Performer: Ivor Dembina Photograph by: Steph Bor Show 1: Old Jewish Jokes Show 2: Ivor Dembina Show Venue: Laughing Horse @ Finnegans Wake Promoter: Indie Online: Box Office Facebook Website
Tell me about your Edinburgh shows.
At lunchtime I’ll be reprising ‘Old Jewish Jokes’, a comedy story about a Jewish comedian censored by his own community. In the evening, an hour of straight stand-up entitled ‘Ivor Dembina Show’. I’ve advertised the second show as a mixture of new, old and very old material.
Tell me about your first gig.
A five-minute spot on a Monday night at the Earth Exchange – a north London vegetarian café. Payment after the performance was a bowl of brown rice and green salad.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
I usually excrete.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
The review I liked best was in the Jerusalem Post, ‘Almost too true to be funny’. If I was reviewing myself I’d describe myself as ‘The Jew the yids love to hate’.
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
No. In comedy, only your enemies are interested.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I don’t worry about the press. If someone gives me a bad review I get them sacked for being anti-Semitic.
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?
Obviously yes, otherwise he wouldn’t have been found guilty. However, should there be an appeal I hope he wins it. The conviction is nonsense.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
Have you ever gone too far?
I once fell asleep on the bus. (My best joke)
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career. That first one at the vegetarian café. Thanks to the wages, I excreted after the performance too.