Well yours truly, along with ten thousand others, has been asked to contribute to an opinion piece for a university comedy website. They have a list of some commonly asked questions. Well here’s how it went.
Interviewer: Lewis Calvert, Liverpool John Moores University
Interviewee: Andrew Hutchinson aka ‘Bobby Nitro
What is it like for women in comedy?
Ask me after the op.
How do you write a joke?
Sow a seed. It might be a quote, a piece of graffiti, a smell, a jotting. Then wait, wait a while longer and prepare to go and mow a meadow.
What do you do if nobody laughs?
Laugh at them. If it was a free gig, they got their money’s worth. If it wasn’t, laugh louder.
Have you ever pulled at a gig?
Have you ever dated a fellow comic?
Is comedy the new rock and roll? (quoted)
Yes and I’m the new Leonard Cohen (not).
How do you get gigs?
Luck and knowing that luck is when hard work meets opportunity.
Should you drink on stage? (Jonny Vegas, does it effect humour?)
Yes if you’re thirsty but don’t drink and drive. You spill it.
Are rape jokes ever funny? (ched Evans)
Only if they’re about fictional paedophile prophets.
Are any subjects taboo? (the N word, Reggie D Hunter?)
No but let’s get a bit of perspective. I am there to offend and through that entertain, not to abuse. People have shitty lives. They want to enjoy the night, as you should. You can go all weird, arty farty and Picasso once you’ve proved that you can draw, paint, act, perform, entertain. To start out thinking that to piss people off is an art form is narcissistic is to be a nut job.
Is the BBC right to have at least one woman on panel shows? (manford criticism of making it public)
I reckon so, yeah.
Does the way you dress effect the audience reaction?
Of course it does. It’s about relatability. Be that to their lives or your projected character.
How do you deal with hecklers?
Why should people support alternative comedy?
For the same reason that they grow flowers.
Is musical comedy cheating if songs aren’t original?
No because art is an assault on all of your senses. Hearing is but one sense.
What if your parents disapprove of comedy?
Ask Mr Freud.
Are northern comics better than southern comics? (northern comedy looked down upon)
I reckon, no, dunno. Ballocks. I’m from Rochdale where men are men and sheep are frightened.
Does comedy have performance enhancing drugs (weed / alcohol)?
Only when gigs are at 4-20pm, followed by Happy Hour.
Does comedy conflict with your job?
Life conflicts with my job.
What is it like balancing comedy and a family?
I don’t know. I love children but I couldn’t eat a whole one.
Does comedy pay well?
For some. Not for me. Might be because I’m shit. Sorry about the self-defecating humour.
Are comedians more prone to mental health issues and does it help? (bipolar and Robin Williams death)
I believe people with mental health issues are more prone to comedy. Comedians and artists are some of the loneliest, self-destructive people on the planet. If you enjoy what they produce, take the time to appreciate the humiliation and vulnerability that made them.
Is comedy an art form?
Yes, and comedians are part of my clan: the mavericks, the vagabonds, the mad scientists, the gypsies, the theatre people, the artists, the musicians, the deviants, the radicals, the outsiders and you.
Are comedians over 40 not funny? (as Frankie Boyle said)
I don’t see why not but we’re back to relatability. What life experience do you have prancing about at uni pretending to be a fucking tree? I’ve lived, I’ve messed with Special Branch, now that’s part of a big tree BUT if I stand in front an audience of freshers telling tit and bum jokes at an age when the only stand-up I do withour Viagra is comedy it ain’t working.
What is it like for a promoter?
Tough, hardwork. You pound the streets, get knocked back, pound again. Fix up a gig, sort out the acts and find out that half of comedians are good eggs, half have egos the size of Belgium and half can’t do fractions.
All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson