Notes from the Brick Wall

Half the battle of writing is putting in the time. Wherever. Lately some great ideas have wiggled out of the rabbit hole while I’m in the shower or bouncing down the street on my way to work. Similarly, when I get up and walk away from the computer, stuff surfaces in bits and pieces and phrases and images that I’d been hoping for for hours. Sort of like the phone ringing the minute you step into the shower. A conspiracy of ideas.  

Writing stand-up is tricky. I’ve had thoughts that made me laugh out loud: the image of a man with a hemorrhoid so big he appeared to be sitting on a bean bag chair. Adolescent, MAD Magazine fold-out page humour, yet, hilariously funny to me for that moment and for a few days after, but not something I could pull off in a club. Not necessarily something I even wanted to pull off in a club. It got laughs a few times, but there’s got to be more, n’est ce pas? There was really no point to it. There’s also the question of then having to create an ersatz context for the joke. Fool’s gold. So then, often the gags come, but a sense of whether they are genuine considerations, something I really give a shit about, honest or whatever, is the second consideration. Writing is hard. I also know my problems could be a whole lot worse. I could have been born in Cambodia.

The latest Laughmaticpodcast – kudos to Mo Arora and Jeremy Dobski – with Rory Scovel was an interesting look at process, among other things they covered in an hour and a half that left me wanting more. Scovel spoke about his evolution as a person and a stand-up, as a white guy from the South, and how travelling and writing comedy pushed him to read more, to pay more attention to the world and to master the issues he was messing with on stage. The two hosts kept the ball in the air with ease and panache (panache, if you didn’t know, is used to keep balls in the air) and Mo shared an interesting parallel between Canada’s love for pot versus the U.S. love of guns. Nice to hear a locally produced podcast focusing on the art of stand-up, how it is multi-faceted and what a challenge it is to do well. Inspirational for me and very likely for lots of other open-micers. Someone tell my brother to listen to this podcast so he can stop asking me to tell him a joke or two from my act. Ugh.

Speaking of acts, Jonathan Roy is singing a Bon Jovi tune on Belle et Bum right now. I’ve got to hear this.  Okay, heard it. Am I ever a masochist.

I’m on the fence about the Lee Camp show this Tuesday, as I didn’t know anything about him until last night when I watched some clips. Smart, big picture guy whose pace I found challenging to keep up with, although he really made me laugh during an older set taped at Caroline’s. I’ve never been to Katacombes, either, so maybe it’s time to get out there.

Cheers everyone.

John St. Godard (Twitter: @st_godard)
Montreal’s hot spot for Comedy!

About Author /

John St. Godard is a stand-up comic, writer and radio commentator who has contributed regularly to CBC Radio One’s The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright. He has written for a variety of international publications, including Psychology Today, Condé Nast Traveler and Montreal’s The Gazette, not to mention his first magazine gig, a regular fake news column in the now defunct Stitches Magazine. A veteran teacher at Montreal’s FACE (Fine Arts Core Education) High School, John performs at Comedyworks and the Comedy Nest, as well as at independent venues throughout the city.

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