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The Karaoke Expansion

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So karaoke has been around in the UK for quite a while now. Like most people, I've done my share of tipsily emoting to You're So Vain or Smells Like Teen Spirit while my friends watched politely and waited for their turn. (I can't sing, and have not completely come to terms with this fact. My friends can sing, so perhaps I should find some new friends to do karaoke with.)

And there have been some developments in the area: for example, there's Rock Club London, a popular pub night where you play Rock Club with drums and guitars as well as vocals, thus giving you bonus opportunities to enjoyably embarrass yourself in front of strangers.

There's also a club called Karaoke-Cokey in London, apparently, although in my head this is an activity that should simply consist of someone doing karaoke while everyone else does the Hokey-Cokey around them.

But karaoke is a concept that deserves to be expanded beyond mere singing. For example, what about stand-up comedy? You don't even need a backing track. Just memorise or transcribe a routine by your favourite stand-up comedian or sketch show, and throw a Comeoke (commee-oaky) party. It should be fascinating to discover what jokes still work when Eddie Izzard or Stewart Lee aren't telling them, much in the same way that it's fascinating to realise that the person singing I Will Survive at a karaoke party has not fully thought through the high notes. You might need a rule where if you forget the punch line three times in a row, people are allowed to throw fruit. But overall, it should be great: basically like being in a tribute band without needing to play any instruments (unless your stand-up routine of choice is by a musical comic such as Bill Bailey or Tim Minchin, in which case you brought it on yourself, frankly.)

There's more. How about Bookaoke? Yes, this does simply mean picking a passage from a favourite book and reading it aloud, but don't knock it: that's what the Victorian middle classes did practically every night for entertainment, and they ruled most of the known world.

Or Dramaoke. I know people who do this, although mysteriously they don't call it that: they get together for weekends and perform Shakespeare plays, having assigned the parts in advance. Tellyoke and Movieoke would work well, too, especially with props - we're more or less getting into LARP territory here, but that's fine. And Artaoke - where people get together to paint copies of famous pictures - is what many art classes do anyway. All that's missing is the branding.

Those who wish to take this to extremes, and why wouldn't you, should try Lifeaoke. Simply spend a day or so living the life of someone famous whom you admire. If you pick someone who uses Twitter a lot, you should be able to get plenty of details about what they're up to, so copying them will be easy. Enlist friends to play the roles of their more famous friends, buy a wig, and you're sorted.

We won't talk about Deathaoke. Those people are just weird.

 
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