Girls and their gags
So, women aren’t funny, eh? Lauren-Murphy talks to four funny females playing the Vodafone Comedy Carnival to get their take on that lazy trope
When you did you first realise that you had a talent for making people laugh? Oh gosh, I don’t know. I used to be funny socially; since I’ve become a professional comedian, I’m a lot less funny, socially. I used to be the one who was centre of attention, holding court, making everybody laugh – but now, I’m much more likely to be the person at a party having a really intense one-to-one with somebody in the corner (laughs). But I think that part of me is sated by this wonderful opportunity of skipping on stage and having a laugh, and then being able to be interested in other people when I’m off stage. Your dad is also a stand-up comic. Was it inevitable that that sense of humour would trickle down? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people’s parents who are doctors end up being doctors. I think whatever’s valued in your own family’s culture is massively influential. I see myself doing that with my own son – he’s a maths genius, and I have no idea what he’s going on about. I’m like, “Yes, darling, that’s lovely – you’re six and you’re doing cube roots or whatever”. Yet when he says something funny, I really react. I’ve caught myself going “Oh that’s lovely, dear, brilliant Pi chart” and then absolutely howling if he says something funny. So I am mindful of that, so that he doesn’t equate parental approval with being funny quite as much as I did (laughs). But, yes, I think we always knew that if we could make our parents laugh, we could get away with murder. Was there anyone in particular, apart from your dad, who you’d consider a comedic inspiration? At first it was all about the Americans: Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy. And of course, being black, they did talk about an “otherness” that I, as an Iranian girl in London, related to. It didn’t matter if the subject matter wasn’t exactly the same: it was about being an outsider and an “other”. I really connected to that in quite a powerful way. And when Ben Elton came along, that “otherness” became political. We were in a very right-wing society with Margaret Thatcher at the helm, and suddenly this guy was speaking the way that we felt, and it
Bec Hill formula A bit of music, a bit of magic and A LOT of silliness.