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Interview with Dave Johns

Interview with Dave Johns
posted 10 Mar 2017

What can audiences expect from your show?
I hope they come and experience laughter, there can be few things better than sitting in a theatre laughing with others.

Your first Edinburgh stand up show in 1994 was called the hilariously titled ‘Vampire Girly Poofs of Sodom’ which won best show title that year and in 1998 your show ‘I'm in the attic mother’ won Spirit of the Fringe. How would you say your style of comedy has evolved over the years?

You are always trying to find your voice in comedy, as I've become older my voice has become more like that of a wee young Scots lass dancing through the heather. I am happier, as you get older you fit more comfortable in ya skin, so your jokes reflect that. I do my jokes for myself now and it's great when others find what's in my head funny. That is the magic of stand up… communication - getting your audience to get you and laugh at the madness in your head.

When did you first realise you wanted to make people laugh?
Just before you realise someone is going to hit you, that is probably the best time to make them laugh.  

Who/what is guaranteed to make you laugh?
Sean Lock makes me laugh a lot. So do penguins they just look funny.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
At the Montreal Comedy Festival Gala 16 years ago. I was at the side of the stage with other British comics watching Johnny Vegas did the most hilarious spectacular death in front of three thousand Canadians. Who just looked at him with blank faces and in deathly silence, it went on for 15 minutes. I was at the side of the stage and I wept with laughter it was so funny...I couldn't breathe.

What are the best and worst things about your job?
The worst thing about my job driving and being away from my daughter who’s 11 and trains.

What's been the highlight of your comedy career so far?
There have been some great moments. One of the best was in New Zealand on stage with five other comics improvising comedy, at one point all the comics on stage were laughing and 2,000 people in the theatre were laughing and no one was speaking. Now that was magic.

You co-wrote the stage production of Shawshank Redemption in 2015 which has received critical acclaim, won a hatful of film awards with I, Daniel Blake, co-founded the comedians benevolent fund to help struggling comedians, won Spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe, once did a gig in an Irish pub in Bali, where an Indonesian midget danced on a table dressed as a leprechaun throughout your whole set. But if you were to place these on an Olympic style podium what would be gold, silver, bronze?
Gold = I Daniel Blake. Silver = Setting up the Comedians Benevolent Fund. Bronze = Winning BAFTA for Oustanding Britsh Film.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?
I have an artificial leg with a real foot on the end.

What advice would you give to budding comedians?
Just keep saying funny stuff.

On the morning of the BAFTA’s we’re told you tiled and grouted your kitchen before heading up to the ceremony…film legend Mel Brooks got wind of this and asked for a quote on his bathroom – is this true and how much did you quote him?
Yes I quoted him 60 quid an hour he said Ryan Gosling quoted him 40 dollars. He'll go for Goslings quote I just know it - tight arse!

If you could choose three dinner party guests who would they be?
Sabelle Huppert - French actress, Boy George (he’s funny) and my daughter she's great company.

Don't miss Dave's upcoming show 'Dave Johns and Guests' at The Core Theatre on Saturday 20 May at 8pm. Tickets are available via the Box Office or online here.