Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Comedy Spotlight

The silent member of Gein's Family Giftshop is no fan of gong shows

Feature by John Stansfield | 30 Apr 2015

Technically Kiri Pritchard-McLean has already featured under the spotlight here at The Skinny, but only as the ‘silent member’ of sketch quartet Gein’s Family Giftshop. We thought it was time we let the 'Jeremy Dyson' of the group speak her mind, for it is a wonderful place made up of serial killers (she co-hosts an amazing podcast called All Killa No Filla with Rachel Fairburn), anti-meninism and a bolshiness to rival any comic on the scene. Her dark humour permeates Gein’s sketches and is on show when she takes to the stage solo, calling out the world on its masses of bullshit. Well, someone had to.

First gig:

“The Comedy Store, King Gong. I was terrified. Mick Ferry was MC and the guy before me was gonged off, and people started to make sheep noises as he left the stage because he had curly hair. Mick then said: ‘From now on, we’re kicking people off with the noise of the animal they look like.’ I turned to my friend and said, ‘I’m about to get oinked off the stage.’ It was OK in the end; I got my five minutes – only four of us did, out of the 28 people on.”

Best gig:

“Every time I do our gig in London (Suspiciously Cheap Comedy), I get mad nervous before I go on because it’s really busy and the lineups are off the chain. I do the usual: convince myself that I’m not good enough to be there or do comedy at all. Then I go on stage and it turns into the best gig of the year so far.”

Worst gig:

“The second time I did King Gong, it was a bearpit. From my first joke I had two stag parties standing on their feet, screaming at the card holders to kick me off. I got to the five minutes but it was a hollow victory. It’s not why I do comedy and I decided I wouldn’t do any more gong shows.”

People you like in the North West:

“Gein’s, obvs. Kate McCabe is ace and a good egg. Headliner-wise, I can always watch Dan Nightingale and Mick Ferry. There’s too many, we’re really spoilt here for great comics.”

Best heckle:

“I think heckles aren’t that great in general. I know people think it’s a part of the experience but they’re the same people who think getting spiked is part of going out. I accidentally heckled someone once, a comic went on stage and said, ‘I’m from Gloucester, anyone know what it’s famous for?’ I shouted out, ‘Fred and Rose.’ Apparently it’s cheese.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing standup?

“Christ knows, probably be back in Wales hating myself and the two kids I’d had out of boredom.”

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be? And why are you on death row?

“Well, as last meals go, I reckon Gacy nailed it. Twelve fried shrimp, a bucket of KFC, original recipe of course, fries and a pound of strawberries. I’d like to go down for something noble, like assassinating all the members of [well known Manchester letting agency] who conspired to steal our deposit when we moved out. I’ve not forgotten you guys.”

What’s the largest animal you think you could beat in a fight? No weapons.

“I’ve beaten a cow, in a way. Raised on a farm, I was always getting chased or attacked by something. I managed to outrun a furious cow so I’ll take that as a win. Sure, she had a bad leg but I was ten so I think we’re even.”

If you lived in medieval times what would you do for a living?

“Sell my boil-ridden vagina to make ends meet...?”

Question from past Spotlighter Adam Rowe: Why do you even bother?

“Because if comics like me gave up, all that would be left is comics like you and no one wants that.”

You can catch Kiri at Kings Arms (Salford, 4 May); Korova Arts Café (Preston, 8 May); The Stand (Edinburgh, 11 May); The Stand (Glasgow, 12 May); Frog & Bucket (Manchester, 18 May); XS Malarkey (Manchester, 26 May); and Mansford's Comedy Club (Leeds, 29-30 May)