I can save comedy

Mr Drayton's rules for stand-ups

Comedy is in crisis. According to government figures there is now one ‘comedian’ per ten head of capita. It’s bloated corpse is being flogged around arenas, wringing every last ounce of joy from it’s once vibrant soul. If comedy is to be saved, the following rules should be strictly adhered to.

  • If you have been on the open spot circuit for two years or more and have not progressed any further, give it up, you’re shit.

  • If you have ever uttered or thought the phrase ‘I want to be a comedian’ you’re not a comedian. You either are or you’re not. Wanting to be is not good enough.

  • If you have ever ‘paid to play’ leave now. You’re an idiot.

  • If you wear jeans and a T-shirt on stage leave now. Comedy is showbiz. Jeans and T-shirts are not, they’re indie band, ditto ‘funky/lego’ haircuts. Have some respect. Make an effort. Or fuck off.

  • If you begin a routine with ‘Have you ever noticed...’ Fuck off. Write some jokes.

  • If you visit Chortle at least once a day, and post regularly in its forums, read reviews of shows you’ll never see, then stop wasting your time. You’re not using that time to write gags, you’re navelgazing. Fuck off.

  • If you work part time in Pret so you can ‘follow your dream’ to be a comedian, leave now. Do it properly or not at all.

  • If you’ve been ‘ironically’ nasty, done rape gags, ‘funny’ racist and sexist stuff, you’re a bloody disgrace, go work in Halfords and try that schtick there. Then fuck off.

  • If your dream is to do Edinburgh, get a Radio 4 6.30pm comedy slot, then appear on Mock The Week you’re a bigger wanker than you ever knew. You are not comedy.

  • If you’ve done a comedy course or been to a symposium on why comedy is in trouble you are a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Fuck off and be an accountant.

  • Finally, remember, you operate in a world that gave us John Bishop. That’s how bad it is. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

By following this simple cut out and keep guide, the world of humour should be back to its normal self in a couple of years. Oh, and don’t forget: Love one another.

  • Mr Drayton's Record Player is on at the Tyneside Bar, Newcastle, tomorrow

Published: 22 Nov 2012

Today's comedy-on demand picks


The charity fundraiser, usually held at the Comedy Store, launches an online version, with Mick Ferry as host.

The bill comprises fellow circuit favourites  Eleanor Tiernan, Laura Lexx, Nathan Caton, Rob Deering and  Russell Kane, plus Paul Sinha, and Vicar Of Dibley writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, both of whom have the condition.

Click for more suggestions
... including the Good Ship comedy club and the return of Radio Wales panel show The Leak.

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