I have put on three kilos since Edinburgh and most of that has piled on this week. I have been drinking a bit too much beer. There might be a connection. Someone should look into that. But it's good I've spotted it as I am determined not to slide down that slippery slope to obesity again, so it's going to be a new regime of abstinence and exercise - starting Monday!
Because tonight I did have a few more cheeky beers whilst hosting the first of the autumn run of the Lyric Comedy Nights. It was an absolute blinder as well, with fantastic turns from Dan Antopolski, Andrew Lawrence and a newcomer called Stewart Lee who I think we might hear a bit more from in the future. The fact that the night was a complete sell out certainly helped create an electric atmosphere (the November gig is sold out already too and there are less than a 100 tickets left for October 26th so book now
The more I do of these, the more I am enjoying them and the more willing I am to go on stage in front of 550 people with no idea about what I am going to talk about. It's the point I always wanted to get to with stand up and it's really exhilarating when it works. Once my mouth gets running, it seems that even my brain doesn't know what is about to come out and thus I was able to surprise and disgust myself at times. But people laughed and that is the main thing.
But it's the high quality of the acts that make these Lyric nights spectacular and everyone was on great form. My favourite bit was when Stew was taking the piss out of the public for thinking Delboy falling through the bar is the funniest piece of TV ever. He himself falls to the stage and with his back to the audience continues to debate how "funny" someone falling over is and whether it's better than Spike Milligan or Chris Morris. It went on for some time, with him lying on the stage, and we noticed from backstage that he was slowly rolling towards the lip of the stage and the significant drop to the floor of the auditorium. There was a genuine tension as we wondered if he knew he was putting himself in danger, as well as the frisson from a performer spending so long on the ground with his back to the audience. But eventually it became clear that Stew knew exactly what he was doing and was playing with our expectations and knew that we were all secretly hoping that he would fall from the stage and break his neck and thus prove that slapstick comedy is indeed the funniest thing there is. It was amazing.
Though I also enjoyed Andrew Lawrence's threats to smear his own faeces in the faces of the respectable Lyric crowd if they failed to give him a standing ovation. And Dan Antopolski's rap about sandwiches.
I think the audience went away happy (probably because Lawrence did not make good on his threat) and the acts all had a great time too. It's so satisfying to play to an intelligent and comedy literate crowd - in fact two of my more intellectual jokes worked better than they ever have before, which was quite strange, as usually I then go on to deconstruct their failure. Instead I had to chastise the crowd for being too clever. But none of us really minded them being too clever. It's a rare privilege. So thanks to you if you were there and laughing. This was definitely in the top ten gigs I've ever been a part of, which can't be bad. Don't miss the next one.