I was gigging in Canterbury tonight at a lovely new club called The Chuckle Shack
. I still haven't got anywhere with the script so it was a relief to get out into the world and do something constructive and remind myself that I can be amusing.
I like the organic nature of stand up and the way that over a course of performances a routine can adapt and change and become something new and one already extended bit found a new avenue to explore today thanks to a timely heckle.
It's a joke that I originally did in Talking Cock
, which started as the simple, "I love the vagina. I would go as far as saying that the vagina is my all time third favourite bodily orifice!" It's a nice line which I had been able to reintroduce into menage a un
previews, but back in June or July in a hot and sweaty gig in south west London I was heckled by a drunk woman who said, "What are the first two?"
To which I replied, "That's the point of the joke really isn't it? We work out in our heads what my first two preferred sexual orifices are, so for me to say it out loud would sort of explain the joke and ruin so you're going to have to work it out for yourself."
"I don't know what you mean!" the woman continued, "What are the first two?"
I tetchily replied, "Look everyone's thinking
what my first two preferred sexual orifices are, so for me to say it out loud would just insult their intelligence. It's obvious, so I am not going to say it. Just think about it and you'll get it, but I'm not going to say."
She wouldn't stop, "No come on, what are they?"
"All right," I conceeded, "if it'll shut you up I will tell you, but everyone's thinking it. It's the anus and a stab wound in the stomach."
Now that all genuinely happened ad-lib and God knows where this horrible idea came from in my diseased brain, but after a brief moment of surprise the line got the biggest laugh. From me too in all probability because it had kind of snuck up on me too. It's horrific and unpleasant, but I think it's clear to anyone except my most mental of readers that it is entirely a joke, the humour arising both from the unexpectedness and the extremism of my response. Even if you guessed that I was going to say something other than the expected "mouth", it's unlikely you'd have predicted what I did say. And if you did then (like me) you should probably be admitted to a secure institution.
I wondered about making this exchange a permanent part of the routine. In the heat of the moment it had been funny, but would it work when it was rehearsed and scripted? And wasn't it just too nasty to subject people to?
I gave it a go and every time I did it it seemed to garner the same level of shock and laughter. No-one was offended (I don't think). People understood. It was good to have a new bit to the joke. I had really been using it as filler in the previews, but now I could justify putting it in the show as it was a new bit which required the old bit to make sense.
Tonight I did the joke and it went all right, but a woman in the audience let the laugh die down and then shouted, "What about your hand?"
Sometimes as a comedian you just come up with the exact right line in no time at all. Not often enough, but it's satisfying when it happens. I answered immediately - "My hand is hardly an orifice is it? I mean, I'm not Jesus."
People laughed and afterwards a guy asked me if I had had the heckle before and when I told him I hadn't he couldn't believe the speed of my response. But I think people over estimate the difficulty of ad libbing and as far as I'm concerned there was little else I could say. The hand isn't an orifice. Who had an orifice in their hand?
And in the car home I realised if I had been a really impressive comedian I would have taken this idea and run with it. At the very least I could have conceeded that having sex with the nail wound of Jesus would surely be an incredible experience. Not only outrageously kinky, but also, you know, it's Jesus. That's got to add some kind of extra tingle. I could have done a funny mime of the whole thing happening. I realised that there is probably someone in the world whose sexual fetish is wanting to have sex with the wounds of Jesus. Not someone pretending to be Jesus. Actually Jesus Himself. That would be a sad and lonely existence. The bit in the Bible where Thomas puts his hand in Jesus's wounds would be your pornography. You'd be forever waiting for Jesus to return (makes me wonder if that's why some Christians are so keen for this to happen). And in your heart you'd know that Jesus probably wouldn't go along with your plans and let you fuck his hand wounds, because he is all good and Holy and stuff. So you'd never get to fulfil your perverted desires and you'd almost certainly go to Hell for even thinking such a thing. Which would be tough, because you'd really believed in Jesus and you'd loved him more than anyone. And yet there you are in Hell with all the stupid wrong Jews and Muslims, though you'd know that if you'd managed to ask Jesus about it, that at least He'd never forget you. He'd probably think about you quite often.
And there's always the chance he might be up for it. It's possible. Are you saying you know everything that Jesus thinks, because if you are then I find that quite blasphemous.
Then it struck me that I could have then said that Jesus would be my perfect sexual parner because he is one of those rare people who has both of my top two sexual orifices, an anus (he had one, get used to it) and a stab wound in the stomach. Plus the bonus of the four nail wounds (not that I am into that, but I'd give it a go if Jesus wanted it). Admittedly he doesn't have a vagina, but he is the son of God. I think he could probably magic one up if the need arose (if I got tired of having sex with his anus and wounds - it seems unlikely, but it might happen) and at the very least Jesus could tuck his penis and balls between his legs and make it look like he had a fanny, which might be enough for me.
Now if I'd managed to say all that off the cuff then I would be a genius comedian, but as it was I had to make do with experiencing esprit d'escalier (or more accurately esprit de voiture) on the way home. Still I might be able to now give this additional boulevard of ideas a go in future gigs. But maybe the moment has been lost.
WIN A PSP
November quiz - Question 8
Sticking with the Jesus theme, in my monologue "Christ on a Bike" I deconstructed the geneaology of Christ as detailed on page 1 of the New Testament. Which of Jesus's non-ancestors (he was not related to Joseph and thus has no relation to anyone in that whole begating list) attracted my particular venom for having a clearly made up joke name? I would like both his name and who he was "of".
Please wait until the end of the month before sending all 30 answers in together. Anyone sending answers individually will immediately invalidate their entry to the competition. Remember the prize will go to whoever has the most answers right. It is still worth entering even if you can't answer all the questions. There will be no additional clues.