I’m currently on the train. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as listening to a very happy child grinding her mother’s brain into a fine paste by telling a constant high pitched stream of near identical jokes and demanding not only rapt attention, but also genuine mirth.
Over the last couple of days, I have put together a collection of a few of the press cuttings I have about hb. I started thinking about the people I have chosen to deal with. And why the majority are stand up comedians.
I have been a fan of live stand up comedy since the very early 90s, One of the first gigs I saw was to see Jack Dee supported by Lee Evans. I can still remember the discovery. I knew I wanted to experience that kind of laughter all the time.
6 years later and I was doing stand up comedy myself. My first open mic spot was at The Fez in Bath. The other open mic spot that night was Marcus Brigstocke.
I met so many now very famous people during that time. I have no clue as to what I thought I was doing – but it felt like a plan – something that I wanted to be a part of. I think I just wanted to be a panelist on QI – before QI had been invented.
I enjoyed writing the stuff. I talked about things like the advert for Kinder Surprise Eggs, things it’s illegal to import and methods used by strangers to get children to get into their cars. Before every gig, terror – after, a sort of exhausted elation. Relief.
People often ask me why I don’t go back to stand up. The simple answer is that I don’t want to. I wasn’t good enough at it and I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t at home on stage.
I fell in love with the comedians and the slightly seedy, slightly too adult for a girl on her own nights out but I couldn’t be a fan. It was all too important to me. I wanted to talk to clever people as someone who knew what it was like to go out, bomb, die, panic, nail it, improvise and soar. I loved the brains of the people I met – and I will always be grateful for having had the chance to meet them in the days before twitter gave them something better to do with their time than talk to people at the back of the room pre-performance.
I’m also glad I met them when I was in awe of them. As an 18 year old, being cool while being given a free pass to meet my idols. Honest to god, I am so lucky. They won’t know me now, of course. They were all in a haze of panic of their own when we met. And I have a different name. I look different and I am finally at home, living the life I was meant to live. Phew.
But this Christmas, I received 3 stand up comedy dvds. The latest from Jack Dee, Greg Davies and Bill Bailey. All now recommended to you by someone who really does know.
Live comedy is great. Undiluted joy when there is nothing else to drive you to feel happy, less calorific than chocolate, more soothing than alcohol, always there.
And Greg Davies shows off his gut. Again. What more could you possibly want?