Dogs We Dig #13: Mr Bingo
The latest addition to our misanthropic mates is the bitter Mr Bingo. Lurking in the grey UK, this rapper and illustrator-turned-artist is an icon of droll pessimism, who gained notoriety for selling abuse, pornographic sketches of the queen, and even a date with the man himself (female customers only, thanks).
Who are you? Mr Bingo
What are you into? Cheesecake, rap music, drawing, old postcards, wooden cabins, jigsaw puzzles, riding bikes, cats, pinball machines, neon signs, train journeys, scrabble, Apollo space missions, football hooligans, Dionne Warwick, inappropriate dressing, weird people, ambition, colours, irony, Louis Theroux, Twitter, spending all my money in restaurants, going it alone, sketch pads, pens, Tyler The Creator, pencils, burping words, crime documentaries, not having a job, Karman Ghia, arts and crafts, banger racing, hiking, white socks, typeface catalogues, drawing, toilet graffiti, making books, animals in clothes, sentimental folk music, Bertha Doghouse, pubs, MF Doom, people in matching outfits, honesty, talking to strangers on the internet, outsider art, handwriting, paper, records, plants, stationary shops, food, skimming stones, the internet, doing things the hard way, sheep, waves, notebooks, losers, Ladderax, airport bars, pudding, clouds.
What’s your quest? To create things, make people laugh and never have a job.
What’s around the corner? You never know.
What do you wish would fuck off forever? People who don’t care about other people.
For 15 years, Mr Bingo was a commercial illustrator working for big guns such as the New York Times, The Guardian and The Mighty Boosh. Then, late one night in 2011, he posted a slightly drunken tweet offering a hand-drawn offensive postcard to the first responder. Within two minutes, he’d received 50 replies. The winner: Jonathan Hopkins. The prize: a postcard scrawled with, “Fuck you, Jonathan, fuck you and fuck your shit legs,” and a drawing of said shit legs. Hate Mail was born.
What started as a boozy joke soon became a viable source of income. For a measly £50 you could be the recipient of Mr Bingo’s tailor-made derision. Scorn was for sale and the masochists massed. His tangible insults were so popular that he had to put a halt on sales after a single week. Over the next four years, he reopened the service nine times, each reaching capacity in minutes. Seems slander-by-request is in vogue. He vowed never to work for clients again and become “some sort of artist”. He’s certainly some sort of something.
But hate mail goes both ways and recompense has been served, once in the form of a swiss roll with “fucker” iced on it. People regularly tell Mr Bingo where to go (though he’s not sure whether this is in jest). He literally makes a living telling people to fuck off. This guy is our hero.
In 2015 Mr Bingo launched a Kickstarter campaign, complete with promotional rap, to produce the definitive Hate Mail retrospective, which includes 156 of his favourite postcard put-downs. Surprise! - it was a roaring success. The rewards were probably some of the strangest in Kickstarter history:
a week of online trolling in an attempt to ruin your life for £50;
a pornographic drawing of the queen (or queens if you’re lucky) for £75;
getting shitfaced on a train with Mr Bingo OR he’ll do your washing up for £150;
sharing a pint with Mr Bingo at 7:30pm on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 for £200;
being best friends for a year, including six hours a month of IRL hangs, and sharing secrets, for only £5000
Sadly, no one took him up on his best friend reward. But who needs friends when you’re the Czar of Cunts?
Following the massive success of Hate Mail, Mr Bingo regularly delivers talks on peddling slander and is extremely active on Twitter. The Hate Mail Retrospective is available on his website for £20. Unfortunately the project has finished, but in the words of Mr Bingo himself, “if you are upset at any point and wish to make a complaint, send me a fucking postcard."