Friday, May 28, 2010

Comedy in Hong Kong

So after just under two years I got to open for Paul Ogata in Hong Kong. Half an hour earlier I'd been watching him eat a hamburger with a beatific smile upon his face, and at 8:15 I was explaining the British legal system, vis a vis the physical act of love with fish, to an audience of almost one hundred.
Almost one hundred, including a woman in the back row whose horrified face made a silent o throughout, although I was happy with that; it was the mummified corpse in the second row staring at me with dissatisfied incomprehension that threw me off a bit. I felt fairly nervous for the first few minutes, and it went quicker than I expected, but I think I did a decent set, and I hope I didn't rabbit on too fast for them.

They just didn't seem the type to laugh long and hard, and Paul had to contend with a kind of jaded indifference; it wasn't exactly a sullen crowd, but they didn't really rise to the occasion. Or maybe it was Paul's burger, drawing all the joy of life into itself.

I stuck around to run the desk for the ten o'clock show, and wished that had been the set I'd had: the audience was the right side of drunk, happy and ready to laugh. Paul had them roaring for an hour, while a random punter fed me unnecessary red wine and I battled with the sound system.

Learnings from tonight: even a big crowd won't always chuckle. Don't eat a burger before you go on. Don't go on before a man eating a burger.


MD said...

I've opened for Paul on one of those Saturday night's, too. Only, it was the late show I opened for, and instead of fish/legal system jokes, I went for the comparison of paul to mr. miyagi -> and then proceeded to illustrate, through selective vocabulary, how the whole mr miyagi concept now-a-days would arise suspicions of a predatory nature.

Needless to say, the phrase "implied thrill of rape" appeared in the set at least once... strike that - at least twice.

Way to break that barrier, James! You're like an egg!

Post a Comment