How My Comedy Career Ends
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
A short play entitled “How my comedy career ends”
The play starts with our hero, Eric Rushton, ME, killing it. The set is made to look like a comedy club, any comedy club in the country really: rough working mens’ clubs where you need your dick and fanny jokes at hand; alternative rooms where you need to be a bit more intellectual and introspective; or mainstream ones like Glee, the Comedy Store and Hot Water, where the perfect balance is required – Rushton can and will play them all. It’s really not a problem.
*Huge round of applause. Some people – including several fit girls – are still doubling-over with laughter. Rushton has clearly been doing some of his trademark crowdwork*
Eric Rushton: Thanks for that much-warranted applause break. Right who else wants some?
*An audience member sticks their hand up, stretching like a school kid that knows the answer to a question but has forgotten they will be bullied for answering it. In this case, by the teacher*
Audience member: Pick me. Oh, please pick me, Eric. Please, tear me a new arsehole.
(Note to director: No need whatsoever to discriminate when casting this guy. Rushton deals with all hecklers equally — whether it’s a privileged straight white male or a gay amputee riddled with dandruff, they’ll get the same harsh-yet-hilarious treatment. Has to be a guy though)
Eric Rushton: What’s your name, mate?
Audience member: (taking slightly longer to answer this question than they would in a low-pressure environment in everyday life) Paul.
Eric Rushton: (responding quicker than most comics could let alone ordinary people) Took you a while to answer that, didn’t it? Fucking hell mate.
Eric Rushton: (points to the girl next to Paul) Who’s this? Is this your bird, mate?
Audience member: She prefers to be called Beth.
*Audience groans at the performative-wokeness of Paul for his attempt to try and give her an identity separate from his*
Audience member: (face reddening) But yeah, she’s my bird.
Eric Rushton: Fucking hell. You’ve done well there, haven’t you mate? Someone’s punching.
*Eric Rushton mimes punching. The audience bursts into another fit of laughter. A few people here and there applaud but there’s not enough of them to get a proper applause break going*
Eric Rushton: Where you from, Paul?
Audience member: Wolverhampton.
Eric Rushton: Sorry?
Audience member: I said Wolverhampton.
Eric Rushton: No, I heard you… I’m just sorry. *Instant applause break. Laughter fills the room. The audience begin to have what can only be described as a transcendent experience, the self is shown to be an illusion, there is no “I” any more, only “us”. Regrets, feelings of failure and existential woes that were carried into the room evaporate. Even Paul is laughing.*
Eric Rushton: (quietly) I’m just sorry.
*Laughter dies down*
Eric Rushton: I’m just sorry. Sorry… I’m just sorry.
Eric Rushton: I’m just so sorry. So, so fucking sorry.
Eric Rushton: I’m sorry… I can’t do this anymore.
*Rushton puts the microphone back into the stand and leaves the stage. There is some polite clapping. A generic club compere walks on.*
Compere: Eric Rushton everyone, I’m sure we’ll see him again… on a Channel 5 documentary about mental people!
*Audience laughs and applauds as the compere does that curly-hair-mime-thing that people do when they’re talking about someone mental*
Compere: (Sees the person sat next to Paul) Fucking hell, Paul, is that your bird? Punchinnnnnng.
*Meanwhile, we’re backstage. This is a film now rather than a play, I guess. Rushton is on his personal mobile telephone.*
Eric Rushton: It’s over, Lucy. No, not me and you. The comedy. The comedy is over, just like you wanted. I can’t do it anymore. You were right – it’s turning me into a monster. But that boy you fell in love with. That sweet, kind, loving boy you fell in love with… he’s still there somewhere. And whatever you do, don’t get back with him. I can change. If the choice is you or the comedy, then I choose you… 100%. Obviously, I choose you. (pause) Oh… I see… and you two are back together for good now? Right okay… bye?… I guess? *Rushton puts his personal mobile telephone down and the compere enters*
Rushton: Any chance I can go back on?
Compere: Absolutely not.
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