Tom Taylor’s column - The moments that made me

Rob Rouse.
Rob Rouse.

Room for a Laugh column: The world of Tom Taylor, promoter of Harrogate’s Sitting Room comedy club and finalist in So You Think You’re Funny contest at Edinburgh Fringe 2013

I have made it as a comedian. I don’t think I am an arrogant or boastful man but in almost three years of performing stand-up I have never felt so confident of having made it.

There have been notable moments along the congested, pothole strewn path to comedy success:

Being refused a chair to sit on during my set unless I paid for it as it could be sold to an audience member.

Being asked to stop performing at a charity gig and instead host a quiz as “people don’t seem very interested in the comedy.”

Being propositioned onstage by a woman who had appeared on the Apprentice.

I’ve also had some more traditional highlights:

Reaching the final of So You Think You’re Funny? in Edinburgh and joining a prestigious list of ‘also-rans’ having made no impression on the judges.

Being reviewed by the Evening Standard’s Bruce Dessau: “Tom Taylor immediately caught my eye mainly because when he sat down with his portable keyboard I assumed he was a David O’Doherty tribute act” which can easily be reproduced on posters as “Tom Taylor immediately caught my eye.”

Being propositioned onstage by a woman who had appeared on the Apprentice

But all these barnstorming successes pale into the most insignificant insignificances when matched against the tweet I received last weekend: “@tomtails saw u at the royal in scunthorpe last night, what a load of rubbish, hope u got some funny material in your act…”

Readers, please take a moment for this to settle in and/or calm down.

Maybe have a pint of Lapsang Souchong or press some hot stones into your back.

That’s right! My comedy stylings, my silly songs, my “one joke but at least it’s a good one” (Bruce Dessau) have so disgusted, so outraged someone that they have been forced to remember my name (which wasn’t on the flyer), actively seek me out on Twitter and pass on their arrant disappointment with my performance.

Additionally, my succinct social media reviewer has never – and I have read every one of his tweets – tweeted about comedy or tweeted at comedians before. Instead his output has been limited, nay, dedicated purely to tweeting grievances regarding his football team to BBC Sport or retweeting unfortunately timed photos of women bending over things whilst in the process of getting dressed.

And yet, and yet, this man went out of his way to let me know that at the Royal Hotel, Scunthorpe on Friday, April 11 I stole 15 minutes of his life with a load of rubbish.

Finally I have made a mark. At long last I have made an impression. I am now a comedian.

l Sitting Room Comedy Club returns to the St George Hotel, Harrogate on Wednesday, May 14 with a triple headline special featuring TV regulars Zoe Lyons, Rob Rouse and Gary Delaney plus Katie Mulgrew as compère.

Tom Taylor tweets at @tomtails.