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When they fly, they look really sh#te. Bats! bats! bats!

Well that was odd.

I get up onto the stage and go into my set, the first part of which involves me getting everyone in the audience to shake hands with the person sat next to them. We're in Middlesborough. The crowd are not up for shaking hands with each other. They instead opt for folding their arms and looking flatly at me in such a way as to suggest that they're thinking something along the lines of; "f#ck off nob'ead".

Unsure what to do I nail the punchline to the routine and it gets a good solid laugh. I press on and go into my next bit which gets more, bigger laughs. Then I'm gonged off*. Right in the middle of a laugh. One minute and fifty seconds stage time! The least ammount of stage time I've ever clocked up at one of these gigs. Usually I get three and a half to four minutes.

I wander back to my table, tail between my legs, totally confused as to what went wrong. I heard a definite "ohhh" from the crowd when I was gonged off. An "ohh" of dissapointment I'd venture.

Me and my mate get pissed after and then today I look through the video of it.

This makes me even more confused. I get better laughs than I thought on the tape. I'm nowhere near as rubbish as usual and I'd actually say that was my best performance to date. Shame it was so short. I've still no idea what went wrong. Will just have to carry on and see what happens next time.

NM

*Gong shows are the most common format for new act nights. You go on and do your stuff. Three people in the audience are given cards which if they all put them up spell the end of your set. It's a good way of doing it and stops people dying horribly on their ar#e.

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