Whether they keep them hidden inside expensively tailored suits or beneath creased tee-shirts and un-pressed jeans, comedians have a concealed arsenal of weapons about their persons.
They bring out the cache at every performance, so that when the time comes for them to vacate the stage, they’ll be able to do so with the sound of the audiences’ laughter still ringing in their ears. Well, that’s the theory…
As my more astute readers (that’s 99% of you – sorry, Uncle Cledwyn!) realise, the comedian’s arsenal is comprised of monologues, jokes, gags, one-liners, witty observations and carefully rehearsed, sharply honed ad-libs. They are all created in the hope that every audience they perform to is reduced to helpless laughter.
However, comedy is subjective and what amuses one laughter-lover, might leave 20 other people cold. I think those 20 people were at my last-but-one gig. And that laughter-lover stayed home!
I’ve been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival several times and have seen many brilliant performers who created waves of laughter with great material. So, when I read what was voted ‘The Best Joke’ of this year’s festival, I was a little disappointed.
Here it is, uncut and uncensored . . .
I keep randomly shouting out “Broccoli” and “Cauliflower”. I think I might have Florets.
It’s very cleverly constructed and the judges obviously liked it, but the joke lost its initial impact with me because I had to look up what the word ‘Florets’ meant.
Budding comedians make note. Never tell a joke you think only a small percentage of the audience will find funny. Try for maximum laughs from the maximum number of people for the maximum time you’re on stage.
Next stop . . . Hammersmith Apollo!
Well, that’s the theory . . .
The Edinburgh joke disappointed me because it reminded me of one I noodled around with years ago but never put in my act . . .
I come from a long line of sooth-sayers. Except for my grandfather who went around shouting “Cream of tomato!” “Mulligatawny!” and “Carrot & Coriander!” He was a soup-sayer !
You know what? I might head to Edinburgh next year and see if it wins!