“If EVERYONE says putting musicals in your show is a bad idea… make your own mind up.” | Tony Basnett talks Trapdoor, 2000 Trees and roadtrip tunes

How did you get into comedy?

I loved comedy when I was growing up, I got in trouble staying up watching stand up repeatedly. A friend of mine told me I should try it and I was dreadful, I’ll be honest, I think he only did it to prove I wasn’t as funny as I thought!

At Uni I spent most my time gigging across the country with Pat Devine and created a playlist that puts anyone’s driving music to shame (Daphne and Celeste to The Prodigy… there was something for everyone… as long as everyone wanted to hear The Prodigy or Daphne and Celeste).

Give us the rundown on your comedy career so far?

I started gigging and running Trapdoor Comedy around 13 years ago, moved from Hartlepool to Leeds and finally Manchester (with running some gigs in York along the way).

Trapdoor got nominated for City Life best comedy club in 2014 or 2015 but I NEVER mention it.

I got into music festivals performing at places like 2000 Trees, Beat-Herder and a number of others. I once crowd surfed from my set after Kendal Calling whilst recovering from food poisoning which is either the best or stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

I was delighted to become the face of Blizzard when they got nominated for City Life too…

I took my first solo Edinburgh show ’28’ to the fringe in 2019 which was essentially a story about how great my cat was with loads of musicals thrown in.

Then they shut the world down so now just back to gigging as much as I can and writing a new hour.

This zine is published October 2021. Where are you right now in your life and career?

Life is good! Me and Rose have rescued two cats which is ridiculous fun. I’ve not crashed my car for at least 6 months which is always a bonus too.

Career wise, things are looking up too, loads of new ideas being sorted and arranged so hopefully news on all that stuff will be coming soon.

What are your hopes for performing in 2022?

I just want to get back to gigging as much as possible, I want to get back to performing at music festivals, although after two years off I am worried my body will be too old for numerous weekends in tents!

What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard (and who told you it)?

I hate Jugglers, If you want to keep 3 things off the floor, build a shelf.

It’s an old Ed Byrne line that properly made me giggle too much.

Anything by Gary Delaney or Tim Vine too.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in comedy now?

Write loads and don’t stop. I got comfortable with material for a while and it’s tough to get back into writing but it’s like a muscle you have to keep working.

Also if EVERYONE says putting loads of musicals in your show is a bad idea that only you find funny… make your own mind up.

Have you got anything exciting coming up that we should look out for?

Yes! Trapdoor is at The Old Monkey second Wednesday of every month and my new podcast Cult Comedy Pod will be out soon (It’s me and the super talented and stylish Tony Wright talking about cults if the name didn’t give that away).

Tony is performing at Blizzard on Monday 4th October at Gullivers.

Book your ticket here.

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.

You can keep up with Tony’s work by following him on Facebook and Twitter.