Sunday, June 25, 2006

Stand up again

I did standup again last night, at a pub this time. It was a lot different. The venue was completely different, of course—it was a pub not a theater. The room was long and narrow, which is about the worst possible shape for connecting with an audience. But they—the audience—were the biggest difference. The audience at the graduation show was there for the people. They were there to see their friends perform, and they extended that feeling to the whole class and were ready to laugh at anything. And they were really smart. They got some jokes that were pretty far out there.

The people at the pub were quite different. Only about half of them were in the "friends and family" category. The rest were there because they wanted to see real comedy or because they wanted to eat and drink. Mostly drink. And frankly, they didn't seem all that bright sometimes—more on that in a minute.

So a couple of people (out of nine) out-and-out died, sad to say. It wasn't a good audience. Or maybe it was just an unforgiving one. The people who had trouble were the ones who were still relying on notes and stuff, who didn't take the stage with confidence. Only one set really killed, I thought. (No, it wasn't mine.)

Anyway, I kept my set really short. I did "It's not easy being big," just the first part and the store part. R's miniature golf joke killed once again, and the store bit was fine too, although there wasn't the anticipatory laughter about the sign I got at the first show. The graduation audience was usually right with the comics or looking ahead; this one was always just a little behind. Then I did the "I dated a Little Person" bit. "I don't know who put her up to it" sailed right over their heads (no pun intended), but "poking her nose in my business" and R's "I've had it up to here" got laughs, and "our relationship left a bad taste in her mouth" got laughs and groans. "But I'm not bitter" got a really odd reaction. Only about three people got it at first, but then the laughs kept spreading and spreading, until it was funny again just because of how long it took them to get the joke. Like I said, they weren't all that bright of an audience.

Then I moved along to "Mr. Happy," and penises and condoms seemed to be right up their alley, because they ate it up. (Pun intended only if you laughed.) "Einstein's brain in Bush's skull" killed again, as did the strangling, shrinking Mr. Happy. The new voice seemed to work pretty well too, although I suspect they might have just been the kind of audience that automatically laughs at any talking penis. So that went fine. I still don't really have a good way to end the bit, though.

So I got on, got laughs with the best stuff from last time, and got off in a hurry, before they could get tired of me. I think I succeeded, but I didn't really kill. And next time, I'll have to do all new material. Oh dear, oh dear.

Oh yeah, BTW, I do have the graduation video now, but I haven't really had a chance to get it online yet. On my first attempt at converting it to an AVI, I ended up with a 27-gigabyte file. I think that means I did something wrong. But I'll figure it out.


  1. Interesting...the way you evaluate the audience. I'm so self-centered. I only evaluate myself.

    Okay, I laughed at the whole penises and condoms being right up my alley thing. But really, who can help laughing at that? It's like seeing a sign that says "Rear Entry," I just can't help but giggle.

  2. "Okay, I laughed at the whole penises and condoms being right up my alley thing. But really, who can help laughing at that?"

    I even laughted, which is totally out of character for me. 'Those' jokes usually leave me blushing and only laughing inwardly.

    I'm really surprised that the audience was slow to get the 'Larry the Cable Guy' jokes. You'd think that would be the killer jokes in a drinking audience. I'm beginning to like stand up comedy, it's new to me and I'm only just learning to appreciate all the subtleties(sp) of it and am looking forward to when you get your video up on the internet.

  3. R,
    (For some reason I always picture you as a pirate. Arrrr. A pirate with adorable shoes. Well, now I forgot what I was going to say.)

  4. Sheila,
    Oh, they liked the jokes all right, it just took them a little while to figure them out. ;)

  5. I love pirates. I spend many, many hours thinking about being a pirate. I wish I was kidding.


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