Performer: Chris Chopping Photograph by: Michelle Huggleston Show: Chris Chopping’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Venue: Dr Livingstones Promoter: Indie
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
Last year’s show was a positive show with an upbeat ending. This year my Show is about heartbreak and loneliness, it promises to be a lot of fun!
Tell me about your first gig.
My first gig was 5 minutes at a new material night in an arts centre in Cardiff. I was incredibly nervous and clinging to a glass of red wine for dear life. The gig went ok and the wine became a central part of my act for about two years before I developed a personality instead.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
I just make sure I’ve been for a piss.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
My best review was from a woman who sent me a private message on F/B full of praise, saying I entertained her, her kids and husband even though, “They’re awkward, He’s grumpy and I’m Scottish.” This was my first year in Edinburgh and I was very much flying under the critical radar so this was very encouraging.
My worst review was from Broadway Baby, who focused on my “nasty weak moustache” and “horrible shoulder length hair” rather than my material. Luckily, I had a girlfriend who helped prop up my self-esteem. This year I’m single so I plan to shave every morning and hope that the reviewers are kind…
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
I plan on not kidding myself that I wont.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I love reviewers! I think they’re often unfairly maligned and criticised and perform a vital function. Did I mention that I’m hoping they’ll be kind about my looks this year?
In April 2018, YouTube comedian, Markus Meechan (aka Count Dankula) was fined £800 for training his girlfriend’s pug dog to do a Nazi salute with its paw, in response to the phrase ‘Gas the Jews’. Do you believe Meechan committed a criminal offence, and why?
You know, a few months ago I could’ve given you a really articulate response to that question but now I’ve forgotten a lot of the finer details and I’m not going to go back and read up on it again. The guy at the centre of it seems like a tedious arse and I’m sure he’ll be delighted if he sees that comedians are still being asked about him.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
No. There are views and opinions that probably not very funny but I don’t think any subject should be off the table. That said, if you’re doing rape jokes, you had better be a brilliant act on the top of your game doing really intelligent, original and thoughtful rape jokes with a point that justifies it. If not, just leave them alone….
Have you ever gone too far?
Yes, a bunch of times and I learned from them, I think, but I’ll keep those stories to myself…
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
One that still stands out is the final of You Must Be joking 2011. It was only 10 minutes but with 200 people in a full theatre with steep, raked seating it was the biggest stage and largest audience I’d ever performed for at that point and I still remember it as a pretty giddy adrenaline rush.