We’re back baby! Oh we have missed asking our favourite comedians our burning questions! Kicking off our 2022 questions is Amy Matthews:
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
A toss-up between Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers and Bertie from Tuca & Bertie. Both anxious queens.
Describe your ideal front row audience member?
A mixed-gender group of about 6 people or an ever-so-slightly mad older couple. Can’t even explain why, they’re just the two demographics that seem to have the nicest time.
Which comedy routines have you watched until you know them by heart?
When I was about 12 I could have answered that with the entirety of Lee Evans’ XL show. I don’t know what my answer would be today. I’m more susceptible to co-opting quotes or cadences from comedy tv shows than I am able to recite stand-up routines. I absolutely tore through ‘Stath Lets Flats’ and my internal monologue had a Greek-Cypriot accent for about three months.
What did you miss most about comedy in the last two years? What do you value more now because of it?
Aside from the obvious – the laughing together in a live setting – I value time in greenrooms much more. There’s something really nice about turning up in a strange city, walking backstage and there being a combination of familiar faces and new colleagues. And the new colleagues, (nine times out of ten), end up being new friends of some description. You experience an accelerated sense of kinship because you share this weird and wonderful job. Comics hanging out in a pub after a show look like the most bizarre mish-mash of folk. You can feel eyes on you wondering ‘how do these people know each other?’. We’re like the human equivalent of furniture in a hipster café – like, why are a chesterfield, a bar stool and a deck chair around the same table? The answer to both questions is that they all happened to be available in that area for a nominal fee.
Which podcast(s) can you not live without?
I go in phases with what I listen to, but at the moment it’s ‘Comfort Eating with Grace Dent’ – I love her and I love food and it’s got both.
What is comedy’s greatest benefit for the world?
Providing a space for shared experience. I know how much I love it when a comic has material about something that I thought quite particular to my own experience. Sharing that with a stranger – and surrounding strangers – is a little slice of magic. Also, silliness is underrated. In a culture of constant productivity and hustle and people trying to top-trump each other with their own idea of what cleverness looks like, to do or consume anything just for the sake of its inherent silliness is pretty radical and cool.
Which shows do you have a great feeling about at this year’s Fringe?
Amelia Bayler is doing a greatest hits of musical comedy bangers and her energy is a completely escapist tonic. She’s punk AF, I love her. Oliver Coleman is back from Australia with his show, ‘Sublime’ and I cannot wait to see him – he’s one of the most naturally funny and imaginative people I’ve ever known. Also, I saw a work in progress version of Rob Kemp’s ‘Agenda’ last year and it was phenomenal so I’ll definitely be going to see that in its finished form. It made me laugh so much that I didn’t mind one bit that the ending made me sob into my little can of coke and I had to go and sit down on a step for a bit.
Anything else you want to tell us?
I’ll be doing my show at Monkey Barrel at 2.35pm for the Fringe! I think you’ll really like it. The previews have been a lot of fun. It’s all about how external gazes shape how we act and feel about ourselves, which sounds a bit serious but there’s lots of very daft bits in it too. There’s a retelling of the plot of Amelie that you and friends and your enemies will really enjoy.
2.35pm | Monkey Barrel (Carnivore) | 4-28 August (not 15)