I’m A Legend, Apparently…
Never, ever, let it be said that you don’t take anything away from doing, shall we say, more challenging (read “crap”) rooms. Not unlike eating Brussels sprouts, getting lumps kicked out of you in public school while playing supposedly non-contact football, it builds not only character but also provides you with mad skills such as suppressing the gag reflex and healing quickly. Thank God for all the crap rooms in Toronto where you’d do a show and be battling with people who had no idea that there was to be a show.
Did my regular show last night to a group of backpackers all from different European countries. In attendance were people from Belgium, Norway, Holland, England, and Ireland. Sounds like the beginning of a really lame joke or a PartyPoker.net ad, but it’s the God’s honest. So, this was going to prove to be the most challenging set for me to see exactly how my material would play across the different countries. Some jokes everyone got, others were about 50-50 splits, but a good deal of learning. Here is what I learned, though. Women from Belgium, Norway, and Holland? They love jokes about poop and sex. Not saying the research is conclusive, but my sample seems to bare the proof of the analysis.
I was also blessed with the presence of my buddy from Vancouver that I met in the Edinburgh festival last year, Byron Bertram. He’s a stand-up and street performer, and will be helping me out with five minutes or so during my show so that I can perform the elaborate metamorphosis into Titus Malcolm. That being putting on a cardigan and slapping on my floppy Blue Jays fishing cap. He/we were looking to do a spot so he, Matt Romot and I headed to the Exford (see a pattern developing?) to get a spot there.
I was able to go on following Matt who did quite well despite a drunken heckler who was disrupting everyone’s spot up to that time. So, guess who he decided to pick on next. He grinds my show to a halt drawing attention to him and his mates. By this time the crowd is fed up with him so, smelling the chum in the water, I start in on him. First rule, get the audience on your side. Check. Next, see if you can get the heckler to be quiet gently. No go. So, out come the big guns. I go on to describe the heckler from the previous night and how he wanted me to call him an arse when he heckled me. I elected to do it to his face instead and he seemed content with that. So, after relaying this story, Heckles the clown keeps going on in. “Look”, I say. “Let me get through this set and then I’ll go to the back of the bar and call you a complete @$$hole there. Until then, shut it.” Cue eruptive applause from the Exford. Next thing I know, I have several people coming up to me saying I’m a legend. I don’t buy it. It’s just what you do and the edginess of TO rooms helps. I told them that that sort of thing is the common end in Toronto. No biggie, but thanks nonetheless.
Oh, on a slightly more positive note, the host from the previous night at the Exford had me on stage earlier in the week and apparently had been doing some interweb research on hosting and in talking with some guys while I was on stage, he had come across some reference someone posted somewhere about TVA being a decent host. The guy he was talking about then pointed to the stage and said “That there is TVA.” Nice. So whoever is putting out the good-natured lies about me, thanks Interweb posters!