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“What do you look for in an act you’re seeing for the first time?” I asked.
“Well as a promoter, I wanna see something different, something unique, someone pushing boun—”
Oh, wait a second…
Sorry, I bet some of you guys don’t know what’s going on here.
The reason I’ve launched straight into the middle of today’s episode is because industry legend Adam Jaremko needs no introduction. But for the less comedy-savvy amongst you, I suppose I should press the rewind button and go from the beginning.
Today’s episode of “Comedians Outside Edinburgh Getting Pumpkin Spice Lattes” features ADAM JAREMKO, Comedy Promoter of Birmingham’s world-famous “Glee Club”.
Adam is both feared and respected in equal measure on the comedy circuit. With the power to make or break your career, it’s a big moment whenever you grace the stage at the Glee in front of Old Man Jaremko (his nickname amongst comics).
There’s an old saying in comedy that “if you smash it in front of Adam Jaremko, then he might book you for a 10 minute spot in 6 months’ time.” It’s not the catchiest of sayings, but nevertheless I’ve heard a lot of people use it.
With all this mind, I was feeling pretty nervous about the prospect of meeting one-on-one with Adam. What if I didn’t make a good impression? Would that be me finished? Would he click his fingers and erase me from the comedy scene, as if I was just mistake that needed removing, Tipexing over my dreams like all they were was a knob drawn in a troubled schoolchild’s exercise book? Is that what he’d do?
God, maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
But 5 minutes into my chat with Old Man Jaremko and my fears had disappeared. The chat was flowing like water in a river. (I’m tryna get more similes into my writing atm.)
I was worried Adam would look down on me because he’s used to dealing with big stars, and I’m just a new comic. But in fact, he was so down to Earth that I spent half the interview scooping him off the ground. This was also partly due to the fact he was incredibly drunk throughout.
Adam’s passion for comedy shines through, and it’s obvious he’s the reason we get to see so many interesting and inventive acts at Glee.
“I think it’s important to try and give the audience something different,” he said, getting his hipflask out and pouring some more whiskey into his pumkin spice latte.
In a male-dominated industry, he’s also been one of the best at providing more opportunities for female comics over the years, explaining, “If you’re good enough, then you’re man enough.”
“I don’t know what that means,” I replied.
Lighting a cigarette and sliding back into his chair, Old Man Jaremko then went on to tell the story of his meteoric rise from floor assistant at the Glee to chief Comedy Promoter. As he was spinning his yarn, I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly funny he was. He tells his anecdotes in such a punchy way that it’s hard to believe he’s spent his life behind the curtains.
Almost the exact moment this thought came into my head, he turned to me with a sad look on his face and said:
“You know Eric, sometimes I think it should be me on that stage. I wish I had the courage to get up there. All these comics fear me and want my approval, but what I wouldn’t give to be one of them. Just for a day. A single, measly day.”
He took a large sip straight from his hipflask and there was an equally large silence. I didn’t know what to say. The conversation wasn’t like a river any more. It was more like a lake. And this man needed armbands.
Adam then began to weep and it got proper awkward.
“It’s too late for me now,” he said, slurring. “It’s too late.”
I wanted to bail.
“I’ve gotta go now, actually Adam,” I said.
I got up and headed for the door.
“Eric,” he said. “One more thing.”
“Yeah,” I said, half turning to face him once more.
“You’ve got chops, kid. Serious chops. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
I opened the door and went outside.
When I looked back through the window, Adam was passed out on his chair.
Tune in tomorrow! X