Did twenty minutes at a Ramada in Jersey on Saturday night - I rarely get to do twenty minutes so I was both excited and kinda nervous. Trying to ease my nerves, I wrote my set list on a bottle of water I was going to bring on stage. Of course, I wrote it too small, rendering it useless unless I was going to do a bit about the ingredients of water. Once the show started, I got more nervous...
The crowd was kinda sparse, about twenty in all, and when the MC inquired during his opening, not a single Jew present..not a huge deal but I do find some of my Jewish jokes go over better with Jews. Not only that, but they were pretty evenly split among young and old, about ten under thirty and ten above forty-five, making it tough to appeal to the whole crowd with every joke.
Speaking of the MC, he didn't do any crowd work, normally done to warm up the crowd, he just went straight into his parody songs...mainly to silence. Thankfully, the second comic up, Jerry Shack, made up for it, mixing in crowd work with a really great set of his own. I was heartened by the audience's response, though still nervous, especially when the MC did another fifteen minutes of songs between Jerry and myself.
When I finally got up there, after having trouble getting the mic out of the stand, I launched into my material... and proceeded to have one of the best sets I've ever had.
It was bizarre, they ate up jokes that I've cut from my shorter sets due to unresponsive crowds... I got huge laughs doing crowd work...after my set, several of the audience members congratulated me bar the bar.
The question I've been asking myself is - Why did this happen?
I can't say they were a particularly "hot" crowd (the headliner didn't do that great). I was pretty nervous going on stage. I didn't have any new killer material. So, why?
The answer is...I'm not sure - maybe the stars were aligned just right, giving me the perfect twenty people for my comedic stylings...or, maybe it was cause having twenty minutes, once I started getting laughs, I relaxed up there, really taking my time. I stopped several times to drink and water, and didn't even think of the silence... I didn't care, cause I knew they'd be laughing in fifteen seconds anyway. Maybe that's it. Not caring.