I imagine a dilemma for any one-liner comedian is how to write an hour of material that:
a) is of consistent quality
b) won’t give the audience joke fatigue
c) hits a rhythm but doesn’t become monotonous.
One way to do this is to introduce a narrative to your jokes. Something Saskia Preston has done in her show Ninety-Five.
The last time I saw Preston was in the 2013 Funny Women Awards final, where she stood out from the rest stalking the stage, flicking her hair and delivering joke after joke at a furious pace. Now she is more sedate, which adds a more personable air to her act.
Preston shares that she has a motorbike which her mum is very worried about her crashing. Cue, of course, a collision with a BMW. A mad, dreamlike narrative begins with lots of quirky lines and amusing punchlines. You don’t need to see Preston’s credits to tell she is a talented writer.
The trouble is that whilst this is imaginative, funny and clever, because of the throwaway nature of the one-liner, Preston’s audience has no idea what details to remember and what was ‘just a joke’. This is at the cost of her finish, which relies on you remembering an anecdote at the beginning of the show.
Saskia Preston: Ninety-Five is at the Underbelly, Daisy at 13:50 until 25th August. For tickets and more information click here!
There’s still time to nominate a women-led show for the 2019 Funny Women Awards’ Best Show Category! The show with the most nominations will be picked! Nominate a show you have seen or your own show by 31st August here!