In the Hot Seat: Kwame Asante

3 Aug

Photograph of Kwame AsanteClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

A guy on a unicycle juggling fire in the rain!

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

A conversation me and some mates had in a pub, where we were trying to decide on which animal would make the best spirit animal. We eventually decided on a parrot, because of its ability to repeat things that have just been said. This means that it would say no to your no’s and yes to your yes’s.

Friend – ‘Hey Kwame, would you like another drink?’

Me – ‘No’

Parrot – ‘NO!’

Me – ‘…yes?’

Parrot- ‘YES!’

The idea of a party parrot had me in stitches (maybe you had to be there…)

Tell us about this year’s show.

This year’s show covers what has been a very eventful few years in my life. Finishing medical school in London, moving away from my family home, and living and working full time as an NHS doctor up in Birmingham. It’s been exciting and challenging, with many funny stories and observations along the way. I’ve used these to create a smart, laid-back and uplifting stand-up comedy hour, which I’m hoping will turn a lot of heads this festival!

Who do you want to see this year?

I’m really keen to see Daphne (Pleasance Courtyard) this year! They’ve got a good buzz around them, and I’ve seen one of their shorter sets down in Birmingham, but I keep missing their full length Edinburgh Fringe shows due to schedule clashes and sold out tickets. But I’ve bought my ticket for this year nice and early, and am now counting down the days!

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

I’ve been coming up to the Fringe pretty much every year since 2011, and the one place I visit every year is Mosque Kitchen. When money is low and self-neglect is high, I always turn to Mosque Kitchen for a reasonably priced, hot meal with lots of greens!

What is your getting ready music?

Amazing by Kanye West and Young Jeezy. The opening lyrics perfectly captures the pre-show vibe backstage; the combination of nerves and excitement. And the beat gets me into a performance frame of mind. It’s a track from a better time. I miss the old Kanye…

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


What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

‘You’re quite sexy until you open your mouth.’

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

When I was a child, my mum worked as a midwife. She did a lot of night shifts and so had to sleep a lot during the daytime. This meant that me and my brother had free reign to watch pretty much whatever we wanted on TV while she was asleep! One of my FAVOURITE inappropriate TV shows was The Simpsons. Inappropriate in the sense that a lot of the jokes weren’t aimed at 8 year olds (something I appreciate more now, watching back through old clips). One of my favourite Homer Simpson quotes is ‘OWWW. I have three kids and no money! Why can’t I have no kids and three money?!’

What should Donald Trump know?

6.45pm, Bunker 2, Pleasance Courtyard. He gets a special mention in my show that I know he’d love to be there for. AMAZING.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn’t approve of?

Everything! The money spent. The food and drink consumed. The hours not slept. The miles stumbled late night. But the Fringe really is one of my favourite places in the world, and my parents are slowly coming round to how much it means to me! I’ll give it a bit before I invite them up though. I have enough to worry about during my debut year, without my mum constantly complaining about the hills…

Catch Kwame Asante: Open Arms at 6.45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August

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