Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
No pun intended . . . but people have funny ideas about what it’s like to be a comedian.
If I’m introduced to someone in this way . . . “Meet Phil. He’s a comedian”, nine times out of 10 the person I’m being introduced to will say, “Tell us a joke!”.
This request to instantly demonstrate what I do for a living never happens with any other profession.
If I was introduced as an architect, I wouldn’t be expected to whip out my pen and design a kitchen extension on the back of a napkin.
And if I was introduced as a proctologist, no one would drop their trousers and say, “I wonder if you’d take a look at this . . . ”
Because stand-up comedy is everywhere these days (on TV, radio, You Tube and everywhere else) some individuals incorrectly think they’re just as funny as ‘That bloke I saw on the telly last night’.
However, they won’t put their head above the parapet by writing jokes, creating a little act and doing open mic nights in comedy clubs before spending years learning their craft.
They find it much easier to become hecklers.
I’ve only one piece of advice for hecklers.
Even if the two pints of lager you’ve consumed convince you that you’re the funniest person in the room, think carefully before you interrupt a comedian’s performance.
Youmay have your mates on your side.
The comedian has the greater advantage.
He has the microphone!
As for heckler ‘put-downs’, there are many strong ones I can’t repeat here, but I prefer the subtler ones.
For example, when a drunk heckles me and the only laughs he/she gets are nervous little ones from their equally drunk mates, I give it a moment, look at them and say . . .
“Comedy’s hard…isn’t it?”
Hearing the rest of the audience react with laughter and applause, hecklers usually keep quiet after that.
If they don’t, I have an arsenal of those strong ‘put-downs’ I can’t mention . . .
Well, I could mention, but I’m told the editor of this newspaper would prefer not to be landed with a court case . . .
Despite the terribly challenging weather over the past week, many of us have had to brave the elements and continue with our travels and engagements.
As you read this I am in Derby (the place, not the horse race) and far away from the mayhem.
Events and activities in Wales were cancelled for safety reasons, and rightly so considering it was extremely difficult to even stand up straight in that high wind!
The news footage and social media videos of towns and villages close to us was disturbing, to say the least.
Homes and businesses suffered and will continue to be affected during the clean-up operation over the next few weeks, possibly months for some.
It is at times like these that the Welsh really show what community spirit is all about. We all pull together so that some type of normality can be restored.
Already we are seeing and hearing stories of community spirit and bravery that are so uplifting and demonstrate the good that people can do during times of crisis and chaos.
I’m often reminded that it is important to focus on the positive and count my blessings, but I admit that this line of thinking isn’t always easy.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk