Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trip To Whiney Street

Dear people. I like you. I really do. As a species you've done some top things. For example the toasted cheese sandwich maker, the slinky, breakdancing, ice cream and Jaws. Those are just a few of the many many things that humanity has done really bloody well with. Oh yeah sure, there are loads of things we've screwed up at including wars, inequality of wealth distribution, sexism, racism, Justin Bieber, that list goes on and on too, but I'm usually prepared to ignore such things in the face of high fiving someone for creating the word 'shizzle' or coming up with the concept of the theme park. However, sometimes, just sometimes, you do a few things that make me lose all faith in the world. Today is one of those something days. This blog is now about to go straight to Moan Town, with a quick diversion via Whingeville and park up in Complaintopolis.

Its Fat Tuesday tonight and on the bill we have a comic who as far as I and many many other comedians think, is a mac daddy and a daddy mac of stand-up. Having been gigging internationally for many years, the last time I watched Mike Wilmot it was like a masterclass in humour, leagues about tons of the stuff you get on the tellybox. In Stewart Lee's recent autobiography, he described Mike as being able to do crudity with an honesty and wit unbeknownst to anyone else on the scene. And yet, and yet indeed, we've barely sold any tickets. I know. The reason? Well I'm not one to presume, but besides a recent appearance on Live At The Apollo, Mike hasn't done as much UK TV recently as many of the other acts we've had at Fat Tuesday and therefore our audience who used to fully trust whoever we booked, don't now want to spend a night watching acts they don't know. It may not be that. It may be that today is National Stay At Home Night, it may be that its because its sunny, but more and more I'm noticing with our gig, and many others, that unless there is the guest appearance of a telly name, it just won't sell.

Thats really sad. Its sad because I'll lose a ton of money, making putting on other gigs quite tough, but more so because there are so many amazing comics that deserve to be seen by brilliant audiences that just won't get that same chance if this continues. I have a long list of acts I would love to book to headline FT but I know full well that if I do, we won't sell much and I'll be out of pocket again. I constantly try and find reasons to quit running my gig. It takes a silly amount of time for very little profit, but when it goes well its so much fun its seems to make it all worth it. However if this is how things are going to continue to go it really seems like there might not be much point.

Its very much the celebrity culture of nowadays which has sadly really overshadowed some of the best elements of live comedy. There used to be nothing more exciting than rocking up to a comedy club and seeing an act you've never seen before tear the roof off the place. Introduce you to new gags and stories, mannerisms and words that would send you into giggling fits. The Edinburgh fringe used to be a place to hunt down new acts before they became big, finding those golden nuggets of comedy within the myriad of shows. Yet now everyone is too obsessed with it being someone who's on the same panel show every week or some similar issue. Don't get me wrong, its great at FT when we get big names popping along, but that shouldn't be the only reason our gig runs. It should run because we always get good comedians whether you've heard of them or not. After 6 years of continuous shows it shouldn't even be questioned that they wouldn't be.

There are still tickets for tonight and there really shouldn't be. If you fancy coming along to witness what will be nothing less than excellent then please grab some here:


Or on the door this eve.

Oh and don't worry people, you still came up with coleslaw, funk and wink murder so you're alright really.

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