A lot is made of starting strong and finishing strong. Well put a lead on a cake and take it for walkies, that’s easy.
That’s a stroll in a cake littered park mate (don’t leave it out in the rain!)
Why? I’ll tell you for why. Because you’re told to start and finish with your best jokes. If you follow this simple and oft repeated advice nugget of course you’re going to start and finish strong.
They’re your bankers, your team leaders, your phone-a-friends. Ain’t no way that Stabby McStabface bit is going to get anything less than an applause break 18 seconds in.
And what? What’s that? No, I don’t believe it ... that happened on a bus?!? Give that topper a cravat and a monocle, this guy is going places.
And to close? Stabby McStabface ... again. He did it again! Conduct your phone calls in the vestibule areas, it’s only a bloody callback. But this time he was in Tesco.
I mean tap me on the back and tell me I’m facing the wrong way but I did not see that coming. And it was his dad the whole time.
Gee-whiz Mrs Daniels, secure your light fixtures because someone’s going crowd surfing. No. What I aim for is the upside down parabola of laughs.
I’m guessing it’s an inverse parabola but potentially that could be a ‘c’ shape. I did google “upside down parabola” but the first result didn’t provide a clear answer so I played Spider Solitaire for a bit.
So. tonight’s gig. Let’s talk this badger down and wrap him in tinfoil. MC introduces Tom Taylor to muted celebration. Kick off to two minutes of silence. Smash the middle. Tank for the last two minutes.
That’s right folks. The dream. And a good one at that. Yes, you’re in an exam you haven’t revised for but you’re not naked. And yes, you’re in school uniform on non uniform day but – repeat – you’re not naked. Let’s bait the line and fish out some positives here guys. I mean the middle’s the only bit people remember. What? That can’t be right.
You can bet your bottom, top and all the dollars in between it’s right (about seven dollars gross).
A comedy set is a jam sandwich. Oh yeah, now let’s get this metaphor rolling. What’s the best bit about a jam sandwich? It’s the jam. Obviously the jam. Do you know who says bread is the best bit of a jam sandwich? People who have never seen bread before. But they’ve seen loads of jam. And their parents died in a tragic jam accident. Pull this metaphor over I want to get off.
Given the choice between tucking into a jam sandwich and hand scooping jam out of the jar like Winnie the Pooh trying to vary his diet (natural sugar’s still sugar pal, Brexit means Brexit), we all know what we’d do right? Yes. Ask for a spoon.
Bread is just boring structure, the red/white/wholemeal/granary tape denying us access to more delicious filling. Starting and finishing strong are barriers. They’re the prison walls of the boring thoughts box and if there’s one thing Grand Designs has taught us it’s that walls are largely unnecessary. We’ve got bi-fold doors now. Or blocks of hay if you’re environmentally conscious. I mean, yes, useful for structural integrity, keeping roofs on etc. but I plan on taking the roof off at gigs so motion carried m’lud.
Thusly, I plan on starting all my sets in the middle now. I will deliver my opening routines/questions about marital status while the MC is still introducing me and I’ll hit the ground flying (sounds dangerous, like an awful crash landing, don’t mix your idioms Tom) with the sweet, sweet middle, then finish early and do my last few jokes in the car on the way home.
Or I could just be funnier.
Nah. I’m going to start in the middle. It’s a gimmick. We all need a gimmick.
l Tom Taylor’s Sitting Room Comedy Club returns to the St George Hotel, Harrogate on Wednesday, October 12, with Sitting Room favourite Boothby Graffoe plus Tom Wrigglesworth, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and MC Dan Nightingale.
l Tickets are available from the venue or www.sittingroomcomedy.com.
l Tom Taylor tweets at @tomtails.