A tale I heard
Actor, comedian, poet Tim Key on attempting observational comedy 10 times at the start of his career:
“One was good, three were OK, five were very, very bad, and one was utterly terrible. I could just hear people eating crisps at that one. They were even too pitying to heckle.
I’d been writing some poems on the tube. Jokes, really, but they just looked like poems when I wrote them down, so I performed them. I wore a suit, which I’d never done before, I put some Russian lounge music on, carried a can of Red Stripe and read the poems from cards.
I would never have considered becoming a comedian when I was a student. They were people like Frank Skinner and Jack Dee. I couldn’t even entertain the idea, but in that first poetry gig it sort of clicked.”