The Loneliest Jukebox

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Not funny

A recent trip to Lee Hurst’s Backyard Comedy Club shows how times have changed. Midway through an unfunny rant about how working class kids are misshapen drooling morons – the kind of thing found at the Chavscum website – a bit of heckling broke out. A heckler suggested the comic, whose name escapes me, should see how far he gets doing this routine in a different part of Bethnal Green. Quick as a flash, he replies … well actually he doesn’t reply, he just gets Lee Hurst to come and help him out. Meanwhile the bouncers silenced the heckler. A weak ‘comeback’ – ‘when I was a teacher I had to get the headmaster in to control my class’ – provokes a retort of ‘you were a shit teacher then’.

Call me old fashioned, but when I used to do stand-up, it was a matter of principle to sort out hecklers yourself. ‘Sit down mate, I’ll get someone to plug your chair in’, I cribbed shamelessly from Alexi Sayle. At Lee Hurst’s, security guards issue verbal warnings. I asked the Club whether this was policy, and this was the reply:
I spoke to Lee, he said people who criticise security are often victims of their own actions. Our policy is not to encourage hecklers/tossers and to activly [sic] discourage them from returning.

I hope this answers your enquiry.

A confusing place to work where everyone seems to be called Lee, but symptomatic of the limp state of comedy today. I can stand the observational guff about kids’ TV in the 70s, but at least stand up for yourself.

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