How the devil are you, Stuart McPherson?

Stuart McPherson

Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?

Tina from Bob’s Burgers. Anxious queen. Reminds me of my sister.

What’s one of the best compliments you’ve received and what was it that made it significant for you?

I remember a teacher at school saying “I don’t worry about you, Stu.”. I don’t know if that even qualifies as a compliment, but it’s quite reassuring to be someone people generally aren’t worried about. I try and cling to that when I end up doing troubling shit where people should definitely be worried about me.

How old were you when you started telling jokes and can you remember the first one?

It would be a Rikki Fulton or Morecambe and Wise joke, both of which I was obsessed with watching on VHS when I was like 3. Not a joke I’d understand myself, but the adults would lap it up and you have to play to the crowd in front of you. I was at least 4 before I started working on original material.

Describe your ideal front row audience member.

Between 5’4”-10”, average build, Ramones t-shirt, disposable income but didn’t come from money. Maybe took half a pill 40 minutes before, or had an amazing lunch / is newly in love.

Actually now I think about it, not to toot my own horn but, I made a woman in the front row on a hen do laugh her false eyelashes off and into her pint recently, she’s welcome back anytime.

Which comedy routines have you watched until you know them by heart?

My most pointless skill is I have an uncanny ability to recall stand-up routines word for word. There are far too many to list here. Some of the classics I find myself badly rehashing after a few pints to some poor, disinterested and cornered person are: Paul F. Tompkins’ ‘The King Hat’, Patti Harrison’s ‘Dua Lipa song’, and Rory Scovel’s ‘Porch Fuck’ routine.

My good friend John “Aggers” Aggasild (City Cafe, 10.40am (you read that right)) is my new most often quoted though. You should see his show, or I’ll perform it at you badly.

Like a lot of people I know Peter Kay’s Manchester Arena DVD off by heart.

What did you miss most about comedy in the last two years? What do you value more now because of it?

I missed hanging out with comedians and I missed being able to try out new ideas. I enjoyed the clean break and I do think it changed my perspective and made me chill out about the whole thing, which has probably improved my stand up more than 18 months of solid gigging would have.

I value days where I have no gigs and nothing expected of me a lot more now.

Which podcasts can you not live without?

‘What’s the Script?’ and ‘Some Laugh’, the 2 podcasts I co-host are the most important podcasts to me if we’re being literal here. Although, now I think about it I could easily live without having to watch some rubbish movie every week for WTS?

‘Top Flight Time Machine’ is my favourite podcast, alongside ‘Enjoy an Album’ & ‘Ralph Brown’s The Brown Jewels’.

What is comedy’s greatest benefit for the world?

Though I never want to be caught calling comedy “important” or anything in that vein, I do earnestly believe the only reason we’re here is to have a laugh, and stand up comedy provides that pretty consistently. Even if it’s an artificial form of it, it’s still good for you.

Which shows do you have a great feeling about at this year’s Fringe?

As above, John Aggasild’s show ‘Welcome Back’ is one of the best and sweetest shows I’ve ever seen. So funny and thoughtful and well structured.

Krystal Evans’ ‘Kaleidoscope’ is such an incredible real life story. Krystal has loads of great jokes, it’s admirable that she’s chosen to tell this difficult story when she could have done something much easier. Even if it didn’t have any jokes, it’d be a good show.

Susan Riddell is just one of the funniest people in the world, she makes me laugh so much. She’s probably the most naturally funny person on the scene. I feel like you could wake her in the night and she’d do a good set. Susan’s show is called ‘Living My 2nd Best Life’ which encapsulates her vibe perfectly. I think she’s the only person on the circuit more half-arsed than I am, which I respect.

Amelia Bayler is always one of the most unique and fun acts to see. Her songs stick around my head for weeks and she’s a mad bastard. It’s cool to see someone’s act develop into something that feels so right for them, Amelia’s one of those people. Her show is called, wonderfully, ‘Greatest Hits’.

Hannah Fairweather is doing her debut show this year, and she’s one of the best newer acts out. I’ve seen her tell audiences the name of her show (‘Just a Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge’) and it get a laugh, that’s a good sign. She’s got lots of good stuff and I’m looking forward to seeing the full thing.

Tell us about your Fringe show.

It’s a solid hour of jokes. It’s about loss and acceptance and how I take heed from my Gran’s words of wisdom and how I’m trying to keep her old Scottish Granny sayings alive through the oral tradition.

It’s basically just a funny show – I’m too needy to stand on stage and not try to get a laugh every 20 seconds. I feel ridiculous whenever I try to make a serious point. Hopefully there’s some hidden depth smuggled in like medicine in mashed potato.

It’s hard to see it objectively when it’s your own work but I do think it’s a fun show. I’m really looking forward to performing it every day.

Anything else you want to tell us?

No way man.

Click here to buy tickets for Stuart McPherson: The Peesh

4.55pm | Monkey Barrel Comedy (Carnivore) | 1-28 August (not 15)


Published by Punchline

Your secret source of comedy knowledge at the Edinburgh Fringe

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