I went out with a comedian. No, not just a guy that happened to be funny. An actual comedian that has hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. He was on tour and when he stopped by London, asked me out.
Last Friday I was gearing up for a jam-packed weekend. Even Friday itself was chocker-block. I had yoga class at lunchtime at work, a salsa lesson after work and family was visiting from around the world over the weekend. Around noon I received a notification from an uber-exclusive dating app I barely ever use saying: “So there’s an issue. This is my last day in London. But because this app only shows me a few people at a time, I only just matched with you. This is heartbreaking. You are clearly hot and your profile also makes you seem pretty cool, violating the laws of thermodynamics. So, like many movie protagonists have done before me, I am taking a chance anyway. What are you doing tonight?”
I didn’t stand a chance. Normally I wouldn’t even bother replying to dating app messages at the office, but I felt the need to make an exception in this case. “What did you have in mind?” I replied. He went on to tell me about how he was on tour – without telling me he was a comedian. I suppose it was implied. And would I like to come to his show that night? I said it sounded like a plan. “Great, your name will be at the door.” Even if the date goes badly, I thought to myself, at least I’d be taking in some culture. That is, if stand-up comedy can be considered culture.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t IMDb the shit out of him right then and there. A lot of content was available online, but being at the office I had exactly 0 seconds to look at it. It was clear he was legit. Having done dozens of celebrity interviews in my day, I still get very starstruck and withdrawn around anyone remotely famous. I figured me not having time to thoroughly look him up was for the best.
I arrived at the venue two minutes into his set. It was so packed the barman had to pull a barstool into the space for me to sit. I’m not a huge fan of standup comedy. Actually, I am, but the comedians I like aren’t self-depricating assholes with massive chips on their shoulders. Give me an Aziz or Amy over a Louis any day. I also adore Kathy Griffin, but know many (read: men) use her as a benchmark for why they think women aren’t funny. Anyway, I was expecting an angry comedian, pissed off about the unseasonably hot weather, who would become even more irrate at me being seconds late to his set. How wrong was I.
Firstly, he was genuinely funny. As mentioned, I don’t like all stand-up comedy. Mainly because much of it doesn’t appeal to me. But his set was so charismatic its relate-ablity was neither here nor there. He spoke in such an endearing way, it was impossible not to be drawn to this man. The audience was in stitches. It was in a small venue but it was so packed there was no room to move. But no one seemed to mind, because they’d all come out to come see him some, I’d discover, from cities hours away.
Once the set wrapped I dragged my clunky barstool out to the bar. I was expecting him to be mobbed by fans, so I wanted to be out of the way. But before I could even turn to make a bee-line to the bar he stopped me and gave me a big hug for making it out. It felt as though we’d known each other forever. He was as charming offstage as he was on.
He did eventually have to take some photos and sign some autographs, so I stepped away to the bar to order drinks. I decided to get him one too. It was the least I could do. Especially now that I was fan girling, big time. As the last of his actual fans left, he sent me a text from across the room asking if I was alright. I said of course I was, and that I’d gotten him a drink. That’s when he walked up to me and said: “I’m sober”.
I knew it! Comedians always have some sort of demon they’re trying to keep at bay. Anyway, the bigger question at hand was how were we going to go out for drinks if he didn’t? The question would prove moot. As I watched him pack up his camera gear we caught up for the first time. That’s a weird phrase. How can you catch-up if you’ve only just met? This guy had many talents and being awkward on a first date was definitely not one of them. To be honest, I felt like I’d stepped on the set of the Judd Apatow movie Funny People. Everything about the situation made me feel like I was being given a behind the scenes peek into an industry I knew little about.
From there we were off to make a night of it. We quickly dropped his stuff off at his hotel (where he took the opportunity to kiss me…it was a good one) and I showed him around London Bridge, pointing out the few buildings and monuments I knew anything about. He asked me about my worst date of all time, having already told me his in his set. I told him. Because by this time everything was closed, the evening saw us meander around Tower Bridge to South Bank and back again. At one point we stopped by the river to gaze at the glittering skyline. Our conversation then went deep. I found out he was divorced. I told him I was only just becoming secure enough career-wise to take myself seriously. He talked about being the youngest in his family of siblings and feeling the need to be funny just to get noticed. I realized I was into him. I mean really into him. He then picked the right moment to tell me how beautiful he thought I was.
It was hard not to draw parallels to the 1994 film Before Sunrise. Only in this rendition we met on a dating app and he was leaving in 5 hours to go to Berlin for his next tour date. It was all very intense. But unlike Julie Delpy in the film, you can bet I went back to his hotel room with him. I expressed my hesitation knowing full well I’d feel shitty the next day. But he insisted it wouldn’t be a one night stand, but rather a first night stand. I mean…I was never going to say no to that.
We said our goodbyes at 4am. He went to the airport at 5. And that was it. He’s from LA and I live here so any shot of it working is DOA. But I will say this – the whole situation was the sort of thing that makes life worth living.