Interview with Mike Bubbins

Mike Bubbins takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Mike Bubbins

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello. I'm Mike Bubbins.

How would you describe your show?

I would describe my show as an hour of comedy. Stand up comedy, to be specific. I'd probably describe it as very funny, as well. So that's an hour of very funny stand up comedy. Yes. That absolutely nails it.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I want to perform at Edinburgh Fringe Festival because it remains the planet's premier comedy festival. I've written a really good show, and I want as many people as possible to see it. Plus, I got bored of sleeping in my nice house and not being overdrawn.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

I suppose what differentiates it from other festivals is the recognisability and the duration. There are lots of great comedy festivals, but Edinburgh is still the one that is seen as the yardstick by punters and the industry.

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

I've only done the Festival once before, so I can't really comment. I'd only been doing stand up for a year, the first time, and I was still teaching full time. I didn't really know my backside from a hole in the ground, comedy wise. But it was an invaluable experience, which lead directly to me becoming a full-time comic. I imagine it's even bigger now. Actually, I know it is. I Googled it.

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

I had done a load of jobs before comedy: desk jobs, gym jobs, driving jobs, singing, rugby playing, and teaching. But I'd always loved comedy, and I'd ever stayed in a job that I didn't enjoy, life's too short, and all that. So after ten years teaching PE I'd had enough of doing that, and decided to give comedy a go. I think The Office was the actual inspiration for trying comedy, and not just changing jobs again. The part where Tim gives Dawn the oil paints and has written Never Give Up on her sketch of him was so beautiful. Sounds a bit cheesy, but it's true.

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

I'd probably still be teaching Or maybe coaching rugby. Or being the world's best Elvis Tribute Artist.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I genuinely love doing comedy; stand up, acting, writing, the whole thing. If had to do something else I would probably be a carpenter, or an artist, or a restorer of classic 1970s cars.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I've always loved art and drawing and painting. My earliest vivid memory was my first attempt at what I decided was proper art. I was 11 and we had to draw something in our house. My mates drew chairs, and TVs and tables. I sat in my parents bath (clothed) and did a self portrait of my weird hall of mirrors reflection in the taps. Very arty. My art teacher, Mr Gibbs gave me the only 'A' he ever gave me, and showed the whole class. I was chuffed with that.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

I don't feel pressure to update material to current events, my show is about being quite the opposite, of being somebody who refuses to change to suit the changing times. But if there's humour in an event, or an event can bring out humour in something else I've written, or act as a strong counterpoint to it, I'll reference it.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I don't think that in the time I've been doing comedy there have been any seismic shifts. I didn't start doing comedy until after all the racist, sexist nonsense was seen as unacceptable and as bad comedy that relied on cheap laughs and punching down. So I'm thankful for that.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Self employed. Parent. No sleep.

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

Comedy wise I'd love to work with Richard Pryor, or Gene Wilder. Acting wise I'd love to work with Burt Reynolds. In fact, pretty much everything wise I'd love to work with Burt Reynolds. Pryor was the ultimate stand-up, for me. Wilder was the ultimate comic actor. Reynolds was, and still is, the ultimate man.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

There are pros and cons to both. I don't even think it's just a financial decision these days. There are excellent shows on the Free Fringe. There are excellent ticketed shows. If its a good act, in a decent venue, with an audience who are up for it, its going to be a good show. Whether, as a punter, you've bought a ticket, or dropped some old Pesetas in a bucket, is irrelevant.

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

Take a show up to the Fringe.

When and where can people see your show?

My Show, 'Mike Bubbins: Retrosexual Male' is on from August 2nd to 27th at The Assembly Rooms, George Square Studios, (Venue 17) at 6.30pm

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

My website, which has links to everything, is

Mike Bubbins: Retrosexual Male is performing at Assemble George Square Studios at 18:30 on 2nd – 27th August. For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


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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