Performer: Nick Elleray Photograph by: Adrian Tauss Show: It’s Been Emotional Venue: Just the Tonic at The Grassmarket Centre (The Little Kirk) Promoter: Indie
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
It’s much more personal than I expected it to be – I talk a lot about family (I have five brothers) and emotional repression, but I talk about it all via the medium of ‘jokes’.
Tell me about your first gig.
Because you asked this, I watched the video of my first gig. You could mistake it for footage of a man talking to himself at a bus stop (you know, one of those bus stops with a stage and microphone) – I was not a natural performer. I will never watch that video again, thanks.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Empty my pockets and have a bit of a think. Avoid other people.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
They’re the same one. Steve Bennett reviewed my show in Brighton last year and made me sound like a suicidal loser with the caveat that I was an ‘underappreciated purveyor of downbeat comedy’, which was all fine. But around about November 2017, the best quote in it – “Nick Elleray could almost be Louis CK played at the wrong speed” – instantly became the worst quote in it.
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
Yeah and I feel kinda sick already.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I’m all for them. However, reviewers: please don’t quote complete fucking jokes in the review – you, of all people, should know that they rarely work outside of their natural environment.
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?
I believe he did, yes, because that is how the courts ruled on the matter and I concur with all actions of Her Majesty’s forces of law enforcement.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
Nope. If it’s done right, anything can be funny.
Have you ever gone too far?
I wouldn’t say I ‘went too far’, but I did try and joke about something pretty sensitive without the skills to make it work. I had some anti-homophobic material that only occasionally worked. It relied on irony, but when the irony wasn’t perceived, it just sounded crass and thoughtless.
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
The second try-out spot I did at the Comedy Store. I’d been nervous at the first one, unconvincing. But they still got me back. In the interim I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t a Comedy Store act and that I therefore didn’t give a shit about the gig, so naturally I then went and smashed it and had an absolutely wonderful time and Don Ward was actually nice to me.
What’s that? How did the next try-out spot go after that? Oh, fuck off.