42 at 54
If I have learned anything, and I pretty much have not in actuality, you should know that history, which behaves like an auto-cannibalistic bowl of chili, has a way of repeating itself. And it does so so frequently that it becomes about as annoying as an iPod Shuffle that has only Madonna’s ‘Live To Tell’ burned on it. Yup. That bad. So, this tale centred around Club 54 is fitting then, and not just due to the fact that the review is actually a week late. Nice, eh? Well, the heck with it, I had to fly to Canmore, so pre-occupation was akin to a free-range chicken who scratches at the ground around the yard without restraint all the while keeping a wary eye on guys carrying hatchets named MacDonald. Going to Club 54 brings back some warm memories. Warm in that in the early days we usually crapped it there major, and really what’s warmer than having your Calvin Klein’s filled with doodie? It was almost four and a half years to the day that Mister Anonymous, James Butlin and I ventured out to Burlington to try out a new stage. The place was empty save approximately ten to twelve people who looked about as eager to be entertained as folks that had tickets for April 15th, 1912’s late show on The Titanic. We came. We saw. We heard our jokes echo back to us from the back of the room without that annoying sound of laughter and applause getting in the way. We left. So, being able to return and be the entertainment for the night was a treat.
I had prepared the requisite 45 minutes and drove off to Burlington with Darcy the WebGuy and his wife Kaori in tow, showing that even webguys must suffer for their art. I arrived there to find tons of other comic friends there to support, or more likely, see the potential train wreck that was on offer. Let’s face it, there’s a reason hair-pin turn seats at auto races are the first to go. These guys wanted to be there. Just in case, like. There was tons of support and wishes of doing well, and then the wagering hit. As per the tradition for your first headlining gig, you bet on how much time the comic will do. Forty-five is the usual standard and the goal of any headliner is to get as close to that time as possible. Most do, but nerves or crap material can drop that time substantially. Andrew Evans bet 23 minutes. Nice to be loved. Bets were being placed and Ben Guyatt, host of the show, told me to do 40. So, I did the honourable thing. I went and warned Vegas-Lite that I was being time-boxed and any bets substantially over 40 would probably tank.
For the record, I did 42 with five still in my back pocket. Top marks go to my buddies from university and AudienceView for coming out. I truly feel sorry for my friends that had never seen me do stand-up before and then had to endure the long set. Guys, please. Pools have shallow ends for a reason.