Performer: Stephen Bailey Photograph by: Duncan Elliot Show: Stephen Bailey: Our Kid Venue: Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters - Maggie’s Front Room Promoter: CKP and InterTalent Group Online: Box Office Facebook Website
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
I’m bringing back old school comedy, where it is just funny for one hour. We’ll work the room, laugh at my parents and I’ll tell you how horrendous I am at dating to make you all feel less pathetic. It’s a proper working class hour (with some penis jokes because I’m an artiste).
Tell me about your first gig.
It was in a room above a pub to 30 people, 29 of whom were friends I dragged in. I did a tight five (which is something else in the gay community) and I compared my housemates vagina to a roast dinner. My pals loved it and I thought I was a comedy genius. Then came the next six months…
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Don’t talk to anyone. I just need to be in my own space. Putting myself down, making myself nervous and then I explode when I get on stage.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
One reviewer called me a comedy genius and I think that is true and they should all say that. One person said I was just a camp man – like it was a bad thing.
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
I always read reviews. It can help you get better. But also, I’m grounded enough to know it’s one persons opinion. You could have a full room of laughter and applause break but the reviewer might be after more of a political show that hearing about who you gobbled at your cousins wedding so he’ll rate it lower.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
They are a necessary evil. In my opinion, a good reviewer looks at the room. If you’re bombing, you’re bombing but if you’re smashing it and they don’t like it, I think they should at least acknowledge that
In April 2018, YouTube comedian, Markus Meechan (aka Count Dankula) was fined £800 for training his girlfriend’s pug dog to do a Nazi salute with its paw, in response to the phrase ‘Gas the Jews’. Do you believe Meechan committed a criminal offence, and why?
I’m not a lawyer so I have no idea. I think to me. There’s comedy and there’s spreading nastiness and I find him a bit mean. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Ellen DeGeneres, but I find him a bit of a bigot. Do I think he should be arrested? Who knows?
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
People get uncomfortable when I talk about my mum’s tuppence, but she doesn’t shut the bathroom door (she has paranoia that she’ll get locked in). The problem is in her house the bathroom is right next to the front door, so you walk in and it’s the first car crash you see. I’m trying to shame her out of it.
Have you ever gone too far?
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
Supporting Katherine Ryan is the happiest I’ve been in comedy. She has the most lovely audience and they really trust her choice in support acts (thank God) so they give us a fair chance. But big rooms and hanging out with such a wonderfully, kind person – well it doesn’t get much better.