Any comedian who arrives at The Stand Comedy Club without a support act is asking for trouble. It is an intimidating place for performers.
The intimate nature of the venue frightens comics as their jokes do not linger in the air of an arena, they reach the audience instantly. Hecklers rule the roost, and any poor joke will be quickly capitalised on.
Yet dead-on the 8.30 start-time, Stephen K Amos jumps up on stage declaring: “I would usually bring along a support act, but tonight it’s just all me.”
This is a man who exudes confidence, and with good reason. Any heckler soon becomes the heckled as Amos responds in kind. Amos owns the room, and he knows it.
Few comedians are able to wield language quite as powerfully as Amos and, before the audience knows it, his subtle used of words has left them in fits of laughter.
With a clever combination of audience interaction, self-deprecating comedy and risqué jokes Amos discusses the role of “The Spokesman” in society.
One second it is delicate and restrained humour and the next it is punch-you-in-the-face comedy.
He moves seamlessly from considering Barack Obama’s spokesperson credentials, to explaining how George Foreman grills are useful in First Class train carriages, and then onto why the royal family are “the one family who most certainly should appear on Jeremy Kyle”.
The climax of the show even sees a spectator, in this case my companion for the evening, hauled onto stage and thrust into the limelight but still everyone’s attention is on Amos. His presence dominates the stage even when he isn’t the one talking.
“This is why there’s no support act,” I find myself thinking, assuming the show to be over.
And with that he launches straight back into risqué joke after risqué joke to round off the night. You see with Amos nothing is off limits, and yet no-one seems offended. It is not what he says, but how he delivers it.
I mean after all, he is The Spokesman.