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Gong wrong

Last year, I romanticised the King Gong at the Comedy Store as a tale of almost-redemption for my failures seven years previously. Well, I can now console my 21-year-old self with the fact that his record of 46 seconds wasn’t as bad as he thought.

In fact, it was more than double what the audience permitted me this week. Last year, my opening joke got a round of applause. This year, with the same joke, they wouldn’t even let me get to the punchline.

In just seven days, I went from performing at one of the UK’s biggest comedy clubs and receiving much praise, to briefly performing at the UK’s biggest comedy club and failing spectacularly.

But that is the true nature of King Gong. If you put yourself forward for it, you have no right to complain about what awaits you.

I have been going long enough for these things to not get to me, and I actually find it very funny. If you can embrace your failures and laugh at them, then you’ll last much longer in comedy.

I left shortly after my very brief set, as I was offered the solace of a shambolic open mic gig. where there was almost a bar brawl between a magician and some alleged squatters.

But I gather that the gong crowd were particularly brutal this time, with only one act out 33 beating the gong and many failing to reach even 20 seconds. I will return and try again. Admitting defeat would be too easy.

And on the plus-side, I can say that I have done a 20 at The Comedy Store. I just don’t have to mention that it was for 20 seconds.

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