I was contacted by Steele Saunders around lunch time asking if I could fill in for a comedian who was ill and therefore couldn't host Spleen last night. With a bunch of new material under my belt I jumped at the chance to head down to one of my favourite comedy shows. It was another great, cold night in Melbourne and I am finding that being out and about after dark to be quite invigorating. I have definitely embraced the romantic mood a rainy night in the city exhibits. The show was packed with punters as usual and contained a really strong line up that consisted of new and established comedians including Jonathon Schuster, Arielle Conversi, Michael Connell, Kate McLennan, Elbowskin, Jason English, Gerard McCulloch, Steele Saunders, Manraj Sidhu and Ben Darsow. I hosted the room the way I usually do by performing a big chunk of material in my opening set then rolling the acts through. The first setlist looked like this:
Homeless in New York
Destroying a Nerd
This was some of the new material that I had produced from the past four nights at The Butterfly Club and I wanted to see how it would stand alone and away from the context of the new show. It turned out that the new material has a strong cadence that can be used in an opening when I'm hosting a show so that was exciting to know I now have a new option. Taking material out of the original context doesn't always mean it will translate so this was a good opportunity to test it in an environment that I knew would want it to succeed. The audience is always good at Spleen and that is why it is important to remember to use the room properly and not waste stage time there.
After a brief break we were into the second half where I chopped and changed with some of my material. This is how it turned out:
No Need To Share All Your Opinions
Tripping and Farting
This set worked a treat but I felt it was slightly too long for what I would have preferred at the top of the second. The problem (if it really is that) was that I found new jokes in the new material which lead to it blowing out in time. It wasn't out of control but it was definitely just over enough to make me wish I had dropped one of these routines to help reign it in a bit. I know that the material worked but it does mean the night finished a bit later than it should have and my job as host is to be in service to the show and not myself. I will need to be more aware of my new material the next time I am performing a smaller spot.
I hadn't performed at Spleen for a few months so it was good to get back there and stretch the legs. I'm returning next Monday working on a smaller spot and will be champing at the bit to get back onstage at one of Melbourne's finest comedy nights.
17th of June, 2013