Updated: Jan 3, 2021
What comedy most inspires you?
The comedy that inspires me the most, is comedy like Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, George Carlin, and Joan Rivers. They were the greats and really started with confessional comedy about their lives. I still like this comedy, where people talk about their lives and what they think and feel about what's going on in the world.
Which comedian most inspires you?
I like lots of different types of comics. John Oliver, Jamali Maddix, Ali Wong are people I love at the moment.
Which comedian scares the shit out of you because you know you'll never be that good?
No comedian scares me, they're all wimps underneath. I know I'll never be as good as the ones that are dead like Richard Pryor, and Robin Williams, but I always aspire to get better and better with every gig. There is always room to be a little bit more tremendous.
Why and how did you get into comedy?
I got into comedy to get away from my parents. It was an accident really, I was teaching in the East End of London, in a really rough school and the kids were 'characters' and the only way to keep them in order was by making the laugh. so that's what I did. I practiced on them, and sometimes I used them as material in the clubs, so nothing was ever wasted. They were the best training ground for comedy.
What drives you to do what you do?
I love it. I love comedy and when I don't do it, I miss it. During this pandemic, not doing comedy feels like a part of me has died.
Describe your perfect Tuesday.
Go pilates, swimming, write, do a comedy show.
Describe your worst experience on a coach.
I remember when I first started comedy, I got on a coach from London to Grantham, where a passenger tried to beat up the driver because he wouldn't switch the air conditioning off. It was frightening and everyone was too scared to intervene. In the end the coach had to be stopped, and the police were called. I went on stage that night in Grantham and told everyone on stage what happened, they couldn't believe it.
Best sofa you've ever slept on?
The one at my mum's house.
Best piece of advice a comedian ever gave you?
"Stop doing an act and start doing you"
Worst piece of advice a critic ever gave you?
Everything about that question is negative. You should never listen to anything that a critic says ever. The End.
Tell us a joke.
What's the furthest you've travelled for the least amount of money/open spot?
I once went from London to Aberdeen for £40. And London to Brighton for £10. Don't ever say I haven't paid my dues.
Best chicken you've ever tasted?
On a scale of 1-10 , how hungry are you right now?
2. It's midnight and don't eat late.
How has lockdown been for you?
It was all fine, March, April, May, June. I did loads of writing, and finished a lot of work. Then July, and August I got bored beyond belief. There's only so many times you can watch Scarface and clean the bathroom with a toothbrush.
Do you think you've been more or less productive?
I have been very productive and then not productive at all. I've been both and everything.
Anything you else you want to say?
Come and see me on tour. I'll be on tour from 2021, with my new stand up show 'Coconut'.
All tickets www.shazia-mirza.com Photo Credit : Idil Sukan