Tag Archives: Best Comedy Fringe

In the Hot Seat: Tiernan Douieb

26 Jul

Photo of Tiernan DouiebClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

Beautiful cobbled streets, Arthur’s Seat and the Castle looming over them with sheer presence. And me not being able to really look at any of that because I’m trying to dodge being flyered for a drunk version of a play about alcoholism while not getting hit in the face by horizontal rain. In summer.

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

Actually it was watching Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s Oh Hello On Broadway on Netflix. There’s some many excellent gags but a couple in particular that made me snort and spill my drink. Before that it was a picture of a tiny Pomeranian dog that looked very cute but had been named ‘Mr Wilson.’ I have very unstable comedy tastes.

Tell us about this year’s show.

Well I usually write topical political material but as this past year or so has been so eventful, I got a tad fed up with re-writing jokes every 5 minutes. So this year’s show is more generally political and looks at why people (including me) get stuck in their opinions and why it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Except the audiences of my shows, obvs. Ahem. I’ve even tried to get angry this year but apparently I’ve still not quite managed it, so instead there’s lots of jokes and one use of the word ‘banana.’

Who do you want to see this year?

I’m most excited about seeing Andy Daly at the Gilded Balloon. His show Review With Forest McNeil made me howl with laughter, as did his appearances on Comedy Bang Bang and his Podcast Pilot Show. Daly has an incredible ability – that I’m super jealous of – where just his facial expressions have you in stitches and he tows the fine line between comedy & tragedy so perfectly. If you get a chance, google ‘Jerry O’Hearn (Andy Daly)’  where he does 5 mins of stand-up that is just comedy tropes and no actual jokes. It’s incredibly funny. I’m on The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society with him at the Monkey Barrel on August the 6th and honestly worried I’ll act like an idiot fan boy.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Yes but they are pretty much all food based. They involve visiting Mary’s Milk Bar as often as possible. Having a giant baked potato only once, then regretting it all day as I can’t move due to a food coma. Also eating at Koyama Japanese restaurant which is always excellent. Oh and also the tradition of me saying ‘I won’t do too many extra shows this year apart from my own one’ then getting booked in to do loads of extra shows.

What is your getting ready music?

I haven’t picked it yet as this year I think I’m just going to choose a playlist based on music my tech Sarah likes as she has to hear it 20+ times. Though she has given me her preferences of Prince or Bowie, so I’m very happy with that. I think she only likes dead musicians.

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

Mr.Wilson. He’s my new hero.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

There’s a lot to pick from. Recently I had ‘I don’t really like comedy but that show was great.’ Good. It appeals to people who don’t like comedy. That’s exactly what I wanted. Sigh.

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

The Muppets. All of them really but particularly the running gag in Muppets In Manhattan where they insist Kermit and Fozzie are twins but the only way to tell bears and frogs apart is because bears wear hats. Joyous silliness.

What should Donald Trump know?

I feel like this requires a 10,000 word essay response but aside from just putting ‘Anything. I wish he’d know anything at all apart from his own narcissistic needs’, I think the answer would be that the more he protests about his connections with Russia the more we’re convinced there are some. He’s now said ‘I’ve no connections with Russia’ so many times I’m starting to think he’s constantly in the Kremlin and all the rest of the world sees is a hologram projected to various locations. This would explain his odd skin tone and fear of stairs.

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

Eat at Mary’s Milk Bar as often as possible. My parents are pretty chilled but no one should eat as much ice cream as I attempt to in August.

Catch Tiernan Douieb: Miserably Happy at 2.30pm at the Waverley Bar throughout August. Tiernan is one of our top shows this year

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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