In the Hot Seat: Charlie Baker

25 Jul

Photograph of Charlie Baker

Punchline favourite Charlie Baker returns with another cracker of a show

Close your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

I first performed at the festival as an 11 year old and it had a major effect on me. I did a show at The George Square Theatre and if I close my eyes I see wet cobbles in front with showbiz red and white lights reflecting off them. By coincidence this year my show is at The Omnitorium next to the GST. Life is both strange and wonderful.

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

My wife doing an impression of me when I’d just mistakenly fallen out with someone in a shop. The impression was of me backtracking realising I was wrong.

Tell us about this year’s show.

It’s a very funny one man stand up comedy show/ juke box musical of the last two years of my life. A love letter to my family and 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s pop music, a celebration of nostalgia. Also tap dancing and terrible trumpet.

Who do you want to see this year?

Camille O’Sullivan who I gigged with for ten minutes five years ago and she blew me away. John Robins is always very funny. Tom Allen has his best hour ever this year Suzi Ruffell has become a very different very funny comedy voice. Rosie Jones is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met so I’m looking forward to her show. Those Chinese drummers are always good for clearing a hangover. Spencer Jones is incredible. The act that’s made me laugh the most this year is Pat Cahill. He’s special.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

A big old walk around the venues the day before the first show. Drinking it all in.

What is your getting ready music?

As my shows  often have music in them I don’t listen to too much to get ready. I try and find a place of internal calm and stay there during during the festival so I find myself listening to lots of folk and singer songwriters. Joni Mitchell is never off the playlist for four weeks.

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

I had an idea of a joke this year where a dog comes on and bites me but having tried puppets lighting/sound effects/ my son dressed up I  haven’t been able to work out how to do it successfully. So a good guest would have been a talented celebrity dog off Britain’s Got Talent. Unfortunately the joke has been cut due to being unexpectedly unfunny. I’m pleased I didn’t hire the celebrity dog.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had? 

I often get called an ‘All rounder’ normally by people trying to dilute my stand up credentials from my hard graft in comedy clubs. The fact that I sing dance and play has no bearing on the fact that I am a stand up comedian. Cut me and I bleed a tight 20.

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

Vic and Bob. Harry Enfield, The Krankies, Cannon and Ball, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue taped off the radio, Tommy Cooper, Max Miller.

What should Donald Trump know?

When to admit you’re out of your depth.

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

I’m a grown ass man. I no longer look for or need my parents’ approval.

Catch Charlie Baker: The Hit Polisher at 8pm at the Assembly George Square Theatre throughout August

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