Get me happy.
Spoiler: I’m a coward because I wanted to be sure to leave happy.
The other night I went to see a comedian who appears on a TV game show. As I’d been let down before I was a little cautious. A few years ago, another very funny guy who was a regular guest on a satirical news show was unable to transfer his little asides and dry one lines to an evening of live entertainment. We had been looking forward to seeing what he had to say. The funniest thing that evening was the queue for the men’s toilets. All the women commented on how they had never seen men waiting in line before. How we chuckled. I think some of us took photos.
Both of these TV comedy shows are perceptive and on the money. The points don’t matter at all. It really is the taking part that counts. Recently a famous female comedian was the guest host for one of these shows and noted that women are not included very much in these male dominated—and lucrative—joke fests. It was funny how she said it and we all got behind the punch line.
In a magazine interview, the first comedian spoke of his long absence from the comedy circuit. He spoke of his family and how his background was key to his decision to become a comic. Briefly, it’s about looking for approval and bringing together what you think and what you say. I read the article after I went to the show and perhaps I should have stayed for the second half. I could have missed the crux of the family matter.
It wasn’t a bad show but he didn’t make me laugh enough to stay for the second part. The initial jokes were about his relationship to his own young children. When you are the guest of your respected comedy host you eat what he serves you with gusto. It’s not polite to turn away an observation about children being a pain in the behind when you know that children can be that way inclined. A lot of people turned out to see both these male comics. When you have a TV following, you can have them eating out of your hands.
You know that right before his gig, the first comedian had been listening to the outcome of an important football match. We had left home without knowing the outcome ourselves and I had said in the car, I think he’s a supporter of that team and I bet he’s going to be watching the game. When he came on stage, after his hello preamble, the comedian confirmed that he had been listening to the game in his car and he said that he could give us the score if we wanted and if we didn’t want we could cover our ears. His team had won and that meant he had spent the last few moments before his performance cheering on his team (lucky sods, he said) during the penalty shoot-out. As his set was about having children who got on your nerves though you loved them to bits, he hadn’t prepared any pertinent football jokes. He is not Eddie Izzard.
I quite like small venues. I enjoy a microphone, a stand for my notes and enough ventilation. I welcome, but rarely get, critique from my friends—then the indifference of strangers can be stomached. I like the generosity of that comedy crowd a few nights back who desired a good time: we gave him the benefit of all our doubts.