It's the same old gong

Comedy Store revives a tradition

The Comedy Store is to bring back its infamous gong.

Aspiring stand-ups will put their comic talents to the test, facing the humiliation of being gonged off stage if they fail to impress the audience.

It's a return to the same format that launched the original Comedy Store in London 21 years ago,

Venue founder Don Ward, founder of the Comedy Store explained: "In 1979 when we opened the first Comedy Store in Soho, we placed ads in The Stage and Punch inviting funny people to come and have a go.

"The response was phenomenal - we saw talents like French and Saunders, Ade Edmonson, Rik Mayall and Alexei Sayle take their first furtive steps to stardom on to the Comedy Store stage.

"The Gong Show in its original format was, at times, a pretty cruel affair, where comedians sometimes got gonged off before even opening their mouths!"

Its revival, at the Manchester Comedy Store, promises to be slightly more sophisticated.

In the first half of the new King Gong Show, on the first Sunday of every month from September 2, features fresh comedic talent from the north west and beyond, who will perform by invitation from the Comedy Store

The second half of the show is a chance for anyone to try their hand at stand -up as long as they have booked their slot in advance by calling Andy Waddington on 0161 839 9595.

"This could be a life-changing experience!" says Ward.

Published: 26 Aug 2001

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