Comedy competitions. I entered many and never won one. At least I’m consistent.
You may ask why do I keep entering them? I see winning a competition as validation of all
the work I’ve done these past six years and as a way to help me move forward in comedy. As I’m currently stuck in a corner like that guy at the end of the Blair With Project.
On the 12th of January, I walked into the Harbour bar in Bray, Co. Wicklow. It’s home to a monthly comedy club called “The Hardy Har”.
The previous January, at The Hardy Har, I entered the same competition. I lost that one. Here I was a year later in the same club, doing the same competition. That’s what you call progression.
I finished work at 9 and was heading straight over to the gig. I informed the promoter (who was also the MC) that I won’t be there till ten o’clock. There was some sort of mix-up do. I was put on first and apparently, there was a panic when the show started and I was not there. A very funny new comic called Richard Bree went on first instead. I arrived at 9.40. So despite showing up 20 minutes early, I was still somehow “late”.
I was a little annoyed by this. It may sound silly but even do I’m an amateur comedian (The word amateur doesn’t go down well with some people. It seems the only time people like the word amateur is when it’s in porn.) I like to be professional.
I always strive to show up on time & not to cancel gigs unless I have too. Once I drove with a really bad flu to a gig. Having to pull over the side of the road to throw up. Only to get to the gig for only six people to be there. Who all probably got the flu off me. Great night for everyone that was.
I was now on last. There was ten acts in total and a guest headliner. Being on last could be good or bad.
Good: Since one act got through by crowd vote being on last meant you had a better chance of being remembered.
Bad: being on last means the crowd might be burnt out and you get a lukewarm reaction.
The number ninth act was my good friend Johnny Graham. Johnny is from Co. Offaly (Where I’m from) but he moved to Galway years ago. (The sell out).
Johnny did great as always, his high energy, off the cuff style, went down a treat. Me being the more low key I knew I would have to give the crowd a chance to get into my style. Which is tough as I only had five minutes.
As I was walking up to the stage the MC had asked a girl to stand up and go crazy to inject some energy into the crowd as I came on stage. For this lady standing up was a problem and she fell over and being at the side of the crowd she fell right into me as I was walking up. I helped her back to her seat but the crowd was laughing and distracted by this. I spent 30 seconds talking to the girl and trying to get the focus back on the show.
I started with some material that I was going to finish with as it kinda tied into my interaction with the girl. I finished right on the 5-minute mark.
Coming off I had done well but I knew I didn’t do well enough. I didn’t get judge, crowd or wildcard vote.
I keep thinking back if had been a normal gig. The girl falling over would have been a gift and I would easily take the piss out of her for a few minutes. But with it being a competition and only having five minutes I decided to stick to my set. Who knows if messing around with the girl would have gotten me the win. Probably not. But this is the stuff that goes around in head when you can’t sleep that night and know you got a twelve-hour shift in work the next day to look forward too.
You can see me headline “Dropout Comedy” in Dundalk. On February 15.
Catch Johnny Graham & Bob Hennigan host “Ireland’s Smallest Comedy Club” every Thursday night in Co. Galway at the Dew Drop Inn.
Check out Hardy Har Comedy Club at the Harbour Bar in Bray, Co. Wicklow at the end of every month.
Also, check out the link for Bray Comedy Festival at the end of February: