At my last gig, where I was the MC, I was universally disliked. During the gig before that – a gong show – a lady at the back of the room shouted; ‘You’re definitely going off!’ 90 seconds into my room-silencing three minutes. Now, does finding these incidents largely arousing make me a pervert?
Okay, of course I don’t actually find lacklustre performances ‘arousing’, but nor do I find them grounds for suicide. The very first time I crashed and burned on stage, was, of course, within spitting distance of my first ever gig. My first few gigs were wonderful experiences, lots of genuine laughter peppered throughout, but by Gig No.5, I actually ran away from the venue the minute I slinked off stage. It was that bad. However, that was back in May 2009, and in the intervening time, I’ve fully come to terms with the fact that you win some, you lose some. I’ve soared, and I’ve bored. Who hasn’t?
So, what’s my point? Well, and I know the following musing won’t make me many friends, but for reasons that will become self-evident, that’s good news.
So, here goes…
How come most stand-up comedians are pussies?
(Please note the use of the word ‘most’. I haven’t met ALL stand-up comedians, so I must limit my distain to 95 per cent of the ones I have met)
I’ve never met such an embarrassing collection of self-pitying, insecure, brittle boned, audience-blaming, fragile, bad review-condemning bellends in my life!!
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to share a long car journey home with a bitch… and when I say ‘bitch’, I don’t mean Melissa from The Apprentice, I mean a whiny little comedian with the emotional maturity of a steaming nappy. I’m a 30-year old man, and to my knowledge, picking the bones out of a woeful comedy performance will never be as much fun as ranking female politicians in order of ‘humpability’. A short game, I grant you, but you can flesh it out by discussing whether or not you’d shag Ann Widdecombe for ten grand.
OK, twenty grand?
I don’t know how unique the following psychology is, but I enter every single gig I do believing 100 per cent that the audience owe me nothing. If they choose to join me on a journey and they enjoy the ride… wonderful! However, if they find the trip rather bumpy, uncomfortable and ultimately, shit, that’s OK too. I take great pride in having never blamed an audience for keeping their laughter to themselves… why would I? Audiences are human beings with tastes, preferences and likes. If they don’t like me or my material, does that make them cretins? No, it just means they don’t know quality comedy when they see it.
You see. How much of a prick did I just sound like? Well, that’s exactly how you sound every time you bore me with your toe-curling playground whimpers on the drive home.
Twenty-five grand. Final offer.
And then there’s Facebook. How many times have my eyes been violated with a comedian’s teary status updates, announcing: ‘Horrible gig tonight, the audience didn’t laugh once. COCKS!!’ Only for an ill-advised dickhead to offer some trite repos like: ‘Fuck ’em mate, what do they know?’ Well, actually, THEY know that THEY didn’t find your mate funny… and like it or not, THEY wear the trousers in that relationship.
To clarify, a comedian’s disappointment at not tearing the roof off doesn’t irritate me, nor does his/her aspiration to tear off said roof, as a hunger to be the best you can be is, and should be, the base ambition of any self respecting stand-up.
However, I really do draw the line at blubbering, complaining or unsolicited emotional displays when things go badly, Honestly, welcome to stand-up – NOW GROW A PAIR! Yes, ponder what contributed to the less-than-favourable reception you received. Yes, be analytical when deliberating over what kind of comedy the audience favoured that night. Yes, scrutinise your material vis-à-vis that of your comedy peers, but please, and I really am begging you here… DO IT FUCKING QUIETLY!
- CK Goldiing is a former radio DJ, now performing stand-up and co-producing a British Red Cross benefit at Sheffield United Football Club, on December 19 featuring Dave Spikey and others. Tickets.