I have never been the best at anything but with this- it’s possible to be the best version of myself.
What comedy most inspires you?
I appreciate a well-crafted joke as much as the next person but my favourite kind of comedy to watch is silly and surreal comedy. My sense of humour is a little juvenile to be honest so anything with a silly premise and/or silly noises always makes me laugh. The perfect example of this for me is the Ross Noble ‘meat on the face’ bit. It is so playful and fun that it just keeps me laughing even though I have watched it at least 50 times. I love it. It is the painting of a picture to put in someone’s head that I love the most. It can make the audience laugh, wince, or even remember past experiences. Some mental pictures can rot you to your core or cheer you up. It is an almost psychedelic experience where you see it but it’s not really there. I think it’s the most fun thing there is.
Which comedian most inspires you?
It’s genuinely impossible for me to pick one. I can’t. I won’t! There are so many that I love, for different reasons. Here are some of my personal favourites that have left a lasting impression - Mitch Hedburg, Steven Wright, Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran, Andi Osho, Lucy Porter, Bec Hill, Ross Noble, Mickey Flanagan and of course Rhod Gilbert.
Which comedian scares the shit out of you because you know you'll never be that good?
Matt Rees. I went to Edinburgh in 2012 to get some inspiration before choosing to do stand up. I remember going to watch an ‘Unsigned’ compilation show. It was a funny gig and I was really enjoying myself. The MC was introducing the next act as ‘Welsh’ so naturally my ears pricked up and Matt Rees took the stage. I was hooked from his first joke. I thought ‘That’s it. I’m going to do comedy and I want to be like that guy’. When writing my first set and approaching my first lot of gigs, I watched all his videos on YouTube for inspiration. When I was in the WUSA final in 2016 Matt headlined the show as a previous winner of the competition. This was a huge deal to me because this was the man that made me want to do comedy. After the show he told me I had funny bones which felt great at the time. Since that night I have gigged with Matt many times and I have enjoyed his company, his jokes, and stories immensely.
Why and how did you get into comedy?
I turned 30 and realised that I had been wasting my life for other people for a good 15 years. I had nothing to show for it apart from a beer belly and a head full of mad stories. I went travelling with my friend for 3 months. This was going to be an important life experience. I did almost get killed by a tram in San Francisco and we got locked up in Vietnam but apart from that it was an amazing experience. On the night of my 30th I was in Queenstown, New Zealand. After the pubs shut, I found myself on a beach next to a lake, sat against a tree. Euphorically drunk and taking everything in. It was against that tree that I set out a plan to get me where I wanted to be. Stand up was only one on this list. I paid to do a 6-week intensive course in Camden, London. Every Sunday I would leave Cardiff at 8am,
then get back around 1am. We were trained by 2 comedians that took no prisoners when it came to feedback. It was sometimes hard to take but I believe it really worked. Every week I would go into the course stressed but would come out determined and happy as it was getting better week by week. After the end of the 6 weeks we had a showcase where we would do our 5 minutes to a friendly audience made up of family and friends of the course attendees. It was an incredibly fun gig and it was MC’d by the brilliant Jeff Innocent. I was hooked! The first gig on the Welsh circuit was a James Parry gig in The Corporation in Canton. I will always be thankful for that gig and will never forget it either. I’m 5 years into the old comedy career and I have had some great experiences ranging from tours, TV spots, writing work and most importantly I have made some great friends.
What drives you to do what you do?
Stand up is a lot of fun. When it goes bad you can learn from mistakes but when it goes good it’s better than drugs. It’s like pop up counselling for one. It has been the most exciting aspect of my life in the last 5 years. It can open doors if you do the work. Doors laced with sweet sweet money. Jokes! The most important thing is to keep improving. Keep working at it. To get better at writing is the most important to me. I have never been the best at anything but with this- it’s possible to be the best version of myself.
Describe your perfect Tuesday.
Get up at 9am. Breakfast is a 1 litre bottle of Lucozade with a bacon sandwich.
Lunch is a beef roast dinner. I would eat that all day every day. Death row dinners! Spend some time with great friends that I am fiercely loyal to. My mate has a French bulldog called Ron. That dog is nicer than some humans I have met. Steak and chips for dinner then spend the evening with my good lady watching a god-awful horror film. She is good like that. Fall asleep with no negative thoughts and kick the next day straight in the dick. That is my perfect Tuesday.
Describe your worst experience on a coach.
Me and a friend spent 19 hours on a bus in Thailand then I paid 50p to shit in a bucket dug into the ground. I think that covers it. Never again. The bloke was pretty much watching me shit. I should have charged him!
Best sofa you've ever slept on?
We had this strange sofa in a house in Uni. It did not look comfortable, but it was a delight to sleep on. Due to me being a lazy turd in Uni, I must have spent 3 or 4 days a week sleeping on that sofa. Oh, how I miss it.
Best piece of advice a comedian ever gave you?
Worst piece of advice a critic ever gave you?
"Way too much poo and spluttering rage" Chortle. WUSA final 2016)
Tell us a joke.
Werewolves of London
What's the furthest you've travelled for the least amount of money/open spot?
It was an unpaid open spot in Blackpool. We left at 2pm from Cardiff and didn’t get back until 6:30am the following morning. It was the night before the WUSA 2016 final, where I went a little crazy and put too much rage into the set. Silly boy.
Best chicken you've ever tasted?
Chicken Parmigiana in a pub in Melbourne. Breaded chicken topped with pizza sauce, ham, and melted cheese with chips on the side. Filth!
On a scale of 1-10 , how hungry are you right now?
I would sell a kidney for a cheeky bap right now.
How has lockdown been for you?
It has been ok for me. I am very aware that I shouldn’t complain because there are people dying all over the world, so I believe that being a little precious about not gigging is low on the seriousness scale. I have not been a full-time comedian, so I guess there is a positive there. I got a job during lockdown painting and decorating flats that were between tenancy. It was a great help financially and it replaced the money I earned from comedy and working full time in a café. It has been an eye opener for sure. Never before have I seen pubic hairs in spiders’ webs but thanks to that job, I can now tick that off the bucket list. The most important thing for myself during lockdown was self-care. Keeping a positive state of mental
health while trying to exercise as much as possible. It was a very uncertain time, but it is imperative to keep your head on, don’t consume bullshit and most importantly be good to others around you.
Have you been more or less productive?
It has been a less productive time for me to be honest. The world is on fire, humanity is showing its ugliest side by marginalising people and everyone is turning on each other. I’ve lost family members and friends have lost wives, mothers and fathers. It has been hard to find the ‘funny’ in situations. I’m quite and empathetic person so I feed of the energy which is around me. I believe that we need to laugh now more than ever but the only problem I have found is that it’s hard to find funny or happy things on the internet, news or social media these days.
Anything else you’d like to say?
In the words of Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston Esquire – BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER.
Photo Credit : Ian Llewellyn
Tales From Wales Podcast https://anchor.fm/drew-taylor8
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-o88V6JpIUK4ZhefekAUzQ