Gig 14: Comedy Balloon, The Ape and Apple, Manchester – 5th October 2011
October 6, 2011 10 Comments
When I’ve done a gig, friends will ask me how it went. My answer is invariably “it was alright” or “it went OK”. This can often be interpreted as “it went a bit shit”, but it isn’t mean in this way at all. It also isn’t my infamous vagueness rearing its infamously vague head. It’s just that if you don’t storm the gig, and it hasn’t gone terribly, what else are you supposed to say? Just bear this in mind in the future, OK?
So, last night I was back to doing straight stand-up, and, thankfully, this time it wasn’t a gong show. The most frustrating thing about my 2 minutes and 9 seconds at Beat The Frog last week was that I only got to do 2 minutes and 9 seconds. I had quite a few new ideas that I never got chance to give an airing to. I’ve played the Comedy Balloon a couple of times previously and enjoyed both gigs, so I was looking forward to it. My set consisted of:
1. A new joke that I really like, but that I decided not to do at Beat the Frog because it involves me not speaking for about 15 seconds.
2. Dragons’ Den jokes. You remember than I bailed on the third of my three Dragons’ Den jokes at BTF because they didn’t go very well. My main regret with this is that I hadn’t told them in the way that I wanted to (ie that the jokes were supposed to be funny because they were so convoluted). I decided to give it another go and came up with a bit of a framing structure to try and get the point across a better. I knew there was a good chance that it still wouldn’t work, but I wanted to get it out of my system.
3. A new joke that’s a bit lame, but which I like. I was able to tie it into the Dragons’ Den bit, which convinced me to go with it.
4. The joke that got me gonged off from BTF, but in no way should have (in my opinion).
5. Two new celebrity nonesense bits.
6. 3 bits that have become mainstays of my straight sets.
7. New daft bit that involved me singing.
8. One of my short plays – first performed at Magical Animals.
9. An “anecdote”, which is my usual closer.
I was pleased to see that the Dragons’ Den bit did go down better than before, despite me completely blanking on the first of the jokes. It’s quite incredible that I could forget it considering the amount of times that I’ve practiced. Luckily, I was able to go with the moment and make forgetting part of the routine (some people believed that I was just pretending to have forgotten). I don’t know for sure that I’d do the bit again, but I think that there could be more in it with tweaking.
My short play – which I am now doing from memory (and partly improvised) – probably went on for too long. It’s an idea that could possibly become funny again if I were to really drag it out, but you don’t really have that luxury doing open 10-spots. I do like the format, though, and could probably tighten them up to be a bit snappier.
Considering I used quite a bit of new stuff, it went down relatively well. I also really enjoyed myself when I was doing it, which makes all the difference.
In summary: it went OK and was alright.