The scrap pile: The bouncer bit

Welcome to the scrap pile. The weekly blog where I take a look at a joke that either doesn’t work or that I don’t think will work on stage. Each week I’ll try and work out why the joke isn’t working and try to make it better, then when I next do a new material night, I’ll post the joke here to show if it worked or not. For regular videos, make sure you like my Facebook page or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

The joke

So, if you’re familiar with my stuff you’ll know that I tend to do one liners or shorter jokes but try to build them up into longer bits. This weeks joke is one of those bits so actually contains a few jokes to analyse. The bit goes;

“A bouncer once asked me if I was a Dave or a David, and I said, “Dave” and he said, “I’m sorry, I can’t let you in without ID”.

One time I went clubbing and I spilled a drink all over my crotch. I was worried the bouncer would turn me away but he just took one look at me and said, “you’re in” (urine)

As soon as I got in the club I went to the toilets. Used the hand dryer to dry my crotch off. Then after that, I gave him £2 to spray a little bit of aftershave on my balls.”

The reaction

I’ve only done this as a complete section on stage, at a new material night, once. The ID joke got some laughs but then urine got mostly groans and hand dryer got almost nothing. I’ve watched a video of me doing the bit and I genuinely say that I’ll never do it again based on the reaction it gets.

The problem

Well, I guess largely the problem is, it’s not particularly funny. I like the ID joke because it’s a bit silly and it takes a bit of brain power to get. Urine is too daft and there is too much exposition at the start. I think from a narrative point of view as well it’s a little bit jarring that I’ve spoken to one bouncer, gone to a club, spilled a drink, left that club, gone to another bouncer etc. It’s just a bit all over the place.

The last bit about the hand dryer I’m not sure on. Maybe there’s no link between a hand dryer, which is a pretty standard term for the machine and the toilet attendant who dries your hands for you in some clubs.

I think the image is funny, that I’ve spilled a drink on my crotch and then go into a toilet where I pay an attendant to dry my crotch for me but I think the execution is not particularly good and I’m losing the audience on the way.

Another potential issue, how familiar are people with the concept of a toilet attendant? I can’t remember the last time I saw one at a club and I’ve no idea if they even have them in women’s toilets? Am I alienating half the crowd from the offset?

This section of the joke has a lot of problems.

Is it worth saving?

Honest answer? I’ve no idea. But that would make for a pretty boring discussion. I think there are funny concepts and ideas here but I think for this to be an actual ‘bit’ it needs to flow better and have bigger laughs woven in. Two of the jokes are basically ‘groaners’ (a one liner that elicits groans rather than laughter for the none-comic readers) and one of the jokes doesn’t work so there would be a lot of work to do to get this usable.

The re-work

I think ID is pretty solid, it’s daft but it makes sense as a joke. I also think the biggest issue with urine is in the delivery. I know it’s a groaner and the audience know it’s a groaner so I need to say it faster and play up how proud of myself I am.

I have another joke in my set;

“You know, I don’t get paid for my toilet breaks at work. But I do get time in loo.”

Which is equally as groan inducing but I get laughs from because I throw it away and then act up as though it’s one of the best jokes I tell. I think a similar style could work for urine. Let’s face it, it’s never going to be a banker.

I would also rework the narrative a bit so it flows more easily, maybe something like;

“I was out in town the other night. I was already in a bad mood because a mate had spilled a drink on my crotch when we were pre-drinking. Then I got to the club and the bouncer decided to give me a hard time.

First he asked me if I was a David or a Dave. I said Dave. He said sorry mate, I can’t let you in without ID.

Then he noticed my crotch. I thought, oh no, I’m not getting in here. But he just pointed at me and said urine.”

I don’t know if that’s better but it seems to flow a little more. There’s a bit more of the required info up front.

Now for the hard part. The hand-dryer bit.

So the joke, as far as I see it, is that the audience thinks I’m drying my crotch with an air hand-dryer, only for it to turn out to be a person having to do it.

So maybe the switch is as simple as the guy being annoyed with me?

“I went to the bathroom and used the hand-dryer to dry my crotch. He wasn’t happy about it but I gave him two quid and got him to squirt me with aftershave.”

Or maybe;

“I went to the bathroom and used the hand-dryer to dry my crotch. He got a little too into it to be honest though. I still tipped him two quid and got a squirt of aftershave.”

Maybe there’s even opportunity to play with the audience there and ask if they even know about toilet attendants?

I think there’s a lot more mileage I can get from the whole bouncer / club scenario, so I’m going to keep working on this as a bit but I think those are the fixes I’m going to try for now. I’ll update soon with how the changes went down.

In the meantime, if you like seeing me workshop some of my bad jokes or you’d like to see me telling some good ones, why not subscribe to my mailing list for monthly updates?

Bye for now,

Dave

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