Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to go to a Comedy Night

I've been to a few comedy gigs over the last few months. I'm by no means a connaiseur but it's one of my favourite things to do, even if the comedians aren't very good. I pretty much know how it works by now, or at least what to do, and definitely what not to do. This is what I've learned. It is by no means the right thing to do, or the best thing to do at all, but they've worked for me so far.

1. Seating is optimum. It is a common theme that most comedians pick on people in the first two rows, because, well, it's easy. So if you don't like to be asked your name, inside leg measurement and relationship status with that guy from your office who secretly fancies you and hopes you're on a date, make sure you arrive pretty soon after doors open so you can sit in what's probably affectionaly named 'coward's corner'. By the same merit, do not wear anything which draws attention to you, because it may also get you picked on (I've seen it happen).

2. Come armed with a question. In some places it seems to be de rigeur to write a question down to go in the pint glass being passed around, some of which are then read by the MC and comedians. I had a great question, but I forgot to, crucially, put it in the pint glass. So that's another piece of advice - remember to make sure you put your question in the pint glass. It is also a good time to learn the inappropriate thing to ask.

3. Do your research. If you think going to any comedy night  will be a laugh, you may be wrong, because you might not like the styles of the comedians, or you just might not find them funny. Find at least one act on the bill who you like, otherwise it could be a really long night. Maybe even two, actually. 
4.  Do not feel any pressure to laugh. If everyone around you is laughing, it doesn't mean it's funny. A particularly GREAT night I had was spent on a boat with not only racist, homophobic, sexist, unfunny comedians, but an audience who thought they were hilarious. I couldn't leave, because of the whole boat situation, but I crossed my arms, looked disapproving, and did not laugh. Man, did I show them.

5. Don't punch that annoying person laughing three times as loud as everyone else like a braying donkey and explaining the jokes' punchline to their mate. Someone else will probably do it for you, and you don't really want to get involved in that social awkwardness.

6. It may seem obvious, but for God's sake, go to the loo before the show starts. There's no way of knowing how long you'll be in there. And drink half pints. Heard it from a friend.

SO there we have it: six steps to seeing comedy, and another 2-5 minutes of your life wasted.

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