Open Mic Gigs

Gig 06: Gong night, Comedy Cow (Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes)

I’m off to another gig, this time it’s a little different. It’s a Gong Night! The Comedy Cow were launching their first Gong Night in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes.

comedy cow image

The rules

  • 12 acts will have 5 mins on stage and then an additional 2 mins where the audience can gong the comic off if they are not happy with the performance.
  • If anyone gets passed the 7 mins they go through to the final where they must tell a cow related joke. Best joke wins.
  • The winner will get a spot at a pro night.

Right, armed with this info I started writing a song about a cow I had fallen in love with in Jersey (this is not based on a true story).

It was called:

Clumsy Obstacle Walking (C.O.W)

I love your hair, I love your face,
I love the way your udder tastes.
It’s so creamy, and it’s just so divine,

My Clumsy Obstacle Walking


There were about 4 verses to the song, though as we got nearer to the night, I decided to switch it for interesting facts about cows such as:

  • Cows can walk up stairs, though not down
  • Cows can smell 6 miles away
  • There is a town in Sweden where they play Cow Bingo where people bet on where the cow pat will land in a field marked out with squares
  • In 1740 a cow was strung up for being involved in acts of sorcery

Ok with this under my belt, I decided it was time to try out my ‘Nan Stories’ set and see how it goes.

I was car sharing with Sian Doughty, another comic, and after 76 wrong turns thanks to Mr Satnav, we arrived just in time to start the show.

I was ushered into a back room where all the other comics were sitting discussing their best jokes, worst nights and laugh hit rates! Wow this is getting serious.

The list went up on the wall and I was in the second half. The night kicked off and the first guy who the crowd was loving got gonged off! Christ, tough crowd!

As the comic walked off the stage the audience looked confused… turns out the audience had got the wrong end of the stick and actually wanted to keep him on. So back on he went and made it to the final. Phew.

As the car journey had taken 2.5hrs (standard train journey 43mins) I hadn’t prepared myself. I had a double espresso and a bottle of beer as the night kicked off to get myself in the zone. I hadn’t drunk alcohol before a gig before, and I wanted to see if it made a difference. People say it relaxes you, others say it slows you down.

I stood in the toilets staring at myself in the mirror. In the background I could hear the next comic getting gonged off. I was up… shit was the double espresso and beer a good idea?

As I walked up the to stage I shook the MC’s hand and was off. I tend to piss about with the mic stand as I remove the mic whenever I get on stage. It’s something I need to get out of the habit of as it’s not exactly a powerful entrance.

I’d decided to try an off-the-cuff comment about the car journey up to Milton Keynes. I mentioned the fact that it was beautiful with the yellow fields and sunshine, and then added that Sian looked out the window and then turned to me and said ‘How exciting it’s rape season!’  (She didn’t say this it just popped into my head).

The audience burst into laughter. Holy shit!

I then decided to do an impression of my mate Rory sneezing (multi-sneezer) and mention that my nan actually sneezed with a Welsh accent! It was still going well, though as this was the first time I had tried out any of this material, I was really flying by the seat of my pants.

I’ve noticed that as I’m so focused on what I am doing, I struggle to hear or notice if the audience are having a good time! I’m sure this will happen with experience though, similar to driving a car, right?.. right?

Anyway, I’m afraid to say that I didn’t make it to the final, but I walked off the stage feeling great, I was really happy I had tried out the material and had performed to over 100 people, and I didn’t mind about not winning.

The winner Jay Islaam actually told a joke about Camels, but the audience already loved him from his previous set so the best man won hands down.

The Comedy Cow background on stage. Signed by all the Comics

The Comedy Cow background on stage. Signed by all the Comics


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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