How did you get into comedy?
I got into comedy through my school’s librarian. I was already a big comedy fan but in terms of actually getting into stand up I had heard that the librarian at my school moonlighted as a comedian so I just went and asked him to teach me. I spent every lunch time there for months as he sat with me and talked me through joke writing and technique, etc.
Look I know how weird this sounds but I assure you everything was okay. Thank you, Steve! Wouldn’t have done this without you!
Give us the rundown on your comedy career so far?
Started doing it, had a breakdown… bon appetit!
Where are you right now in your life and career?
Well I’m answering these questions in September 2021 because I’m a time traveller, but future me is just vibing. Trying to stick to the mantra of only doing what brings me joy. I’ll be a month into a new day job which knowing me I’ll absolutely despise by then, so maybe I’ll be jobless?
How are you feeling about comedy as an industry as we approach the end of 2021?
I feel really positive about it. After everything we’ve been through the last couple years, I think people in the industry now are here because they really want to be. So many of us felt compelled to do it. I didn’t think I would come back in truth as I was in a bad place with comedy in early 2020.
But eventually I realised that this is the thing I love to do and what I’m seeing right now is that everyone really loves this business and all the gigs, the content, the people are so much better for it!
What are your hopes for performing in 2022?
Another attempt at a full solo show. I started one that got nixed by the Big Sick last year so it’ll be ace to pick that up again.
Mainly though, I just want to enjoy myself. I don’t want to forget why comedy is so great like I have previously. It should be a fun thing to do. I hope it stays that way.
What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard (and who told you it)?
It went simply like this “This is a song for my German Shepherd who just got back from the vet: ‘People try to put us down… Talking bout my pet Alsatian’.“
Can’t remember the comic’s name. I don’t think he does stand up anymore… probably because he completed it through this joke alone.
What do you think are the key features that make the perfect pen?
Ball point and have the ball slightly loose (so many innuendos) but you want that ink to flow real smooth so the pen glides across the page. Bic can do one, absolutely useless.
If you had to replace a body part with a fruit what body part and what fruit would you choose and why?
I’d replace my fist with a pineapple. And then I’d never tell people why I did it…
What advice would you give to someone starting out in comedy now?
Can you give me a lift?
Jk! I’d say the key to authenticity and uniqueness is to just be yourself and say what you think is funny. Say what makes you laugh. That goes such a long way with audiences relating to you and also you liking what you’re doing. Lord knows the amount of comedians that have been doing the same joke they hate for 20 years.
Have you got anything exciting coming up that we should look out for?
The Cult Comedy Podcast. The true crime podcast on cults no one asked for but you’re all getting. We have socials @cultcomedypod BUT our first episode hasn’t been released yet so keep an eye out for that. It’s genuinely informative and funny and I’m so proud of all the work Tony Basnett has done and I have leeched off.
Tony is performing at Blizzard on Monday 4th October at Gullivers.
This interview – along with more interviews, comics, articles and puzzles – is available to buy as a digital or physical zine. Get yours from the Blizzard Comedy BigCartel here.