Gig 141: Sit Down Comedy Club

I was given an interesting lesson from last night's gig at the Paddington Tavern in Brisbane.  The previous night was such a great gig that I would possibly place it in my top five for the year.  Last night's gig was potentially bottom three.  From the moment the girl working the door told me that some members of the audience were a little annoying I had my antenna up looking for trouble.  When the show began there was a large contingent of people who all worked at the same business who had some members amongst them that were, quite frankly, tools.  I did my best to ignore the fact that they were dragging the show down into a dull abyss as I didn't want it to affect my performance. Unfortunately I wasn't quite up to the task.

Here is the set list:


Country Folk vs Inner City Living

Performed for the Troops

"Hey, Be Careful!"

Code Red

Soldiers Are Funny:  Chook

Doctor Karl and Ben Gillies

Camp Taliban

Buzz Might Be Batman

Pepper Sprayed

Afghanistan:  Worst Sentence Ever

Bronzing Up

Turning 41 Is A Bit Shitter

Girl On The Tram

New Grey Hair

"I Don't Give A Hoot!"

Hispanic At The Disco

Offending Somebody

Mozart and Mrs Hitler

Hurting For No Reason

Maybe I Want A Child

Hushed Angry Conversation

I'll Neck Myself

Watching Movies Out of Context

Glitter In Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses



A few of the comedic portraits that dominate the club.


As soon as I walked onstage I decided I didn't like a couple of the people sitting up the front.  They were also the punters who had been talking to the comedians all the way through the show and quite clearly wanted the show to be about them.  I attempted to look over them to the rest of the audience but they were chatting all the way through my opening and it was difficult to ignore.

I guess I was a bit tired as well which might explain my lack of enthusiasm onstage. This is always going to happen a couple of times during the year but I found the whole process last night to be exhausting.  With that in mind and having to deal with an annoying couple of punters my mood was less than exemplary.  I remarked early in my set that the audience wasn't as smart as the night before and they would have to catch up if they wanted to enjoy the show.  Often an arrogant comment can be used as a way of defending yourself onstage but the problem with this remark was that I was fighting a battle nobody in the audience was completely across.  Nobody had said anything directly to me.  There hadn't been some obvious clash with a group of punters.  I had made up my mind based on the evidence of the show and the first contact with the dudes at the front of the stage. I thought at the time it was a mistake for me to make this remark and definitely think so today.

Having said that, when I listened to the recording of the gig, it actually sounded a lot better than I remembered.  There are much bigger laughs than I had given the gig credit for and where I thought I had bumbled a couple of jokes I had in fact delivered them pretty crisply.  It just goes to show that the person performing the gig can sometimes be the guy who has the least idea of what is actually going on around them.

I changed the material I was going to finish with and instead reverted to a stock standard final few minutes.  While I was a bit frustrated with that on the night I think it was a good decision because the audience was slightly flat and it also allowed me to not have any of my newer material feel like it was taking a hit.  Once again though, listening back to the show, it sounds so much better than I experienced.  I look at some of the decisions I made and feel there is a bit of immaturity in my performance, especially when I look at the Mrs Hitler material being so close to the I'll Neck Myself routine.  They're the type of routines that I would normally space further apart but there was definitely a part of me that was doing my best to shock the audience.  That is getting away from what I want those routines to be though and so therefore I see that as a failure on my behalf.

As I said previously, I thought the gig was a bit of a stinker but it in fact was only not as good as the previous night.  I allowed some punters in the audience to get under my skin a little and regardless of any reasons is still something I would like to avoid. There was some improvement made especially with one section where I was talking to the audience so I can feel good about that but overall this was a gig that just didn't quite get there in the end.


Justin Hamilton

10th of November, 2013

Fitzroy North