Another week of successful gigging, resulting in a rant-free blog, which I understand is not a very interesting reading again. Does anyone really want to hear about a handful of ‘nice’ gigs? Wouldn’t have thought so.
A quick breakdown of the week, though:
Monday – The Hob, Forest Hill. Had a corker, got offered a spot at the pro night. Lovely Jubbly.
Tuesday – TNT, Kentish Town. Good night, set went well, had a couple of beers with my buddy Craig Hazell (shout out). Smashing.
Wednesday – CinnaHAHA, Stevenage. Filth night, which is always exciting. 15 minute set went very well, I enjoyed it immensely, but fuck me Stevenage is a long way away. Cheers to Gary G Knightly (shout out: 2) who is a bearded lovely.
I then slept.
The below is something I wrote a while ago but have yet to post. I’ve been in two minds about it, as I don’t want to be one of ‘those’ comedians, but I’ve had a busy week and can’t be arsed to entertain my single blog reader, who this week I’m guessing will be either Daryl Perry or Ben Clover (shout outs: 3 and 4).
There’s always some kind of debate underway about the thieving of material in standup comedy. I understand that this is not a new issue by any means and that it will have been around since the dawn of standup itself, but I heard someone talking about it at a gig recently and it pushed it to the forefront of my mind.
I believe it was done to me.
I have wanted to mention it several times in the past, but didn’t want to sound like one of those bitching and moaning comedians who think that the world is out to get them and that other comics thinks they are so great that they just have to steal their jokes. I was at the King Gong at The Comedy Store on April 30th, 2012 (http://www.tomholmescomedy.com/gig-26) and a feller went up, I forget his name, he started strong, his act was very loud, very animated and his thing was to moan about stuff, but in a way where he was eventually laying on the floor, crippled by his annoyance, almost begging to the people he was angry with to change their ways. He did well, he actually lasted about four and a half minutes – almost the full five – before eventually losing the rabid crowd and getting gonged off.
I remember thinking ‘I do stuff about that’, and ‘I do stuff like that bit too, maybe I should have done that material tonight if the crowd seemed to like it so much’. It wasn’t until the interval when I was about to leave that I was approached by the feller, who said that he had seen me at a gig a while back, I forget which gig in particular.
The next day I realised that I had done the material that he was doing at the gig he said he had seen me at. The more I though about it, the more it made sense; he did about half my set, almost word for word. It was all the stuff about how I hate it when people bring their kids to work on their day off, how everyone pretends to give a shit about the kid when they’re bringing the little twat around, how the kid doesn’t want to be there and we don’t want the kid to be there, how people at work try to make smalltalk while I’m trying to make a cup of tea when they really could just say nothing, and self-service tills (when it was still mildly funny and relevant). I know that this sounds like generic, hack material, but it was far too similar to ignore.
Because his delivery had been so vastly different to mine, I almost hadn’t noticed it. Where as I just stand there in a pretty laid-back, some may say ‘sexy’ way and just talk about it, he was screaming, laying on the floor with his arms outstretched to the sky.
It doesn’t annoy me that it happened and to be honest it didn’t even annoy me at the time, once I had realised. I only wish I had got the fellers name, not so I could hunt him down and give him an oral and/or anal warning, but just so I could see how much use out of the material he got, whether he’s still using it and how well he is doing.
This genuinely wasn’t a moan, the material definitely wasn’t my best and I really don’t care that someone has used it, it happens to comics all the time. I don’t use the various comedy forums and am not an active user of The Comedy Collective on Facebook, where I believe that the whole ‘so-and-so stole my stuff’ – ‘no I fucking didn’t’ debate rages constantly. I’m just mentioning my own, brief encounter with it.
I don’t understand the mindset of someone who would steal a comedian’s stuff though. Surely you’re only kidding yourself, and while you may very well get laughs, you’re not progressing and in my humble opinion, this standup bollocks is all about progressing, getting better and eventually doing something with it.
Anyway, I’d better get back to practicing some new material. I’ve had an idea about talking about that drawer that every man has in his house where he keeps all sorts of things that he’ll never use. Things like used batteries and old currency… why is it that you can never throw away old currency? It’s a drawer that only men use… can’t think of a name for it yet.
And another thing: Garlic Bread? What’s that all about?