It was a Sunday. The day before Star Wars fans from across the globe and beyond, for one day, forget their hatred of the man who shat on his own metaphorical children to celebrate the cheesy, spacey, incesty goodness of the films. Wait, that didn’t come out right…
I’m so far from the point now I don’t know what the hell I was saying. Oh right, being funny. (See: not me.)
Myself and an esteemed (I have to say that in case she’s reading) colleague partook of an evening of comedy and beer, watching the infamously wonderful Comedy Store Players at the Comedy Store.
Improv is hard. It’s being funny – intentionally, not by opening your mouth in the hopes you’ll sound pseudo-intelligent and just come across as a lobotomised hick – without the appropriate planning time. The closest I’ve ever got to being witty is when myself and the aforementioned colleague decided re-writing the lyrics to (Sir) David Bowie’s Starman in honour of the marvellous mechanoid Robert Llewellyn was a better use of our time than writing our university essays. Good times. If only I could’ve handed that in, I wouldn’t be where I am now… (which, if you must know, is sitting on the DLR on my way home from work, using a pen to write actual words on actual paper – who woulda thunk it?!)
…oh, the point. Right. That was that these guys are good. Really good; good does not, as a word, textually render how good they were. You know when you get good pie? Better than that.
Obviously these guys are pros and have been doing this since before I was born – which is amazing really, since I’m 102 now. And yet? It wasn’t boring or stale or samey or other words that are politely synonymous with utter cockshite. I think, in my mind at least, there is a worry that performers have 102+ years worth of material in their head and can just rehash it as and when it is needed.
But that was totally not the case here.
Mssrs Frost, Mullarkey, Proops, Simpson, Smart and Vranch were on fine form and I don’t think we stopped laughing from start to finish. And probably on the way home too, but we are pretending that was not us in case fellow passengers try to track us down.They looked like they were having fun which was pretty infectious. From the moment Greg started his hula dancing (boy knows how to move!) to the dramatic finale of the Gothic horror musical “The Smallest Fish in the World”, the weirdness just kept comin’. And, for those of you who know me? Weird is my thing.
Which epitomised the audience, really – how many people shout out “James Bond” as a request for a household object? (Idle fantasies, sadly, do not count) But then, the weirder the better; how else would you get a one word story about King Arthur’s jelly mould, with the lime jelly Excalibur being stored up Gwen’s arse and Arthur’s intolerance to kiwi cheesecake? How else would you get Steve having to guess that his job was that on Mondays, in his pants, he cleaned out the TARDIS with the rigging from a ship in a bottle in a Ladbrokes in Egypt?
How else would we have gotten to see Greg and Lee’s beautiful, romantic graveyard song; Andy’s inability to remember what a tripod was called; the repositioning of Camelot to put it next to Stonehenge; learning koalas can only become velodrome cyclists through the use of stilts made from Ikea furniture; Greg’s wonderful song about being a fish expert; the amazing revelation that you could stop nuclear fish-on by reversing the polarity?
Alll of that can, really, be summed up thus: Improv very good. Go see. Or else.
You stay classy, San Diego (and, y’know, everywhere else)