Saturday, June 11, 2011


I finished reading Nothing To Envy this morning, and although there are sort-of happy endings for some of the North Koreans who escaped to the south, it's still profoundly sad. And profoundly strange that the current government hasn't been toppled.

Today is the second annual comedython, in support of the Hong Kong Dog Rescue society. I'm more of a cat person: I like the sort of animal that doesn't pretend to be your friend, and that will cheerfully gnaw your corpse the moment you expire. Come to think of it, our cat gnaws us now, before we've died. Maybe she just likes fresh food.

Still, it's a chance to do something good, as opposed to using my skills at public speaking in badly decorated basements for evil.

Champs is not a great venue, what with the layout of the room, the noise from the bar, and the rather weedy sound system, but I suppose it's good practice to operate in a challenging environment. I did about eight minutes, and with some spare time in the three hours before I was back up on stage, Pete Grella and I went outside and recorded the set we couldn't smuggle into the open mike section. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.

Please don't be intimidated by the high production values - I reckon you could record something similar using no more than a few thousand pounds of filmographic equipment, plus a cast of hundreds and some investment in sound effects to simulate an early evening in Wan Chai. But not quite as professionally as us.

The real challenge for me with the comedython is not repeating myself: I had two sets, and two hours of hosting scheduled, and although my first set was fairly forgettable and my second one was a stormer, there was always that worry that you were going to start repeating yourself.  Which is a punishment for those people in the audience who decided to stay for the whole thing, as they'd get the same jokes again and again, and a punishment for you, when they don't laugh second time around.  Although I suppose for my more difficult material, they might have a better chance second time through of realising where the punchlines were.

Hell, if I did it again, maybe I'd remember where my punchlines were...


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