a witch", is worried about changing to digital TV, and Karl's dad tells her not to worry because by the time digital cable gets around to her house, she'll be dead.
- Karl's dad saws off a bit of the mattress for Karl and Suzanne, so they sleep "tops and tails".
- The "mad woman" next door sees Karl and says "Hello, Clive".
- A Yorkshire dog down the road gets stung by bees 150 times.
- Karl sees a "future woman" in the newspaper with three breasts.
- Karl watches an old TV program about twins, who he refers to as "mental".