Gig 15 – Comedy Crunch, Sheebeen Chic, 22/11/09
I’m not going to name him, but the MC that night was a disgrace. I’ve never scene twenty people walk out of a comedy club before, but I could hardly blame them. Being screamed at and abused from the stage by an MC desperate to run as much of his own material as possible, and seemingly unconceared with either promoting the acts, or actually being funny, would drive me out too. Midway through the evening I grabbed a wooden sign and raced out into the rain desperate to recruit a new audience. Chasing up and down the street outside the venue I managed to cajole a few reluctant punters into this (free) gig. But I could hardly blame the woman who walked by after unchaining her bicycle and told me point blank, ‘I was in there, but I left, you need to fire that fucking MC’.
A bad MC is one thing, getting an audience worked up before and after comedians of variable quality is no easy task. Dealing with tight fisted promoters, tardy acts and all the rest must be a headache. I’ve never done it, and I could hardly judge anyone else too harshly for screwing it up. However, using an MCing gig as an opportunity to run ALL of your own material (as though you were headlining), is unprofessional and screws over every other comedian performing. On this night everyone had to make do with 5-7 minutes, and the supposed headliner only got 15.
Watching the video…
Another chance to make use of my Drogheda gig to comedic effect. This worked really well, one of the strongest openings I’ve had. This is another example of how tailoring material to the room in even the tiniest way is enormously appreciated. My ‘kinky sex shit’ is still a little too long, if the audience don’t pick up on the very start of it, there’s a little too much of me having to explain the premise, need to sharpen this. Overall though my delivery has gotten much better, and I’ve mostly managed to stop myself zipping around the stage with nervous energy. Still need to pause a little longer for laughs, and build on them with exaggerated gestures and repitition. Speaking of gestures, my vagina impression went particularly well this time- I think because I was very comfortable on stage, jumped into it quickly but carries it out slowly and with committment, giving the audience a chance to understand the ludicrous idea of a filthy Dub gee. Messed up the ‘tuck away neatly’ bit at the end though, arg. That ‘even enjoy the fragrance’ line rarely works, need to drop it. This whole bit went fantastically well overall though.
Lost the audience a little at the start of the ‘sexual history’ bit, but I got them back by following their lead well after the mention of Fibber Magees. It’s all about interaction, or at least the illusion of interaction. Went too quickly through this whole bit, partly out of nervousness, but mostly because I was aware of how curtailed my set would have to be. You can hear the result of this in the audiences lack of response, despite the fact that I did the ‘lying vaginas’ section very well. I think this whole section needs ot be tightened up, and needs to come before the ‘young girls’ part, which is more of a climax. Anyway, enough excuses, the last section went as badly as the first had gone well… With muted audience response, and visible nervousness on my part. Bad standup, no cigar. Overall this was a tough audience, fairly unresponsive after being screamed at for an hour, but I think I did OK.