Open Mic Gigs

Gig 17 — Laughing Horse Competition Heats (Soho, London)

Competition - Laughing horse

It’s competition time. It’s the heats for the laughing horse new acts competition.

As I mentioned before, I’ve decided to do a slightly random thing and take small clips from each of my sets and stick them together (!) as a way of telling one liners instead of stories.

There is some logic behind this, and that is that… competitions are more joke orientated.

Now I don’t do one liners mainly because I tend to waffle, so a one liner becomes a three liner! Possibly due to experience (or lack of) I really do struggle to get across info in less words, though that’s the trick I suppose.

Anyway, tonight I will be trying that! So once again it’s untested as usual!

Right I arrive early, only to find the night is starting in 45 mins…

I’m on 7th, so after using all my maths skills, I worked out I’m on stage in 3hr 23mins. That sounds quite long. I try the maths again. 1hr 20min. Bloody hell that’s still a seriously long time to wait.

The night starts there is 17 acts and 6 audience members. It’s going to be tough.

As acts come and go, I can’t help thinking why the hell did I cut up all my material to try and get more one liners in! Why didn’t I go with tested material?

I’m watching the act before me, who just so happens to be Omar… who I have booked to do a 20 min middle set in November at the Underground Comedy Club!

I’m sure this is an new act competition, but I understand every comic under the sun enters every competition going new or old!

At that point a women falls off her chair distracting everyone. After asking her if she is ok, the MC happily introduces the next act, a.k.a me, and I walk into the stage with the whole 5 real audience members chatting about how it’s ok to fall off a chair!

This is not exactly the start I was hoping for!

That said, the set went well, a few jokes got massive laughs, which felt great. I really wanted to give the set a little more welly, though I think as I hadn’t really done the set before, I struggled to add the punch in the parts that were needed.

Quite a few comics came up to me after and said they enjoyed the set. Also 3 out of the 5 actual audience members shook my hand, and I even got a kiss! Crumbs this was turning out to be my best gig ever!

Ok the results are in, the judges look serious.

In second place” (only 2 get through by the way) “Dan…” holy shit my heart is in my mouth! “Dan… someone else!”

Oh man, I actually though for a second I was through! Ha ha.

The other Dan was very good, he wrote a poem that was very funny. The winner was a girl who had great one liners, she had great delivery and I will be booking them both for gigs at the Underground Comedy Club.

I am super happy I did the competition and I will happily do others whenever they pop up. Strangely I recognised about 4 people from a gig I did last week.

It must be a small world this comedy business. Each time I do a gig, I meet more people and I’m starting to feel like I am part of this little group of funny souls.


Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.


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