Saturday, April 04, 2009

Last Sunday we did the first 'episode' of our new improvised show, Off Your Chest, at Lowdown at The Albany. I've never had to improvise a whole show before, so it was 'a learning experience'.

One of the things I learnt was that a pun isn't always just a groan moment for an audience. In the right context it can take their breath away. And leave me spluttering like a deflating twat for a good four minutes.

As a Kilroy-esque chat show host, I'd been challenging Darren Strange to explain how he spent his benefits. We'd established that his benefits were insufficient for him to eat at Pizza Express every day. He said:

"If I stop going spending my benefits on pizzas in the current climate they'll go under. Pizza Express will go under, ASK will go under, eventually Pizza Hut will go under..."

And from behind us, John Voce, veteran of the Comedy Store Players, the voice that launched a thousand Kwik Fit adverts, said:

"It's the Domino's effect."

Just wow.

In scripted comedy that's a sigh, something we've all been aware was coming, a punchline. Here it was a small but tiny victory over chaos, manna from the comedy gods, a moment when the universe falls into alignment.

I had to hide my face because I was laughing so hard.

So there is a time and a place for a pun to be majestic and exciting. It's at our next show, April 12th at Lowdown at The Albany, 240 Great Portland St, at 7:30.

Why not come and see if John can do it again?

Just wow.