Computer Aided Comedy

Computers help us in every area of our lives and yet adoption for the purposes of performance has been relatively slow. This is a set of articles discussing comedy using computers, people who currently use computers on stage and some responses to my questions to them.

I'm a firm believer that computers can be a useful tool in helping enrich and improve the performance experience. Partly this is to encourage other comedians to take the plunge and take a computer on stage.

Partly I'm doing this for my own selfish needs - I'm currently going through a development cycle with version 2 of the Gig-A-Tron system so I'm interested in other comedian's experiences with computers and any tips they might have for taking a computer on stage. This will shortly be updated to include a section on each comedian I've had a response from about how they use their computer on stage.

Comedian Description
Tom Binns (aka Ivan Brackenbury) Tom performs a DJ character act and uses his computer to play sound bites and music.
Kurt Braunohler Not an act I'm familiar with - but I'm told he uses an iPad on stage.
Dave Gorman One of the best known users of a computer on stage, Dave has used computers for visual aids when telling stories in the past for a number of shows (Googlewack Adventure, Are You Dave Gorman?, Better World etc).
Owen Niblock (me) I take an AI comedian on stage which tells jokes and put-downs from a database.
Dean Love Recently (May 2011) started using a computer on stage when MCing his gig The Reckless Moment in Leamington.
Howard Read Howard performs with an animated sidekick (Little Howard) in his Big Howard, Little Howard shows.
John Robertson Did a show at Ed Fringe 2012 called "The Dark Room" taking the concept of a text adventure and playing it out with the audience deciding what to do. Larger description to follow shortly & possibly an interview if I can get in touch with him.
Terry Saunders Has previously used computers in his shows and is currently (I believe) using an iPad on stage.
David Trent David uses his computer to display videos and animation, using repetition and rhythm to enhance the laughter. Nominated for the Perrier Newcomer Award in 2012 (it's still called the Perrier - deal with it).
Mark Watson Mark often uses a computer to type messages to the audience as they come in to take their seats.

 If you know anyone using a computer on stage who isn't on this list - please let me know (or point them in my direction). Contact details are here.