The Dominion Post

McIntyre is back with his Big Show

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Michael McIntyre’s philosophy is simple: switch on the cameras and try to make people laugh their socks off for half an hour. ‘‘People can be very serious in life,’’ muses the British comedian, whose TV programme, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, returns to our screens this week. ‘‘But this is comedy. We are trying to make people laugh here.

‘‘So let’s be really silly for half an hour. My show is about silliness and exaggerate­d stories.

‘‘I like jokes where people don’t stop laughing. I want that all the time.’’

The 43-year- old, who records Michael McIntyre’s Big Show in front of an audience each week at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London’s West End, adds that, ‘‘It helps when you remind yourself that it’s all very silly.

‘‘Don’t get overawed by people staring at you – tomorrow they’ll be staring at something else. They just want to have a laugh.

‘‘Make them laugh as hard as possible and give them the opportunit­y to say to each other on the way home, ‘That was hilarious. My face hurts.’ ‘My face hurts’ is a particular favourite. At the end of the show, I want their faces to hurt – not mine.’’

What has always distinguis­hed McIntyre’s comedy is a rare ability to make specific observatio­ns about daily life, which strike a universal chord.

The standup, who has sold more than 1.5 million tickets in the UK alone and is also hugely popular in New Zealand, says that, ‘‘I sometimes reflect on my own life on stage and no one laughs, but you have to hope the people will laugh. It’s weird where you suddenly get those moments and they resonate with everyone.’’

The comic, who in 2017 won a Bafta for Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, assesses why these sections of his act have worked so well.

‘‘We’re all living the same lives,’’ he says.

‘‘I highlight something that people haven’t really thought about before. ‘‘They realise we all do the same thing and it makes them laugh. When I hit those moments, it creates a very big laugh indeed.’’

The comic, who toys with the audience in Michael McIntyre’s Big Show in segments such as Unexpected Star and Midnight Gameshow, continues that, ‘‘People would say to me, ‘Every time I do that, I think of you.’ As a comedian, that’s what you like to hear. You own those areas. It’s very gratifying.’’

But, McIntyre admits with a smile, some of those closest to home have not been paying attention to his routines.

He confesses that, ‘‘I did a joke about the daily struggle to get your kids to put their coats on, and my children still refuse to do it. I say to them, ‘Put your coat on. I did a joke about this on the telly and it’s gone viral. It’s got five million hits and still you’re resisting’.’’

The comic, who has sold 3.5 million DVDs during his career, discloses that another person from his close family – his wife – may not feature as prominentl­y in Michael McIntyre’s Big Show as she has in the past.

‘‘She seems in the clear at the moment,’’ he says. ‘‘She’s had it quite bad in the past.’’

The standup, whose best-selling autobiogra­phy Life & Laughing was published in 2010, carries on, ‘‘That was never clearer than when we went to the Royal Box at Wimbledon.

‘‘At one point, Prince William walked past.

‘‘He stopped and said, ‘Hello, Michael’. Then he turned to my wife and said, ‘So you’re the one in all the jokes’. Prince William has been watching jokes about my wife farting at night.

‘‘But things are looking pretty good for her in this show.’’

The comic also emphasises how thrilled he is about reconnecti­ng with his audience on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show. ‘‘I’m so excited about it. I don’t want a steady job. ‘‘Comedy is what I do and it’s so rewarding. ‘‘If you write a joke and tell it to an audience who laugh their heads off at it, it’s the best feeling in the world. What more could you want?’’

– James Rampton, TV Guide

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, TVNZ 2, Wednesdays, 8.30pm.

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