Tweet chuckles no gag


British stand-up comic Tiernan Douieb has played some pretty tough gigs, including a minute-and-a-half in front of tattooed skinheads aboard a boat.
He once had an audience member ask him what English football team he supported. When Douieb admitted he didn't follow the game, the man said: "That's lucky, because if you'd said Arsenal, I'd have to cut you."
So the comedian knows about taking risks for the sake of a laugh. But an upcoming comedy jam has him on unsteady ground.
Tiernan has organized the world's first online virtual stand up event, where a roster of funny-men will do their best bits using the limited bytes of Twitter.

Each act, lasting 10 minutes, will tweet jokes of no more than 140 characters, with followers chiming in their best one-liners or harshest heckles.
"It'll make it hard, to read an audience you can't even see," Douieb reasons, while on the phone from his London flat.
It's there that he'll go online, in front of his girlfriend, two cats and a virtual packed house at his tapping finger tips. He came up with the experiment while recently performing at a pub, where only four people showed up.
"They were a great four people," the 28-year-old jester explains.
"But when I Tweeted about the small crowd, some people responded to say I have a bigger audience (on Twitter)."
So as a social experiment, he's compering the June 8 Twitter gig (3 p.m.), which features eight other comics.

All are Brits, though he tried to convince a few Canadians, who are making a living on the thriving British stand-up circuit, to take part.
"None of them use Twitter," Douieb points out.
Even female comics who were asked seemed unwilling to venture onto the unreal stage.
The biggest audience Douieb ever played in front of was 800 people at a festival. An expected worldwide audience of 6,000 may be following the first online stand-up gig, using the hash tag #twitcom.

"It's a risk," he says. "We're not sure how people will react."
But on Twitter, he points out: "When people heckle, at least we have the option of not replying."


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