I once watched a semi-famous telly comic – off of the tellybox – perform a show in Brighton. I had no idea who he was but it seemed that everyone in the room had been waiting for him.
“Who is he?” I kept asking, only to be met with the response
“It’s HIM. OFF THE TELLY.”
Right. Gotcha.

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It might not have been his fault. Actually scratch that, it was ENTIRELY his fault, from his piss-poor comprehension to his shoddy, gutless material – that, and the fact that he followed a particularly funny, well informed, sarcastic Canadian comedian who I wish I could remember the name of. Sadly it was the first night out since the birth of my baby and I was too busy getting hammered to notice. But trust me, this Canadian dude? He was good.

So following him couldn’t have been easy. Yet on he came this comedian, this famous face, and the place went nuts. Hooray! They all cheered while I just looked mildly puzzled and felt the cold hand of old age settling on my shoulder. Time to come with me now, whispered middle age into the shell of my ear, you no longer understand this place.

He opened with a mildly funny joke about blow jobs, the gist of which seemed to be that he once had a blow job. Tee hee, right kids? Then he segued into a secondary joke which appeared to be a retelling of the first with – and you’ll like this – a bit more swearing and the expression ‘sucking off’ replacing the word blow job. On and on and on went this hilarious oral sex based mirth – the endless dick sucking joke never losing laughs even after each repetition. I started to wonder if I was watching the same act as everyone else. At one point he went out on a limb with a joke about fucking the gist of which appeared to be – uh-oh, you’re way ahead of me – that he once had sex.

Listen. I can’t think of anything in the world I would rather do LESS than be a stand-up comedian. I cannot comprehend how big your balls would have to be to tell jokes to an audience consisting mainly of drunks who would prefer to see you fall like an Old God than hear your wry observations about modern living. I would rather chew off my hands. I’d chew off your hands too, before I would go up on a stage.
And I love swearing. I love innuendo. I love being made to laugh. There is nothing hotter than someone who can make me laugh. Chances are if I’m laughing I’m already halfway out of my knickers.

But be abstract, be knowing, be informed, swear, caper, preen, deliver snide, ungallant remarks, pratfall into next week for all I care but don’t be so fucking lazy as to think that sniggering about a blow job for ten minutes of my good time is funny. When you’ve wrung the shock value dry (“Can’t believe that guy from the telly is talking about blow jobs!”) it’s basically a one-way ticket to Yawnsville.

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