Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beautiful British Name

I’ve been on a bit of a comedy binge (insert gag here of your choice about my career) over the last year or so, having seen Frankie Boyle, Dara O’Briain, Russell Brand and Al Murray live amongst others, and really enjoyed most of them (although I was disappointed by Frankie, who had very little fresh material).

A couple of weekends ago I had a total comedy binge, seeing John Bishop in Bournemouth on the Saturday and Al Murray (again) on the Sunday in a really compact venue at the Hammersmith Lyric in London.

What a cracking weekend it was!

Despite the venue being a bit odd (it’s usually a conference centre) and the staff being over attentive with their continuous announcements over the PA system in Bournemouth it was a really enjoyable night.

The best bit was the hecklers, who tended to be from the Liverpool or Manchester area and he dealt with them really well. I thought one of the put downs he used was hilarious:

John: Where are you from?
Heckler: Wythenshawe!
John: Wythenshawe? It’s like what it would be if the cast of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ settled down somewhere!

Not very politically correct, but very funny!

Sunday was Al Murray, headlining an event that had a few other comedians. Al, as you may know, is legendary for picking on people in the audience – and thankfully we were safe as we were in row G. Phew!

Or so I thought. The front row was row F. Here’s how far away Al wasn’t:

Now I’m aware I’m a reasonably conspicuous person (and wearing a T-Shirt that just said ‘pancakes’ on it doesn’t help much), so we started preparing our stories for when he asked us what we do.

Al: What do you do Alex?
Me: I work for Richard Branson.
Al: What do you do, do you blow up the balloons?
*Much laughter*
Me: I work in customer experience for Virgin Media
Al: Any Virgin customers here, anyone got any problems? Alex can sort them out for you!

Well, that was nice of him wasn’t it? Thankfully the responses were amusing and just to wind me up, as I didn’t have any business cards on me!

Of the three of us only one other got picked on, with her saying she was an “office manager” … which Al summarised as being “oh, you’re a cleaner then aren’t you?”

It was another really good night and a great weekend of comedy, and I even got a tweet back from Al when I said I’d enjoyed having the mickey taken out of me!

Being in a much smaller venue that was a lot more intimate than when I last saw him (at the Hammersmith Apollo) really made it a much more enjoyable night with the Pub Landlord – not that it wasn’t great first time!

I’ve now seen enough comedians live that I thought it was time I ranked them on the basis of enjoyment and how much I laughed:
  1. Al Murray
  2. John Bishop
  3. Dara O’Briain
  4. Billy Connolly
  5. Russell Brand
  6. Frankie Boyle
Who’s the best you’ve seen in the flesh?

1 comment:

  1. I'd forgotten I saw Tim Minchin before Christmas too! He comes in at 4.1 on my list accordingly :-)