Andrew O'Neill: Is Easily Distracted
So then, tell us about your show?
Comedy. Shiny things. Horns. Disturbing bee swarm sound effects. Bobble-twat. Ghost. New jacket. Tom Waits. Easily distracted. Shiny. Singing. Jokes. Weirdness. Too much coffee. What? There are more jokes than ever, the usual singing and a twist. And some leg-work. Bitch. Wooooo!
How have your previews been going?
Previews have been going great. The show got nominated for best comedy at the Adelaide Fringe all the way back in March, and I've been re-writing and improving it since then. I have been releasing doves at the end of each show and awarding free Scuba gear to the most 'underwater' looking audience members. Nobody has died so far. Great.
How are you going to keep it fresh for the full three weeks?
My intention is to allow the show to become increasingly stale and stilted and formulaic throughout the festival. The last few performances will contain no passion, and I hope to generate a palpable air of resentment at even having to perform the thing at all.
Is it ultimately worth coming to the Fringe?
Yes, of course it is. I wouldn't be here otherwise. Last year I had Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer in the audience. They liked it enough that I am actually supporting them this year at their one-off show, which is pretty sweet.
Do you have a guaranteed, surefire flyering technique?
Yes. I pay other people to do it. This being my tenth Fringe, I have been gradually worn down by repeated refusals, by the sad sight of flyers that have been dropped on the floor, by standing out in the rain explaining to Italian tourists what stand-up comedy actually is, while watching actual potential punters walking past. I outsource that shit now, and spend my days working on making the show better.
What's your health regime for the Fringe?
Beer contains antioxidants. Other than that; eating vegan, walking everywhere, performing lots of shows and regularly sacrificing open spot comedians in the caves to the gods of the Fringe. That seems to work. Having your own microphone is important, too. Other performers are disgusting.
What's the worst mistake people make at the Fringe?
Lying down in front of buses, trying to hang glide off the castle ramparts using an umbrella, digging tunnels between venues rather than walking, eating a chips-only diet, thinking that lying down in the Royal Mile and holding up your flyers is an original and/or good idea.
Last year's Fringe was all about the London riots. What major news event do you think will force you to hurriedly rewrite your 2012 show?
The inevitable terrorist attack on the Olympics, anything horrific happening to the royal family, Tom Waits being made president of a united Earth in the face of an alien attack. Any of those.
Do you pay your taxes?
Yes. Although I am in talks with Jimmy Carr's accountant about changing that. Taxes pay for wars, preferential arms deals for aggressive countries like Israel, propping up financial institutions and royal weddings. Oh, and we pay more now for the railways than we did before they were privatised. Woo! Taxes!
What was your favourite joke when you were a kid?
A woman with a banana in her ear gets on a bus. The bus driver says "Excuse me, Madam. Did you know you've got a banana in your ear?" The woman replies "I'm sorry, I can't hear you. I've got a banana in my ear."
For someone so easily distracted, what is a surefire way for someone or something to hold your attention?
By far the best way to hold my attention is to offer me column inches in your newspaper. Or be an attractive goth girl. If you can combine the two, that is even better.
There is a lot of debate about censorship of comedy at the moment. What is your opinion on the matter?
All censorship can fuck right off. The cunts. Seriously. The Fringe are taking the piss censoring people's show titles. We ARE the Fringe. Who the fuck do they think they are? Motherfuckers.
In past shows you've talked about dabbling in certain areas of magick. If you could cast any spell for the Fringe this year, results guaranteed, what would it be?
Sunshine! Sold out shows! Happy audiences! And a new vegan place to eat. I'm a bit bored of the current ones.
Who else are you hoping to see while you're in Edinburgh?
Wil Hodgson, Holly Burn, Simon Munnery, Stephen Carlin, Marc Burrows.