I stumbled through my first three jokes and one of my new jokes did not get as big of a laugh as it has been getting. The stumbling and stuttering was odd. I can't remember the last time that's happened and it got in my head. When I went back to watch the video, I could see myself become physically jarred after the first stutter. It looked like I had gotten punched in the stomach. Despite the fumbling, the jokes still got laughs. I caught my rhythm about half-way through my set and got a few nice pops and an applause break. However, it got awkward again during my second to last joke...
The joke before my closer was a hilarious romp about a strange trip to Subway (eat fresh) that ended with a reference to spousal abuse. The bit killed but after the "clapter", a guy in the front row said "It's so true!" (in response to the spousal abuse reference). I responded by laughing and asking him if he beats his wife. An awkward moment passed and the guy in question raised the hand of the gentleman sitting next to him (fingers locked and all) to signify that the two men were gay.
This was my "Kaiser Soze" moment. The fact that two well dressed were sitting next to each other (very closely) and holding hands now made sense. The flamboyant guys got a huge laugh from their response. I responded by saying "so, I'll ask again.... do you beat your wife?" which got a laugh.
We'll call that round a draw... but it was an awkward moment and I dug the hole deeper by explaining what happened to the people in the back that had no idea what was going on. The train had definitely gone off the rails but I feel like I had them by the end of my closer.
Overall, this set was much more work than it should have been. Too much sweat, stuttering and sputtering for eleven minutes in front of an overly receptive and friendly crowd. However, I take pride in still getting laughs and making it to the finish line. Something I don't think I could have done a year ago.