Picky Moments

On Saturday night I went to see the glorious Julian Clary at the Alex Theatre in Birmingham (by the way, to be blunt, that theatre is a shithole – get it sorted guys, it needing renovating 20 years ago).

The aim of JC’s current Position Vacant – Apply Within tour, he says, is to find a husband as his eight-year relationship with “Rolf” (no idea if that is the ex’s real name) has recently come to an end.  For virtually the whole of the second half he dragged nine men up on stage – some gay, some straight, some who appeared to be plain terrified – for a game in the style of his hilarious early 90s game show Sticky Moments, with the object of weeding out a future “husband” by asking them a series of questions and setting them silly practical challenges.

I have to admit I much prefer Alan Carr these days.  Alan is my favourite comedian.  I still love Julian to bits, but wonder whether his act feels a bit dated now.  I like to think we have moved on considerably since the days when his early Channel 4 innuendoes seemed so outrageous.

The fact that Alan Carr is totally absorbed into the mainstream rather than being on the fringes of entertainment shows me how far society has progressed.  Alan’s monologues are about everyday life; he simply happens to be gay.  His (predominantly hetero) audience just think “Oh, that’s a gay man telling jokes about call centres.”  It isn’t “Ooh, there’s a gay man – what a novelty!!”  He doesn’t need to talk about fisting to gain attention.  At times I felt Julian was throwing words like that into the dialogue to make it interesting.  It felt a little bit – dare I say it – desperate.

Julian’s gaydar can’t be too strong either, as he thought one of the men he dragged up on stage was straight but he was actually gay!  He asked this guy, Chris, who he was with and Chris replied “My fiancé.”  So Julian assumed it was a female, went through his customary routine of asking “So you live together but aren’t married?” and hissing “’Slag” at this supposed woman in the audience – then asked Chris how long he had “been with her,” only for Chris to correct him and say “Him!”  This drew a huge roar from the crowd.  I mean, even I suspected Chris was gay!  By automatically assuming this man’s fiancé(e) was female, Julian seemed a touch behind the times.

Julian, if you’re reading this (unlikely, I concede), I still love you!!  Just offering my four penneth.