After the reaction to yesterday’s blog I’m definitely going to run a Find a New Interest challenge, as part of the New Year activities I’m planning for the merry readers of this website. So start thinking about it now. NOW!!! You’ve got plenty of time before the official start, though. But NOW!!!
A couple of quick things to record: last night, as some of you will have seen on Twitter, I was involved in a small controversy at the gig I was doing. It was a corporate event, the annual dinner of some financiers called Winterfloods. I was halfway through and doing pretty well, bantering with the audience, when the 73-year-old head of the company suddenly shouted out ‘START DOING SOME JOKES AND BEING A COMEDIAN, OR YOU WON’T GET PAID’. Astonishing, I asked him to repeat himself. He told me to ‘cut out the smut’ and do my job properly. I had very much been doing my job properly – interacting with a pissed-up but friendly crowd in a good-natured way – and it was a chilly feeling to be bawled at by the oldest and most important person in the room.
I was tempted to walk out, but instead I raced through 15 minutes of quickfire ‘proper’ gags to almost total silence, because everyone was now scared to laugh. Then I finished with a speech about how rudely I’d been treated. It was pretty exciting. It’s rare I finish a gig like that. I included phrases like ‘one man has poisoned the atmosphere’. As someone who’s been booked by a corporate client, you’re well aware that they are within their rights to criticise you and potentially disrespect you in all sorts of ways. But if the gig’s going well, and you’ve not said anything remotely offensive (which, as usual, I hadn’t), I think you in turn are within your rights to politely say ‘shut up, I’m performing’. It was an interesting dynamic. Probably the biggest row I’ve ever had with a man in his seventies. I have a lot more to say on the subject, but no time. Yet.
Also, I’ve just done an interview with Minchin (me interviewing him) which will appear in his tour programme and be released as some sort of Audio Thing. I know many of you love Minchin a lot, so this is nice news. We’re talking about doing a series of ‘Watson Chats To Minchin’ podcasts. All that’s stopping this happening is the effort of getting our respective shit together, so if you are one of the people who write on Minch’s forums, write to him about that. Fun.
(He reckons he’s injured his hips, by the way, with that very fast fun of his. That’ll teach him to beat ME at anything.)