How was if for you? Scott Agnew on winning 'Ha Ha Comedy's Scottish Comedian of the Year
Scott Agnew explains why even with £1000 in his back pocket, he's desperate for a pint. Part of How was it for you? - Scottish Comedians discuss key events of 2008.
Until September I'd only ever won one thing in my life - a Blue Peter annual from the nuns when I was at primary school for having drawn a nice wee picture of Jesus. How times have changed - now folk were handing me MDF Bananas and taking my picture for spouting homosexual filth to 800 folk in the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow. From that perspective it was nice that Glasgow accepted me and my filth and laughed and cheered as loud as they did - it marks a wee step forward, in my head anyway, for Glasgow as a cosmopolitan city and another worthwhile reason for me having entered Scottish Comedian of the Year (SCOTY) at all.
Pretty much all comedy competitions are for "new talent" and I still don't understand this obsession - no one wants a plumber that's only been on the go for six weeks, why should our comedians be any different? That’s why SCOTY is so refreshing - anyone can enter if they choose to. And as those new talent competitions had passed me by, to get on in the comedy world it was going to be a real slog, and still will be - especially as there are few platforms for Scottish acts to progress in England. So something that gives you a wee hand up is not to be sniffed at in this industry - or any sphere of life - it's why old guys take Viagra. SCOTY gave me a chance I might not otherwise have got to perform in front of some industry and hey presto, I'm suddenly gigging a lot more in England and crucially London. Oh and the 1000 quid was nice and I'm sure the month gigging in Australia even more so.
Still, there was more than a little gamble in me and some of the other experienced acts entering. Myself, Teddy (2nd placed) and Keir McAllister (3rd) could have looked like a right trio of wangers if one of the young upstarts had triumphed or indeed several of them all scooped the top placings. Don't get me wrong; the young 'uns done well - and I'm very fond of a few of them - but I was genuinely hoping that us Old Guard (Old Guard at 28 years old - shocking) would pull it off like we did. For two reasons: firstly, I've obviously worked with and known those guys longer than the rest and secondly, comedians are bitter gits who all believe they should be further on than they are in their career. I'm willing to bet Russell Brand's pondering why he isn't Jonathan Ross at this minute and vice-versa. To have seen some wee shit - sorry guys but this is how the Old Guard would have thought - with nothing but ten minutes material pull off what is likely a one-off barnstorming performance and take a prize would be galling. We would have sharpened our tongues and taken to grumbling on long car journeys home from Aberdeen.
One of the keys to comedy and having a career with any longevity is consistency and that consistency is something that comes with experience - something us three amigos had in spades. And the opportunity that a competition win affords anyone is one that should not be blown. An experienced act can make the most of it - someone with less experience may not. And that's where the "it should have been me" mentality comes in. In hindsight I'd rather never have won the bloody thing. One of the opportunities, the ones I've been waxing lyrical about, afforded me is a photo shoot and a feature piece in Attitude - the UK's biggest gay mag. Trouble is they want me topless - I've been sworn off the booze and having to haul my considerable ass in the gym ever since - shove your SCOTY trophy up your arse, I'll do gigs in Helensburgh forever more and never complain - I want a pint!