Woot, woot, I finally went to my first Funny Laundry show this past Friday! Of course, they’ve now changed names to The International Comedy Club, but still…
I first heard about this gig via English Forum a couple of years ago. At the time, I was mildly curious but never actually got around to going because:
- I wasn’t sure about my tolerance for British comedy (ya know, it’s still not the same as American humor),
- I was a bit cheap back in day (still not quite over the sticker shock of moving to Switzerland), and
- I wasn’t sure who to go with (I wasn’t brave enough to attend on my own).
So I put this thought on the back burner and promptly forgot about it.
But suddenly I had the opportunity to bring this past memory into the present. A Belgian colleague asked if I wanted to check out English comedy, and I was all like, hell yeah, let’s go!! (I didn’t phrase it so eloquently at the time though. I think my exact response was: Yeah, comedy club sounds great! I’ve never been to it at Mascotte before. Would be cool to check out. A very civil and work-appropriate response. ;))
Anyway, finally!! After 4 long years in Zürich, I finally made it to Funny Laundry. Yippee!
I had attended Eddie Izzard’s show at Hallenstadion some months ago, but it was a completely different venue than an intimate set-up like all the comedy clubs I used to go to back in the day in L.A.
So yay, a real, back-to-the-roots comedy show! 🙂
We arrived at the club and shuffled in, looking for a good place to sit. Most of the seats were already reserved with jackets and scarves strewn across the chairs, but we found some seats on the side kinda near the front. Not too near the front though… didn’t want to get picked on. I’ve sat front and center, first row before, and those comics can be brutal. 😮
I peeped around at the audience, and it was a mixed bag of folks of all age ranges. Mostly white though. I might have been the only one of Asian descent, but that could also be a reflection of the local demographics.
First up was Johnny Candon, a comedian from Ireland. Raw and raunchy, he picked on the peeps from the audience and talked a lot about relationships. And sex. Yeah, I could relate. I thought he was pretty good. And I could understand him! No worries about incomprehensible accents there. 🙂
He did a quick survey of the audience to see how many Brits vs. Americans vs. Irish vs. South Africans vs. Swiss were in attendance that night. My poor Belgian friend was left off the list, as his homeland wasn’t included in the league of English-speaking nations.
Side note to self: I need to check out this Fifty Shades of Grey book Johnny Candon kept referring to. I must be the last person on earth who doesn’t know what this book is.
After the first act, there was a break where we could go hydrate at the bar. And then they gave the stage to an amateur for her 5 minutes of fame. A Claire something, I forget her surname. You could tell she wasn’t as polished as the pros, but kudos to her for getting up there. I don’t think I could have done it.
Then the main act: Tim Clark, a suave comedian, writer, and actor from England. Talked about his kids, getting divorced, getting older, and doing drugs and stuff back in the day. All standard stuff and pretty cool.
Afterwards, we were hanging out by the bar and he came around for a chat with the owner, Londoner Guy Stevens. Pretty awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the talent mingle with the regular folk in L.A. before.
Anyway, awesome show, and it’s only the first of the 2014 season. I think comedy has a lot to do with cultural understanding, and despite my initial concern about lack of enjoyment due to cultural differences, it turned out to be a non-issue, and these guys totally nailed it.
I was pleasantly surprised at how international the audience was, and how hard-core some of the fans were (one with a lifelong membership card, and another who crashed his car while rushing to catch the show after work). I had a great time and am looking forward to enjoying a lot more of this to come. 🙂