The secret to comedy is… (Iain)

The secret to comedy is… timing. Which is a load of baloney. My timing is amazing. I’m never late for meetings – but that has not made me funny.

I previously wrote about Andrew and I’s attempt at comedy: https://twinbikerun.com/2018/09/14/are-twins-psychic-iain/

It’s fair to see we were not very good as a double act. That did not stop either of us from trying to go solo. We are both believers in the adage – if at first you don’t succeed… fail in a whole new way instead.

I was terrible as a solo comic. I was wooden on stage, my jokes were bad and I struggled to enjoy it. I did a few five min spots in pubs and then gave in.

Andrew persevered and got to a point where he wasn’t bad but he wasn’t great either. Which is an achievement in itself considering how hard it is to stand in front of strangers and try to get laughs.

During one of his stand up performances, a journalist saw him telling some jokes about the independence referendum. That journalist knew a member of the Better Together campaign (the anti-independence group) and mentioned to them that he’d seen a comedian doing independence jokes.

The comment was well timed. Better Together were organising a comedy gig in Edinburgh starring Eddie Izzard but didn’t have anyone to support him. Every comedian in Scotland they’d asked had either said no or they supported independence. They must have realised it would be a bad career move to alienate half of Scotland.

So, in desperation they phoned Andrew! He had no comedy career so it made no difference if he alienated anyone. He said “yes” which is ironic for a ‘no’ gig

My role was to write jokes and get Andrew gig ready i.e drive him there and supply moral support.

We needed 10 minutes of material so we took what we’d written in the book https://twinbikerun.com/2020/03/30/the-fat-minister-iain/ and use the best (we thought) of it.

We were introduced to Eddie before the gig. He was quiet and seemed very guarded. He probably wondered what he was doing there too. I mentioned I was from Stornoway and that he’d done a gig there. He perked up a bit chatting about that. He remembered the local church had tried to ban him! I asked if he was ok if I took a photo. he said yes but only if he could check the camera afterwards and delete any pics he didn’t like!

Me and my showbiz chum Eddie.

We had our own changing room in the theatre. It had all the glamour of a cleaners cupboard. Which is propably what it was before the organisers put a note on the door saying “Support – Andrew Todd” It contained a bag of crisps and two bottles of beer. I had the beer. Andrew had the crisps.

We had to wait on the side of the stage before Andrew had to go on. I was extremely nervous before the gig. I was worried no-one would laugh at Andrew. I dread to think how nervous Andrew was. At least I wasn’t going on stage.

Waiting to go on

As Andrew walked on stage all I could think was “PLEASE LAUGH!”

He told his opening line. There was silence. OH GOD NO-ONE HAS LAUGHED!

The silence seemed to go on for ever. Andrew looked crushed. But then the audience laughed. It turned out the delay was due to the way sound travels in the theatre. You need to delay slightly after each line to give it time to reach the audience.

Thankfully the gig went OK. People laughed. Eddie said well done afterwards BUT the next day the Scotsman’s front page said “foul mouth’d comedian Andrew Todd shocked audiences at the anti independence gig”

Which is an impressive take on the event as Andrew doesn’t swear and the only shock was that people laughed.

Which just goes to show don’t believe anything you read in the papers! They will print what they want, not what happened.

Andrew learning his lines.