are renowned for being able to ad lib for most of a stand up show.
Do you look to the audience for inspiration?
not a big fan of shows that are just sort of reading off a script.
I have an idea of what I want to talk about.
somebody says something or catches my eye and theyre interesting,
Ill kind of like talk to them and make friends. Whatever
happens there becomes one of the threads that weaves through the
you ever encountered an audience that just weren't interesting?
a gig in South Africa in a theatre in Cape Town and they were probably
the most sort of reserved crowd. They just werent up for it.
think its 'cos they dont have any history of stand-up
comedy and it was a bit kind of weird for them, yknow. They
were just sat there going "oh this isnt theatre."
did you do with that audience?
on the side of the stage because I was on there going "Right
then, la da da..." I was talking to this woman and she was
just ignoring me and I was going "Im talking to you."
She just wouldnt make eye contact with me.
stood right in front of her and said "Im saying hello,
Im not meaning you any harm," and she still wouldnt
make contact so I went to talk to somebody else - nothing.
I went to talk to just looked away, like Id committed some
sort of hideous crime. So I sort of sat on the edge of the stage
and talked about the fact that they were basically being a bunch
of ****s and the laughter came from that. By the end of the night
everyone was rolling about.
sound like a naturally friendly bloke whos interested in people.
Are you like that in real life or do you go to the other extreme?
a naturally friendly person but I have a bit of a snapping point
if I think people are taking liberties.
quite like getting into conversation with random strangers, but
I also do like disappearing into my own head and I do get quite
annoyed if Im just trying to daydream a bit and its
you get up and tell them? Does the comedian persona take over?
very much so. Yknow if youre sitting in a nice quite
bar and somebody puts on the jukebox and then turns it up really
loud? That just drives me mad.
what are we going to see from you in the future? A show called 'mind
your own business and speak quietly'?
be considerate to others would be the thing. Id quite like
to fly a kite in the city centre, but I dont.
going to be your next move?
soon as it finishes Ive got a day off, then I go to Australia
and New Zealand. Then Fiji is my next. Then Im going to be
doing various gigs around the place in the summer.
doing Regents Park and playing the outdoor gigs there - you know
where they usually do the Shakspeare. Then off to the Edinburgh
festival and the West End and then touring again.
did actually study performing arts didnt you. Given that your
comedy is very natural and improvised, do you think its something
that you can learn?
I dont think you can, youve either got it in you or
you havent. That course that I did was the equivalent of an
A Level, it was a 6th form college. And that was quite interesting.
when I did that - I went to my careers teacher and said "I
want to be a comedian" and the teacher said "okay then,
why dont you go to college and do a performing arts course.
wasnt till I got there that I just sort of realised they were
teaching all the different names for curtains, what was stage right
and stage left and stuff.
in terms of it having any effect on the standup - no. You can go
on a course and somebody can tell you to hold the mic like this.
Somebody can tell you the way plays work and it doesnt make
you a great actor. Youre either funny or youre not.
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