Interview with Larry Dean

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

Interview with Larry Dean

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Sure. My name's Larry Dean, I'm a Glaswegian comedian, and I was very tempted to copy and paste my Tindr bio for this answer.

How would you describe your show?

An hour of funny, I hope. A theme usually emerges in the days leading up to the festival, too, but I tend not to impose one on myself too early on. And hey, all the best shows are left last minute, right? Right?!

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Honestly, I want to be home for a month. It might sound dull, ungrateful even, but these days it really is such a luxury to spend a month in the same place. I have been to all of the service stations. All of them. It's also great having all my friends, from all over the world, all in the same place. THAT I'm grateful for.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The whole city is buzzing 24/7. It's amazing. A lot of the other festivals I go to tend to be quite short and are generally limited by time constraints. But in Edinburgh there's always something to see. Even at 4am, some of the night life is just as entertaining as the performers. Maybe more.

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

I don't know if it's more accessible, if it gets more publicity now, or if more people are just into performance these days, but I feel like there's been a definite rise in audience numbers. Not just at my shows but at the fringe in general. Though I've only done it six times, which is nothing compared to others, so it's hard for me to track any big changes. Also, because I've been there every year since my first, it's hard for me to see any changes that may occur. Like that friend who cuts their hair every week compared to the one who does it every six months. Maybe if I had a year off I'd notice something.

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

There wasn't much else I was good at really. I could make my mates laugh and that was about it. So, I thought I'd give it a go and try and get paid for it. I suppose watching people like Billy Connolly and Jim Carrey when I was a kid put the idea in my head.

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

Like I say, I wasn't much good at anything else. I used to clean toilets and deliver pizzas but even then, I was always worried I'd get something wrong.

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

Rock star. It's like being a comedian but you can take your top off on stage and people won't boo. I also assume you don't experience quite the same type of loneliness if you're a rock star. Rock star loneliness is cool. But a lonely comedian? That's just sad.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Doing Elvis impersonations to my family.

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

Sometimes. It's not really my thing though. I do however appreciate comics that do take that role. I was in Manchester a few days after the terrorist attack and there was a feeling in the room, a pressure, until the opening act commented on it. He didn't do any jokes but just addressed the situation. Everyone appreciated it and the gig was so much better for it.

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

I think everyone is more sensitive now, which is understandable, but I think people have to give comics the benefit of the doubt before they jump on them for covering controversial topics. If you mention one of several 'trigger words' in the set up to a joke, a lot of the time the audience has made up their mind not to laugh at whatever you say for fear of seeming un-PC, despite the fact that the butt of the joke is something else entirely. Comedy would be pretty boring if we just went on stage and said things that made everyone feel comfortable.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Gigging. Holidays needed. WTF America?!

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

Jesus. I would've encouraged him to write his own book rather than having it (holy?) ghosted. "It'll be hard" I'd say, "but you'll be gutted when you see how the f**kwits misquote you and still make a ton of money."

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?

In my opinion, I'm giving and getting the best of both worlds, by doing the "Heroes of The Fringe". You can pay £5 to reserve a ticket, or you can just turn up on the hope there'll be seats and you'll get in for free. And if you thought it was worth a few pennies, or a few more if you paid, there's also a collection at the end. It's great. There's the fairness and value of the free fringe along with the organisation and professional trappings that comes with the paid fringe.

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

Don't go up and do an hour unless you've already done a mixed bill show (with other comics) first. It's a good way get to know what the fringe is all about while having a good time.

When and where can people see your show?

Fandan is on at 6:40pm everyday apart from the 15th at The Monkey Barrel Comedy Club for tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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


Larry Dean: Fandan is performing at Heroes @ The Monkey Barrel at 18:40 on 3rd – 27th (not 15th). For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is a Politics graduate, and holds a Masters in Journalism. He serves as Editor for Voice, and has an almost unhealthy obsession with Batman. His hobbies include gaming and reading graphic novels - his current go to series is Bill Willingham's Fables.

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