Oscar Wilde famously gave one of his characters the line that "the only thing in the world worse than being talked about is not being talked about". What if the only thing worse than being laughed at was not being laughed at? That's the prospect I faced when, in a moment of madness, or perhaps in an attempt to stave off the onset of senile dementia, I signed up to do a spot as a stand-up comedian.

I was belatedly accepting a challenge issued more than 20 years ago by Paul Horan, one of the prime movers in the establishment

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