A few weeks ago, I went to an amateur stand-up comedy night at the biggest comedy club in Adelaide, Australia. I wasn’t performing, but I went along anyway with the deluded idea that I might end up finding the next Billy Connolly or Richard Pryor. I did not find the next Connolly or Pryor. What I witnessed was three amateur comics well and truly living up to their title. And, the emcee of the night was apparently an established comedian who earned actual money for his comedy. The drinks were hideously overpriced, $7.00 for a glass of Coke, God knows how much for anything with an alcohol content.
The first amateur up on stage was a seemingly mentally unstable young man with spiky blonde hair and tight fitting cream coloured pants. His style of comedy was a rambling monologue to himself. This guy had all the ingredients for a funny performance, but perhaps the thing that ruined it for him and everybody else was the way he would leer at the group of attractive young women in the front row after he would tell the bare, rancid bones of anything that resembled a “joke”.
The second amateur to take the stage was someone so banal and uninteresting, I can barely remember a single thing about him or his performance. If I recall correctly, he had a joke about Paris Hilton and his grandfather, but I missed most of that joke because a fly had landed on my hand and the incredibly interesting nature of the fly momentarily distracted me from possibly a good joke. I don’t know whether that joke got a few laughs, or if this miraculous fly had shocked the audience into a sort of panting gasp. We will never know. Sad.
The third and final, the last but also least amateur stand-up was a young, trendy, liberal, 50% hipster, snuggly bear, middle class, 50% dickhead kind of a guy. This guy had actual jokes. They weren’t all great, but they were real jokey things. The standout joke was about his unlucky adventures with women, resulting in a lot of rose thorn injuries due to his hiding from girls in bushes. I think he may have done something clever with the word “bush” when referring to the girls he liked, but I just can’t remember(which gives you some idea of the pure awfulness of the night’s proceedings, I can’t even remember the best joke of the evening!).
Adding to the disappointment of the amateurs, was the emcee(a professional comedian). He was a big, darkly dressed, combed-over, greasy type of bloke. I think his name was Brad or Brett or something similar. He didn’t tell joke as such, rather he spoke about modern life in a very frank way. There were no attempts at subverting reality, adding in crazy characters, no funny voices…….nothing! He also stared at me for quite a lot longer than he looked at anyone else in the room. I will admit, I was giving the sort of look a Holocaust survivor would give a man with a swastika for a face.
Please don’t be mad at me up and coming comedians. Maybe I just went on a particularly bad night. I’m sure you’re all better than the ones I saw that night. Keep trying, and eventually, after years of gigging and touring, you too could end up emceeing a terrible night of amateur stand-ups in a backwater town in the middle of a desolate, dry country! 🙂