Never Stand-up When You Can Sit-com

Where comedy’s concerned I prefer sitting to standing as I like sit-com but find stand-up quite scary.  I’m terrified of people not laughing.  Stand-up is quite confrontational; it’s a series of jokes, whereas sitcom is far more complex.  The comedy comes from dialogue, situation and character; every sitcom creates a world of its own and that’s something that really interests me.  Take the latest series on BBC about a pair of blokes searching for bits of metal in a field.  ‘Detectorists’ (we learn in episode one that a metal detector is a piece of equipment and the person operating it is a detectorist) is an unusual sitcom in that it takes place mostly outdoors as the pair search for the Holy Grail that is the Saxon ship thought to have been buried nearby.  It’s a very well-observed comedy and the characters are utterly believable and well-acted by Mackenzie Crook (Gareth in ‘The Office) and Toby Jones (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and, bizarrely, the voice of Dobby the house elf).

I could see myself writing sitcom (and in fact I did once write a radio sitcom) but I could never in a million years do stand-up.  As a poet the worst thing that can happen to you is that people don’t listen or don’t clap – but as a comedian if you’re up there giving it your all and people don’t laugh, it’s just the worst thing ever.  It makes me shudder.

I need some comedy at the moment as I’ve just had an email saying my memoir has not even made the longlist.  I’m really upset because I thought this was going to be my big break.

Kirk out

PS I’ve just found out that Toby Jones is the son of Freddie Jones, the character actor.  I once knew someone at Uni who was friends with him…

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2 Comments

Filed under novels and longer works, TV reviews

2 responses to “Never Stand-up When You Can Sit-com

  1. what is the long list? I gave up banging my head against the literary wall, many years ago having gained enough rejection slips to paper the small bedroom. Of course I probably wasnt very good, so I may start again…..keep at it Liz, you never know your luck

    • lizardyoga

      They end up with a short-list of about five, but first they do a long-list, just like the Booker Prize. I don’t know how many people are on the long-list but I was pretty depressed not to make it. Thanks anyway, and yes – keep going is the only thing all advice has in common. Never give up, keep going etc. There was a point yesterday when I contemplated giving up but now I’m back on track. 🙂

      ________________________________

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