Richard Bacon: 'Each year's visit to the Edinburgh Festival increases my respect for the job of stand-up comedian
Thursday 27 August 2009
It'll be a laugh," my producer Garth told me when I asked him to remind me why I'd agreed to do this. And to be honest, I have been struggling to remember.
The last time I stood in front of a room full of strangers and told jokes was at a corporate awards do and I nearly got booed off stage for a misjudged joke about orphans in Africa.
As I see it, there are four things working against me:
1) I have never done this before.
2) I won't be making my stand-up debut in front of an audience that have come to see me. I'll be making my stand-up debut in front of an audience that have come to see Reginald D Hunter. Arguably, Edinburgh's most respected turn. He'll introduce me to his 400-strong crowd at the end of his show. Every comic that I have explained this to has recoiled in horror.
3) As a regular Edinburgh Festival goer, I know that no matter how good a show is, when that hour is up you are ready to leave. Always. Every time. One hour in an uncomfortable, usually hot, Edinburgh venue is quite enough.
4) My mini-set will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live. This places upon it restrictions alien to stand-up. I can't swear. I cant do jokes about politics. Or God. Or alcohol. Imagine doing an open-mic spot for the Taliban. Although sexism's also out.
Please don't read those as some kind of excuse. I am not claiming that without those compromises I would be some kind of natural. I wouldn't. Each year's visit to the festival increases my respect for the job of stand-up comedian, exemplified by the brilliance of some of the shows I have seen this year. Colin Hoult's Carnival of Monsters. John Bishop. Richard Herring. Paul Sinha. Sarah Millican and so many others. And actually I have now remembered why I agreed to do this. It's exciting. It's really exciting.
You can hear Richard Bacon on Radio 5 Live tonight from 10pm (bbc.co.uk/5live)
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero sues for $250m over Simpsons character
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'