Black light posterHello, I’m Jonny, and I’m about to start a comedy night at Moon in Newtown. It’s called the Blacklight Comedy Club. If you’re able to come along, please try. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Jo asked me to write a Blacklight Comedy Club ‘guest manifesto’ for the Wellingtonista. I’ve realised that I can’t. To me, manifestos in the arts often appear rigid and exclusionary. This is exactly what I DON’T want the night to be. I want it to be relaxed and inclusive.

Manifestos appear when an artist (or a group of artists) feels isolated from the dominant culture and wishes to self-consciously set themselves apart from it, or when someone has an innovative, propulsive ideane has an innovative, propulsive idea that deserves to be formalised. But, y’know, that’s not the way things generally work. Ideas and movements are fluid, change is slow and informed by many, many factors. There’s this stupid goddam lie that meaningful art only happens when you can frame it as revolution. Sudden inspiration! Us against the world! Yeah yeah yeah.

If I’d made a manifesto for myself even a year ago, I would have already broken my own rules. I’ve learned on the job, as have the comedians I’ve asked to be involved in what I hope is the first of many Blacklight Comedy Club events at Moon. They’re performers who have listened to their audiences but been driven by their own principles. They’re responsible and they’re funny. Both those things are important. Sometimes, though, comedy is about being irresponsible, or being boring. Like you’re boring for a but then funny for effect OH NO I AM GIVING AWAY SECRETS.

If you’ve not been to a Wellington comedy gig for a while (or ever), then Eamonn Marra, Honey Carmody, James Jobe, Rosie Cann, Jim Stanton and Daniel John Smith are like oh my god sorry I just typed out their names and seriously this is such a good line-up. What was I – yes, OK yep, these are the acts to persuade you that local comedy is worth your time (and your money, but I’m hardly asking you for any). Hey, bonus! If you want to hang around afterwards, DJ Sci FX is going to continue spinning till they kick us out.

Comedy in Wellington is as healthy as it has ever been. That is, comedy in Wellington is as good as it has ever been. Moon is the type of bar I wish Newtown had had when I moved there about ten years ago, and I’m going to put on the type of comedy night I wish I’d seen then. If you’re able to come along, please try. I think you’ll enjoy it.


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