Interview with comedian Aaron Simmonds

Aaron talks about Edinburgh Fringe, cancel culture, and offers up some advice for those thinking about taking a show up to Fringe.

Interview with comedian Aaron Simmonds

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello, I’m Aaron. I’m a stand-up comedian and wheelchair enthusiast and I don’t like long walks on the beach.

How would you describe your show?

It’s a show about a guy trying to figure out what his identity means to him, with anecdotes about having sex in a disabled toilet.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

It is the single best way to become a better comedian, doing a show everyday for a month makes you so much better.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The hills. Edinburgh is 80% up hill. It’s like an Escher painting. 

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

Stuart Goldsmith’s podcast (The Comedian’s comedian) was a huge motivating factor to try stand-up. I never really wanted to be in the “industry” I just wanted to see if I could make people laugh for 5 minutes. Then it was awesome, so I did it again and again to the point we are now where it’s my job. Weird.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career? 

Weirdly, I think the biggest impact on my comedy was coming from a sporting background. I was an athlete in various sports just before starting comedy and I took a lot of aspects of sporting performance into comedy. So, I would always watch back my performance and try to analysis it, always looking for those 1% changes that can make all the difference and occasionally elbow one of the other comedians when the compere wasn’t looking…

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Art Attack. What a show. Only realised it was a pun when I was 29.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

When deciding if I wanted to do my first stand-up set, it was a toss-up between stand-up and doing a bungee jump. So professional bungee jumper? Definitely not a thing. 

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now? 

I would say I approach shows differently than I did 3 years ago, whether that’s a direct reaction to Covid I don’t know, or just the fact that I’ve grown as a person and performer over the last 3 years. The world is a different place than it was, but funny is still funny. 

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Had my first threesome. B+.

Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’? 

No. Don’t be a dick. Don’t attack marginalised groups if you are incredibly powerful/successful/influential. It’s a privilege to have a platform, take that responsibility seriously. Think about what you are saying and try to be a good human. 

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

I want Liza Tarbuck to be my mum. Either fictionally in my sitcom or in real life. I’d be over the moon with either.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

  1. Save up. It’s very expensive. 
  2. It’s worth it. Invest in yourself, it’s the best place to be to be the best version of yourself professionally (NB. plenty of bad personal decisions happen at the Fringe.)

When and where can people see your show?

I am in The Pleasance Courtyard at 3.20 everyday (not the 15th) With Aaron Simmonds: Hot Wheels

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

@RollingComedian on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (I’m too old for tiktok)


Aaron Simmonds: Hot Wheels is at the Pleasance Courtyard Bottle Room at 3:20pm from 3rd – 29th August. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com

Header Image Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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