Everyone's a critic – and I love it!

CK Goldiing welcomes people telling him he's rubbish

Two plus two will always generate four. Equally, combining two hydrogen molecules with one oxygen molecule will inevitably fashion water. Try as you like; there are certain laws of science that are not subject to discussion.

However, there are many non-scientific disciplines that are entirely at the mercy of subjectivity. Some people, for example, perceive the ‘pimp-my-ballet’ elegance of pole dancing as an unforgivable degradation of women’s liberation, while others see it as a skilful display of grace, poise and physical control. Personally, I see it as the most efficient way of extracting money from dickheads… if you discount reality TV phone-ins, of course.

So, having drawn a rather clumsy distinction between scientific and non-scientific endeavour, how can it be that people, or more specifically; comedians, are upset by negative opinions of their creative output?

With a meagre 15 months of stand-up experience behind me, I must admit; I’ve spent a depressingly high percentage of that time witnessing disparaging ‘tit-for-tat’ dialogue between comedians, be it on a comedy forum, a random website, or as a direct result of blatant ear-wigging in a comedy club.

Luckily, I’ve been at the receiving end of such shit-slinging. I say ‘luckily’, because as far as I’m concerned, ‘light’ and ‘shade’ is beautiful. Without someone telling me that a joke/routine I’ve written is toss (to my face or via faceless online vitriol) how on earth can I seek to improve my writing, timing, stagecraft or delivery?

During my 15-month foray into the Northern comedy scene, I’ve received some wonderfully nice comments… I’ve had lukewarm appraisals and I’ve had one gentleman saying he was losing the will to live while watching me. To this day, the latter remark remains my favourite, by a country mile.


I don’t know, perhaps because I’ve always harboured a perverse fondness for taking the piss out of myself or taunting my friends with the always in-vogue ‘My dick’s bigger than your dick!’ attack, so it follows that I don’t even flinch when criticism, especially comedy-related criticism, is hurled in my direction… why would I?

Surely stand-up comedy is one of the most subjective disciplines one could ever wish to explore. How breathtakingly odd it is for a comedian (aspiring, professional or otherwise) to be shocked, upset or angered if someone finds them unfunny, lacklustre or just plain rubbish.

There are so many facets of stand-up comedy that I truly adore, but folk who feel inner rage, sadness or the compunction to kill upon being blessed with the priceless gift of criticism will baffle me for ever.

Published: 18 Jun 2010

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