My Saturday night Mess Around show began with a taxi driver called Gary.
He and his wife arrived late, and when I found out what he did for a living I brought him to the stage to prove to the crowd how amazing London cabbies are. I made Gary sit on a stool with his back to the audience, and we randomly shouted destinations at him to test The Knowledge (the test that all London cabbies have to sit).
Firstly, a hedge fund manager called Nick suggested we go from Soho to the City. Immediately Gary named every single street he would take in order to get to Bank, which prompted an Aussie to exclaim “Jeezus”. When I quizzed her as to the cause of her outburst she replied “There are so many bloody names mate”
Then we challenged Gary to take us from Bank to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. he rose to the challenge by naming every street out of the city to the M1, then adding “From there you just follow the signs”.
I took a photo of Gary and tweeted it, asking people if they could guess what he did for a living:
It was at this point a man called Dom yelled out “Rent boy”. I then set Dom a challenge. If more people responded “rentboy” than “taxi driver” i promised to buy Dom a beer after the show.
I then returned to the tale of Nick, a hedge fund manager at the show alone. He said his wife was at home with their two children aged 1 and 3, at which point a woman in the balcony booed loudly. When I asked why she replied (in a very high pitched voice not unlike Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter films) that he should have organised a babysitter, or stayed at home with her.
He retorted that he had booked a babysitter, but that his wife was ill so decided to stay home herself. I then called his wife to find out if she was ok with him coming alone. Unfortunately she answered, and upon finding out who was calleing said “Oh dear” then her phone cut out. I tried repeatedly to call her back but kept being diverted to answerphone, so I left a few messages.
She never called back. Finally I left a message promising her a free ticket to my show should she be able to attend it on her own next week. I took a photo of a very sad and apologetic Nick to prove he was sorry for giving me her phone number in the first place:
There was a lovely moment as the woman upstairs (Sue) suggested that Nick’s wife Sally didn’t sound all that ill. When I asked what she thought was going one, she thought ab out it and eventually replied that perhaps Nick’s wife was a member of a book club and wanted to stay at home alone so “he wouldn’t fuck up her Dostoyevsky.” It was the most crass and simultaneously cultured audience response I have ever heard.
Finally I did a recap of the tweets, and although most people said “dentist” (clearly recalling the Oral B tttothbrush ads that were so poular in Australia) it was a 2-2 tie between rentboy and taxi driver. I decided to give Dom the 10 pounds anyway, then ended up adding another 20 to cover all his friends as well.
As you can see, he was chuffed:
That’s all for the Saturday showblog (sorry it’s a few days late) there will be more to come on Tuesday night.