Monday, January 21, 2008

Wil Hodgson and others....

I just spent a night at the stand for some , ahem 'comedy'. I had heard good things about the headline act Wil Hodgson and looked forward to seeing him. It was such a shame that watching his act necessitated sitting through the drivel that was the acts which preceded him. I was with a particularly awesome friend who had a hard time calling it shit, prefering to deem it lazy and stupid, and not her sense of humour. I am not that gracious*. It was a piece of shit. I don't admire stand up comics just for being confident any more than I would admire the confidence of a teenage boy getting his dick out on the bus. Nor am I particularly worried about hurting anyone's feelings - I think if you get on stage and say something you are accountable for it. I wouldn't judge harshly someone with poor material or poor delivery, but the world doesn't occour in a vacuum and what we say affects other people. Thus offensive stand ups deserve slating. Comedy is always political, whatever its about.

Throughout the night I sat there thinking , either I don't have a sense of humour or I am surrounded by morons.
(ok so I appreciate here that I am being horrifically elitist and of course I think the capitalist patriachal system forces people into appreciating crap)

So yes - in the spirit of pretending to be a journalist ( though not one who abides by grammatical convention - oh no.)


John Whale was up first. A chripy geordie lad whose jokes lacked originality, but were mostly inoffensive. He chose cliche as his topic and made some amusing observations which were tied together well. Not hilarious or smart, but didn't make me feel any hatred. hurrah.

When Martin McAlistar took to the stage my heart sank. Having seen him before at lemon custard I knew I was in for 10 minutes plus of boredom. His stories revolve around himself being a stalker.There are no jokes, just a particular slow style of delivery that might somehow delude people into thinking he is funny. He makes light of sexual harrassment, stalking and then goes on to tell an obvioulsy made up story which derives its 'humour' from the idea of a promiscuous woman. Funnily enough I don't find sexual harrassment amusing, but then I am female, and like most women I have experienced sexual harrassment**. It's never funny. The same can be said of Martin.

Dee Custance was better. Not hilarious, and she did tend towards 'dippy' comedy, but she was very likeable/ amusing in places.Has definate potential.

Gus Tawse was awful. It's hard for me to remember his exact material as I have seen his type of comedian too many times before. The audience seemed to get into it, jokes which stuck out were not wanting Madeliene McCann's mum for a babysitter ( because obviously just the mother's fault....) something about a girl not wanting to sleep with him so he shot her in the legs ( aah yes sexual violence, it's just such a larf).I can't remember the rest but it was repulsive.

Wil Hodgson was like a breath of fresh air by the time he came to the stage,and it was disappointing that his set was so short , with his material about liking 'real' women (not feminist as such, but woman friendly) taking up most of the time. You could tell that he would put on a good show given a little more time to build his persona, unfortunatley he was pushed for time and a bit lack lustre(maybe he had just sat through the acts on before him). Watching him was like getting to know a brillinat non conformist, who you know has 'lived': I was interested in what he had to say. It was a shame that he didn't talk about more than just readers wives and my little pony, but I felt like he was going to. He also said that people who read nuts ought to have their heads bashed in with a sledge hammer (solidarity brother; though lets start with the publishers shall we? Anyone know the way to the headquaters of EMAP?)

The whole thing was compered by Joe Heenan, who was very much that annoying kid at school who thinks he is funny because he can do lots of voices. He also went in for some of that 'lets offend the audience' type stuff, and he said that a woman who was 19 looked about 12, I mean he would know, that was the sort of mental age his compering was aimed at.

All in all a mediocre night, I would see Wil Hodgson again but it was tough sitting so much appaling offensive drivel.

* said friend made a very good point about this blog : when I say that I hope people like Rupert Murdoch die of cancer weakens my arguments. It probably does, I can't help it. I still think Rupert Murdoch deserves to die from a very painful cancer.

** am not trying to speak for all women BUT every woman who I have ever spoken to about this can identify an incident where they have been sexually pestered/harrassed/threatened in some way. Anecdotal perhaps, true yes.


Queerspace Edinburgh said...

Hm. I see what you mean about comedy and agree with most of it - the only place I beg to differ is that Will Hodgson simply is not funny either. Right on he may be, but I note you did not say that he had you laughing your ass off either, but rather that you were interested in him. I saw him do an hour-long show at the festival last year (or maybe the one before) and I have to say it wasn't the best

Oh yeah, and why is this blog called loser lady?

Liz said...

yeah I was kind of being trying to be nice (damn my gender construction) He wasn't that great, I was just interested in him. It was just that comparitively he wasn't awful - and I thought his set was possibly a bit too short to comment. Yes - he was a bit crap, I agree.
I am not 100% happy with the name of the blog - when I picked it , seemed like a good idea ! It was based on the fact that men are allowed to be loveable losers but women aren't, and I thought that there should be more kind of 'comedic loser women'. The original goal was to write amusing loserish stuff, to construct a kind of relatable loser woman, or something...
I realise that the concept doesn't really stand up to rigourous feminist analysis, nor is it compatible with the fact that I am certainly not politically apathetic.... but it is chosen now! And at least this way I can write rubbish and it's ok...