Gig Number Three: Spleen

The Monday night comedy show at Spleen has an important history. The room had tried to host a comedy night for a while, produced by a bunch of comedians who over time lost interest or were never really invested in the first place.  Karl Chandler, Steele Saunders and Pete Sharkey eventually were given the keys to the night and through hard work turned it into one of Melbourne's premier comedy nights.  Before Spleen you had either The Comic's Lounge or The Comedy Club to perform on weekends and Janet McLeod's Monday night show The Local.  All three rooms can be difficult to break into, the can be gigs tough for the uninitiated.  Melbourne had rooms popping up for a few weeks and then disappearing on a regular basis but nothing was really sticking until Spleen.



I've been lucky enough to have been performing for Karl, Steele and Pete from relatively early in the inception of the room.  I therefore have a lot of affection for it and try to treat the room with a certain respect.  It is an open mic room so therefore I always perform as much new material as possible.  I spend the day making whatever new material I have as rock solid as I possibly can.

The room is free to enter which is usually a terrible sign for a comedy room as it implies the audience has little invested in whether the night succeeds or not.  Luckily the lads set up the room in a professional manner that demands respect.  They run a tight ship and have seen their room grow from humble beginnings to a night like tonight where there literally was no room to enter through the front door.  If a comedian wanted to enjoy the show they had to sit out the back and listen because there was no way they could bump a punter out of the way.

Great work by my buddy Mike Goldstein in hosting duties tonight.  We're performing together in February at the Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane so I'm looking forward to that week of gigs.  It was great to see not only people like Kelly Fastuca, Lana Schwarcz and Luke McGregor on the bill but a bunch of cool friends hanging out the back of the room.  Celia Pacquola, Claire Hooper, Alison Bice and Bart Freebairn (who was on later but I did a runner so I could return home to write this) are all delightful people to hang out with.



I mixed a bit of old with new and had an okay set.  I think it went well but I knew deep down it could have been better.  I think some of the ideas for new material was good but I felt I was a little off my game, that I could have explored it all a little better.  Get used to this, I am often a little harsh on my work but it is only because of a strong desire to be better than the last gig every time.  I am certain it can be pretty tedious to live with!

Here's the setlist with new material in bold:

New Year's Eve Resolutions

Athletes Thanking God

People With Perfect Eyesight Wearing Glasses

Not Tall Enough To Be Forty

"You're An Ugly Hooker!"

Fix Your Flaws:  I Over Think

"Fix Your Flaws" was built on from last Thursday at Five Burroughs.  "You're An Ugly Hooker!" was performed once at last season's The Shelf.  "Athletes..." and "Not Tall Enough..." were brand new tonight.  I could have said that "People With Perfect Eyesight..." was new but there were too many older jokes peppered throughout it to make it truly new.

All in all a good gig that deep down I think I could have been better in.  I'm not certain at this point what was lacking from my side of things.  I think maybe I didn't prepare quite as well during the day as I usually do.  It had started early (I have returned to writing my latest draft of my novel and maybe the 7am-10am start will take some getting used to.) Still my job is to be on my game so no excuses, I should have been better.  All up I think it was a six out of ten.  I'm hosting Spleen in a few weeks and I'll make certain I am much better then.

If you haven't been before you can find Spleen at 41 Bourke St, Melbourne and the show begins 8.30pm.

Justin Hamilton

14th of January, 2013

Fitzroy North