It's comedy karaoke

No, honestly, it is...

Reciting other comedians' material is usually frowned on in today’s stand-up - but a new invention encourages exactly that, combining the twin entertainments of comedy and karaoke.

The innovation, called predictably enough Joke-e-oke, enables participants to repeat famous comics' routines - and even includes a built-in laughter track in case the audience don’t respond as expected.

And as well as offering the jokes to the comic, the computer also generates heckle lines for punters to yell.

The idea is the brainchild of a San Francisco performance art group called Angry Waiter 4am, and has already been tested out in the city as well as New York and Chicago.

Steven Wright one-liners, a Jerry Seinfeld riff on airline food and an Andrew Dice Clay rant are among the stand-ups whose work has so far been programmed into the system.

The group's Hal Phillips told Wired magazine said: "We live in a reality-television age where normal people see themselves as the star.

"We all harbour exhibitionist tendencies. People in the audience salivate to get up onstage, and also to see their friends onstage.

Angry Waiter 4am are now looking to licence the technology, which could use any DVD player, to distribute it to bars and homes across the world.

Philips added: "The performances in public are just a vehicle to get the Joke-E-Oke product out there to the people to use for their own purposes, such as parties, social gatherings and home-entertainment use."


Published: 27 Mar 2005

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