Meeting mega-fans after shows can be awkward.
Why would anyone want to get into stand-up comedy? It's a question that's often asked by people for whom standing onstage telling jokes to an audience sounds like a fate worse than falling off a cliff with a caravan tied round your ankle. Even folks in genuinely dangerous jobs will tell comedians that they're brave, and they're not wrong. But for career comics there are myriad motivations, some of them more profound than others.
For example, there's a particularly interesting early edition of a popular comedy podcast in which a well-known US stand-up (who's about to become globally famous, over the next couple of years) admits to the comedian who hosts it that a big part of his motivation for making it in the business was meeting comedy-loving ladies, after shows. It certainly is a good way of getting out of the house and meeting people.
Heading back to their home, however, is a risky business. Rolling the dice and taking a chance on some random person's place could lead to all sorts of awkwardness, for a comedy Casanova: step through the door and they might well wish they'd just gone back to the hotel, maybe taken a spin on the slots game site MrCasinova.com, and had an early night.
The mind does tend to race back to the classic sitcom I'm Alan Partridge, and two encounters that left him with a red face. Or a sweet face, in the one where he hooked up with flirty receptionist Jill - played by Julia Deakin, aka Marsha from Spaced: after a mood-setting chat about the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre he wound up in some distress, and in some chocolate mousse. Then he sacked her over the radio.
Worse, though, was the one where he and the writers of Father Ted - playing Irish producers - went back to the house of a fan who turned out to be an unhinged obsessive. That scene might well be based on a real-life incident that happened to the stand-up Stewart Lee, who met some students after a gig, went back to their place to carry on the festivities and discovered a mini shrine to himself. Or a few posters, anyway.
And according to Lee, one of the students in question was actually Christian O'Connell, who went on to become a much more popular radio DJ than Partridge, ironically (he eventually left his big Absolute Radio show two years ago, emigrated to Australia, and has won a big audience over there too now).
Indeed, O'Connell did a fair bit of stand-up as well, including several full Edinburgh runs - the show You've Ruined my Morning, and Other Fan Mail delved deeply into his radio work - but did any big fans try to invite him back after those gigs? That is the question.
Of course, we're assuming here that winding up in the house of a superfan would be a bit disturbing, probably slightly creepy, all those posters of yourself and general over-the-top hero worship. But comedians are a rare breed. Let's face it, they'd absolutely love it. It's an anecdote if nothing else.