Sometimes, You Want to Punch the Elephant in the Room

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Reached that moment this evening as every comedian does, where he or she would just love to get down off the stage, and punch a particular audience member (or group for that matter), in the face. Reigning blows until their teeth wiggle loose from their head – blood flying all over the shop – chaos unleashed – a comedic coliseum coming to life in front of a small audience of foreigners. I digress.

I didn’t lose it, but… sometimes you just want to punch the elephant in the room.

A fine specimen from Dublin was in The Bachelor Comedy Lounge this evening and he was chirping away the whole evening with his cronies, a bona fide bombardier this guy. Spewing out senseless drivel through his boorish flytrap. These levels of idiocy can’t be tamed with either intelligence or violence. An afflicted human conundrum; creatures doing their best to have whatever affect they can, befuddled negativity mostly; they’re angry at the world and they plan on voicing it, and fair play to them, they must let the world know that they’re still there… obliviously searching in the dark for the illusive soap box.

To be honest, they could afford pints, they were drinking away, feet up, glaring through dead eyes as I stood there sober, broke, once again bringing my funny thoughts to an indifferent crowd, being tried and tested before a malevolent judge and jury of a few heathens mindlessly wrecking the buzz for the rest of the audience. It was great craic!

I bantered with them back and forth, going after them a bit, most of it going over their heads, shutting them up in spots. Leading to the inevitable threat of bodily harm, the dreaded left foot. These drunken buffoons were out for their own laugh, and with the aid of alcohol they could have that laugh in their own world, why they chose to come to a comedy club is beyond me… must have been the cheap drink. Latching onto their fleeting moments to be the one’s in the spotlight poking fun, they acted out their parts, completely lost in their own ignorance and animosity.

In these scenarios there’s no sense in getting angry, unless you’re going to go all out, and completely ruin the show. For half hearted aggression and/or cynicism only fuels the fire that they run on, the combustible engines that they are, and violence only breeds’ violence, this is my belief any way.

So where does one go? Play them off each other? Use the rest of the bewildered audience against them? Divide and conquer?

Bitter acknowledgment is usually perilous, only ignites them more. Ignoring them does the same, and as a comedian biting ones tongue is not a strong suit. So one’s backed into a corner, and the obvious easy solution to instigate and create a situation is there, nagging, like a midge raping your ear, but comedy is not held in an octagon for a reason… and it’s up to the comedian to use his or her wit and keep the peace.

One’s wits get tested regularly, nightly, a comedians morals and principles are constantly put on display, unforeseen scenarios introduced where these traits of one’s self are thrust under the microscope, beliefs and characteristics investigated, live, in front of the public eye, for free.

Is he going to break?”

 “Is he going to snap?”

 “Is he going to lose it and go mental?”

 “Shut the fuck up!!!”

 These questions rattling around in the audience’s head as two worlds collide live, on display, right in front of them. Tension building, toes clenching, breaths shortening, reality coming full swing in a comedic escapade. Laughs waiting to explode out of people’s timid guts: the anticipation, crescendo, climax… it’s all there. A Shakespearean play in front of your eyes, is it a tragedy or a comedy? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

The gig was saved, laughs were had, no bloodshed or punches thrown. This, ladies and gentleman, is why comedy’s such a uniquely exceptional experience and why everyone should go out and support live comedy, experience a laugh, sometimes, at another person’s expense… it’s always interesting. Where else are you going to see an elephant in a room…?

By: Connor McDonough-Flynn

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