Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stock lines....

“The more money you give me the more money I have” Was first used by David holder in the late 80′s.
It may have lay latently submerged before then from earlier times but David was inventive.

He did the 'escape from the straightjacket on a tall unicycle' show until he fell, hit his head and his retinas started detaching. Incidentally, it was this show/module that Eddie Izzard purloined in his first Edinburgh fest adventure as a street performer.
I think most of the ‘classics’ came from the Covent garden nursery given that was a place where many performers worked together daily rather than just at festivals and there was a certain rivalry in applying new twists to what was  a certain cookie cutter quality to the prefabricated patter performers build their modules out of.
There is something mildly depressing about the inevitability of comedy irrespective of the performer vending it, that could be more my discordant perspective but as a performer myself [who doesn't speak], hearing…
“…And Kids, if mummy and daddy don’t give you at least $2 to give to the funny man that can only mean one thing….They don’t really love you…..just joking, it means you were adopted.”
A well worn classic, used extensively as a kind of counterfeit ‘personality’
The audiences roar with shocked, slyly impressed mirth and as someone who has seen probably 50 000 shows and loves the form something in me cringes. I identify a form of deceit but the audience laughs and the shows roll forward so I guess it’s my problem.
Back to David Holder… He used to preface this line with, “I know you won’t like this line and I know I’ll lose money but I don’t care I love this line.”
“…And Kids, if mummy and daddy don’t give you at least $2 to give to the funny man that can only mean one thing……He’s shit.”
That was what its all about to me, entertaining yourself inside the form and taking the audience along for the ride. Not building a module of hack to exploit human nature and your own need for minimal work hours and international travel.

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