​‘Whats the difference between a date and a prune?

There’s no chance of a shag at the end of a prune.’

Thank you, I’m here all week. Try the scampi, etc, etc.

So I mentioned in last weeks post that I’d been planning to write a new set this month. This finally got its first airing at the weekend to what would be fair to say was a muted reception.

The premise of the set is me struggling over whether to write political stuff or just stick to knob gags – I thought as so many people were doing jokes about Trump, Brexit, etc at the moment it might be funny to play with being a bumbling idiot who was trying to write political stuff.

Whilst I still think the basic idea might work I made a textbook error in this version of largely forgetting to write any jokes – for the first three and a half minutes it’s me talking about the limits of satire, Henry Kissinger and the mass bombings of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

Absolutely hilarious stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.

It gets better in the latter half when at least there’s a few jokes but it was rather like a dull Ted talk with a knob gag at the end.

At the time I thought it went really badly but one of the great things about the night I performed at is they record your set and email a copy of the video afterwards so I was able to watch it in the cold light of day. It actually didn’t go as bad as I thought – at least people laughed when I tried to be funny – just that wasn’t very often. Possibly they were just laughing out of relief that finally something resembling a joke had arrived. Anyway they all count.

I think if I hadn’t of had that video I might have given up on the idea entirely so for me it highlighted the value of recording a set which is something I very rarely do of my own volition. As it is I think if I re-write the first part and add some more jokes – perhaps leave out the bombing of Cambodia next time – then it may still work.

Alternatively perhaps I should just give up on all this concept stuff and just tell jokes.

There was once a Liverpool band who ‘made it’ and came back to do their homecoming show. They started with a new song from their (at that point) unreleased second album. It was a longer far more progressive track than anything from their first album and was built around an unusual time signature and a discordant middle 8. As the last delicate guitar tones were ringing out some wag from the crowd shouted ‘I’ve paid ten pounds for this. Play some Neil Diamond’, completely skewering all their pretensions.

So yeah, perhaps I should just play some Neil Diamond.

Paul Entwistle