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Thursday, July 14

I had a gig in Edinburgh this evening. I managed to get my friend, who had accompanied me to the gig on Tuesday to come along for the night. The gig itself had been booked with me on Tuesday. In some ways I was being drafted in as a support act, in others, I was transport for the open-spot who was performing in the middle section. Such is how things go.

The MC was great. He is a local act from Newcastle too (in fact, the closing act was also from the Newcastle area, so this was a veritable "Chillingham Arms Road Show"). He solidly worked the crowd making my bit of the night fairly easy to do. I had a good time opening the show.

After the show I drove my car load, now increased in number by the headline act, who had decided not to stay in Edinburgh. We chattered as I drove quite sedately back to Newcastle. The time passed quite easily. I can't remember what we talked about, but it was probably comedy. The open-spot comic and my friend had been on the drink (not in a Stella Artois, beating up the girlfriend sort of a way, just in a "few pints with the lads" way) and so we had to stop for a wee break, which was a bit fun and a bit weird. It always is.

Possibly the highlight of the night had been the young lass from Miami Beach whose look of combined amusement and shock at one of my lines had been so funny that I had to stop the song I was singing to laugh at it and remark on it. I also quite enjoyed dealing with the hecklers. One of them came up to me to point out how good I was at dealing with heckling and I pointed out that his heckling wasn't worth doing and that it was just making it harder for everyone else to enjoy themselves. The hecklers were better behaved after that.

The point about heckling, as clearly stated by banter-god Daniel Kitson, is that you have to make a point which contributes to the night. Just shouting out stuff isn't enough. You have either to steal the show from the comedian, or make them look a complete arse. Just grabbing attention is dull. The lads who were heckling were up for a laugh, but they weren't comedians. Being funny is not as easy as some people make it look. Mind you, I can make being funny look very very tricky... so I have some sympathy for the misguided heckler who is just trying to join in with the show. The best way to join in is to laugh along... or stay silent if it's not funny... or use some immense wit. Anything else won't do.


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