“Alternative comedy is my favourite, because it’s undefinable in its irregularity.” | David Stanier talks silly parties, video games and how lockdown is changing comedy

Tell us about you/your act.

Super-duper guy, silly-billy boy, and bane of the Magic Circle. Best new really famous popstar 2021.

How did you get into comedy?

I’m just getting started, baby! But I started just getting started at university trying to be both Russell Brand and the Mighty Boosh.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever had?

This is like asking Alexander what was his fave bit of conquering… Probably any of my show David Stanier’s Silly Party, circa 2016. I’m currently working on a new show and I’m excited.

What’s your favourite thing about working in comedy?

All the jokes! Man, they’re so funny and make me laugh a lot! I’m smiling just thinking about them right now. I like it when I do comedy and it goes really well! Also the friendships and the money.

What inspires your silly and feelgood approach to comedy?

It’s just what kind of happened. I didn’t over think it, oh no no no, you must never over think it, shhhh, and only ever whisper its name at night, in the dark, next to a candle.

Your more alternative type of comedy is my favourite. I think because it’s so much more undefinable in its irregularity. And maybe it’s still feeling a need deep down to still in some way undermine the football boys in High school.

How do you think upbeat comedy can help people cope with difficult periods of time, like now?

Laughing is a sure fire way to get cheered right up! From a podcast in your headphones that has you chuckling in public, to the snuggly comfort of your 165th watch of the episode of Friends with Brad Pitt in it, comedy has a snazzy way of making you happy. What will Mark and Jez get up to next in Peep Show? You just know Alan Partridge is going to put his foot in it! So why not watch some comedy today?

Tell us about your podcast Davideogames.

It’s fun chats about videogames. Some episodes I get comedians and interesting people on to talk about what they’re playing at the moment, what’s their favourite game, what was their first ever game and when in their busy lives do they get the chance to play games. Some episodes it’s just me going on about a topic or a specific game or anything, as long as we’re all having fun. And there’s some nifty jingles too.

What inspired you to create a podcast about video games?

I really like them! I’ve liked video games a lot since I was young – you’re talking to a Games Master Star Letter writer. I keep up with all the news and what’s going on. Also while it’s a fun hobby, it feels less of a waste of my finite time if I can somehow link it to the comedy and something productive.

What kind of video games do you cover?

All sorts! I guess due to my type of guests so far I’ve yet to have a big chat about Fifa or anything but we’ve had quite a lot of variety.

Jack Evans talks about Resident Evil. Kate McCabe talks about doing a voice over in The Division 2. Tom Lawrinson talks about Mario Odyssey. Tony Basnett talks about Void Bastards. Sean Morley talks about Super Smash Bros. All sorts!

I bang on about Hideo Kojima and Battlefield 1 quite a bit.

What challenges have you faced working in comedy?

As a cis white guy of medium height, a medium attractiveness face, and a middle class politeness about me – not many that wouldn’t make me sound super crap to moan about.

I guess there’s definitely a mainstream idea of what standup comedy should be and I don’t really fit that, which can make for some awkward twenty minutes-es that can hurt your feelings.

Long nights and early mornings for work. Evenings of invested time and money in transport where there ends up being very little you’ve gained… or have you? Maybe London-centricity and how much it all can cost is challenging.

But it’s all totes worth it!

How do you think that comedy as an industry can better address these issues?

Of those mentioned above that need addressing, money is the main one. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival costs are insane and that’s where most comedians need to go. Even putting on your own one off special as an alternative costs thousands to do properly.

As said, living in London does seem to help a lot, which again is expensive.

But maybe with the pandemic, the New Normal and a heavier reliance on the internet it will now be the great leveler. There is no Edinburgh Fringe and it doesn’t matter where you live. I think there could be some interesting changes.

Or we’ll all just get totally shafted again.

What appealed to you about being part of a show like Blizzard?

I met Jonny and thought they were a nice and funny person. Then I saw the ethos and the line-ups of Blizzard and thought “Yeah! Alright!”.

And dang there are a lot straight white male line ups, with lots of jokes where the punchlines and topics are pretty standard. Sure, there seems to be an audience for it, but it’s not for me.

Also it’s nice to know that you won’t hear someone explaining themselves with “maybe I was saying a joke, and I didn’t really mean that horrible thing I just said”. If you just had to say that then you didn’t do the joke well enough and I don’t think you are joking.

Aside from being a part of cool comedy livestreams, how are you keeping busy during isolation?

I moved house! It was incredibly stressful but also now a good homely project.

I’m also doing my day job from home (I work with scientists, that’s all I can say) and there’s so much more work to do than usual. Enjoy your furloughs, you lazy bums!

I’ve actually been playing video games online with friends which is something I’ve always wanted but never really got to do properly… Now no one can go anywhere they have to play with me!

Do you have any other projects coming up that we should look out for?

I’ve got some videos which are on the way real soon and maybe even some songs, as in the lockdown I’ve been thinking about it and I’m pretty certain I’m going to become a really famous pop star. Watch out the Brit Awards!

David is joining Thom’s team for the second episode of Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche on Monday 29th June.

You can find out more about David by checking out his website and following him on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

You can listen to David’s podcast here.

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