Emerging from the renowned comedy hotbed of accountancy, award-winning comedian Tom Goodliffe has quickly made a name for himself with his unique blend of smart gags, charming storytelling and a hugely likeable stage persona. Martin walker asks about his Edinburgh Festival Fringe offering.
“My show is called Thug Liffe and is a stand-up show about hip-hop by an accountant. The accountant is me; I haven’t paid my accountant to write the show. It is much funnier this way, largely because I don’t have an accountant. What does an accountant-turned-comedian have in common with gangster rappers? You’ll just have to turn up to find out. No excuses – it’s free!”
Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“I think free shows are great part of the Fringe. They allow both the public and performers to take a few chances. The Fringe is so expensive for comedians and audiences; it’s difficult to take too many risks with buying tickets unless you have Scrooge McDuck levels of cash. I did free shows with Laughing Horse in 2008 and 2009 which were not only lots of fun but also a vital part of my development as a comedian.”
Why did you get into performing comedy and how did you get started?
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved stand-up comedy. As a teenager I watched VHS tapes of Eddie Izzard until they were etched into my memory. I went to university in London partly because at the time it was the epicentre of world’s greatest comedy scene and in 2003 I visited the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time and was hooked. Several years later I finally grew a pair, took a stand-up course and launched myself into the open mic circuit. The rest is history and, due to the money I’ve spent on trains to gigs, geography and maths.”
Tell us your best, worst experiences as a comedian.
“When I first started there were very few weekends gigs for newbies. One way to get spots was to flyer for the gig. I remember doing 3 hours flyering in Leicester Square in the dead of winter for a 5 minute open spot. I was so good at the flyering that when I got introduced the entire audience went “You’re not a comedian, you’re a flyerer!” I got through about 5 one-liners before I bailed so they could listen to the “real comedians”. Comparatively speaking, all the other experiences are the best ones.”
If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“What a question! How long could the show be? Am I allowed to book comedians who shun TV, or are dead? Can I answer this question with any more questions? Nope? OK. Kitson MCing, then in no particular order: Louis CK, Bill Burr, Maria Bamford, John Mulaney, Mike Birbiglia, Demetri Martin, Patton Oswalt and Jon Dore.”