In the Hot Seat: Tez Ilyas

22 Jul

Photograph of Tez IlyasClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

Ooh, I see the Pleasance Courtyard, I see the castle, I see Arthur’s Seat and clouds and flyerers and jugglers on the Royal Mile and the Mosque Kitchen and hordes of confused tourists. I love it.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

My 7 yo nephew telling me jokes. My nieces and nephews give me life man. This was his joke: ‘Why did the beard fall on the hat? Because the baby dropped the beard.’ Loooooool.

Tell us about this year’s show.

My new show, Teztify, is about me ‘teztifying’ against the assumptions that people have about me. From the trivial to the more serious, all with a subtext of up-to-date political discourse obvs.

Who do you want to see this year?

Oh so many people: Dane Baptiste, Kae Kurd, Sophie Willan, Twayna Mayne, Aatif Nawaz, Sara Pascoe, Eshaan Akbar, Joe Sutherland, Aditi Mittal. So many!

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Yup: get up late, have a bagel, see a show, shower and get changed, go to the mosque and pray, do my show, meet friends for dinner, go to one of the bars til too late, grab a Palmyra’s on the way home, go home, sleep. Repeat.

What is your getting ready music?

Public Enemy’s Harder Than You Think is my jam. Gets me right in the mood to take on the world.

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

Alive or dead? Muhammad Ali. Although he’d completely steal the show, but the absolute honour of it!

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

‘You know… you’re really funny for an Asian.’ Gee thanks.

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

My cousins. Growing up in Blackburn meant I was exposed to British Asian Northern humour and it’s so side-splittingly hilarious, it genuinely deserves its own sitcom or sketch show.

What should Donald Trump know?

That the world has changed and we will not go down without a fight. These freedoms ain’t going easy mate.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

Er… Let’s keep it PG yeah? Sleeping in til the afternoon every day and eating out every night. Oh and running through the fields of wheat! Tut tut…

Catch Tez Ilyas: Teztify at 8.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August

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