Bill Bailey on Comedy

Brilliant reflection on comedy and the challenge of performing. Well worth a read … EVEN more so for his amazing tribute performance of ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan which he does as a Rock piece in French during which he plays car horns, a recorder, an electric guitar and a theremin!
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The iconic British standup describes comedy as quicksilver. “It’s fascinating, it’s mercurial. You can’t quite get hold of it,” he says. “You think something is funny, and you say it in front of an audience and they just shrug. And then you make some off-the-cuff remark and that gets a laugh. And you think what was that? How did I do that? Even now after decades of doing it, odd lines get reactions I didn’t expect. That’s one of the great thrills of it.”
At his first standup shows, Bailey says he was nervous, jittery and used to gabble through an entire set of material in five minutes. “You have to learn to recognise that you’re nervous and slow your pulse rate down by a sheer act of will to get the audience laughing again. That’s like some kind of strange, otherworldly skill. It’s like an X-Men power. Nobody knows how to do that when they’re starting out – it’s something you learn the hard way.”

For the record Bill Bailey is right up there in my list of absolute comedy heroes!

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