Saturday, 30 August 2008

Me and my big mouth ...

Often I am asked about awkward things that happen at shows. So I thought I'd jot a few down.

Recently I was working in a nudist colony (honest!) with a band fronted by two lovely girls. Towards the end, as I was over-running (again!), they crept round behind me and climbed on the stage ready for their second spot. I decided to big the girls up and pointed out one and complimented her on her outfit; the other I asked when her baby was due. Of course, she wasn't even pregnant (oops) and had a 6 month old toddler - don't you wish the ground would open up sometimes?

March 2009 - Now this is something that has probably happened before but no-one has pointed it out. Last night I was working in a rough, back street pub in Nottingham - my ideal audience! - I was doing my normal stuff taking the piss out of various women and their busts, large or small. The one woman who I picked on for her flat chest came up to me at the end of the night and complimented me on my act, which was very nice of her, and then told me that she had recently had a mastectomy! I started to apologise and she said not to as if she didn't laugh at life she could so easily cry. I still felt an idiot.

September 2009 - I was working in a venue up north to a less than full audience. One of the women was very amply figured and I asked if she was pregnant. She said no. I tried to dig myself out of the hole but only made things worse. Oops. At the interval a member of the management came over and told me the woman was distraught and in tears because I had picked on her and she had a medical condition that caused her to swell up. I was devastated. I never want any audience member to go away not having enjoyed themselves. So I went over to her and tried to apologise. She said she was fine so I told her what I had been told told. Again she repeated she was fine about it. A few minutes later we were both outside while she had a cigarette. She was telling her friend about it all so I piped up and said, in a loud voice, that some people should mind their own business and not get affronted on behalf of someone who wasn't upset. And they should keep their noses out. The woman concerned was standing close by and had the good grace to blush!

My favourite incident was in a gay bar up north several years ago. There was a table of half a dozen lesbians at the front of the stage. One was sat with her back to me throughout my act, which I thought was rude. Understandably I lambasted them, and especially her, when I got on the mike. It was only then that someone shouted out that they were deaf. I went up to her, faced her and exaggeratedly said 'Are you deaf?' She nodded. I lifted my dress and said 'You may be deaf but you can still f***ing lipread!' The pub collapsed in laughter (thank goodness)

I was working in a pub near Leicester on a hen night with no strippers (bizarre, I know). During the interval they pulled a raffle and I volunteered to call the numbers. I had noticed that during my act, every time I made a joke relating to sex a small Asian woman leaned over and whispered to her white friend. I assumed she was finding it all a bit risque so next time she did it I asked her friend what she was whispering about. She said it was that her English wasn't great and she was asking for the joke to be explained. Immediately I went into a rant and said 'Typical, they come over here, open corner shops everywhere and still ask for sex lessons' As it came out of my mouth I did wonder whether it was too racist but they all laughed.

At the same gig during the raffle one woman came up to collect a prize. Sitting down she had looked quite pretty, about 30 years old. When she stood up it was apparent she had the widest hips I have ever seen on a woman. So I asked her if she had children. She said no, I said 'Well, when you do, they will pop out with no problem' She didn't understand but the rest of the audience did!

Way back at the beginning of my career I used to work the straight pubs in London. One place that I worked regularly had a small-ish corner stage, 4ft high, which I had to leap from, dash through the audience and into the kitchen/changing room. I was doing a routine during which I got this guy up on the stage and started to undress him. I had timed it so that when I unbuttoned his shirt he would panic and run off the stage leaving me free to bow and go for my change. This time I picked on someone who was up for whatever I did. He just stood there. I went further than normal and removed his shirt. He just stood there. I dropped his trousers. He just stood there. Finally, in desperation, I spun him round to face the audience, dropped his pants, pushed him forward off the stage where he was caught, stage-surfing-style, by the audience. I then proceeded to walk up his back (in stilletoes) and into the audience for my next change. I fully expected some grief when I came offstage later. Sure enough, he was waiting at the bar for me. I approached him with some trepidation. He shook my hand and bought me a pint!!

I'll add some more tales as I remember them