What do you think a stand-up comedian should do when he takes the stage, performs miserably, elicits no laughter, sends the audience home early, and causes the person who booked him to perform have to apologize the very next day? The right thing to do is take a vacation and leave the country, perhaps go to the Cayman Islands for a few months, and hope everyone has forgotten about you by the time you get back. But that’s not what Ray Hanania did. Oh no! Instead, he decided to write an extended explanation for his jokes and clarify why everyone should consider them funny. Just in case the comedy routine post-mortem, and his insistence on the humor contained therein did not convince everyone, he also offered an explanation for what he suggestively concedes may not have been his best performance:
“I was originally booked as a pro bono performer, which I was proud to accept and to perform. But the emcee…had an emergency. So he asked me to finish off the show, which I enthusiastically did,…I introduced the lineup as they were booked by Angie McMahon and also did my segment of comedy, which was tough to do since I had to emcee and then basically introduce myself…”
If you’ve ever watched Ray’s lame routine you wouldn’t be surprised this failed comedian flopped during his latest performance. Listening to David Ramadan on Aljazeera or simply watching him nod in approval is a lot funnier than Ray’s jokes. David doesn’t even try to be funny (he’s focused on being patriotic), and his comedy routine doesn’t require any subsequent explanations or clarifications in writing. Most people may feel sorry for Ray by now, but not us. He has no excuses because we already advised him if he ever encounters a tough audience all he has to do is speak Arabic and he can get through it.
We have never heard of the person (see previous post below) Ray is responding to, don’t know any of the squabblers in Chicago, and don’t really care about this quarrelsome bunch. It is enough to know that if the audience doesn’t laugh during a stand-up comedy show, and goes home early it probably was not a very successful act. And if the person who invited you to perform feels compelled to apologize the next day, you simply have no excuse for holding a mic in your hand or being anywhere near a stage. If it makes Ray feel any better, his refusal to Ikhras, and drop the matter like he should have did result in some laughter a few days later which can plausibly be attributed to his performance that evening. However, if after any stand-up comedy routine you find it necessary to insist you were funny, and offer written explanations or clarifications for your act, you must at least begin to consider this particular art form may not be your forte. We at Ikhras are counting on Ray to continue ignoring our advice.