Charlie’s Standup Comedy Journal
Okay, so all of you ADD sufferers out there will appreciate this clip. If five whole minutes of comedy is simply too much to sit through, then this is the set for you. Solid.
This was ‘Two Minute Marathon’ night at the All Asia, and the last Sunday show for one of the long-time hosts there. (Don’t worry, he’s still doing a Tuesday night show. It’s okay. Breathe, now. It’s cool.) For those of you — like me — who’ve never seen a Two Minute Marathon before, here’s more or less how it works:
Each comic gets two minutes, and no more. The emcee at one of these little soirees gets the unenviable task of sitting with a stopwatch and a mic all night, signalling to people when their time is almost up, and calling them off when it’s gone. Sort of an American Idol judge, without all the snark and hair gel.)
Anyway, from what I understand, in most Two Minute Marathons, depending on how many comics show up, you might go up two or three times — the comics just keep coming up, giving wee little mini-sets until it’s all over with. So I prepared no less than five two-minute vignettes, to be able to pick and choose, gauging the crowd to deliver the most appropriate material from the vault.
Of course, it turned out — as things that I actually prepare for so often do — that all that grunt work was unnecessary. This Two Minute Marathon was to be a contest — one round for everyone, and then a ‘Funny Four’ semifinal round for the quartet of comics voted worthiest, and finally a no-holds-barred joke-off between the top two competitors. So, the format I was expecting went more or less out the window.
Fine. If I was asked to work in the semifinals, I could mix and match == the later rounds were longer than two minutes apiece == and come up with a pretty decent couple of sets.
And so, I was not asked to work in the semifinals. It was ‘two and out’ for me, and I became a spectator for the rest of the show. Eh, what’re you gonna do? It was experience, and a chance to see whether I could plan a set that wasn’t a standard five-to-seven minute time slot. And it turns out I could. I could plan five of them, even, in just a couple of days, which I think is kinda cool. (And tells me that I have at least ten minutes of stuff that at least I don’t hate, so there you go. Progress, folks. Baby steps.)
Anyway, I tell you that to tell you this — if you’ve seen the other clips, this one won’t be as much fun for you, I’m afraid. For one thing, it’s old material — hey, I had to put something together fast, and in a weird time slot. I didn’t have time to prep new stuff, you know. And for another, it’s roughly two-and-a-half times shorter than the other clips, so there’s not as much bang for your buck. On the bright side, though, there weren’t any scary punk rock fans there, like last time at the All Asia. So it wasn’t all bad, even if I was itching to get back on stage after the ‘lightning round’.
So, have a look; I hope you enjoy it. I think the clip cuts in just as I’m expressing how excited I was to be there. ‘I’m all jazz hands and a big hard-on,’ I believe was the direct quote. (Hey, I never said this shit was Shakespeare, people. Be cool.) The video’s a little dark, but you get a pretty good look at the All Asia stage, and part of the bar area, too. It’s almost like being there, folks. And if you ADD types find yourself losing interest after a while, don’t worry — it’ll be over sooner than you think. Enjoy!
Download Clip of 01/25/04 Set —
All Asia Cafe, Cambridge, MA (1 minute, 52 seconds):
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