Recently in the Homeless Peter comments, someone found and linked to a video of Peter doing stand-up comedy in 2007 (which can be found here). People are pointing towards this clip as being proof of Peter’s depravity, etc. Because of this, I think I need to share with you a little bit of comedy theory.
Firstly: Peter and I were taught that while doing stand-up comedy, it’s a good idea to adopt a character; they don’t have to be radically different from you, they can even have your name, but it can make things a little easier. That doesn’t have much to do with the rest of what I’m going to say, but you have to remember that there is a separation between what someone is on stage, and what they are in real life.
Secondly: You have to remember that different people have different senses of humour to you; not everyone is the same. I know, weird, right? So, what you find distasteful and humourless, other people may find rib-achingly funny. Also, topics that you may think should never be joked about, others might see some potential for humour in. It’s something that I have learned you (grudgingly) have to accept.
The main thing I wanted to talk about (quickly, as I have to leave for work soon) is that what people say while on stage mostly isn’t <strong>real</strong>. Remember this, it will be important later on. In the clip, for those of you who haven’t watched it, Peter makes some (yes, rather crude) jokes about his “mother” and “father”. Remember what I said just before, about things on stage not always being real? That’s right, this is one of them.
Peter is not talking about his real, actual, factual parents (you could argue that the character is talking about the character’s actual parents, but then you’re venturing into the realm of absurdism). When I was doing stand-up around the same time (which no videos exist of, thank goodness), I made jokes about meeting my first girlfriend while I was drunk, getting invited around to one of my teacher’s houses for a bit of “fun”, and getting an erection while studying the pyramids (it was “the biggest cock-up in history”!). I was not talking about my actual girlfriend, my real teachers or a factual event.
Yes, you may not appreciate his humour, and no, the jokes aren’t very good. But honestly people: get over it! The Homeless February posts really aren’t a forum for general Peter-hating or Peter-loving. If you have comments to make about the video, go over to youtube and make them there.
I’m sure Peter will be delighted to discuss all of this with you when he returns in a week, but as of now, your circular discussions are clogging up my inbox.