My Life as a Boob

Adventures in comedy, child-rearing and combinations thereof.

Chess and comedy: who knew? May 25, 2009

Filed under: comedy — jennywynter @ 4:01 am
Tags: , ,

So I was talking comedy to Mister Boob today, or more specifically, talking about the bad blood that can arise between comics upon watching somebody else climb the ranks a little faster than they believe said comic deserves.

“Hmm,” mused Mister Boob. “Well, you know, it’s like my chess game I’ve got going right now. Early on in the game the other guy made a stupid mistake and left a piece unguarded, so I took it. And for a little while there it looked like I was dominating. But now it looks like that piece getting taken has actually worked out to his advantage, even though he never meant for that to happen.”

Did I mention my hubby’s a complete and utter chess geek? And that he is prone to wander for hours on philosophical tangents that leave my mind either reeling or escaping to random daydreams involving popular culture and whipped cream?

Well, he is. And he is. Evidently.

“Anyway,” he said, speeding up towards his conclusion so as to stop me from escaping to a happy place, “my point is that a small twist of luck went his way, which makes it really tempting to feel bitter and just blame everything on his good luck, but what you’ve gotta remember is that he could only capitalise on his luck because of the good things he’d done earlier.”

“In other words, he must have something going for him to have gotten this far!”

And there you have it.

Checkmate.

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4 Responses to “Chess and comedy: who knew?”

  1. Dom Romeo Says:

    I remember reading an interview with Alexei Sayle after he turned his back on stand-up for writing, and he admitted how he used to resent Ben Elton’s success, until he realised there was enough fame for everyone, and that he really ought to be using that energy to make his own work better.

    I can’t help but agree, having learnt from experience that it’s much better for health, sanity and people’s opinion of you to find a way to be truly happy with other people’s success, to not waste energy being jealous or resentful when it can be better spent making your own work better, and realising that opportunities come all the time; people who get ahead recognised the opportunities and had their sh*t together enough to make the most of those opportunites when they came.

    So I spend more time trying to be organised and looking for those opportunities than I do bitching and resenting, nowadays.

  2. jennywynter Says:

    So wonderful! It’s so great (and refreshing) to hear that. Thank you!

    I agree wholeheartedly; I’m quickly realising how easy it is to become bitter in this industry (or any, perhaps, only this is the one in which I’ve chosen to carve my niche) bemoaning the success of others, rather than focusing on becoming better yourself.

    My great friend Chris Daniel (who very sadly, is no longer with us) was such a shining light in the comedy world to me, in that he would enter into none of that competitive crap and just seemed to genuinely share in the joy of others’ successes. I felt really inspired by him then – and probably even moreso now – to strive for that same attitude.

    Then at least, no matter what your own circumstances, you can be assured of feeling happier!

  3. Jody Says:

    It’s a hard lesson to learn! I used to be consumed with envy over a certain few comics who’d supported me and are now on their way to mega fame. Then I realised how much more work they put in than me. Plus they are fucking funny, which helps too. I lack the discipline!

    Now I’ve kinda found my level – I’m only performing a few times a year and running niche events but I love them, it’s a joy, they sell out, I make money and give back to the community…and I’m not really wanting to make it huge anymore and I’m okay with that. Comedy is just a part of a very full life and I don’t feel the need to compete anymore…

  4. […] recent conversation in the comments thread got me thinking about an old post I wrote on the topic of jealousy and bitterness over other people’s […]


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