Young people are lovely, aren’t they? So fresh faced, naïve and full of spunk. On Thursday I went to a new comedy night called The Ambassadors Comedy Reception at the good old Albany in Great Portland Street. Although I’m not a big fan of the Albany’s policies, I love the venue. So dark, intimate and full of spunk. You can never get served at the bar but, hey, what has the selling of alcohol got to do with a comedy club? Nothing, as we all know.
I met Rob Heeney there and we sat at the back of the room, like the two old men that we are, watching what can only be described as foetuses and a microphone. They were so young it was an insult. Don’t get me wrong, they were excellent but their youth just made me smile more than their jokes did. It’s great being that young. You don’t really know what you’re doing no matter what it is that you’re doing. I’m pretty sure that that lovely, gangly, “is this alright?” awkwardness on stage would happen to these new comics if they were wiring a plug or having sex or buying alcohol. When you’re that young everything is still pretty new and, basically, I’m jealous.
The compere was my favourite (sorry that I didn’t catch the acts names but if you know who they are let me know). He was so eager and smiley and excited to be there that you couldn’t help but love him. He asked someone in the room what they did for a living and when they said Biologist his young persons head could only reply “There’s lots of biology, isn’t there?” Fucking brilliant! He looked like a farmer had decided to model his scarecrow on Miss Joan and it came to life, all windmill arms and massive eyes. He’s fantastic and I wish I owned him. I think a baby was the first act on then after him was a Newcastle comedian who may even have had pubes (he was very good, jokes and everything) then came Boy From Norway. Again, about 10 years old, keen and I wanted to buy him and show him to my friends. He was soooooooooooooo new that he still kept apologising for everything he did despite him being pretty good. He can speak English perfectly but kept asking if what he just said was the right way to say that which made me laugh because I kept imagining comic Tony Gerrard doing the same for some reason (“Any fucking poofs in? Am I saying that right?”). Plus I’m going through a “Isn’t broken English hilarious?” spell at the moment. A new café owned by two very nice Polish ladies has just opened round the corner from me and every day it has a new sign outside it. “Well Come” it said on the first day and “Healty Food” the next. Yesterday I was delighted to find out that I could get a white black coff there for 90p or a crepe what you like for 1.65. Bargain. Anyway, Norway Boy was young and shy and eager and it was brilliant to watch him. Then they wheeled on Grampa Ben Norris who wheezed about the war and asked where the biscuits were for 10 minutes. The first half closed with The Ladybirds, a singing group in their very early twenties who probably felt old for the first time in their lives just being in the same room as some of the bairns on the bill. Lucky for those ladies, me and Rob Heeney were there to show them they have a good 30 or 40 years before they get to our age.
I left halfway through and missed middle-aged Rob and Nana Ava Vidal talk about how it was different in their day but I’m sure the second half was great. I’m not sure when the next Ambassadors Comedy Reception is but I think we should all go. All us comics who’ve been around for a while should come down and be reminded of that nervous excitement of youth. Maybe not Chris Langham. Ageing comedian or not, you should check it out. It’s a good gig. Let’s go.
I’m up in Newcastle this weekend. I’m playing at the Hyena Café which is a club I love doing because the audiences up there are generally good and the club is run by nice people. Yvonne and Della do a damn fine job despite the club’s owner being a massive prick. Last night’s crowd went from being slightly volatile to completely unplayable in the space of an hour. Admittedly, there were a fair few people there who wanted to see the show but the bulk of them were cunts. They would have been fine but the club’s prick owner told the bouncers to not throw anyone out. Stupid fucking cunt. Even though there were dickheads ruining a show that short-sighted prick wouldn’t remove any of them because then they wouldn’t spend money on booze. For fucks sake, what has the selling of alcohol got to do with a comedy club? Oh…hang on. Now I get it. Anyway, to summarise what I just said: Hyena in Newcastle is a lovely club with great staff but Mohammed, the owner, is a fucking cunt.
Hmmm….wonder if I’m still on the bill for tonight.