An observational comedian yesterday confirmed that contrary to what he claims in his act, he’s not really that bothered when he looks up to find that there’s no toilet roll left on the holder.
The frank confession by dead-pan comic Johnny Lee, is bound to upset other stand-up comics, many of whom make their living pretending that they ‘really hate’ things. ‘It’s like a member of the magic circle explaining how the tricks work,’ said one insider. ‘You have to keep up the illusion that you really hate it when you can’t get that last bit of toothpaste out of the tube,’ he chuckled, unable to continue for laughing at the acuteness of this observation.
But Johnny Lee remained unrepentant this morning. ‘I’m fed up with living this lie that I really hate it when drivers pull off just as you’re running to get on the bus. And while I’m on the subject, I don’t find it at all annoying when the phone stops ringing just as you get out of the bath to answer it. I mean, who am I to moan and gripe about chocolate machines on the Tube that don’t work, and queuing systems in banks when people are dying in Africa and the Middle East?’
But this week’s outburst seems unlikely to change the habits of Britain’s stand-up comedians. Speaking on stage at Balham’s Banana Cabaret, Perrier long-list nominee Marc North said, ‘You know what I hate? I hate it when comics say they hate things but they’re just saying that for comic effect.’