Monday, December 04, 2006
Comedy Casino Royale
I won two free tickets last week, for the Stand-up Comedy Casino Royale. The Flemish Ayatollah of Irony, known by the call-sign (PDW), helped organise this event and the first who could produce an original joke or a witty remark in his weblog comments would get the tickets. So I gave it a shot and produced something remotely funny and to my surprise I was the Price Poodle.
The Comedy Casino itself was on Saturday evening in the Vooruit in Ghent. The line-up consisted of Flanders’ funniest with the addition of some imported humourologists from the UK, Holland and other planets. There were three stages in the three concert halls, with a fourth stage in the lounge where young talent could have a go with a try-out. The idea was that the public would move from one stage to the other, but unfortunately some of them didn’t. You see, there was only one theatre with chairs, and it wasn’t before long that the most anti-social visitors had conquered all the seats and dug in, not willing to move an inch before the end of the evening. But some comedians were so annoyed by this that they did their performance all over again in the lounge after the try-outs.
We started our evening with Han Solo, who left princess Leia, parked the Millenium Falcon on the Sint-Pietersplein and now tries to earn a living with stand-up comedy. He soaked us with a hose, threw biscuits and carrots at us and then proceeded by imitating a male chauvinist racist to the point where it became all too real and uncomfortable. New and upcoming talent Bert Gabriels was next, known for his hilarious character of the eternal but sadistic looser. But it was very refreshing to see that he evolves from eternal looser to somewhat more sadist. I laughed my pants of which ruined the evening for everyone behind me. The Master of Ceremony or MC for this part of the evening was the excellent Thomas Smith, I’ve been a fan of his for years.
We went to the lounge because my wife’s feet started to hurt and my throat started to dry out (despite the garden hose) and queued for a while at the entrance of the hall-with-the-seats. Only three people could enter, the other 150 had to wait outside, so we watched the new kids on the block in the try-outs. Unfortunately, the people in the lounge had the sense of humour of a jellyfish dropped in the Sahara desert and the attention span of a hyper-active five-year-old on amphetamines.
We migrated up again, to the ball-room and to Youssef El Masaoui, a relative newcomer with Moroccan roots (you’d never guess) and an excellent sense of humour. Although I feel he uses the clichés a bit too much to laugh with himself and not enough to mock the Belgians. We stood firm through Patrick Van Den Kieboom’s gig (enough said) and then discovered the more than excellent Henk Rijckaert who played in his hometown of Ghent. Back to the lounge then, where Nigel Williams gave his all to compensate for the bastards who hogged the seats all night. So many jokes, so much alcohol Nigel…
So all’s well that ends well, but on the way home we met one of the comedian again. We found Youssef next to a car with a very, very flat tire and a very, very broken wrench. So together with another couple we came to the rescue and gave fantastic advise while he toiled to get his tire changed. He was so grateful he offered us free tickets, and that is how we go from one event to the other all for free.