From Es­to­nia to En­more, these jokes travel

Lan­guage is no bar­rier for this Scot­tish co­me­dian, writes Chris Hook

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - NEWS -

While his school mates came back from their gap year sport­ing South-East Asian sun­tans, Scot­tish co­me­dian Daniel Sloss racked up his West End de­but.

That was back in 2009, just a year af­ter he’d made his Ed­in­burgh Fringe de­but at the age of 18, hav­ing be­gun his com­edy ca­reer two years be­fore that when he was just 16. It’s suc­cess he can di­rectly at­tribute to his mum’s ad­vice.

“I got ac­cepted into univer­sity and then my mum said that some peo­ple take a gap year be­tween high school and univer­sity to go travel the world and find them­selves. ‘How about, in­stead of find­ing your­self, you just do com­edy for a year and see where it takes you,’ ” the now 25year-old Sloss re­calls.

Since then, it has taken him across the world, in­clud­ing al­most an­nual vis­its to Aus­tralia. He’s back again next month for the Syd­ney Com­edy Fes­ti­val with his show Dark at the En­more The­atre on May 13. While Scloss’s com­edy is not es­pe­cially top­i­cal or po­lit­i­cal, it is quite philo­soph­i­cal. “When I started, I was very much do­ing what I called por­ridge com­edy, which is fine and does the job, but there’s not re­ally any sub­stance to it,” he says. “As I got older I re­alised the co­me­di­ans I re­ally en­joyed weren’t preachy co­me­di­ans, but they did of­fer their take on the world, and I en­joyed that. “It should never take



pri­or­ity over mak­ing the au­di­ence laugh, but I do like mak­ing them think, so not leav­ing with a life-chang­ing mes­sage — I’m not one of those comics who has an im­por­tant theme all the way through — but I do like peo­ple to think, and to get them to ques­tion their opin­ions, swish them around like a glass of wine and mull it over.”

There’s cer­tainly a uni­ver­sal­ity to his schtick. Reg­u­lar vis­its state­side have seen the young Scots­man rack up half a dozen ap­pear­ances on Co­nan, and he is a fa­mil­iar face on TV at home in Bri­tain, too. All of which is al­low­ing him to build an au­di­ence well be­yond the English-speak­ing world — in the likes of Ser­bia, Croa­tia, Aus­tria, Fin­land, Lithua­nia and Es­to­nia.

“I sell big­ger rooms in Es­to­nia than I do in some parts of Eng­land — the first time I went there I sold 480 seats more than two weeks in ad­vance and I was just think­ing, ‘Who are you peo­ple?’” he re­calls.

“But they binge-watch YouTube and they love Bri­tish and Amer­i­can com­edy and be­cause I’ve done so many Co­nan ap­pear­ances, they see all that. So I had no idea I had an au­di­ence there but they’re some of the best gigs I’ve ever had — if I do an­other live DVD, I’d love to do it in Lithua­nia.

“I think if I was more top­i­cal or po­lit­i­cal it wouldn’t work as well but my com­edy is about be­ing a dick­head, so it re­ally trav­els.”

Daniel Sloss: Dark, En­more The­atre, En­more Rd, New­town; May 13, $24.90-$39.90, syd­n­ey­com­e­

Funny man Daniel Sloss. Pic­ture: Ni­cole Garm­ston

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