• sophiasalmassi

Costas Lukaris

photo credit - Lorna Pritchard

What comedy most inspires you?

I try and look outside the world of comedy for inspiration, like literature, music, TV, or even just everyday conversations, on the notion that if you're only influenced by other comedy, it makes your own stuff derivative and facile; being inspired by more obscure topics gives you more originality. It doesn't always work, mind. The other day I was doing some research for a bit about Einstein and the theory of relativity, but I couldn't understand a word of it. So I just ripped off a load of jokes from Jim Davidson instead.

Which comedian most inspires you?

See above (not Jim Davidson, I was just being hilarious when I mentioned him just now). Despite what I just said about not liking comedy, I'm going to contradict myself and say my all-time comedy hero is definitely Rik Mayall. He was never not funny. I'm still discovering old clips of him on YouTube that I never saw before, and every one is a gem.

Which comedian scares the shit out of you because you know you'll never be that good

Don't you hate it when comedians answer this question by naming one of their mates you've never heard of? That's how you know you're interviewing an idiot. Anyway, to answer your question, I would say John Collins, a mate of mine from Swansea. He can literally make you laugh till you ache, which is a lot harder than it sounds.

Why and how did you get into comedy?

I'd always wanted to do comedy. After far too long in denial, I signed up for a comedy workshop in 2013. It was really stressful and put me off doing stand-up again for two years. But I started hanging out at gigs, meeting local comedians like the wonderful Chris Chopping and the extraordinary James Dunn, and helping out at the Cardiff Comedy Festival and Welsh Unsigned Standup Awards. In 2015, I entered the WUSA. I was woefully underprepared: I knocked together an act based on a crappy old horror story I wrote, and fully expected to crash and burn in the try-out. To my astonishment, I got to the semi-final, which was enough to convince me that maybe I could give comedy a go after all. Five years and a few hundred gigs later, the world ended.

What drives you to do what you do?

Knowing how much I'm annoying my family.

Describe your perfect Tuesday.

Eat, sleep, shit. Actually, Tuesday is Radio Times day. Although my dad is currently threatening to cancel our subscription, which makes about as much sense as the US cutting ties with the World Health Organisation during a pandemic.