Opinion: Help us save live comedy

Steve Allen is asking for support for the Save Live Comedy campaign.

Steve Allen is asking for support for the Save Live Comedy campaign.

What do I, whales and the NHS have in common? It’s not that we’re all larger than is probably needed.

There have been campaigns to save us. Not me in particular, but the Save Live Comedy campaign has been launched (visit savelivecomedy.co.uk).

When lockdown kicked in the live comedy industry went away. For many of us who made our living by performing in clubs it was a blow. Months later and we still don’t have our careers back.

Gyms are opening but comedy clubs stay closed. The experts say that laughing indoors could emit infected aerosols but have they seen how people grunt and pant in gyms? When I go to the gym I also hear a lot of laughter but that might be because of the shorts I’m wearing.

I realise stand-up comedians are not an essential service. No one will be clapping for us like they did the NHS. Well, people will be clapping but I think that’s out of convention. It’s always amazed me that when you are a performer you get a round of applause as you walk on. That’s before the audience could know whether you’re rubbish or not.

In the UK, we pride ourselves on our sense of humour. If you love something you have to put some work in to keep it alive. Many people love a night out to forget about the world’s troubles, have a laugh and recharge the mental batteries before going back to real life. Real life isn’t easy at the moment.

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I hope that before too long I get to see you at a live comedy gig. Trust me, it’s better than seeing me down the gym.

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