The Tears Of A Reactionary Clown

Picture the scene – a mid-shift soiree around the ‘Xmas’ Overtime book at work. Myself and an audience of one are merely looking out of boredom.

Me: Surname Etymology is well interesting though…

Audience: Hmm…

(This is the neo-classical response to Surname Etymology; typically given by philistines and those with dull surnames like ‘Hill’ or ‘Jones’… Still I continue undeterred)

Me: Like ‘Walker’ is obvious. So’s mine really. ‘Keen’ is clearly a family of sharp and enthusiastic people.

(This will get a laugh as I am in fact neither [pronounced ‘N’Ivor’])

Audience: Ha Ha.


Me: Oh and that’s the easiest. ‘Butler’. He descends from a family of… erm..

Audience: …Butlers?

Me: No, Cunts…

(Cue laughter from the entire audience…)

And it is moments like these that I despair of. The ‘You had to be there’ moments. Jokes and puns that won’t and don’t work out of context. I have tried. For example there’s no current cabinet minister that you could re-work the above joke about. (Possibly Dr. Vince Cable at a push but I would feel awkward calling him a cunt. For he is no Mike Butler.)

And it is moments like these that render a comedy career considerably difficult for me; the bulk of my laughs are found in reactionary puns and observations. I couldn’t go on stage with that act. Fifteen minutes of silence waiting for something to bounce off and play with.

Yes these moments blight my life. In fact, I can think of countless others that I will now recount to you and that you won’t find amusing because you had to be there.

Another time at work (in a supermarket), I was stood solemnly serving shoppers when the supervisor apparently randomly shouted ‘Ross?’ as she held up a little blue packet. ‘Chicken Fillets?’ And I replied ‘ Oh no Barbara…’ patting my chest ‘ They’re all natural.’ I’m fairly sure the customers were cracking up.

Why only the other night I was in the pub when the following first class chat occurred:

Jack: So I killed two birds with stone really…

Me: Would you really use a stone though if you had to kill two

Jack: Huh? Well no… Double Clothesline?

Me: D.D.T surely…

Now. Clearly that is hilarious. To quickly use D.D.T as a punchline in relation to the previous wrestling pun and the environmental effects of pesticides is something Alan Carr can only dream of. The fact that I had to proceed to explain the joke did somewhat sour my visions of selling out the O2 and having a best-selling DVD.
You see these moments don’t stand up well in real terms. They could be moulded, with a bit of tweaking, into a sketch format fairly easily. Perhaps that explains the influx of dodgy sketch shows on TV.

Of course it may be the case that these moments are actually just plain unfunny.

Again, that was a joke.