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Can Comedians Survive?

In the Twitter age

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#41 Amber Avenger

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:00 PM

I think the only people slagging McIntyre are probably other comics who wish they had as much success.


Yeah, there is a lot of that certainly a lot of comics are incredibly bitchy about him. I think it’s because what he does seems like anyone can do it and he makes it look quite easy, when in fact it’s really hard to do it and get it right, to the degree he does. I happen to like him, but I don’t have a problem with people in general not liking him – comedy is a very subjective thing and a surprisingly emotive one in this country. I do have a problem with comics endlessly having a dig though especially when sometimes they are doing a less successful version of his act (observational comedy can be horrendous if you don’t get it right in my opinion).

I do think there will be a backlash against “arena” comedians sooner rather than later – or the venues anyway. Personally I think they are pretty cold affairs compared to the theatre/club set up – especially if you are at further back essentially watching on a screen. A lot of comedians who used to do them have scaled them back or now refuse to do them. I guess though whilst people are still willing to pay silly money to go see some of the bigger guys at an arena they’ll keep going (much like big rock/pop stars)
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#42 hindle xiii

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:04 PM

I saw Lee Evans at Sheffield Arena and thought it was a bit pants, the most enjoyable bit for me, sat along the side, was watching those sat in the floorspace rocking backwards and forwards when laughing. It was like seaweed in an aquarium.

Edited by hindle xiii, 12 March 2013 - 02:04 PM.

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#43 Ackroman

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:31 PM

I saw Lee Evans at Sheffield Arena and thought it was a bit pants, the most enjoyable bit for me, sat along the side, was watching those sat in the floorspace rocking backwards and forwards when laughing. It was like seaweed in an aquarium.


Saw him in Newcaslte at the Metro arena and felt the same.

John Bishop at a small venue in York about 2 years ago (can't remember which venue) was brilliant.

Jimmy Carr in Halifax was OK (just before Christmas). Mainly because the whole "child abuse" thing just isn't funny to me. However he can deal with a heckler or 2 without breaking into a sweat.

#44 hindle xiii

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:36 PM

The Naked Jape by Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves is a pretty decent book.

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#45 Wolford6

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

Top left hand corner of this publication:


http://www.supanet.c...ns-g1626p2.html

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#46 Red Willow

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:06 PM

McIntyre gets it from other comedians as they say he just pinches their material.

Seeing a comic live is more than just the jokes, it's the whole experience. I like Noble and Dara O'Brien.

I didn't realise Brand was meant to be funny, he is just annoying with his helium voice.

#47 gazza77

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:32 PM

Saw him in Newcaslte at the Metro arena and felt the same.

John Bishop at a small venue in York about 2 years ago (can't remember which venue) was brilliant.

Jimmy Carr in Halifax was OK (just before Christmas). Mainly because the whole "child abuse" thing just isn't funny to me. However he can deal with a heckler or 2 without breaking into a sweat.


I saw both Jack Dee and Rhod Gilbert in Halifax not that long ago. Gilbert was very funny at times, but I was a little disappointed with Jack Dee compared to the last time I saw him about 10 years ago.

Subject to getting tickets tonight, I'm going to see Dave Spikey tomorrow evening. Time will tell if it will he'll be any good, but I'm optimistic it will be a good night out.

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#48 gazza77

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

(observational comedy can be horrendous if you don’t get it right in my opinion).


Quite. A couple of years ago, Fev went through a stage of running comedy nights in the clubhouse. Some of the comedians were quite good, some not so, but it was probably a bit of a tough audience to get any rapport with. Generally when people go to see a big name, they're there because of who it is, which means they should in theory like it. With smaller things, it's obviously far more hit and miss.

Anyway, back on topic, I remember one comedian from somewhere down south opening with a line about the state of Featherstone, and asking what people in the area did for a living. In some places, that probably works fine, but in an area decimated by the pit closures and with relatively high unemployment, as you can imagine, it went down like a lead balloon. :rolleyes: If you want to do stand up, do some homework about where your gigs are first!

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#49 Futtocks

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:45 PM

I've rather enjoyed Mark Steel's 'In Town' series, where he visits a town or city ahead of the gig and researches it so he can do a set based on where the majority of the audience are from.

It works for a radio series, but the amount of preparation it would entail for a full-length tour would make it unworkable.

