by Jack Levi aka Elliot Goblet
Later this month I will reach the milestone of 35 years in the industry and I have had a great journey as a comedian for hire. However this is a good time to look back at some of my performances that didn’t go so well for one reason or another.
(1) While I have done lots of work as a wedding mc/wedding entertainer, one time I performed at a buck’s night but I didn’t thrill my audience. When I arrived the guys were all drunk and had just been entertained courtesy of some very bawdy videos.
On that night my clean one liners didn’t have a chance. I learnt a lesson. If it’s to do with a marriage I will stick to being a wedding mc or wedding comedian where I don’t have to follow bawdy videos.
(2) I usually enjoy my time working as a corporate entertainer or corporate events MC and can usually handle the odd heckler. However one time I did a corporate comedian job in the food industry and had a particularly irritating heckler who chose to interject just before my punch lines. I used humour to respond but the continuing interjections made me angry and I stopped feeling funny.
My act suffered and after that spot I certainly didn’t have too many people requesting autographs.
(3) Another time at a corporate event in the mining industry I was the master of ceremonies and as always I did research for the job. I was told that people jokes would be totally okay and that the audience members were happy to laugh at each other. This proved not to be the case on that particular night and in retrospect that 4 minute segment could have been reduced dramatically.
It took me a while to get the audience back on side.
(4) In Bundaberg Qld I was hired as the comedian at a big venue. My spot was to be in between bands but when I arrived I was told that I was now to follow the bands. Apparently I was responsible for a large selection of the crowd and the venue wished me to go on as late as possible to keep the crowd on the premises.
Appearing after midnight I faced a drunken crowd with attention spans that had got progressively shorter as time went on during the night. My lines had to be short and sharp to have any impact but I did struggle that night and got my biggest laughs putting down pesky hecklers.
(5) At a computer industry corporate Christmas party I was in front of a crowd that included some kids in the front row. While I can get some laughs commenting about the presence of kids, my material is aimed for adults and as a result I had some bored little ones right in front of me. And they certainly let me know it with comments like “When are you going to finish?” and a sarcastic “Ha Ha Ha”. Another tough gig and as they say it’s hard to work with kids or animals.