Q&A with Gary Delaney

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April 4, 2017, 1:44 p.m.

Ahead of Gary Delaney’s show we had a quick chat about jokes, dog litter bags and what’s in store for us in his show.

When did you first realise you had a knack for comedy?

When I was around 11 when my older sister had her friends over I would always try and make them laugh. Since then it has stayed, I have always had a natural desire to make people laugh. I used to try and make people laugh down the pub all the time as I got older.

I wanted to try and impress people, everyone wants to try and impress people. Some people use good looks or athleticism. Those things already came naturally to me to I wanted to find something else as well.

It is very natural to try and impress people and find that something that makes you different. It was from here I found comedy.

What drew you into comedy further?

I was always funny or annoying, I never quite figured out which one. But when I started going to local stand-up comedy gigs it intrigued me. The place I went to allowed comedians to get up and try, therefore you often had big names testing and creating material before performing on big tours.It made the whole thing seem really achievable, it was very different compared to seeing comedians perform in massive arena to thousands. For me seeing comedians on a massive scale made comedy and stand up seem completely unattainable, however the more relaxed smaller gigs looked like something I was able to try and do.

I plucked up the nerve and confidence to give it a go and it worked. I was given a bet to try stand- up in 6 weeks, although I did it, it was not in the 6 weeks so I actually never got the £20 from the bet…we are still friends now so no hard feelings.

Comedians often need the confidence and the kick up the butt to go and try it. As super confident people are not always naturally funny, they have their confidence they do not need to be funny. Once I had the confidence I was drawn to do more.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Listening. A lot of my inspiration comes from listening to what people are saying, spotting figure of speeches, expressions and things with two meanings. Sometimes these spoken moments can be messy, and that is where the joke lies. You can play around with the vulnerability.

It is a process constructing a joke, you have to find the scope for a joke, play with the language and find misdirection.

I find sometimes if there is a more casual tone the voice there is more scope for miss interpretation.

For example I was walking the dog and my wife shouted, don’t forget poo bags.However it sounded like she meant a person’s nick name. So I thought who is poobags. And this is where one of my jokes about forgetting grandma comes from.

We are intrigued… can you explain why your classic one liners?

You do not choose your style of comedy it chooses you.

When I started I gave myself 12 months to be paid to perform comedy so I looked back over everything I had done to discover what had worked well.

I just kept doing what was getting the most laughs, this just happened to be one liners.

What has been your funniest moment on stage?

It was a gig to a tent full of bikers, great fun. I was on stage all was going well, then the crowd went mad and I though great I am nailing this. Then I realized the timing is completely out of sync with the jokes, after checking the flies I concluded there must be something behind me.

It was a sunny day and the gig was inside a tent, one of the audience members had decided to take a 5 minute break. So behind me was a silhouette of a biker going to the toilet. When he came back in everyone cheered him.

To contrast what has been your worst moment on stage?

There are always some gigs that may not go as well as others and it can depend on so many different things.There was one gig in Berlin Germany.It was a good gig a lot of nice people; in their set they always included an English act, so I thought their English must be good.

Just before me there was a group of school children dancing. So I thought I am going to smash this!

After every joke there was complete silence, and I suddenly wondered how I was going to get through another 7 minutes. Culture plays a massive part of your humour alongside language. A lot of the jokes I was doing required a real in depth understanding of the English language, to catch the puns and double meanings. A couple jokes had a couple laughs, after this they changed their requirements to say so puns for English comedians.

What can our audiences expect from the show?

A bit of interpretive dance and drama, maybe some jazz hands and high kicks.

This is not a story or teaching! Just come have fun and enjoy the jokes. There is a load of jokes and you will laugh at each, laugh 200 times in fact.

When people say ‘a laugh a minute’ that is terrible. Audiences can laugh a lot more than that here.

You can catch Gary Delaney here Thursday 27 April at 7.45pm.

Book your tickets here or call 020 8807 6680

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