Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Rob Saunders / Rob Saunders

Name: Rob Saunders

Role: Comedian (

Where: Colchester

ED: Been a while, but here's the first ever WPE entry from a comedian. Seems no matter what you do, so long as it involves a stage, there's shite promoters in every walk of entertainment.

I have been doing stand up for a few years now but only amateur open mic stuff.

Myself and a few other comedians were booked to do a gig in a pub in Colchester. Myself and two other acts shared a lift to the venue and we were running a bit late - being late is what comedians do best after all.

We were worried we would miss the start of the show and we didn't know what the running order of the comedians was, but when we got there the promoter/compare of the event wasn't even there yet.

The chalk board outside the pub had a massive advertisement for roast dinners but no mention of a comedy night - not a good sign (ED: please please PLEASE tell me that pun was intentional?!). The pub was also pretty much empty - again not a good sign for a comedy night that was suppose to start 10 minutes ago.

After a short while the promoter/compare for the show turned up... with nothing. No mic, no PA, nothing. Luckily the pub had a PA system for when they have bands playing and such but the lone bar maid had no idea how to set up the wireless mic, nor did the promoter All the acts had a go at getting it working too no luck. In the end the bar maid had to call her boyfriend who is a DJ to make the mic work (I do realise that this story not only shows the ineptitude of the promoter but also the acts HAHA).

Once we got that sorted the comedy started about an hour late, in front of a "crowd" of people having a quiet drink, not the sort of people that came to watch half a dozen people tell jokes.

We were performing in the corner of the pub about 10 feet away from any of the tables where people were drinking. There was a huge empty space in front of the make shift stage that most comedy promoters would fill with chairs (and preferably comedy fans up for a laugh to sit on the chairs) but nothing - just a huge gaping void.

The promoter who was comparing the night got on stage and started to do some of the worst comparing I have ever seen. For those who haven't been to a comedy show before the job of the Compare/MC is to warm up the crowd, get people laughing and introduce the acts for the night. It's an important part of a comedy night - even a half empty room (or in this case a almost empty pub) can be a great gig with a good MC. This promoter basically did some terrible stand-up that no one really understood and brought on the 1st act to a few people looking very bored.

The 1st act was a great comedian that usually goes down excellently, but in this awful room with this awful MC she died (ED: Figuratively I'd hope. If he literally killed her you should probably be filing this as a police report and not a blog post).

The night continued with usually brilliant acts dying on their arses. After a few acts half of the comedians decided to leave. I didn't blame them, but I stupidly went ahead with my set.

I was local but there were several acts that had come from London and Cambridge for a gig this bad! I felt sorry for them, but sadly this is a common thing with comedy promoters.

The only good thing to come from this gig was that learnt to never accept a gig from this promoter again. They kept e-mailing me for months after asking if I wanted to do their nights again. I think they eventually got the idea after I kept ignoring their e-mails.


  1. I'd have more belief this was written by an actually proper comedian if he could spell compère correctly.

  2. Yeah, part of the 'actually proper comedian' exam is a spelling test.

  3. Of course the pun was intentional, I may not be able to spell properly but I never let a terrible pun go when I see one