We sit in a dim room, illuminated by a solitary spotlight, and stare at the empty stage. Believe it or not, at 34 years old, this will be my first stand up comedy experience. A barrage of questions suddenly fills my pleasantly stoned head, inducing a pang of anxiety. ‘What if I don’t think he’s funny? What if he picks on me? What if I need to pee!?’ I’m at a bar called £1000 Bend at Anthony Jeannot’s show ‘Just Like Buddha’, waiting for him to arrive.
I remind myself that It’s not my show, and in the words of Trent from Punchy, I tell myself to ‘Just fucken’ relax ayy!’. As I do so, Anthony Jeannot rises from the seat behind me, revealing that he’s been lurking amongst the audience the whole time.
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As he takes the stage and welcomes us, my anxiety instantly dissipates. This guy is funny. I can feel the jovial energy radiating out of him. He cranks it up to eleven straight off the bat, with just the right amounts of vulgarity and wit, and to my surprise, the elderly woman beside me is in stitches.
As Jeannot recounts experiences with meditation, mushrooms, and the ongoing battle with his own inner monologue, we embark on a journey of self discovery, and at times, self loathing. It’s this self loathing, and of course, the trip reports, that remind me a little of the comedic style of the late Bill Hicks, which I adore. His jokes feel natural, and when he does pick on you, it’s well timed, and in the nicest way possible.
Those with a keen interest in altered states will find Jeannot’s material hilarious and engaging, as did I. As it turns out, I did need to pee, but I had all but forgotten until the show was over. I’m pleased to have lost my comedy festival virginity to Jeannot. His show is not definitely not for the prudish, but then, what good comedy ever is? I highly recommend catching one of Anthony’s shows, if you haven’t already.
Chris Mac – SSDP
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