Nev: Comedy Spotlight

Nev is co-founder of CHUNKS, an anarchic and manifesto-less collective fast growing into a full scale comedy movement on the Scottish live scene. Ever-versatile, he's also big on bees. Ahead of his Glasgow shows we venture deep into his hive...

Feature by Emma O'Brien | 04 Mar 2016

A bee has to pay for its sting with its life, unlike wasps who are just bastards and get off on it. Is there anyone you'd give your life to sting?

I’m not big into murder-suicide so I suppose I’d have to sting myself in the past, thus creating a paradox where I can’t travel to the past to sting myself. Either that or the King of the Wasp-People. Or Jeremy Hunt. I'd murder-suicide the fuck out of that cunt.

Bumblebees' feet have a strong odour – they leave this behind on flowers they've pollinated to let other bees know they're done. Do you have any unpleasant bodily issues that could prove useful to humanity and after what finished event of yours should we expect to find it?

I used to feel quite self-conscious about the partial syndactyly of my second and third toe on each foot. But when the ice caps melt I’ll make a slighter better swimmer than you normies. Maybe I could be used for rescuing people lost at sea. I might use the past torment of my toes to keep me from laughing and losing the money during [Nev's other show] You Only Hurt the Ones You Love.

The ancient Greeks considered lips anointed with honey to be symbolic of eloquence and even prescience. Which comedians at the festival would you anoint with honey? Discuss. 

The most fun I have doing comedy is running the monthly night of live madness that is CHUNKS with my oldest friend Jamie Rolland (much love to you brother). The anointed lips would belong to the faces of our comrades doing their solo shows as part of our special CHUNKStival  programme at The Griffin.

Sticky lipped individuals would include Keiron Nicholson, Ally Houston and Bob Graham in a dark velvety avocado honey. Whereas BMR, Richard Brown, Shelia Graham, Rosco McClelland and Matty Finlayson I'd coat in a sticky bayou honey. Some alternative medicine manuka for Pat Mulholland, James MacIntosh, Sandy Bouttell and Pearse James. While woodland forest blossom honey is for Leona Irvine, Nicholas Cooke and Phil O’Shea. Finally, some Hawaiian kiawe honey for Joes Goss and McKeown, Chris Thorburn and Paul McDaniel. Also, CMB and Jim the muthfuckin’ Hobbit (and to anyone else I’ve forgotten, my apologies) – I’d cover you all in my love honey.   

Bees live in a somewhat fucked up, crypto-feminist reversal of The Handmaid's Tale where the males are used for breeding then die. Do you think there's anything we could learn from this, or bee society in general?

Human males are generally scared and angry enough without their genitals being ripped out post-coitus (as happens when honeybee drones mate with the virgin queen), so unless you think Take Me Out could use a dose of existential castration anxiety, I don’t think we should implement this policy. Throughout history, bee society has been used to justify the natural order of differing ideologies. Bee society is a monarchy, a republic, a capitalist industry or a socialist utopia depending on your viewpoint, when really a beehive functions purely as a beehive. The lesson we should take from the bees is to care for our environment and don’t fill up the hive with excrement. Also, we should dance when giving directions.

You're obviously quite pissed off about the failure of the government to reduce the risk of bees dying out. While bees are pretty awesome, was there a particular reason you chose to be angry about bees and not, say, workfare schemes? Are bees a good metaphor for everything else we're fucking up?

I think Buzz is actually my least metaphorical show to date. Whereas in the previous show – $cum – a 15-minute rant about Yorkie bars was used as a way of getting into third world exploitation, this show is very literal. I come out and essentially scream, 'Save the bees' (in joke form) for an hour and then leave. There’s no other subtext. We need to prioritise all the problems facing the world. Corruption, poverty, hunger and terrorism won’t be an issue on a dead, bee-less planet. As a species we should put all our efforts into saving the bees. Once we’ve sorted that we can move onto the next most pressing issue (save the frogs!) and fix them one after the other.

You’ll need to wait until the Fringe to hear my take on workfare schemes. The show is potentially called Guts and is an hour about tapeworms, faeces and the Department for Work and Pensions.

More from our Comedy Spotlight:

 Chris Kehoe on slow-burners and being on death row

 Ed Aczel: "I can see why Charles Manson might choose this"

Nev: You Only Hurt The Ones You Love, The Griffin, Thu 10 March, 8pm, free.
Chunks: CHUNKSploitation!!!, The Griffin, Mon 14 Mar, 7:30pm, free.
Chunks: The Incredibly Spectacular CHUNKSival Showcase Spectacular Celebrating Spectacular Comedy!, The Griffin, Wed 16 Mar, 8pm, free.
Nev: Buzz, The Griffin, Thu 24 March, 9:30pm, £3.
Chunks: Ms CHUNKSiverse, The Griffin, Sun 27 Mar, 9:30pm, free.

50% of each ticket for Buzz will be donated towards a bee-saving charity.