Why did you start doing standup?
I always wondered if I was funny. Or rather if my private sense of humour, that I shared with very few people, would work on the public. That and being obsessed with comedy meant I was always going to give it a try.
Who inspired you when you were starting out?
I was inspired as a teenager by watching club comics perform on the various compilation shows of early 00s television (Live at the Store, Comedy Blue, etc) but also by people like Eddie Izzard and Dave Chappelle. When I read Frank Skinner’s descriptions of standup as the freest you can be, I was sold. I had to try it.
Can you recall a gig so bad, it’s now funny?
Hull. I died so hard you could hear the ice clinking in people’s glasses. Still did my 20 minutes though.
99% of heckles are pointless gibberish. Then again, recently a mild-mannered heckler correctly diagnosed me with Asperger’s so fair play to him. Nailed it.
You got diagnosed with ASD last year. Has this affected your standup?
It turns out loads of my sensitive, finicky observational comedy routines were the ramblings of an autist, yes. Pretty much every single one can be seen in that light, now. I truly believe the condition to be not only endemic within comedy but maybe even its origin point. Happy to write the book if anyone wants to pay me.
What’s your current show about?
I explore how my diagnosis has completely reshaped my perception of who I am. Lots of qualities I previously thought made me unique were actually just some of the varied symptoms of a spectrum condition, which is useful knowledge but does take something of a sledgehammer to your sense of self. It’s certainly caused a mild existential crisis.
Any preshow rituals?
I splash cold water on my face and ears, stretch my hamstrings even though I don’t move around much at all, and I stretch my face by pulling insane faces.
Any bugbears from the world of comedy?
Many comedy clubs haven’t increased their fees since the noughties and it’s a disgrace – you can bet they’ve increased their ticket prices.
Worst advice you’ve ever been given?
“You should do a racist South African character on stage.”
What are you excited for?
I don’t really get excited. I slowly become cautiously optimistic. I’m at the fringe in August and I’m touring, so let’s say that.