A few weeks ago, a blog I had posted won me two tickets to one of London’s better kept secrets – 99 Club Comedy. I had heard great reviews and seen several Group-On deals cycling the internet for this club, so with a few hours to spare and no concrete plans, I spent this Friday night seeing what 99’s got to give.
The say first impressions are everything, and if this is true then I think 69 Club Comedy might be a more accurate name. The foyer and stairwell to this club gave me several flashbacks to San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair. (For those of you unfamiliar with this festival, lets just say that it’s referred to as the “grandaddy of all leather events.”)
The club was small and the seating was limited for those who purchase tickets at the door- we were left with far back row (risk: tall people, large heads and hard to hear), seats in front of the speaks (risk: walking around screaming HAH? WHAT? for the next week), or seats in the front row (risk: if you don’t see the risk here, please- go to a comedy show, try it, and report back.) We opted for the back row, drank some wine, made friends with the couple sitting next to us, mused about the terrifying lock-less bathroom stalls that reflect the Folsom-esque feel of the place and waited for the show to begin.
Once the stand-up began, though, 99 really did “stand-up” to its reputation. (Deh boom psh! …Okay, this is why I ain’t in the comedy business, y’all.) Two highlights of the night: Shane Kelty (who does a bit of work for BBC4) kicked off the night with some bold political comedy that had me splitting sides. I can really appreciate a comedian who knows how to pull in the race conversation and put ignorance on blast. There was also an 84-year-old Jewish comedian (whose name I cannot remember nor find) who was, albeit a bit tongue-in-cheek, hilarious and full of wit!
The evening’s M.C. had us bent over in our seats from the get-go, but also is the main source of evidence for people (i.e. yours truly) who opt out of sitting in the front row. I’m still wondering for the “friends” he called out got that somethin’ he accused them of looking for by the end of the night…
All in all, great comedy spot for the price and a good chance to see some relatively recent up-and-comers before the hit the Russell Brand era of their careers!