Comedian Dave Spikey isn’t so much doing a gig at Doncaster Dome tomorrow night, he’s conducting a social experiment.
Well, he’s testing out a theory about punchlines as part of his latest live show, actually.
Don’t worry, you’re not in for a boring lecture. Far from it.
Dave said: “I was in a hospital waiting room reading an article in the Reader’s Digest, about the brain as a pattern-making machine.
“When that pattern is made, it’s assigned to the memory forever.
“The article claimed that’s why you don’t laugh at jokes if you’ve heard the punchline.
“I thought I’d test it out, so as part of the show I give the audience six punchlines, projected on to a screen and again at the interval.
“In the second half my premise and promise is that they will still laugh, even if they know the punchlines.
“I explore how I’m going to do that through misdirection, ambiguity and wordplay.”
He’s already tested his theory out on this tour and is pleased to say that he’s right, of course.
“It works really well. As I said the punchlines, it would have the same impact (as a joke they haven’t heard before) because they would hear they way I deliver them.
“It’s not like when the audience have read them in the cold light of day with their own emphasis on it. When I do it, it takes them by surprise. It’s not as they’re expectign them to be done.”
Dave’s also got a theory about newspaper headlines being little poems (he obviously hasn’t read mine).
He said: ”Most of the ones I like are ambiguous, sometimes they get it completely wrong, like the one with a photograph of three old ladies at a craft fair.
“It was: ‘Pensioners make lovely rugs’.”
And of course he still hasn’t lost his love for unwittingly funny song lyrics,so expect some new gems.
The co-writer of comedy series Phoenix Nights is also writing at the moment, despite coping with the disappointment of having a script he had written fall at the final hurdle when BBC and ITV decided not to take up an option on it.
Dave said: “We got all the way through to casting it and had a table reading.
“At the 11th hour the BBC and ITV said no thanks, but nothing’s ever wasted.”
He said he’s really enjoying working on a new project, which is in its early stages.
Dave Spikey’s new show, Punchlines, is at Doncaster Dome tomorrow night.
Box office: call 01302 537704 or 538584 or go online at The Dome