Wednesday, January 19, 2005

One of those nights

Monday night was one of those nights where I could have done more for my comedy career by staying home and watching the Oxygen network than going to the show in which I had a set. Thanks to the ass-biting cold not much of an audience showed up, only half of the comics showed up, and some of the audience members that did show up were apparently raised by wolves in Saskatchewan, well-suited for the weather but not really steeped in the etiquette of watching a live performance.

There was a man in the audience whose obnoxious, drunken behavior disrupted every set. What was more galling was that it turned out he wasn’t drunk, he was just an asshole. And his date was worse.

It’s not that they were saying mean things to the comics, they were just talking throughout the entire show. Talking to each other, on their cell phones, to the comics on stage.

I think for some people watching a comedy show is somehow surrendering too much authority to someone else. It makes people feel as if they’re lowering themselves if they have to listen to someone else. Or maybe it makes them feel too vulnerable to open themselves up to a stranger’s sense of humor.

But I think for this pair it mostly came down to attention. They wanted it and they resented anyone else who was trying to get it. At the end of the show the host even offered the woman the chance to come on stage for five minutes and say whatever she wanted. The others in the crowd that had to endure her incessant babbling perked up at the opportunity to give a little something back.

She of course declined.

Getting attention is one thing, but having the balls to go up on stage and earn it is entirely another.

After the show the other comics and I retired to another bar for a drink and to look forward to better crowds.

“It was just one of those nights,” we told each other.

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