Comedy review: Twitter comedy club
Published Date: 10 June 2009

SUBSCRIBED to by an audience of over 6,500 from the comfort of their home computers, this inaugural Twitter comedy gig was a fine advert for experiencing stand-up in a real, purpose-built club. One-liner specialist Gary Delaney and musical comedian Mitch Benn visibly swelled their fanbases as the evening progressed, achieving more "re-tweets" than anyone else. Delaney was the night's undisputed hit, his material expertly crafted to Twitter's 140 character format while Benn, who offered alternative lyrics for Bohemian Rhapsody, even flogged CDs during the virtual interval.

Generally though, this admirable experiment was a chaotic failure, beset by technical gremlins, malevolent trolls of the type you find in any internet forum and over-stimulated fans. The audience could employ various applications to see the comics tweeting their 140 character gags, yet all spluttered forth at varying speeds like a temperamental videprinter.

Nevertheless, it was fascinating to follow as opener Matt Kirshen took the virtual stage while tweeting from the back of a real gig, unable to complete his psychiatry anecdote yet supplementing his lines with Wikipedia links.

Rob Heeney began tweeting before he'd even been properly introduced and it was disconcerting to see his innocent wordplay on "Poles" retweeted around cyberspace as genuine xenophobia, a fate that also befell Mark Watson.

Carl Donnelly gave me my first laugh by simply posting a link to himself performing on You Tube, though this failed to capture the gig's spirit as well as Delaney slapping down a persistent heckler, or Pappy's Fun Club inventing and conversing with their own naysayer, one "Terry Witter".

Kudos to Terry Saunders, whose exceptional typing speed ensured his amusing tale of testicle examination unfolded in something approaching slow motion and to compere Tiernan Douieb, who valiantly held this shambles together.


Click To Go Back