Wednesday, January 25, 2012


When you go into a live comedy show, particularly standup, you know that you are exposing yourself to potential embarrassment or other unpleasantness. Comics often see audience members more as props than as people, so when the audience members don't do what the comic wants, they treat them like a bad mic or something. You have to know therefore that you might get hassled based on a wide array of conflicting conditions.

If you come in during someone's set, it could be a problem. That happened to me the other day. You desperately try to enter unobtrusively, but sometimes the comic or the room just won't let you. In this case it was mainly the comic. I can't imagine if she was flailing around for a life preserver, though she seemed to be strong. What I know is that of the three that entered at the same time, the others got away and I was the lone one who was too slow and guileless to manage it.

It was bewildering and a little scary even for someone like me who desperately gravitates towards stage time like a moth to flame, but I was game. It seemed preferable to having my cowardice mined for humor. I found around half of her remaining material to revolve around me and her lascivious intentions. The humor seemed to lie in her relatively advanced age. It was better than some of what her successors managed, a good friend excluded.

Much worse can happen to you for stepping out of line according to the rules of a standup comic. I've seem people cursed out for talking over by the bar, which turns out to be not very funny. In the shoes of the person on stage, I would have more consideration for what one loses from the entire room in gaining victory against one lousy person. In this case, it was a lot more pleasant, but I will try all the harder the next to to arrive promptly, no matter how consistently such shows start late.

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