If you ask any performer what their biggest fear is, being booed off stage is probably high on the list. Well that’s exactly what King Gong does. It’s an open mic night challenging budding comedians to deliver a five minute set. However, three random audience members are given red cards. If the audience member does not like the material they can raise their red card in the air. If all three cards go up then that comedian is gonged off.
MC for the night was Stephen Grant who did a great job in overseeing proceedings. He warmed the crowd up nicely and was great at interacting with the audience. He wasn’t afraid to perform an ‘assisted suicide’ - where he would gong off an act for either being too offensive or didn’t have material prepared, or worse still plagiarised material.
There were 24 acts for the evening and only six of them managed to last the full five minutes. I feel the audience made some bad calls on some of the acts - too lenient on some and too harsh on others, especially the scouse holiday rep!
As with all comedy it was very testosterone heavy. I think out of the 24 there were only three female performers; two of which were absolutely diabolical. The Comedy Store needs to do something to encourage more female comedians.
When the 24th act of the night had finished, Grant asked all the comedians who managed to survive the full five minutes back to the stage. After a quick clap-off two of them were sent packing and the remaining four had to perform a further one minute of material.
I really did enjoy my night at the Comedy Store, however I am a massive sucker for timekeeping and if a show is advertised to start at 7.30pm, it should start at 7.30pm and not 7.50pm. Also, if an interval is announced as 15 minutes it should be 15 minutes and not 30.
King Gong has rightly earned its title of possibly the biggest comedy car crash. The event is held monthly on the first Sunday of month. If you’re looking for a cheap night out and a few laughs, then this is a good shout. However, you need to approach the event with an open mind as these performers are just starting out.
Reviewer: Sean Foster
Reviewed: 3rd September 2017