Attitude - Wanna Make Something of It?: The Secret of Stand-Up Comedy

Overview

Tony Allen is a brilliant stand-up comedian and seminal figure in the history of British comedy. Currently running workshops and gigs all over the country and at festivals, this is the first volume of what he calls, 'the fruits of at least 25 years full-time work, play and mischief'. Founder of Alternative Cabaret, he massively extended the possibilities of the stand-up format by challenging the cheap bigotry of the comedy scene, making it wild, confrontational and absurd. The bravery and inventiveness of his ...
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Overview

Tony Allen is a brilliant stand-up comedian and seminal figure in the history of British comedy. Currently running workshops and gigs all over the country and at festivals, this is the first volume of what he calls, 'the fruits of at least 25 years full-time work, play and mischief'. Founder of Alternative Cabaret, he massively extended the possibilities of the stand-up format by challenging the cheap bigotry of the comedy scene, making it wild, confrontational and absurd. The bravery and inventiveness of his work has led comedians to describe him as 'the master', while The Independent called him 'a sell-out alternative who has not sold out'. Lenny Bruce finished his career, out of his head on drugs, hassled by the police, and dying in a toilet. That's how I started off. The one thing to understand about suicide bombers is they have totally exhausted writing to their local MPs. In a liberal society to suggest that there are still taboos is almost taboo. Me? I'm a militant agnostic - I don't know! I'll go further - I know I don't know! I reckon that the Bush People of the Kalahari should charge an evolution tax on the rest of humanity. But the kids drop an E and they go off dancing - some of 'em claim to be dancing with God. Now I don't know about you but if I'm going to dance 'with God', I want the sounds turned down. Cos I've got questions. If you have ever wanted to feel the fear and do it anyway, be wild, inventive, anarchic and confrontational to a live audience, here's how. Full of mischief, this is humour at the cutting edge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780906362563
  • Publisher: Gothic Image Publications
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi
Foreword xiii
Introduction xv
1 The Secret of Stand-up Comedy 19
The Performance Imperative 22
Working the Carriage 26
Performance Dynamics 27
Relationship to the Fourth Wall
Now and Then
Mugging and Mimicry
Timing the corpse
Corpsing
Much taboo about laughing
Kay at Hood
Frankle Howerd mugging
Good Friday at the Irish Centre
Attitude: Starting Out 32
Stage time and making mistakes
Identity crisis
Defensive traits
The essential curl
Workshop
Discovering Attitude 37
Jack Dee
Ronnie Rigsby
Attitude informs Material
List and curl
Arse-about-face
Hot seat - Performance mode
Structure - Giving it Form 40
Word play - Puns and Wit
Rule of three
Cliches
Know Thyself
Taboo
Terry Alderton's Essex Man
Favourite Joke
Personal Argot
Obitulobe - Stanley Unwin
2 The History of Stand-up Comedy 51
The Storyteller, The Fool and the Shaman 51
The first joke
The Danga to Archy
Commedia Dell'Arte 55
Robert Armin - a speculation 56
Fools in High Places 58
Joseph Grimaldi and English Pantomime 59
A Brief History of Burnt-cork Minstrelsy 61
Jim Crow
The Musicians
The Format
Centenary
Victorian Music Hall 62
Sing-a-long
The influence of Panto
Gus Elen
Dan Leno, Harry Champion, and Patter
Variety
Max Miller - Comic Attitude and Beyond 66
Who Killed Variety?
Why are Eric and Ernie so Loveable? 68
Lenny Bruce 69
3 The Roots of Alternative Comedy 73
Oval House
Folk Clubs
Fringe Theatre
Comrade Thesp
Rough Theatre
The Benefit Circuit
Roadshow
Hippie Circus
Busking and Covent Garden
Speakers' Corner
Crutch Guitar Style
Traditional stand-up
Bernard Manning and racist comedy Post-Oval
Born Again Christians
Catharsis
Psychologically stripping
Audience terror
Here and Now
Oxford Poets
The Torness Occupation
Working Class Hero?
The Nose
The Walcot Beano Club
Comedy Store Audition
The Buskers' Concert
Attitude Elusive
Rock against Sexism
Midnight at the Comedy Store
St Hilda's Club
Comedy Store Again
The Early Days of the Comedy Store 97
Alexei Sayle
Old Material
Hecklers
Inappropriate Material
Uppity Hillmans
The Liggers
The Management
Jim Barclay and Andy De la Tour
Wines and Spirits
Andrew Bailey
Bob Flag
Peter Wear
Clive Anderson
Lee Cornes
Arnold Brown
Waiting in the Wings: Keith Allen
Comedy Store Part Two - Anger Management 102
Alternative Cabaret - Shouting, Swearing and Politics 107
The Elgin
The clientele
Acts
My Subject Matter
Sexist shit
Swearing
Pauline Melville
Alexei Sayle
The last night
Wrongly attributed
Beyond the Rule of Three
Origins of Alternative?
Other venues
Telly
Sharon Landau
Edinburgh Festival
Provocateur and Raconteur
Brown rice and birhgt lights
Hindsight
Alternative ethos
Provocative comedy
Anarcho punk
Bill Hicks 121
Comedians 123
Mr Social Control 126
Bespoken Word at the Manor 127
What Comes Next? 131
Altercation 132
4 The Edge of Stand-up Comedy 135
Discovering my Clown - Tofu the Zany 135
Rough edges
Daniel Rovai
Stripey Richard
Roadshow
Offal and Tofu
Portobello Precinct
Police and Thieves
Costume and make-up
Jerry Sadowitz 142
Glastonbury Notes 1998 - Ian Cognito 143
Tony Green as Sir Gideon Vein 144
Glastonbury Notes 1998 - Rory Motion 144
Golden Rules of Stand-up Comedy - Never do a gig on CS Gas 145
The Summer of '93 - Benefit for Hackney Homeless 147
The Ultimate Knob Joke at Forest Fayre - The Great Geek and Stompy 1993 148
Glastonbury Notes - 1993: The Contemporary Fool 149
The Cutting Edge at the Comedy Store 152
The Open Heart Cabaret 156
Poetry Reading 1997 157
Ken Dodd died. Did he? No Doddy 158
Obituary: David Sutch 160
Lenny Bruce live at Basin Street West 161
5 Post-Alternative Comedy 163
My Attitude 163
The Grim Reapo Man is at the Door - Transcript 165
Bibliography 185
Index 187
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