Like most open mic nights, The Worst Comedy Night in Salford isn’t designed to be reviewed. We’re going to do it anyway, but just so you know.
We’re in a small room in popular watering hole The King’s Arms, and it quickly becomes apparent we’re the only people there who are neither an act, nor someone with an act.
This doesn’t go unnoticed by MC Dave Turquoise. We’ll frequently be revisited throughout the night to check we’re still enjoying ourselves which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen everywhere. We’re also called “rough lads”, which is definitely a first.
As far as the acts go, offering any sort of individual critique is largely futile. It’s exactly the mixed bag you’d expect from open mic. Some are good and veering towards the kind of polish that might work in front of bigger audiences. Others clearly have masochistic tendencies.
If you’re after a flavour of the night, there’s a guy in a balaclava and sunglasses who gets up, tries a grand total of two jokes and sits back down again. He remains in character all night, never once cracking a smile, or even moving much at all. His commitment to the role is fantastic in its pointlessness.
A quick scan of their Facebook page reveals a lot of the acts come here regularly. It shows. It’s as if someone’s dumped a microphone in the middle of an average night out with your mates.
Despite the friendly atmosphere, there’s not much sugar-coating in the feedback of each other’s material. A joke that falls flat is rarely bailed out with pity laughs, and good-natured heckling is frequent. Dave even nips out for a bottle of pop during one act.
There are doughnuts at half time, which is especially generous given that we haven’t paid to get in. Acts chat to us during the breaks, which is a damn sight more entertaining than idly checking Twitter like we usually would.
In summary then, The Worst Comedy Night in Salford fails to live up to its name. It can be all too easy to take comedy seriously, but that’s not the case here. It’s simply a room full of people having a lot of fun, and we’re made to feel more than welcome.
In fact, if you’re thinking of giving stand-up a go, this could well be the place. While the waiting lists at many open mic nights give you far too much time to lose your nerve, here you can just rock up on the night and give it a go.
If it doesn’t go well, at least you’re already in a quality pub.
The Worst Comedy Night in Salford is held at the King’s Arms every other Tuesday.