So another month has arrived, and it was time to head down to Cvnts once more. Could it top last month's awesome gig here by Al Murray? This month we had the legendary Stephen Merchant to look forward to. I had seen him once before a year or two at The Old Queen's Head (handily situated less than 5 minutes walk from my house) as he was a secret guest at the Comedy Gold night which also featured Richard Herring and he was astounding. Michael Legge has said he was the best comedian he has ever seen when he did the circuit in the days before "The Office".
Also on the bill was Tara Flynn, who I have usually seen as one of the core performers of The London Comedy Improv, but more recently has had some success with her "Big Noise" show. OK, so Michael had announced that it would be Catie Wilkins, but there had been a terrible admin error, and Tara bravely stepped in at the last minute. We have however been promised Catie in May.
My friend Marco had to organise his works night out and asked me for some suggestions. After discounting London Comedy Improv (as it was 2 days before pay day) I told him about this, and he seemed keen. Anyway, he was running late but texted me a description of his workmates for me to say hello to. I think he underestimated the amount of people, as well as my willingness to speak to strangers.
I decided to walk to the venue. It was such a nice day and i had an hour to kill. I remember walking to town a lot last summer and will probably do this more. It gives me the illusion that I'm being healthy. Outside I met Rob, Bob, 2 of Rob's friends, Jack, and we headed downstairs. The queue took a long time to move but once we were in, I found that the always lovely Muki had organised a table for four of us right at the front. Unfortunately (logistically) 2 more people had turned up so we couldn't all fit together. I was trying to work out how to fill these seats the best I could and there was a slight awkwardness as people saw 2 empty seats at the front and kept trying to sit in them, so I decided to grab Jack and Misha from the bar and plonk them beside us.
The gig was sold out tonight. I'm quite sure this is the first time this has happened and they had to turn 40 people away. So a quick tip; if you're coming to LQC, especially when a name comedian is on, get to the venue for 7pm.
LQC came on with air flutes, passing it from one to another as the song went on. It was finally passed to a front row audience member who, judging by the sound of it, clearly had no idea how to play the air flute. Silly person. They then explained that they hadn't written any sketches (which I think turned out to be true!), but decided to plow ahead anyway. Paul and Jeremy's baby characters were both cute and funny as ever, with Jeremy's occasional ear piercing shriek taking Paul by surprise. We were also promised Elizabeth Taylor's "last ever sketch". When this arrived, the Cvnts quickly decided which roles they should play, and as they had never seen it before, excitedly launched into it. However we soon found out that Liz wasn't the Michael Jackson hugging, gay-loving superstar we thought she was, unleashing a torrent of foul language and homophobic abuse, much to The Cvnts embarrassment. I think it was as this point the "digusted" lady left. We got Sean Goldsworthy again, this time reading his classic "homoeroticker", which was equally hilarious and arousing, no matter what your sexual orientation.
Tara Flynn was the first guest, and as usual, her charm shone through. She played four songs: Bjork Song, The Fog From The Film The Fog, Custard, and a fantastic (thought slightly shambolic) Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue parody, backed by Precious Little's James Hingley on guitar, and joined by Michael on vocals. As Michael said later when I asked about this video, it was something "you had to be there" for, but I think it's worth preserving this in people's memories. By the way, sorry about the enormous glass but it was a hot night!
The interval was next. To be honest, I've had better. I felt I didn't make the most of it, and will definitely try harder next month.
It was time to announce the special guest. It wasn't a huge secret so hardly a surprise, but Stephen Merchant got a huge round of applause. He started by talking about when he first became famous, and the various articles he had appeared on, showing us his first ever picture in a national newspaper (he had disappeared out of the top of the frame) and his first interview, where he was called Stephen Mitchell. He also told us about an article after he had been spotted dancing. Unfortunately this was rather spoiled by someone shouting out "albatross". If you're going to heckle, make it funny. Don't just say the punchline to the joke! Twat.
He explained that the purpose of his upcoming tour was to find a wife, and told us all about the difficulties he has in his sex life at the moment, mainly related to his height.
A super night out indeed. Michael gave us clues at the end who the special guest for next month is. I won't repeat them here, mainly because Paul doesn't seem as confident that they'll get him. (Damn - that's a clue - he's a man. Or is he?) Suffice to say that if they manage it, for me, this will be the bext special guest they have ever had (bear in mind they've already had Jason Manford, Al Murray, Richard Herring and now Stephen Merchant)
Buy Tara Flynn's album, and to finish, here is her video clip of "The Fog From The Film The Fog"