Valentin’s Day & How To Not Do It…
The Comedians Way

First the Plug: This year we have a splendid line-up of brilliant comedy talent for you at Piccadilly Comedy Club London. You can even book for a two course meal at Tiger Tiger plus comedy show for just £20. That’s a great night that will make you very popular without breaking the bank.
Good, plug over, let’s get on with the juice…

I have been involved in comedy for nearly 14 years. In that time I have seen some incredible dating disasters by my friends and colleagues in the stand up world. This is because stand ups are often (OK, nearly always) a needy bunch with limited social skills. And guess what, they go in to over-drive when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

So here are my top five Valentine’s Day disasters from the comedy world…

5. The Long Drive to Devon…
A trip to Devon for Valentine’s Day? Sounds romantic. Not if you are performing at a Mirth Control gig.
A hapless comedian (I won’t name him as he has long since given up comedy) took a girl he was very keen to a gig he was doing in Devon. It was their third date. To compound this it was snowing heavily, and the drive took nearly eight hours. Oh, and he was driving two other comics to the gig as well. Romantic eh? Imagine it, eight hours in a car with three comedians each trying to outdo one another with tales about how great their career is going etc etc etc.
Eventually, they got to the gig. There was only three people in the audience (did I mention it was snowing heavily?). Two of them left after five minutes of our hero’s set. The third one was his date. He had to perform the rest of his 20 minutes set (in order to get paid) to his Valentine’s Date. It was not easy listening. They drove home in silence, and never saw each other again.

4. Boundary Park
OK, this one is mine. I was living in Manchester at the time, had had been on a few dates on a girl I was very keen on. Living in Manchester meant that I did not get to see my beloved West Ham very often so I jumped with Joy when we were drawn against nearby Oldham Athletic in the semi-final of the league cup. BUT… The game was to be played on 14 Feb 1990… Valentine’s Day!
I know, I thought, I’ve got two tickets, I’ll take her with me. I can only point to the foibles of youth (and hormones) for this idiocy.
Boundary Park (Oldham’s ground) is situated on top of a hill. It has got to be the coldest and most wind exposed place outside of Siberia. The away end (where we were, standing on terracing) had no roof, and was utterly exposed to the driving wind and rain that night. I got to see the make up sliding from the face of my poor miserable, sodden date. She never forgave me, I never saw her again.
Oh, and we lost 6-0 (yes, SIX NIL) in a game inevitably dubbed the St Valentine’s Day Massacre. For me it was in every way.

3. McDonald’s
Step forward comedian Steve Wardle. He was seeing a (very attractive) cabaret singer. He offered to take her to dinner for Valentine’s Day. She turned up wearing not much more than a handkerchief and lots of fishnet. Steve, being on a comedians limited income, took her to McDonalds. In Lewisham. It didn’t go well.

2. The Sister
One comedian disappointed to find his girlfriend was working on Valentine’s Day, and having found a great deal on Top Table, instead took his girlfriend’s sister out instead. He was genuinely surprised when said girlfriend was upset (see what I mean about comedians being socially useless?). It inevitably lead to a parting of ways.
This may have also been me, by the way.

1. War, What Is It Good For? (not Valentines Day)
A particularly inept (in every way) comedian I once knew took a very lovely date (we were surprised as well) on Valentine’s Day to… The Imperial War Museum. It get’s worse. He informed her there was a particular exhibition he wanted her to see. As a Jew, he was very keen for her to see the special Holocaust exhibition then on at the museum. He wanted to demonstrate how his people had suffered in harrowing detail. Of course, he didn’t tell her any of this until they got there. Her parent’s were German. It didn’t go well.

I’ll keep my ears open and let you know if anything happens this year.