6 November 2003

The Shock of the Few

Arriving at the pub, we were hustled upstairs fairly promptly in order to secure good seats. We had our pick – an audience of 4 in front of 7 comedians. Not their fault that publicity had broken down, but it made things more than a little awkward. Kind of like going to a dinner party where some of the guests insist on performing loudly and out of tune, and the others tell stories that end in “well you had to be there really” and you don’t know anyone but you can’t go home because the hostess would be insulted.

You pays your money and you takes you chances with stand-up. You don’t expect to laugh at every joke. There’ll be some that you don’t get till hours later. But, someone needs to make it known to the middle aged men of Sydney that jokes about feminists having hairy armpits are terribly passé. And funny songs need to be funny, and based around a real joke that everyone understands otherwise the audience will just shuffle their feet and look at the ceiling till you’re done.

But it’s not all bad – there were some piss-funny jokes and you had to give brownie points to the second wave of comic boys for having a go. And I’d forgotten all about that bit in Where Do I Come From (surely by now a classic of 70’s childhood popular culture?) that describes an orgasm as being “something like a hiccup and something like a sneeze”. You what? Who’s touching you, Mr Author-of-Birds-and-Bees-Books? I’ve had a cold all week, and it feels nothing like sex.

Next time – bring more friends and drink more beer – if there’s anything worse than pinning your smile muscles in place to cover an awkward hour or two, it’s doing it sober.

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