Titters From Twitter

Interesting comedy experiment last night. Comedian Tiernan Douieb organised the world's first Twitter Comedy gig. He got a pretty good line-up too, with Mark "face of Magners cider" Watson and Pappy's Fun Club among the acts. The idea was for everyone to do a ten-minute online set while the audience sat at home, laughing and twittering their heckles and generally enjoying this virtual comedy gig.

I attempted to take on the role of Twittering critic Twitcrit? which was a bit of a challenge. Partly because for the first half of the show I was on a train with a very slow dongle (ooh matron) and for the second half I was at a real-life Jimeoin gig at the Udderbelly and to tweet from the audience would have just been rude. So in the end I was forced to play catch up after the gig.

Still, the gig seems to have survived without me. Judging by online figures there were apparently over 6000 followers online, which must be the biggest gig Douieb and even Watson has ever played.

Things got a bit chaotic at times, with fans using a twitfeed that was supposed to be exclusively for the acts, but let's just put this down to comedic exuberance. Takeaways and off-licenses might have been the real beneficiaries though as fans stocked up on supplies at home. And of course things overran, while one act, which shall rename nameless (well, the very good, very inventive Carl Donnelly) sort of cheated and used his twittering to link to a youtube performance, which was playful but maybe not in the spirit of the Twitter Comedy Club.

Somehow I can't see this replacing the real live gig any more than Spotify is going to replace rock gigs. Despite some valiant attempts at cyberheckling there was no scope for the lunatic physicality of Pappy's, no scope for the nuances of Terry Saunders' brand of stand-up storytelling. But it was an interesting experiment. Just one little thing bothers me though. How do we know that the gags were coming from, for example, the real Mark Watson?

If you want a flavour of what you missed go to twitter.tiernandouieb.co.uk, where you should either be able to read the gig again or at least read highlights. But don't bother heckling now. All the comedians have gone home. Which is, I suppose, where they were in the first place.

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