Thursday, July 26, 2007

Enjoyable Torture

If the point of Just A Minute was to make a 30 minute programme and then work out at the end which of the four panellists had contributed just a minute then I might well turn out to be the victor.

Sadly that isn't the point and I might well turn out to be the lowest scoring contributor ever. It really is devilishly difficult to even get on the microphone so quick are the others at spotting a repetition. I spent the whole of the evening pressing my buzzer and discovering that someone else had managed to press a split second sooner. The live audience were aware that I was pressing and not getting in on time and they enjoyed my playful frustration but of course the listening audience won't be aware of any of that.

It was definitely a jolly evening and I was getting laughs from the audience for acknowledging my own ineptitude but those are the kind of laughs that inevitably hit the cutting room floor... quite right too as they do sort of sit outside the show. Which leaves me concerned about quite how scant my contribution to the shows will be. Especially the first of the two.

I was very glad there was a second show because I'd already improved a little bit and knowing that the audience were onside I felt more able to be bold about making challenges. I think I managed to talk for a good 45 seconds on one of the subjects before grinding to a halt. Sadly it wasn't long enough for me to reach Gertrude's whistle and so I didn't get a point out of it.

The comic challenges people make - usually for deviation, where you know they will be given the subject back but also that it will raise a laugh - have to be judged right. I think until the audience trusts you it can feel as though you're spoiling someone else's flow rather than adding to the comedy. I think I got those right - and certainly the audience seemed to go with them - but they also seemed to be dismissed with speed while others seemed to be dwelt on. But that might just be my imagination.

All in all it was an enjoyable form of torture and it's interesting to see how closely my own experience tallies with Michael Palin's from 1975. Of course he only published his diaries recently - which is a very slow and non interactive form of blogging. Here I have the advantage because by the time I got home someone from the audience had left a nice comment on my previous entry. I'm sure Michael Palin would have felt similarly lifted if someone had scribbled a nice message like that in his diary at the time. So long as it could have been done without breaking into his house and finding his diary. Isn't the internet great?


James said...

Sounds great. Make sure you let us know when they will be broadcast.

Anna said...

I've just listened to JAM for the first time after reading you blog. It's sheer ruddy brilliance! Looking forward to hearing your shows soon!

Joy said...

This comment is totally unrelated to your blog, I've only just come across it, and seeing as I've read all your books, how slow am I? I've only just got into this blogging business (thanks to peer pressure :-() and find it weird how the same way as Googlewhacks, you can type out a made up address and you will find a blog. Whether or not it is a 'live blog' is another question.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have doe a hit of training Dave..

Dave Gorman said...


"doe a hit of training" - that's just gibberish... deviation from the English language as we know it.

Correct challenge. The subject returns to me.

James said...

Ha Ha...I see your already in practice for another a future appearance then Dave.

Anonymous said...

hi dave . i hope you will go on the show again when you are asked .
i did'nt want to say this when you made your last blog for fear of putting you off but you were up against 3 poeple who i would consider to be the 3 best just a minute pannelists of modern times !
by the way i have never really heard any new player make a huge contribution on his ior her first time in the game .
it is a game like playing the paino the more you do it the better you get .
i am looking forward to hearing you . you will be fine . friends of mine and myself have tried to play juist a minute amoungst ourselves and it is not an easy thing to do . so you deserve a compliment for giving it your best shot .
the moderator of the jam yahoo group suspect that your first show may br boradcast on the 6th august .

p.s please don;t buzz me i am highly dyslexic i can hardly soell anything right !

BPP said...

I went to a recording of this bugger a few years ago and it was great. It was back in the day when the lovely Peter Jones was still around and he was hilarious (as was everyone else o'course). The added bonus was finding out they were recording not one, but two shows - it didn't 'alf make your arse hurt by the end. Still, it was worth it. Just A Minute's a national treasure, up there with I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. I'll look forward to hearing your contribution as you're a funny chap.

Anonymous said...

G'Day Davo

Just thought i'd say, I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog.

You always have interesting anecdotes and are a great story teller.

Keep up the good work.

Good luck with the book.