I watched the DVD of Stewart Lee: Stand-Up Comedian this morning. I’m glad that I received this for Christmas, not only because of Stew being a fvucking comedy genius, but because I was present for the recording of it and am consequently visible on the DVD.
If anyone else has a copy of this (and is remotely interested in playing spot-the-hippy), I am the guy who ruins the entire show by having to go for a piss. I also say the word "weathervane" strangely into the mic at one point and explode a party-popper on Stew’s head. All incredible but true.
By coincidence, I’m reading The Double by Jose Saramago, which is about a guy who watches a movie in which he sees his exact double in the minor role of a hotel porter. Since I’d kinda forgotten that I would appear on the DVD, it came as a similarly eerie surprise.
Being given the rare opportunity of being able to watch myself perform in a social situation was fairly devastating. It reminded me of Sartre’s portrait of a waiter in Being and Nothingness. Like the waiter, I appear to be constantly acting up: constantly smoking, taking sips from my beer, laughing animatedly. I never knew my self-consciousness was so apparent. It’s as though I’m afraid of being found out for something: for being a less than adequate person, for being a sub-bourgeois. I suck.
The strangest thing about watching the DVD (which by the way is quite superb) aside from watching myself on it, was being able to see all of the people who surrounded us on the night. When you are with people in an audience or a night club, you don’t normally see them again after you’ve left the building. But there was a weird sense of recognition today, especially regarding a fine bespectacled girl who my friend, in a strange mood and presumably seeing that she conformed to my every fetish and desire, had decided to ask out for me while I was in the toilet. She declined, obviously. There’s also a big fat guy who is a regular at the comedy club who never laughs at anything. I’m convinced he sits so close to the stage so that the comic will feel inclined to comment upon his fatness so that he can say "fuck off". One of these day’s he’ll go too far and throw a pile of lard onto the stage in quasi-ironic heckling-based revolt and get thrown out.
Stewart Lee is both the shiz and the niz. Do buy his DVD. Just try not to notice my constant twitching.