Months ago Louise organised tickets for Paul Merton’s improvised comedy show, at the Corn Exchange for one night only. If you remember Whose Line is it Anyway?, it was like that but with more swearing and without Clive Anderson. Attending were myself, Louise, Chris, Melanie, Andy Heckford and Chef.
Alongside Paul Merton on stage were Steve Steen, Jim Sweeney, Richard Vranch-at-the-piano, Lee Simpson and Suki Webster. Older viewers may remember Steve Steen and Jim Sweeney from CBTV, back before Children’s ITV was called Children’s ITV. Due to MS Jim’s now in a wheelchair; if you think wheelchair-related comedy was thus out-of-bounds you’ve been in America too long. If you’ve never heard of Lee Simpson or Suki Webster, welcome to our little club.
We had the usual games: shouting out of theatre styles, inclusion of random objects in the plot, and similar japes. They must hear the same old things every time.
At half-time the audience were invited to scribble scenarios on bits of paper and submit them to the bucket of fate, to be extracted at random for most of the second half. I think we came up with nine or ten ideas. Staggeringly, four of them were picked out (three of mine, one of Chris’s). Two ideas became one-gag sketches: Victorian swingers party (Merton: “I’ve just had a threesome: Isambard, Kingdom and Brunel”), and After the London Olympics (Vranch: “I now declare this stadium… ready” – yeah, too easy, I know). Two were beefier: When octopuses go bad, and the very last one, which you won’t be surprised to learn was Chris’s suggestion, Lobster with a big cock finds Nemo.
I was pleased with the audience reaction to my suggestions, but when Paul Merton read out Chris’s idea it brought the house down.
Our ideas were much better than most of the others – “Star Trek on Mars”, I mean, for god’s sake. And there’s only one possible gag for “Narcoleptic meeting”, and that’s been done a thousand times already. As an exercise for the reader, guess the sketch resulting from the idea “a toothpick” (it’s very short).
Extremely good fun overall.
Avaragado’s rating: mushroom biryani