I went to a different kind of reading this evening. It was not a poetry reading, which I’m used to, and which was my intent. It was billed as a comedy thing, but that’s fair enough, I took one of my more comedic books with me to read from.
The theme, the format, the maguffin if that’s not being too liberal with the definition of the word maguffin, was that each performer had precisely 60 seconds, on a timer. And there was an accompanying pianist.
The thing that really surprised me was the level of comedy. I went first, and read 4 or 5 poems from “Uncle Willie’s Very Silly Animal Poems” and I think it was well received, you can’t go too far wrong in 60 seconds, but I was the only person who did poetry, at all. I was followed by a guy who did a comedy routine about getting a prostate exam from a hot, female doctor, and then a girl who did a mime act, set at a hairdressers, kind of funny, kind of social commentary maybe, then a guy who did a routine about learning to walk as a baby, and it was funny because he was a grown ass man with a big beard and he fell flat on his ass, which is theheight of great comedy, I think he got the biggest belly laugh of the night. I don’t know how that works. We’ve all seen people fall down millions of times, in real life and in comedy routines, and it cracks people up, every single time.
Then a couple of people just told jokes, we had a recital of a Shel Silverstein poem, a song from the piano player which started off sounding like a love ballad but the line that sticks in my mind was “hairs on her butt like the branches of trees.” There was a ventriloquist who was not polished in the sense that you could see his lips moving but his patter with his puppet was great, very entertaining. Then a couple more people told jokes, some were really funny, I got up a 2nd time and told a couple of jokes, all together there were about 10 performers and about half of us performed twice and it was over in about a half an hour.
Also, it was a cool location, Amaze in Tchaiovna near Hradčanska, and a good mix of people I knew but hadn’t seen for a while, and new people I was glad to meet. I hope we do it again.