Last night, I went to Sanderson Jones’ regular new monthly comedy night All Your Internet Are Belong to Us.
It was billed as “a night of digital comedy – a night of comedy that is either about the web or is tech-enabled”.
And, indeed, the audience seemed to include an unusually high proportion of computer programmers, GIF-creators and the like.
One of the acts had had to bow out due to other commitments and had been replaced by Lou Sanders.
She had not had time to prepare a suitably geeky routine so decided, in an utterly incomprehensible moment of insanity to go completely OTT.
She started – started, mark you – by eating a capful of ground cinnamon. As she pointed out, this Cinnamon Challenge has reportedly killed some teenagers who tried it. The result on Lou was almost instantaneous, involved a lot of falling on the floor and, good as my iPhone is and not being in the front row, I was unable to catch one of the exact moments when Lou, on all-fours, puked up some foul brown concoction.
She followed this by reminding the audience that, if you mix Mentos and Diet Coca Cola in a bottle, the result is said to be an explosion.
So she was going to see what happened if she put Mentos in her mouth and drank Coca Cola from a bottle.
The result was not quite an explosion.
But was not something you should try at home.
“What am I doing with my life?” Lou then asked the audience, adding: “My mum must be so proud I’m in showbusiness.”
Following the comedic rule of three, she then decided on a third ‘challenge’.
“Does anybody know about the Cracker Challenge?” she asked.
“Usually, I don’t eat wheat or gluten or sugar. I can’t eat wheat, so I’ve just got rice cakes. I’ve a feeling I should have done this one first because, well, you’ve had the explosions. So this will just be a woman of a certain age eating crackers on the stage and passing it off as entertainment…
“I’ve got a degree, you know…” she said as she started to stuff ten large, disc-like rice cakes into her mouth without any water. The result was not pleasant for her; you couldn’t really say it was pleasant for the audience; but you could certainly say it was entertaining.
She continued to speak throughout. What she was saying, I suspect not even she knew.
Lunacy of this high an anarchic level is exactly what is missing from the currently rather tame British comedy circuit and may, with luck, be catching.
Top-of-the-bill comedian Tom Rosenthal somehow successfully managed to follow Lou Sanders’ act, but then gave in and also tried eating cinnamon. The result was much the same as before though without, as far as I could see amid the writhing and falling, any actual vomiting.
The evening was rounded off by Sanderson Jones who, whether intentionally or accidentally, managed to talk himself into a logical corner in which he, too, had to eat a capful of cinnamon.
Inexplicably, Despite a short period of bulging eyes and a somewhat surprised look on his face (his beard may also have had an erection) it seemed to have little effect on him.
I am rather concerned that the rather scary, inhuman picture of him on his Facebook page may – just as the cover of Abbey Road revealed that Paul McCartney had died – be a subtle message to comedy fans and his family that Sanderson Jones is, in fact, an android.
When I was a researcher on the children’s TV show Tiswas, I twice booked on the show a man who ate worms. He was not a professional act, just a man who liked the limelight and, I presume to a certain extent, liked eating worms. The third time I tried to book him for the show, the person who answered the phone told me he had died.
The three main lessons of yesterday evening are simple.
See Lou Sanders before she dies.
Never get involved in a gross-out contest with her.
And Sanderson Jones is an android.