The Not So Late Show: Comedy Spotlight

Hosts of Leeds' premier live comedy chat show, Ross and Josh tell us about their biscuits, beefs and search for the perfect bowl of ramen

Feature by Jon Whiteley | 26 May 2017
  • Rosh and Josh, The not so late show

Chat shows have been a mainstay of television entertainment since families first gathered around a flickering cathode ray tube, but they’ve never really made a successful backwards leap onto the stage.

One show bucking the trend is The Not So Late Show, a live chat and comedy show at Leeds’ Wardrobe theatre, hosted by Ross Brierley and Josh Sadler. In different hands, it would collapse into a dull sludge, but the pair’s work is big, daft and inventive, betraying a talent for turning the conventions of the TV genre on their head and embracing the anarchy of the live environment. They’re also really fucking funny.

Having nailed down the format for their Wardrobe performances, they’ve turned their chat show into a road show, performing all over the North, and they’ve also sculpted an excellent YouTube channel – the highlight being their ‘UK Garage Horse Racing’ sketch. They’re currently working on taking the show to the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, so we got them on our comfy sofa for a good chinwag.

First gig:
“Ross’s was doing a Michael Jackson dance medley at Ruda Holiday Camp in 1989. Josh’s was selling biscuits from his tiny, malnourished hands at Chesterfield market from the age of six through to 18, when he finally clubbed together enough money to get a bus to Birmingham. To buy more biscuits.

“Our first gig together was at the Hull Comedy Festival in November 2014. We practised for three days in the damp attic room of Ross’s house and then unleashed 60 minutes of nonsense on 30 people above a pub.”

“Vic & Bob, Gennaro Contaldo, the hell scene from Event Horizon, The League of Gentlemen, Big Train, The Fast Show and Bruce Forsyth’s silhouette.”

“'It’s Channel 4, it’s Friday night, it’s… THE NOT SO LATE SHOW.' Outside of comedy, Josh wishes to find the perfect bowl of ramen and Ross aspires to eight, good solid hours of sleep. Consecutively, if possible.”

Circuit favourites in the North:
“We have an overwhelming amount of love and concern for Peter Brush, and Joby Mageean is ‘the nicest man in comedy’ and hilarious to boot. Our invented rivalry with nonsense peddlers Chris Cantrill and Amy Gledhill – aka The Delightful Sausage – keeps us awake at night.”

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing stand-up?
Ross: “Gambling on horse racing and selling gold bullion on QVC.”
Josh: “Knocking back cans of Skol and rebuilding Old Whittington Top Club in Minecraft.”

If you could be haunted by anyone, who would it be and why?
Ross: “Josh. Though if he could hold out until after Edinburgh, that’d be great.”
Josh: “Fat Elvis.”

What’s the largest animal you think you could beat in a fight? No weapons.
Josh: “Gerbil.”
Ross: “The St. Bernard from Beethoven.”
Josh: “I think he’s dead, mate.”
Ross: “Well, I’d definitely beat him then.”

Does being funny make you more attractive? And to whom?
Ross: “Yes it does, and to people who are attracted to latent narcissism and a shocking lack of empathy.”
Josh: “I have the physical dimensions of a young Danny DeVito and smell like wild onions, yet have a girlfriend, so I can only assume yes.”

Question from past Spotlighter Tom Lawrinson: Who was the hardest in your school and could you take them on now?
“Danny Dixon. And no because Josh is still scared by the reminder of his existence, never mind the actual prospect of hand to hand combat. Plus, he’s significantly bigger than a gerbil. Danny Dixon that is, not Josh.”

The Not So Late Show is at The Wardrobe, Leeds, 2 & 9 Jun as part of Leeds Comedy Festival; and Pleasance JackDome, Edinburgh, 2-28 Aug, 10.45pm, as part of the Fringe