Rick Wood says he’s a socially awkward stand-up comedian who entertains audiences with his music, daft one-liners and observational anecdotes. For this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe he’s decided to team up with a partner to produce a sketch show.
“My show this year is a first for me – my previous two shows were solo stand-up comedy. This year I’m teaming up with an actress called Victoria Cansfield and creating a sketch show called This Show Has Nothing to do With Penguins.
“True to its title, it is a sketch show full of puns, twists and bizarre characters that does, indeed, have no mention whatsoever of penguins. I felt that this was a message I really wanted to give with this show – that is has nothing to do with penguins.
“I met my co-performer when I was performing at last year’s fringe – she was visiting a friend and I just said to her “I want to do a sketch show next year,” and she said “me too.” The rest, as they say, is history.”
Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“I really like how well organised Alex Petty is at this whole Edinburgh thing, I feel safe and reliable as part of the Laughing Horse. I think it has a higher quality of shows than I have seen in the other free fringe too, so I inevitably wanted to be a part of it.”
Why did you get into performing comedy and how did you get started?
“My mates at uni kind of pushed me into it. They said I was funny and I should give it a go. After shaking and sweating at the side of the stage like crazy, I went on and enjoyed it. I had a lot of mental health problems when I was younger, and am still struggling with them – and I found entertaining other people and making funny out of each situation was the way I moved forward, so it became a natural progression that I wanted to do this for a living.”
Tell us your best, worst experiences as a comedian.
“My best is probably when I was around a year in and I won Beat the Frog in Preston. It wasn’t just that I’d won – it’s that the other acts were doing okay, then I came on and stormed it, with pretty much every third joke getting applause. It was an amazing feeling. I even had a woman afterwards ask me to autograph her breasts. Unfortunately, my response was “but I don’t have a pen.” Swarve.
“My worst is probably experiences I’ve had with other acts. I don’t want to name people specifically or go into too much detail, but whilst I have made some great friends through comedy, there are also a lot of bitchy people in this industry. I’ve thickened my skin a bit now, but when I got a huge barrage of abuse a few months in it very much dented my confidence.”
If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“Andy Kaufman and Jim Carrey. I’d have liked to have interview Andy Kaufman as I just loved his kind of humour – I take great influence from him. It’s the kind of comedy where you can never quite tell when he’s joking! And Jim Carrey, simply because I grew up watching him and he is my ultimate idol. I even got banned from impersonating him when I was in four years old!