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Tuesday, 28 August 2007
A funny thing happened at Mirth Control: Hulk Crappenden
At a recent London Mirth Control gig, a burly thirty-something comic, who the MC assured us was "the next Ricky Gervais", went into meltdown and threatened to fight Loved One, Charles Shaar Murray, a bespectacled grey-haired intellectual some 20 years his senior, because he hadn't laughed the last time he was at the venue. In full-on tantrum mode from the moment he took the stage, and throughout the entire course of his "set", the comic heckled us, demanded my friend be thrown out or he wouldn't continue, then demanded that we both leave or he wouldn't continue.
We stayed and he continued, breaking off every few moments like a diva whose dressing room has been painted the wrong shade of lavender, to shout at my friend whom he said he hated because he didn't like his "attitude".
Meanwhile, there were big rugby player types who the comic didn't threaten to fight. But he did bravely simper and ask who their favourite rugby player was.
The comic declaimed that we should appreciate his tremendous success, playing, as he had, the Labour Party Conference in 2005, the troops in Iraq, and having been booked for a ship's cruise a la Jim Davidson.
More shouting at my friend along the lines of, "I can't perform with you in the room, it's all about love and I'm not getting it from you. Leave. Leave now."
"My (Irish) wife knows dodgy people and they'll come and do you." "C'mon, upstairs, I'm going to fight you." Variations on this last one went on for ages as he tried to whip up a lynch mob to get us turfed out. Sycophantic titterers aside, the audience was having none of it, and several expressed their shock and empathy in the interval.
Is this normal?
I note that the comic's Unique Selling Point is "the traumas of being a sensitive man in a macho world".
Is this satire?
He ended by flouncing out, vowing never to play this Mirth Control again.
Should we break open the champagne in celebration?