John Kearns interviewed by Fringe Dog

Double comedy award winner John Kearns chats with Fringe Dog about happiness, collaborations and marmalade ahead of his Glasgow and Edinburgh tour dates

Feature by Fringe Dog | 08 Jan 2018
  • John Kearns

Fringe Dog: o boy !! in new show don't worry they're here , you more wistful ... old flames are gettin married , friends drift away . so i will start  with easy & soft ball question ,, are you happy mr john ?? what is hapiness to you ??
John Kearns: Happiness for you I imagine is a good walk, a scratch behind the ear, food, sticks, a good puddle and a blanket to get under at the end of the night. In many ways we’re similar. I don’t think being happy should be a life goal, being OK is the holy grail. Happiness is fleeting, surprising and is warm and bright.

it long time between 2014 show shtick & new one , which now comin to scotland on briliant tour !! durin intervenin years i suffer what vet call "separation anxiety" , which polite way of sayin i chewin up all my belongings ... because i miss you teribly mr john !! i know you pop up here and there , but how you spend the time ??
I baked a loaf of bread. Bought all the gear. A 62 year old sourdough starter, a panebois for the loaf, dough scraper, water sprayer, a pair of hessian oven gloves and a tea towel to rise the loaf under. I also had a breakdown, wrote a Christmas show and appeared on Cats does Countdown twice, respectfully.

in a way stand-up can look like lone wolf activity ,, but you mr john often travel in pack . how important was bein part of weirdos comedy collective , the bearpit podcast and workin with excelent director jon brittain been to your comedic evolution ??
We are an island people, we take pride in going it alone. There’s a projected dignity in being, as you say, a lone wolf, someone who doesn’t need help, who doesn’t compromise and works in the utmost secrecy. A lot of the great modern American comics were nurtured through writers' rooms, improvisation schools, the dream of being on SNL. We don’t have that culture over here, so working with the Weirdos and recording The Bearpit Podcast (Podcast) is where I can let off steam and enjoy the thrill of failing together. As for Jon, he’s an Olivier winning playwright and a friend of mine for over a decade whose input is invaluable.

i know you big fan of paddington bear !! is the cafe owner you talk about in current show a mentor – like paddington have mr gruber ??
That’s a lovely comparison, though you’d have to substitute Mr Gruber’s knowledge of 18th Century Georgian furniture with the cafe owner's clever technique of charging you for two sausages but serving a sausage cut in half and laid flat.

in you opinin , is it the winalot or the takin part that count ??
You have to take part to winalot. I’ve wonalot. I owe my career to winalots.

you once make joke about dog drivin train . i would catch any train with you drivin mr john !! you omit to mention what breed of dog was drivin and what made that breed such terific engine driver ??
In my mind it was like Mabel, the Border Collie Cross that was on Blue Peter for 14 years. She had one blue and one brown eye. Massive tongue. Blue Peter training would mean she would know her way around a train I imagine.

you a more surreal than politcal animal , i think ... as former 5star tour guide for houses of parliament , did you ever feel urge while on sensible walkies , to play job , how you say it , 'tongue in cheek ' ??
I did that job for four years and was very serious. I enjoyed playing that role. I didn’t have an urge to make a tour group laugh. It was almost like a perverse reversal from my night job.

can i smell marmalade on your beard ??
It is. It’s Wilkins & Sons ‘Old Time’ Fine Cut Peel Orange Marmalade. I bought a jar of Japanese marmalade which is made from the Yuzu fruit but I found it too sweet. Seville Orange every time.

John Kearns: Don't Worry They're Here, The Stand, Glasgow, 29 Jan, 8.30pm, £10; Monkey Barrel, Edinburgh, 30 & 31 Jan, 7.45pm, £9-12