I met a friend on Saturday. X, my friend, an aspiring comic, she suggested we go for this open-mic stand-up-comedy thing. Her friend was performing there. I thought, what the heck?
3 hours after the show, we were at a watering hole.
X cracked up. “We laughed so hard.”
I joined her. “Gosh! They were so bad.”
X’s friend laughed along. Her set had been the saving grace.
How were we to know?
The first clue was the venue.
Me — “Where is this place?”
X — “Just put it on G-maps.”
Me — “I did. It shows a different place.”
X — “What?!”
After a bit of trial & error we found the venue, a co-working space. It made sense as the place would be empty after office hours. Except for the organisers, the performers and us, it was empty.
Back at the watering hole…
X — “Remember that guy asking the audience who had come there by car?”
Me — “And no one said they had. He didn’t know how to continue!”
X’s friend — “He does that a lot.”
She should know.
The host killed it. Really. I want to say he bombed! But bombed can still be spectacular, bombed can be chutzpah — he didn’t even crackle, just went fizz. But he picked up again when he confessed his jokes were not working. Now that left us in splits!
X told her friend, “Your jokes rang so true to life. I shared your pain”.
I tried posing as a wise man. “It’s the right way to get it done — more funny, less pain, blah, blah…”
X’s friend said, “A club producer told me it would take me 3-4 years to break into the scene”.
Yeah, right. He should know.
There was this one chap who was really good. He had quite a few things going for him. He was muslim, slightly built, spoke Hinglish sprinkled with Bantai boli and his topics — NRC, gender in Muslims, a bad audience, etc, His stuff was raw and kept me on the edge. It didn’t work that night, but it was just a matter of time & experience. Of course, if he didn’t get arrested or …
I asked X and her friend, “Why don’t you have anyone else write material for you?”
“We need to write our own material. It is a pain, but that’s the way,” they said.
They should know.
We finished at the watering hole, said goodbye to X’s friend and hopped on to my bike. We had laughed quite a bit. The night felt young. I wanted to sit down and ask her how things were with her. There’s enough comedy that we create by chilling and chatting. The bike ambled in the direction of her house.
“We can hang,” I said.
“I feel so tired.”
Right! I gave her a warm hug outside her place, started my bike and left.
I should have known.