I referred some time ago to my own short-lived experience as a stand-up comic after entering the BBC’s Young Talent competition in 1999/2000 (can’t remember which).
The material on offer by me was around 95% original, with only the shoehorning of a good joke in at the end possibly jarring slightly.
There I was, on a stage in the Hyena Comedy bar in Newcastle with smoke, the smell of stale booze and chilli hanging in the air, and a selection of bright multicoloured lights. Looking back, I’m sure I resembled Robert Bathurst in Joking Apart.
While I mention the chilli – what sort of establishment doles out free chilli and wraps? That was a revelation! My entourage (Dad, and friends Richard Rae and Andrew Carling) left the place stuffed to bursting, and thankfully quite impressed with me. Richard, Andrew and myself were pretty merry too; in fact I took to the stage after 6 pints of Carlsberg. I wouldn’t recommend that. It doesn’t make remembering your gags any easier.
And you know while I might have been beaten by a guy who had been to every Rob Newman show and learnt the routine verbatim, I can be happy that I got some laughs with original material.
Excuse the digression, anyway. Back to the point.
My routine was based on the bizarre antics of the North Yorkshire town of Crabladder. A town 7 miles long and 70 feet wide, one settlement of the mysterious Yorkshire Triangle which counts Banjostring and Fannyride at its other points.
I suppose you could say the routine drew as much from Round the Horne and Rambling Syd Rumpo as it did from The League of Gentlemen.
Thinking back to this time, it is feeling kind of nostalgic… so much so that if I knew the first place to start, I would do it again.