Vickers interview – A Room with a Comedian

*There is no direct link to this interview anymore, but it is part way down the following page**

A Room With A Comedian

This is a fantastic link for a newbie Vickers fan, especially if you were left utterly bamboozled after Twonkey’s Castle on what the man himself might actually be like. Having also been blown away since then by his awesome CD output, I have to admit I was curious. Interviews in print around the time of the Edinburgh festival didn’t really help. They were all highly amusing, but essentially there as quick publicity for the show.

It’s a very generous 40 minute + audio interview, recorded in an Edinburgh pub. Vickers comes across as affable, intelligent and interesting. Any fear that he may be difficult, aloof, or just plain bonkers is quickly dispelled.

Full marks also to the interviewer, who lets his subject do the talking and asks interesting questions that go beyond the norm: ‘Did you grow up in a funny household? Do you have to be intelligent to be funny?’, etc, which appear to come from a ‘set menu’ for a series on comedians. The one question I would have added, although it could obviously come under the ‘none of your business’ category, would be the financial implications of the job. Although Vickers mentions that comedy doesn’t seem to get any Arts Council Funding, it’s a crucial question for the modern comedian. How do you make ends meet? Do you have a day job? Do you see the day when you make a living wage from comedy only, etc?

A lot of ground is covered, and given how Vickers has managed to intertwine his two careers, music often comes into it. Talking of music, the entire interview takes places over a backdrop of cheesy ‘80’s classics. Kajagoogoo, The Human League, Mel and Kim, etc, which seems weirdly appropriate.

There is a detour into Vickers’ youthful drug use, and some surprises, including the fact that Vickers tends to go on stage with three pints in him, a self-imposed limit. Personally, I’m not fully functioning beyond two, and if I took to the stage after three pints I reckon I’d do a Joaquin Phoenix and jump into the crowd for a punch-up (and a beating) after the inevitable heckle.

It’s a great listen and as much as I want to see more Twonkey in 2012 (it seems greedy to hope for another accompanying CD sountrack), I’d love to see Vickers perform pure old-fashioned stand-up sometime as himself without music or Twonkey. I have no doubt he’d be brilliant.

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