Category Archives: Scottish Comedian Of The Year

Gig 99: SCOTY Heat, Dram, 29th June 2013

I really want to announce my plan to make my 100th gig – if not my last – then definitely the last one I will blog about.

I worry, though, that such a decision will be enforced upon me in a permanent way. We all remember Father Ted, and how Dermot Morgan decided to make series three the end. He dropped dead within hours of shooting the final scenes, ensuring in a sadly infinite way that it was to be his last show.

I want to keep writing jokes, and no doubt will. I would like to get paid for writing, and preferably for writing comedy, but I can take or leave the standing on stages trying to engage with small crowds of people I would happily ignore in almost any other circumstances. A hundred gigs seems a good number to have done, and I noted here a few blogs back that I am bored of documenting each gig. I prefer to channel my creative energies, for now, into writing about other true life encounters and anecdotes, which can be read here.

Tonight’s gig was my, I believe, fourth annual attempt at progressing in the Scottish Comedian Of The Year competition. Last year I was wild-carded into the semi-finals, and this year (as previous years) I hoped to be voted through on my own merit. Yet again, it was a forlorn hope.

I carefully chose my material, as ever, hand-picking my favourite jokes. Instead of one-liners, I decided to go with stories, absurdism, and menace. Stuff that I know to be funny, based on past experience, and suitably different from what I expected of the other acts in my heat. I chose well, I got laughs where I expected them, and on an ad-lib when one physics-based joke failed. The promoter laughed, and told me he had enjoyed my set, but it was not enough to secure me a vote into the next round.

A handful of us had, post-gig and pre-vote, correctly predicted the first two places. Chris Dinwoodie won outright. You can argue about the perceived fairness of having a magician in the Scottish Comedian competition – you can, I cannot be bothered. With audience volunteers on stage, a couple of stock lines, and magic in addition to material, it is hardly the same category as the guy who gets up there armed only with self-penned jokes. Don’t get me wrong, Chris is undeniably good at what he does and he is extremely entertaiining – whether that solely justifies the title “comedian” though is open to debate.

Second place went, without wishing to do him a disservice, to the guy who brought the most friends. This happens at virtually every SCOTY heat, and is no surprise. It is simple logic – whoever brings the most audience wins (or at least strongly biases) the audience vote.

Third place was tightly fought between Paul McDaniel – regular readers will know his personable surrealism makes him one of my favourite acts at this level – and Adam Struth, with whom I have gigged on countless occasions. Paul went through, with Adam a contender for one of this year’s wild-card places.

I had a good gig, despite misjudging my timing and running under, but it proves once more that it always, always, always comes down to what the audience likes. And every audience is diffferent. I can do decent material, get consistent laughs, and still not progress. I think what I need in my life right now is not something as fickle as stand-up comedy.

Never say never, and none of us can know what the future holds, but with my next gig (wherever and whenever it may be) being my landmark hundredth, don’t be surprised if it starts winding down after that. It seems a good stopping point for this blog too, even if I do continue to gig. We will see.


Gig 3: SCOTY Gong Show, The Ivory, 28th Nov 2010

Stage time is notoriously hard to come by, and with reference to advice on the Scottish Comedy Forum, I’ve decided to not turn down any gig. So, when the Scottish Comedian of the Year Gong Show announced it was open for entries, I put my name forward. The premise is simple enough, and follows the format of what constituted primetime television entertainment in the Seventies: every act gets a minute’s grace, and in the four minutes after that he can be gonged off at any point if two of the three audience gong cards are held aloft.

I arrived first, having braved the snow in the hope that the weather would have put off some of the competition. Of course, eleven other comics all turned up with the same hope. Some faces I knew, some I had seen or spoken to previously, but this was the first chance I had to spend some time in ‘comedian’s corner’ with them, waiting to go on. And therefore, also the first time some of them got to see me perform. I say perform…

In truth, I was up sixth or seventh (names were drawn from a hat to establish the running order), and got maybe five or six jokes out before the gong came. I lasted, if memory serves, one minute and five seconds. But, for all that, I was happy that I’d managed half a dozen laughs in that time, and Alan Anderson (the organiser and compere) had the decency to take the heat off by explaining to the audience after my set that it “was only my third or fourth gig”.

I’d deliberately cut the bulk of my “middle initials” bit, and thought about rearranging the order of my material – should I do the one-liners first, but maybe lose them after my minute’s grace? Or do the longer stuff first before they got the chance to gong me, but then maybe lose them before I got as far as the one-liners? In the end, I did as much of my set as I could in the same order as I did at The Buff Club a few days previously, because these things are impossible to predict anyway so I figured I’d stick to what I know. And ultimately, I was only doing it for the experience.

So I haven’t dwelled on it too much, I got some decent laughs and some stage time, met some people and some people met me, and saw some funny comedy. Ed Cassidy went through, as did YouTube sensation The Wee Man – both lasted the full five minutes, and in the cheer-off it was impossible to gauge an outright¬†winner. I was glad to see Richard Gadd and Asim Ali again, both of them entertain me greatly, and I very much enjoy Ross Main’s “Dave Reaper” character/song. It was also good to put faces to names I know from the Scottish Comedy Forum, and so overall I’m glad I took part. Good luck to all the contenders in this week’s final.

My first foray into the world of the blog.

Hello, come in and sit down, put your feet up. Can I get you anything, a tea or coffee maybe? Make yourself at home while I put the kettle on.

I’m Jordan, and I recently started doing stand-up comedy. I had my fourth gig last night, and am quite enjoying myself. Anyway, I thought I’d start a blog and write about how it’s going, in case anyone anywhere is even vaguely interested. So far, I’ve performed my five minute set at The Halt Bar and The Buff Club, been gonged off after 1m05s at the Scottish Comedian of the Year Gong Show, and played to an indifferent crowd in the infamous Victoria Bar. Videos of my first and latest sets exist, but I’ll link to those in due course.

For now, I’m off to find out if people ‘friend’ you on here, or ‘follow’ you, or if there’s any way to work out if anyone is actually reading anything I write. In the meantime, feel free to say hello and offer any helpful hints or tips you think of – this is a new world for me.