What to do on a mundane Monday when you have a date scheduled?
Den and I have been struggling to find time to date each other lately. The only slot we could fit in for the last few weeks was a Monday night – hardly a party time. We’d spent a fair bit of time working and socialising together, so it wasn’t like we hadn’t seen each other… which of course means there’s not much to say when you get to date each other finally.
Cue distraction for date night.
Sitting across the table from each other in a restaurant would have to wait for another time.
I love date nights like this – you get to do something fun, or learn something new, or just plain laugh.
We headed to Melbourne’s iconic Comedy @ Spleen Bar. This is a high-octane open mic night for comedians. Entry is by gold coin donation.
Get in at least half an hour early – the place will fill up, believe me. I thought we’d really overdone it by arriving at 8pm and we were the first there, but 10 minutes later it was chockers with standing room only at the back.
Spleen is a bit of a dive bar, but they do offer cheap drinks ($10 cocktails, happy hour prices on the beers) along with the (practically) free comedy. And it’s a great night out.
While the poster didn’t bill any big names we knew from the comedy scene, there was the promise that we could possibly expect some special guests for the night. All very vague, but man did it pay off for us.
The MC was great and the comics were a good mix of newbies to the scene and some seasoned pros that did a good job of getting the crowd going. The newer-to-the-scene comedians weren’t always on the mark for getting laughs, but the crowd was supportive enough to love them anyway.
The real treat came with the first special guest for the evening – and one of my favourite local comedians, Tom Gleeson.
While the spots are usually about five minutes, they give the real superstars a long leash and let them go nuts… and no one minds at all, funnily enough.
Tom was followed up by Josh Thomas and then at the end of the night Dave Thornton. Also excellent comedians, all trying out new stuff on us – I suspect ahead of the Melbourne Comedy Festival at the start of next year. In fact, I’d wager you’ll get a few more big names over the next few weeks as they refine their new material to include in their show.
We really were lucky to get so many quality comedians – completely unexpected and with completely hilarious results.
Loved it. If you live in Melbourne, get down there! If you live elsewhere, find your own cheap open mic night. The laughter is great, and even if you don’t get to chat to your partner much, just sitting together and getting all those endorphins going is great for you both.
Drop ins at Spleen over the last 12 months have included Wil Anderson, Charlie Pickering and Adam Hills, among many others.
Here’s one of my favourite Tom Gleeson bits from a couple of years ago: