Now for something completely different

Little known fact; a few years ago Eric Douglas, lesser-known son of Kirk Douglas tried his hand at being a stand-up comedian.

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He wangled a gig at London’s infamous Comedy Store, but pretty quickly began to feel the wrath of a tough crowd.

“You can’t do this to me,” he wailed, “I’m Kirk Douglas’s son!”

Keith Harrison

Quick as a flash, a wag in the audience stood up and said: “NO! I’m Kirk Douglas’s son!”

Followed by someone else. Then someone else and on and on. Hilarious.

The brilliant Frank Skinner recalls how he was once heckled by a blind man who shouted: “Get off!”

Then, after a brief pause he followed up: “Has he gone yet?”

I mention all this because a lad I know is one of the most miserable, down-at-heel blokes I’ve ever come across. Before you ask – no, it’s not me, although I can see your thinking there.

Anyhow, in his spare time . . . he’s a stand-up comedian.

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Has he gone yet?

Not a very big one at this stage; we’re talking pub gigs and the odd charity ‘do’, but fair play to him for giving it a go.

I’m pretty sure he hates his actual job and is chasing the dream of doing something he wants to do.

Hats off to him.

It’s a lot more than I would ever attempt because a) I don’t care enough to make a room full of strangers laugh and (more importantly) b) I’m not funny.

As you can tell.

But he seems to be doing OK at it and people who have seen his routine say they are pleasantly surprised/relieved at being momentarily mildly amused.

I’m sure he’s laughing along, reading this (!).

You never know, he may go far – and I sincerely hope he does. He’s already funnier than Russell Howard, but then so is a night in with Nick Clegg.

And there’s nothing worse than being stuck doing something you hate, day-in, day-out.

If you don’t like your life, change it. It’s as simple as that in my book.

It’s better to be a do-er and give it a go than someone who always wondered what might have been – no matter how tough the heckles.

That’s why I generally detest people who interrupt performances, concerts, football matches or whatever with their own ‘look at me!’ sideshow.

I say generally, because sometimes – just sometimes – they’re funnier and more entertaining than the acts in question.

Like the comic who was dying on stage and desperately asked the audience for subjects to joke about. “Get off!” came the reply. “Aww, come on,” he begged, “Give me something topical.”

“OK. Get off . . . now!”

These days, those desperately seeking attention have a new nirvana in the form of Twitter; a quasi-anonymous netherworld where half-wits and morons can throw unfunny barbs at anyone for saying anything.

I’ve known reporters agonising over comments on their articles left by people who can barely string a sentence together.

Why worry? In an earlier (saner) world, these people were the losers sat in the corner of a real ale pub, chuntering among themselves.

Most of the time, that’s where they probably are now.

So we shouldn’t be afraid of trying something new and chasing a dream just because of a few cheap heckles.

Instead, just ask yourself; what would Kirk Douglas do?