Twitter Comedy Club. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Comedians tapping away at laptops, trying to make people laugh down the other end of cyberspace? So, did it work? (Live blog here by the way)
It was an experiment and should be treated as such. No one seriously imagines an unsteady stream of jokes, punctuated by buffoons and hecklers, will be a pearler, but Mitch Benn, Mark Watson, Terry Saunders and Gary Delaney in particular got some belly laughs from this follower.
The post-gig comments at #tcgig are almost unanimously positive as well (@markrs “Please definitely another one”, @CodingMonkey It was a great Comedy Set on #tcgig More events like this please! “Twitter Comedy was a bit mad but I enjoyed it” etc etc). And let’s face it, if the punters hadn’t enjoyed it, they would’ve soon piped up…
It must be a relief to Tiernan Douieb, the man behind this baffling but fun venture. As MC he set the all-important tone – to engage with Twitter’s capabilities. This meant some high jinks (galvanising followers into mass tweeting celebrity tweeters), and some wonderful wordplay on Demi Moore and “RTchokes”. His flow was disrupted unduly by ignorami tweeting the hashtag, but he did deliver one of the night’s most popular lines: “In mythology, the Griffin is part lion, part bird. Yet Nick Griffin of the BNP is all cock.”
Big hat tip must go to Terry Saunders for embracing the format fully and for the twitpics and inspired use of Spotify to accompany his set (he employed the notoriously sexual Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin while talking about introducing his gammy gonad to a young doctor). Delaney and Pappy’s Fun Club [pictured] also employed Twitpics to comic effect and worked hard in their 10, although with four of them typing away, they were hamstrung and their set was a little confusing. They were also hampered by getting heckled by none other than the Penny Dreadfuls, the bastards!
Mitch Benn nailed his set, coming up with new lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody to take the piss out of Twitter and people’s clamoring for more followers.
Battle for the re-tweets
Of course, with instant comedy comes instant judgment, and re-tweeting became the currency of a great gag. It is a toss up between Benn, Delaney and Watson for who garnered the most re-tweets, Benn for his “So you think you can spam me and twit in my eye/So you think you can love me and not @stephenfry” lyric, Delaney’s line “Bit disappointed by Walt Disney On Ice. It’s just an old bloke in a freezer” and the night’s final gag by Mark Watson: “Why does Cliff Richard never die? Is God keeping him alive to inspire us? Or just putting off having to meet him?”
Matt Kirshen – hunkered down typing backstage at an actual gig, Old Rope – was first on and introduced the world to dying on your Twittery arse, thanks to appalling typing speed and an anecdote that didn’t fit the format. Still, the man’s an excellent comic nonetheless. And I enjoyed Carl Donnelly’s ‘set’ despite its galling, appalling laziness – the cheek of just posting a YouTube link and kicking back is, come on, kinda funny…
So what have we learnt? The best way to do a Twitter Comedy gig, as we suspected, is through the one-liner, as employed by Delaney, Rob Heeney and Mark Watson. But heroes can emerge, such as Terry Saunders, who metaphorically made sweet lovin’ to the format and, with some nifty typing skills, created something pretty special. Final hats off to Tiernan Douieb for having the idea in the first place and the balls to see it through. Bottom line – would I tune in next time? Yep, I would.
To read the live blog of the Twitter Comedy Club, as it happened, including comedian summaries, click here