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#50 gazza77

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:48 PM

I've rather enjoyed Mark Steel's 'In Town' series, where he visits a town or city ahead of the gig and researches it so he can do a set based on where the majority of the audience are from.

It works for a radio series, but the amount of preparation it would entail for a full-length tour would make it unworkable.


True. Doesn't have to take a lot though. For example, Jack Dee started his last show with a joke about how nice Halifax was, but then about how grotty it was in some of the suburbs. The same joke will work everywhere, all you need to do is spend 10 mins per date getting the names of a couple of run down areas and job done.

Edited by gazza77, 13 March 2013 - 03:48 PM.

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#51 hindle xiii

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 04:22 PM

Subject to getting tickets tonight, I'm going to see Dave Spikey tomorrow evening. Time will tell if it will he'll be any good, but I'm optimistic it will be a good night out.

I saw Dave Spikey a few years ago and was front row centre. It was a little like the Ludovico technique scene from A Clockwork Orange. It wasn't good, but I couldn't get up and leave...

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#52 Padge

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:56 PM

If what little bit of Comic Relief I have seen tonight is anything to go by comedy in this country is already dead.

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#53 tim2

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:51 AM

If what little bit of Comic Relief I have seen tonight is anything to go by comedy in this country is already dead.


I hate it - it actually puts me off donating.
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#54 stimpo-and-kat

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:58 AM

Yeah, there is a lot of that certainly a lot of comics are incredibly bitchy about him. I think it’s because what he does seems like anyone can do it and he makes it look quite easy, when in fact it’s really hard to do it and get it right, to the degree he does. I happen to like him, but I don’t have a problem with people in general not liking him – comedy is a very subjective thing and a surprisingly emotive one in this country. I do have a problem with comics endlessly having a dig though especially when sometimes they are doing a less successful version of his act (observational comedy can be horrendous if you don’t get it right in my opinion).

I do think there will be a backlash against “arena” comedians sooner rather than later – or the venues anyway. Personally I think they are pretty cold affairs compared to the theatre/club set up – especially if you are at further back essentially watching on a screen. A lot of comedians who used to do them have scaled them back or now refuse to do them. I guess though whilst people are still willing to pay silly money to go see some of the bigger guys at an arena they’ll keep going (much like big rock/pop stars)


We saw Stewart Lee at the Stand comedy club at the edinburgh festival, must have been no more than about 120 in the room but he had every person hanging on his every word. This was the year he did the Top Gear piece.

Edited by stimpo-and-kat, 16 March 2013 - 10:58 AM.


#55 Severus

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:10 AM

If what little bit of Comic Relief I have seen tonight is anything to go by comedy in this country is already dead.

I thought the Call the Midwife sketch and the return of David Brent were both very funny.
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#56 hindle xiii

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:38 PM

Hugely disappointed by Rowan Atkinson on Comic Relief.

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#57 Li0nhead

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

If what little bit of Comic Relief I have seen tonight is anything to go by comedy in this country is already dead.


So if we pay £20 they will stay off our screens for another 12 months, right?

#58 Amber Avenger

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:56 PM

We saw Stewart Lee at the Stand comedy club at the edinburgh festival, must have been no more than about 120 in the room but he had every person hanging on his every word. This was the year he did the Top Gear piece.


Yep, seen him a couple of times.I know he'll never be mainstream, but I'd recommend his book "How I Escaped my Certain Fate" for an excellent look at how comedy evolves, how audiences can effect a night and a surprisingly considered look at the state of standup in this country. One for the comedy geeks only, but worth it if you are.
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#59 Severus

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

Lee is a strange one. He comes across as a bit of a ###### but makes some interesting and funny observations.
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#60 DiH68

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:39 AM

For me, live comedy is less about the material and more about the delivery and having a good night out.
I have seen some bands several times - I know what I'm getting, I've listened to the songs to death, but there is still nothing to match the feeling of watching a band live.
Comedy is the same to me. Some comedians are just brilliantly funny when you see them live - they could actually say nothing and you'd still laugh!
Also, the atmosphere in the room can really enhance the occasion - once you get caught up in it you can't help but enjoy it.
Whether it's a headline show by someone quite famous, or a random selection of unknowns at a pub comedy night, I nearly always leave with a smile on my face knowing that I've had a great night. The Internet, DVDs, YouTube, Facebook etc cannot replicate that feeling.
And now I'm looking forward to checking out a few acts at the Melbourne Comedy Festival later this month :-)




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