The Red Light (district)

Dinner last evening with one of my oldest comedy mates.

Not a funny man like me?

This sounds terribly arrogant and also rude?

But what I mean is, he is not a comedian.

He is a sound man and in more ways than one.

As well as a sound engineer, Graham is in charge of the red light at The Comedy Store – which signals to the the comic on-stage that he has done his time and can vacate the stage.

Don’t get me wrong. The Comedy Store is the best gig of them all – but it can be a foreboding room – and on occasion, especially during a late show, the red light is every bit as welcome as the beam of a lighthouse to a fog-bound ship.

Anyone who plays the Comedy Store has been saved by the red light.

And for such a good friend, odd then that I don’t know his surname. In my phone, he is Battersea Graham – to delineate him from Bearcat Graham (another comedy chum who is also not a comedian) – and ‘Battersea’ because Graham used to do the same job at Jongleurs Comedy Club in Battersea – a room I played hundreds of times – and although I never died there, it was a room that I never ever trusted.

Always good seeing him and to end this post – a quick anecdote – which is relevant and includes one of my best lines ever…

Many years ago, I am at Jongleurs, Camden – The Late Show.

It is carnage. The room is packed. No one is sober. No one is listening. Everyone is eating. I am closing the first half and I am not happy.

Show manager wanders in to the dressing room.

“Dom. I’m gonna light you at 17. Is that okay?”

“Sure. But at 17 minutes mate, I’m gonna be back in here.”

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