Performer: Jacob Hatton Photograph by: Victor Pãtrãşcan Show: Ozymandias Venue: Just The Tonic – Just Out of the Box Promoter: Indie
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
It’s a ridiculously silly stand up hour about grand ambition – mostly mine and the rather more pedestrian laddish desire to be a “legend” of some description. It’s got a bit where I stick on a dinosaur head on and do a bit of dancing so there’s that. It’s enormous fun and it’s on quite early in the day (1120am) so it’ll get you pumped up for the rest of the day.
Tell me about your first gig.
I did an open spot at The Cavendish Arms, London back in 2014. It was awful but to this day I maintain that the material was great. IF ONLY MORE PEOPLE ENJOYED CLASSIC AA MILNE SPORT “POOH STICKS” AND COULD RELATE. In many ways, my comedy has suffered similar issues ever since.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Slaughtering five newborn chicklets to the Ra, the eternal eye of the sun.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
I haven’t had too many reviews for my solo work, but I was once in an improv group called The Murderettes which received a review which opened with the line, “For tonight’s “entertainment”” but weirdly finished with the following line. “If you are looking for a night with a complete lack of subtlety, loads of laughs and a lot of fun, then this is the night for you.” One star. An emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end.
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
*Serious voice*: of course not, it distracts from my art. And what do I care for the whims of my critics.
*Actual voice*: I will read every single one hundreds of times. I will revel in the triumphs and plot petty revenge for any and all even mild criticism.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
When they’re done well they’re great. Fundamentally there’s so much on at the fringe that punters do need some level of filter. When they’re done badly then they’re both irritating and can be genuinely damaging.
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?
He did. Whether that should be an offence is another issue and I have to say I don’t think it really should. A lot of people don’t see Tweets/Youtube videos/other things you fart out on the internet when half cut at 4am as publishing, but they are, and therefore they do fall under the more stringent rules around published material. Dankula has received a lot of publicity, but rather worse in my view was a teenager in Liverpool who was sentenced for quoting some rap lyrics on instagram.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
No not really. I mean, there are things that I wouldn’t do, but comedy is an enormously broad spectrum and that doesn’t mean that a different performer couldn’t touch it. This has been a bit of a hot topic recently and some people have said that comedy is becoming more restrictive, but I actually think we’re seeing comedy move into places we’ve never seen it before like the brilliant Nanette on Netflix.
Have you ever gone too far?
In comedy? No. I once called someone a cunt in my first Edinburgh show. I had a 5 person audience. An elderly lady put up her hand and told me that, although she liked my jokes she did object to hearing the c-bomb so I dropped it for the rest of the show. I wouldn’t do it for everyone but I’m basically quite amenable.
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
Really early on I did a showcase at Soho Theatre which took place immediately on return from Glastonbury. I hadn’t slept for 3 days and my body and brain were zapped, and I stank, but I managed to summon the energy. Other people told me I looked close to madness, and had a strange light in my eyes as I performed. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to recreate the effect.