I've been in horrible sticky situations on stage before. It's hard to avoid when you have my "material". On Saturday night I was comparing another lovely gig at Covent Garden Comedy club and generally having a lovely time doing so. Well, for about five minutes anyway. That's when Stephen started shouting.
Stephen was a man in his 60's (I'd say). He was a bit drunk (I'd say) and very Australian (I'd bet my life on it). He also wanted to join in.
He kept shouting out the most stereotypical Australianisms that no actual Australian has ever actually said in real life ever. "Fair dinkum" followed "Struth", "Too bladdy roight" and "Bladdy bladdy bladdy" in quick succession. He also kept saying "Mate" a lot in the hope of getting my attention. This was starting to distract the front few rows from my mind-changing comedy truths so I had no choice but to involve him. That would be OK. It would only be a minute, he'd have his moment of glory and then he can shut the fuck up.
I chatted with Stephen and his hopeless Australianisms for a minute and got nowhere. He pointed out that he was with his sister, not his wife like I had presumed. "No, she's not my wife", he confirmed. Fair enough. Anyway, he's had his moment. Time to move on. Time to start the show. Time for LAUGHTER!
"No. My wife died two months ago".
You could have heard a pube thud to the ground. The audience didn't no how to react and I certainly didn't know what to do. Jacksons Lane Comedy Courses neglected to instruct us on drunk and grieving widowers.
"We were together 36 years", he elaborated as the sound of silence solidified our heads. "Would have been 37 next month".
I had to do something. The gig was dead. DEAD. You know? Like Stephen's gig wrecking wife. I'm a professional so luckily I can be relied upon to grab something out of the comedy bag and turn everything around. I took a deep breath and said....
"I'm a cunt".
Strangely, this seemed to do the trick. I had done nothing but I took the blame which made us all feel a bit better and the room heaved a very relieved laugh. No-one can say that the word cunt is offensive now, surely? Look at the good it's done. A gig was dead and I Jesused it with "cunt". Fuck you, Rumpio. The word cunt is not just for the immature. It's for the needy and the grieving too. I love cunt!
Of course, that's nothing to be proud of. I'm aware of that. Saying cunt isn't clever even if it does save an entire night of comedy from turning into a wake. I'm not proud of it in the slightest. But I am proud of something.
The previous night at the same gig I was doing a routine about a noisy vagina. It went down very well. I was very pleased with myself. Smug even. Then when I introduced the next act and stood at the back of the room to watch I noticed that the sound in the venue wasn't as good as it had been earlier. The sound guy was running around trying to figure out what had happened. The gig was still playable, just not as clear as it had been.
When I arrived on the Saturday night the PA system was still a bit knackered but at least they had figured out what had happened. A fuse had blown in one of the speakers (BOSE speakers, don't you know. Very good speakers). It had blown because of the noise I had been making during my noisy vagina routine. I had broken technology with my noisy vagina. How many of us can say that? Men, I mean...
I don't know if it was strictly true that it had broken because of my noisy vagina but I am definitely taking all responsibility. If I achieve nothing more in life (and I won't) I will at least have that story to tell my grandchildren in my dotage.