Stand-up Philosophy was brilliant. It was funny. Genuinely funny. Not ‘I’m-laughing-because-I-know-I-ought-to’ funny, but actually, honestly funny. Wasn’t expecting that from something with the word ‘Philosophy’ in the title. Secondly, and equally importantly, it was interesting. Genuinely interesting. Not just, ‘oh, fancy that’, but the kind of interesting you end up talking about on the way to the pub thereafter. I didn’t expect that from anything with ‘stand-up’ in the title.
This evening was hosted in the Natural History Museum after closing time. Though the event actually took place in a lecture theatre, you could also wander around a little in that wonderful building without the crowd. Oh, and they had set up a bar, which always helps.
The event itself consists of a warm-up compère (funny, competent, professional) introducing four acts, in turn either a comedian or a scientist/philosopher. After each act there was time for audience questions, silly or genuine, and in the interval, a chance to get more beer.
Tonight, however, there was not that much difference between the comedians and the philosophers - in a good way. The comedians were funny, but also interesting and informative. The philosophers were interesting and informative, but also genuinely funny. Though everyone was great, a special shout-out for me has to go to Professor Woodward, geneticist and worm-person, who blew us all away with mad facts (did you know that four-fifths of the animals on earth are nematode worms?) and amusing quips (‘In the worm world, it’s all sex and poo’). Like Dr Mat Winning, Alice Bell and Ryan Dolton, Prof. Woodard was both funny and fascinating.
The evening was packed out, and for good reason. I’ve just tried to buy tickets to the next show, and they are sold out too (though you might be able to get tickets at the door… ask Facebook). If you do get a chance to go, I urge you to do so. I know I will.