Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Pap Pap

BBC Three are running a show called Paparazzi. I don't know whether it's supposed to show these photographers in a good light, but to me it just emphasises how vile these men really are. But the weirdest thing - some of these Paps are becoming celebrities themselves. Obviously they are documentary stars now, but one or two of them are appearing on talk shows. Hopefully enough of them will achieve celebrity status, so that soon they'll just end up chasing each other around, and maybe just fuck off.

Last night, I witnessed a car accident, which incidentally wasn't the Paparazzi's fault. A tramp got hit by a taxi. This was in a perceived "rough" part of town. Within thirty seconds a police car had pulled up. Within three minutes, there were three police cars. An ambulance did eventually show up, but the tramp refused treatment. In all, EIGHT police cars were at the scene. There is little or no point to this recollection.

I just haven't had a gig for a few days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sloppy Mike

Had a fairly average gig tonight in Bristol at the Richmond Springs. Nice crowd, some good acts on, but something just didn't seem to click. Firstly, I felt oddly uncomfortable on stage, maybe because the audience was so close, maybe because my friends were sat right in the front row, when they'd normally be out of sight at the back. Maybe it was because I was doing my set too. I don't normally do my set in Bristol, for no actual reason other than it seems wrong.

What I'm most annoyed about though is my lack of microphone technique tonight. I did alright, but could have done better had I handled the basic act of talking into an amplifier correctly. I wouldn't be so hard on myself if I hadn't commented on the fact that holding that particular mic so close to his mouth had made an earlier open spot a little hard to hear. So what did I do? I made the exact same mistake.

All in all, I didn't really enjoy myself at all, and that makes me a bit sad. What's the point in doing this if I'm not having fun? It's the first gig I've come away from for a while feeling miserable, even the ones that didn't go well.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Bernard Manning's Embassy Rooms

It seems I have nothing better to do of a Sunday than go to an Open Mic night in Bristol. Just to watch. The Hatchet pub is the bastard love child of what used to be The Bunch of Grapes. It's a nicer gig actually, but without the foreboding sense that pretty much anything could happen. Nothing trains you up as a comedian better than the appearance of transvestites intent on violence, discharged Squaddies intent on violence, or Historic Battle Re-Enactment Society Members intent on, well, violence.

That said, it's still sometimes a place you witness things you never thought you would at an alternative comedy night. Blatant, undisguised xenophobia. It's disheartening to watch a bloke on stage with a microphone say things like "I'm not a racist" before ploughing head first into some bigotted bullshit with scant clue as to its tone. I'm ashamed to say I didn't react, but proud to say some people did, and booed and jeered. I just buried my head in my hands, somewhat flabbergasted by the whole thing.

On a more positive note, it's nice to watch comedians who you always sensed had great potential starting to move towards fulfilling that potential. Seeing good acts develop into better ones is very satisfying, especially when they don't goose-step onto the stage.

Friday, November 19, 2004


I've done more gigs in a tent than is probably healthy for me. But as tents in pub gardens go, the one I was in last night was quite nice. It even had heaters. As the wind lashed the canvas, and the rain pelted down, it really was the perfect place for comedy.

But to be fair, the setting wasn't really on my mind. The opening act had just done well (and so had the MC too), but I was thrown because of a similarity between a joke of his and mine. His was in a completely different context than mine, with a vastly different set up, but the ultimate punch was pretty much the same. His had also just received a big laugh. So it was tempting to do mine too, not least because mine is a barometer joke, the reaction to which will tell me how well the set is going.

Anyway, I decided to rework the similar joke with something more wordy and gentle. It went okay, but not nearly as well as it would have. That said, the rest of the set was well received, and plenty of people shook my hand afterwards. I never know what to say in those situations. Thanks I guess.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Uncle Sid's Bawdy Blog Of Fun

My Uncle Sid has done a runner to stare at penguins or something, and he's left me in charge of his Bawdy Blog of Fun. Anyone else want to contribute some comedy to it? Let me know.

Read it here

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Basement Jaxx

Not sure why this annoys me so much, but having been to a night of folk music last night, musicians irk me. In a cold basement cellar underneath a back street cafe, is what is actually a nice performance space. And that's where I found myself last night.

Now, what annoys me about musicians is how easy it is for them as opposed to comedy. I know I'm biased, but these bands of bastards can ask all their mates along, get a huge crowd with no effort, then play exactly what they always play. You can't do that with comedy. In fact, band audiences will be disappointed if you don't wheel out the favourites, whereas comedy audiences despise repetition.

And anyway, having heard some "rampant anti-folk" I've decided that simplistic politics doesn't work when set to music. On the other hand, surreal monologue comedy set to music is a sheer joy. A wonderment of delight. On Tuesday I saw Andrew Lawrence do his set at the Richmond Springs in Clifton, and it was awesome. In the old fashioned sense of the word. It made me somewhat ashamed of my surreal monologues, while at the same time inspiring me to write something better. I know I'll fall into the trap of emulation if I do that straight away, so I'll leave it a while.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Begin Again

I totally forgot I had this blog. So I suppose I should begin again.

I want to keep adding my thoughts about stand up, plus also have a kind of online diary for the writing projects I am working on.

Things I will begin to mention alongside monkeys in the near future include:

  • The top secret sitcom project
  • Milk Run sketches
  • Shooting Pictures
  • Live Sketches

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