So we started the Smoking Mic tour of Norfolk towns this week and it's been a quite an eye-opening experience already. We started on home turf in the York Tavern in Norwich, which was a great night but then we moved onto the darkside...Dereham, which will probably be our toughest gig. It was is the King's Head hotel, see pic above, which was a kinda Fawlty Towers/Duty Free sorta place, we walked in with families and kids and stuff and going oh jeez.
Part of the fun of this though is travelling in a car and talkin guff, myself and Jon Brittain can slip quite easily into long geek conversations, my end of such is mostly rants on Superman Returns, Spider-Man 3 and X-Men III, a trilogy of darkness that has cast a pall on every fanboys life. It's what I like about Jon's comedy too, we are similarly geeky and analytical about both comedy and comics, it should make sense, you craft joke and when faced by the mooks of Derehem it's tough but we can still do it, even if they aren't listening or don't care.
One of my funniest moments in retrospect (but not at the time, where I was shiteing myself) was when one of the organisers Richard came out after his set and went 'they don't like swearing, anything about religion or sexual content', and I'm looking down at my set thinking, I might as well go 'Hello Dereham...and good night....' but I think my stuff went ok, there was one table interested they had ordered food and all I could think of during my set was 'mmmm chips thye have CHIPS' they were into it. Not like the other side of the room a group of large local Norfolk munters, in the parlance of our times. Even when I was doing a joke about Google image search they were talking amongst themselves going 'Google? what's he talking about?' I know my stuff's geeky but, it's not the most obscure of references. Here's the 'joke':
'thank you, it's great to be here, I'm sort of a lonely comic book geek, so it's just nice for me to get out of my room, where I make many important decisions, like telling Google not to filter my image search results. If I type in 'ebony', I'm not looking to buy a coffee table...'
It was a good experience though, sticking with my routine and the one's who get it and are listening like it, and others don't that's ok, and what was I gonna do...go 'hey this place look's like the set of Duty Free!...hey where's Keith Barron?...' Apologising to one side of the room, going 'apologies in advance but here's more about me being a pervert' and the other side of the room are going 'bring it on...more filth', it's weird. What I've noticed as well is female audience members have no problem with frank sexual discussion it's the blokes that are squirming and can't handle it...must remeber that. Out having a cigarette afterwards with one of the couples from the good table, I mentioned worries of the porn content and she said said 'I didn't think there was sex or porn stuff at all, 'what's a BJ?'' and the bloke was there like 'that's all it was about'.
The other organiser Greg Powles set the tone really right, he works for North Norfolk radio and can really get the local knowledge and tone right with innuendo, but once I come on and discuss sexuality frankly (but not using swear words, I use 'feck' one and that's it). You realise that when you doing a joke like:
I'm really into diverse sexualities, but when you talk about sex changes, there's always some fat bloke going...'if I had a sex change I would stay in all day and wank play with my tits', and I'm like...'that's what you do anyway, you don't need a psychologically difficult and expensive operation for that...'
you are ocasionally talking to some fat bloke who says exactly that, in our case it was a large grumpy mook called 'Jeff', who sort of cult figure for the night because of his extreme fat grumpiness, and also becuase Jon has a joke about a friend called Jeff, whenever we had a break or whatever everyone would go 'hey we have wait for Jeff, he'd love this' . At the end we were all getting a clap (or two) and Jeff walks in and solemnly gives us all the finger and sits down, heres to you Jeff, come to Derehem and see his comedy some time!