Sunday, 2 October 2016

Keeping Their Attention

Sure, you have all the jokes, laughs and a solid-gold, cast-iron comedy reputation across the land. You've bought more vanity licence plates than you've had complimentary hot dinners every night. But you have to keep your legions of fans interested, and remind them that you're relevant. Here are some techniques to secure your place in their minds (and cheques) as 'Mr Bigshot'.

Pictured: You, waiting on the audience to stop laughing

1. Have some wilfully offensive material

The beauty of this trick is that you generally don't have to put much thought behind it. All you need to do is think of something genuinely horrific or awful that could (and does) befall people on a daily basis. Once you've got that, just say it onstage. Luckily, the "joke" doesn't have to make sense, because the audience will be too busy hilariously reeling from the unpleasant scenario put forward for days and weeks on end.

"My only response to the inappropriate is to give what would be considered an appropriate response within this social context, hahahaha etc"

Of course, there is the real danger that your scenario may have actually happened to someone who is in the crowd, just out trying to enjoy themselves like anyone else. However, that's not your fault or responsibility, that's just statistics. Plus, they'll now associate you with their trauma and vice-versa. Now that's promotion you can't put a price on! They may even mention you to their therapist at some stage, and you know their hot dinner/vanity licence plate ratio is through the roof (which you've already blown off)!

"He said that? Wow! What's a guy gotta do to be his therapist?"

2. Organise a show about you

Not a one man show as we've previously discussed, that would be too much work. What you need to do to revive interest is to get a good gimmick show. Something that has a lot of moving parts and potential for tech failure at every turn.

"Sure, it'll be fine on the night."

This keeps things exciting and stressful for everyone involved. A live panel show or talent contest is a good format; usually something that is quite expensive and logistically nightmarish for trained professionals to pull off on television, nevermind you in a back room of a pub with half a working sound system. Capitalise on unsuspecting crowd numbers by getting the show included in a festival where the board would agree in theory to do something like this twice in as many nights (for some reason).

"Welcome aboard! Also, pleased to meet you."

3. Exploit, exploit, exploit

You've done the bare minimum and now it's time to reap the rewards, and there's no better soul to be pickin' than that of the life and the party! Hey, you're the one with the reputation on the line, so it's gotta be you getting the biggest laughs, making the most noise and poorly attempting full character assassination of your fellow comics in front of an audience!


You may have decided to get more than half a dozen other acts in on this show to help pad it out and/or carry the weight, either through their goodwill or their fresh-faced naivety, but you're the one driving this freight train full of hilarity, not them. Can you imagine in real life if someone tried to get up front and take control from the driver? Death. And probably not half as many laughs.

Make sure the other guests you've invited on to the show know their place by passing the blame of failure of the night onto them, and if the audience don't know theirs either, then you can revert back to point 1. After all, they've only paid to see this!

"How much of your ticket are you getting back and how do I feel about the situation?"

So there you go, before you know it you'll be on the tip of people's tongues and fingers from then on, right all the way until the start of the working week! Soak it up while it lasts! You won't have to do anything like this again for about 4 years or so - am I right ladies?