Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Cheap laughs? Absolutely!

It’s been almost a year now since I did my very first stand up comedy gig at the ripe old age of 59 in a pub in Leytonstone, East London. Since then, I’ve racked up sixty or so gigs mainly in similar “open mike” venues around London.

During these eleven months or so, chances are that some of you reading this have shelled out to go and see a big comedy name at a major venue. I’m pretty certain you’ll have had a good time and happily parted with the many tens of pounds for a ticket – even if you were up in the gods and had to see your favourite comedian on a big screen.

I think I can say that, during this same period, I haven’t laughed so much in my life. Yet, not one of the acts I’ve seen perform on the same bill as me at gigs has been a major name.  At times, some have died on their feet, but most have been very good, some absolutely brilliant. There have been evenings when my sides have been virtually splitting from start to finish as one hilarious act follows another.

In the vast majority of cases, this hasn’t cost audience members a single penny in entry fees.

We are so easily drawn towards seeing those big names, whether in comedy, music or other artistic endeavours. I don’t resent that, as most have worked their butts off for years to reach such dizzy heights. However, it has been glorious to discover such a rich seam of talent in London’s pubs and clubs who perform for free on the open mike circuit.

One can have a hugely entertaining evening out for next to nothing (not including bar drinks of course!) and laugh just as much as you might at a McIntyre or Izzard gig.

I’m sure some of those comedy acts I’ve played alongside will eventually reach the top and people will flock to see them in those big venues. I’m sure their success will be well deserved but, for me, there’s nothing quite like the intimacy and rawness of a small, crowded room full of people falling about with laughter. I’ve even been known to make ‘em laugh myself from time to time in the past eleven months!

And, should I ever reach those dizzy heights myself,  please, please, please forget you read this and buy a ticket for my shows at the 02 or Apollo – I’ll probably be a creaky  septagenarian by then and  my pension arrangements ain’t the greatest!

For details of my forthcoming gigs, pop me an email to:  and I’ll get straight back to you with dates.

One Response to “Cheap laughs? Absolutely!”

  1. Love it Chris – keep making me smile.
    By the way, putting the word “cheap” in the title put your email into my spam folder. Well, that’s worth a little laugh in itself!
    Best fro a great 2016 and looking froward to Friday.

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