Other than seeing Beelzebub in the morning, the instant that I opened the door to pick up my milk bottles, Tuesday was, as Tuesdays often are, non-descript. I spent the day writing ideas for a new scrpit that I am working on, which should, all being well, be unread, in an unopened envelope, in production company bins, throughout the UK, by November. Later in the afternoon I began putting together some topical stuff, as I was compering a new comedy night at Cardiff's Buffalo Bar in the evening. As it was a new night, I didn't really know what to expect. If I had known, I may well have spent less time preparing.
The venue itself was a strange shape for comedy, a wide stage area, a narrow corridor of seating, leading to another wide area, containing sofas, at the rear. I got there about half an hour before, as I usually do, and had my customary soft drink, whilst I spoke to the organiser. As the venue began to fill I began to suspect the worst. It was a new university term, and the average age of the audience was, I would estimate, eighteen. If you're not familiar with a comedy evening, the comperes 'job' is to prepare the audience for the comedians. Typically, depending on the gig, the format will be compere, comedian, break, compere, comedian, break, compere, headliner. But getting the hang of watching live comedy can be a similar process to getting the hang of performing live comedy. That is, if, as an audience member, you are embarrassed to laugh, or interract, or speak, you may not enjoy it as much as someone who is au fait with live comedy. This is not to knock the audience. One of the best things about comedy is that it is totally subjective. I used to sing in the clubs (I have no shame) which I never found scary. People may not have liked a song that I was singing, but they would have to admit that I COULD sing. However, if people do not laugh at you, you are NOT funny. Simple as that. As it was, I did manage to make people laugh, after a slow start, but only by ditching my planned topical routine and relying heavily on wanking-based material. This can be depressing. We like to talk about how unintelligent our American friends are, but if you spent an hour and a half wracking your brains to think of a laughter point that young people in Britain could relate to, that was nothing to do with the genital area, you would be as disillusioned with the Playstation Generation as I am. As a social experiment, ask a teenaged friend, or realtive, to give you a sixty-second rundown of recent world events. I guarantee that it will be an eye-opening experience.
In the evening I returned home, listening to Radio Two, had a glass of red wine, put on the History Channel, and sat down in my underpants to watch another programme about Hitler and the Third Reich. I like to move with the times.