Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

August 22, 2008

Edinburgh show

Sarah Falk wrote this about her trip to see JAM recorded.

Panellists for show 1 (to be broadcast 18 August)
Paul, Clement, Mike McShane, Rhod Gilbert

Panellists for show 2 (to be broadcast 25 August):
Paul, Clement, Fred MacAulay, Lynn Ferguson

Whistle-blower: Sarah Sharpe -- these were her first shows

The first show started at 12:15 pm, so taking my cue from QI, I queued at 10 am. (Cringesome alliteration unintended.) Instead of starting a one-person queue, actually, I sat on a bench by the theater, but was joined only 5-10 minutes later by several other people who had also had the same idea. I've attended many popular comedy shows at the Pleasance, and one really only needs to arrive about 45 minutes early to ensure a good seat; however, more than an hour before this recording was due to start, the line was already massive, stretching almost all the way down the wall of the theatre. I left briefly to pick up some food, and by the time I returned (about 40 minutes before start time), the line had grown so long that it had to be split into two, with the back end curving out of the courtyard area and spilling onto the pavement of the main road.

During the show, Mike and Rhod were seated next to each other, and as the new boys (Rhod has only been on once, and Mike never), they put on a show of alternating teamwork and rivalry. Nicholas kept reminding Rhod to sit back from the microphone, because as a stand-up, Rhod's wont was to lean in closely. Near the last round, Nicholas also told Rhod that he always hesitated briefly every time he was given the topic. Rhod remarked, "So you want me to stand over there but speak immediately!"

Mike did well for a newcomer, but got very frustrated with himself for tripping up (at one point alluding to the game "DIE!" that's played at the Comedy Store and with the Impro Chums, in which the audience shouts at performers who have lost the thread). Also funny was the way that Nicholas kept gesturing at Mike, who was on his left, to press his buzzer, and Mike would do it while clearly having no idea what he was challenging for. Nicholas told Mike to palm his buzzer at all times so that he didn't have to grab for it to make a challenge, but Paul called over, "Why don't you just press his buzzer for him, Nicholas?"

Clement once made reference to Mike's "funny accent", and Mike replied that he enjoyed Clement's voice, which sounded as though he had "last night's dinner rolling around in his mouth". While the audience laughed, Clement looking at Paul questioningly, and Paul repeating Mike's joke in his ear. Paul was continually obliging to him in such ways, which was rather sweet. There was a time when Clement was silently having trouble opening his water bottle, and Paul took it and opened it for him.

Clement was buzzed for hesitation after tripping over a punchline to a joke he was telling, but Nicholas persuaded him to finish his story, saying that we'd all want to hear even though it wouldn't make it into the recording. In case it doesn't, the gist was that Clement ostensibly elbowed a woman in the breast getting into an elevator in a hotel. He told her, "If your heart is as soft as your bosom, you'll forgive me," and she replied, "If your willie is as hard as your elbow, I'm in room 265." It got raucous laughter, and eventually, Nicholas was forced to say (for radio purposes), "You were interrupted in the middle of your story, Clement, but knowing the end of that story, I think it's for the best."

Afterwards, after one pick-up of the show's closer (Nicholas had initially stumbled a little and said "edible" instead of "Edinburgh"), Nicholas told us all to scarper so that they could get the audience in for the next show. I, and many others, literally sprinted out of the theatre to re-join the queue, since people who only had tickets for the second show would be already lined up outside. The queue was only about half-way down the theatre wall at that time, which wasn't too bad. It was raining, though, but the BBC staff let us into the theatre a good half an hour before the show actually began, which never happens at other performances.


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