We went to a comedy show on Saturday night with some friends of ours. Tim and I love comedy. We just adore funny stuff.
Of course Humour is very subjective. Different things tickle different funny bones. And there in lies the potential problem. There are some things that are supposedly funny that don't make me even break into a smile. Like the movie, "Bridesmaids". And other things that have me laughing so hard, my face hurts, my sides hurt, and every time I think about for days afterwards, I laugh again. Like almost anything that Brian Regan says.
So anytime we go to a comedy show, it's kind of a crap shoot. Are we really going to perceive this as funny or not?
We used to go to a local Denver comedy club a few times a year. Sometimes the headliner was somebody we had at least heard of before, sometimes not. There were always the warm-up acts that preceded the big guns though. And sometimes, they were really good. (sometimes not to be fair)
As I see it, the biggest difference between the landed comedians, the ones everybody already knows and loves and the guys who haven't hit the big time yet is just practice. The really good professional guys are smooth. They are confident. They own that stage. In fact, they own the audience. The play us like the proverbial fiddle. Their timing is superb. They can read the room. They can handle a heckler with aplomb. The other guys, no matter how good they eventually will be, aren't quite there yet. Almost. You can feel it coming. You know they have great potential. It will happen. It just hasn't happened yet.
And we saw evidence of that once again at the show we saw this weekend.
The show was called Sandy-Toes Stand Up (I don't really know why...because Venice is a beach town maybe?) and the show was at the Venice Performing Arts Center. It was our first time at that particular venue. It was right here on the island, which was handy, and it was a lovely place, very comfy seats with great views of the stage and a decent sound system with good accoustics, We have zero complaints about where the show was performed.
As it turns out there were 5 comedians, 1 magicians and the MC. The MC wasn't especially amusing but she was pleasant. Good enough for me.
The first comic introduced was Tara Zimmerman. She was definitely not a headliner, but she has great potential. She was funny, she was relate-able and her timing was spot on. We laughed a lot. If I had one criticism, it was that she held the mic too close to her face. I want to hear what you have to say; I do not want to hear you breathe. A few hundred thousand more performances and she will be smooth as silk. Thumbs up to Tara Zimmerman.
The next guy was mostly funny. My guess is that this younger fellow looked out into a sea of mostly older people, and he panicked a little bit and did a quick shuffle in his head trying to accommodate his audience. Points for reading the room. I could tell that he was holding himself back a tiny bit, trying to reach us. But comedy isn't about holding back! It's about being right there, in the now, with a little bravado, hoping that we catch up. JJ Curry was his name. A nice kid.
The act that followed his, I won't bother to give you his name. Not amusing. He had a cheat sheet with him that he kept consulting and he kept waiting for us to laugh. Joke, big pause, joke, big pause, something that passes for a joke, big pause. Nope. Sorry, nope.
The magician came next. Now I like magic. I really enjoy it. And I think I would have enjoyed this act tremendously except for one thing. The ladies he brought up out the audience to "assist" him were spotlight grabbers. One of them in particular was the assistant from heck. She interrupted him, talked over him, made it a point to NOT do as instructed, and anything else she could think of to make sure that she, and not he, was the center of attention. To his credit, he handled it as well as probably anyone could without ordering her off the stage. But it was a shame.
The second to last act was a real disappointment. Again I will not mention her name. I think maybe it was a generational thing. She was young and from a large city. Perhaps her brand of humour would be more of a hit with younger more metropolitan people. But for the group she was given, nope.
The last fellow was the big cheese. He was smooth, he was funny, he was relaxed and commanding both at the same time. His name was Gid Pool and he was a riot. It was the perfect way to end the evening. We laughed until our sides hurt, laughed until our faces hurt and in my case, I laughed until my Mascara was a mess. THAT is what I want out of a comedy show. And we got it.
Few things better than an evening of laughing until you are just a husk of your former self. Only way to improve on it would be to enjoy with it with like-minded friends. And that is exactly what we did :) You know how they say that misery loves company? Well Humour does too :)
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.