A Piggy Interview WithJack Barry (Tango)

Performer: Jack Barry
Photograph by: James Deacon
Show: Jack Barry: Tango
Venue: The Globe Bar
Promoter: Berk’s Nest
Online: Box Office Facebook Website


Tell me about your Edinburgh show.

This year my show is very sexy, because it’s something that everyone seems to like, and because I’m an international sex icon. More specifically, it’s about what I’ve learned this year while acting as my parent’s couples therapist (unofficial, unpaid).


Tell me about your first gig.

It was when I was a student at Leeds University. I’d only had about an hour’s sleep because I’d been out for a friend’s birthday the night before. I then had to get very drunk again because I was so nervous. I don’t remember much about the actual gig, but I think it went well because I went on to do it a few more times.


Do you have any rituals before going on stage?

I usually just make sure I drink plenty of water, to make sure I’m hydrated. I once watched a TED talk about public speaking. They said body language before you go on stage is important, so it’s good to spread your body and make yourself big, like you’re scaring off a bear attack. So sometimes I do that before going on stage, but only if no one can see me.


Tell me about your best and worst review.

After one performance of my last show, a couple in the audience tried to have sex in the toilets of Soho Theatre. I consider that the best review my comedy has ever received.

Once at a gig in Hereford an audience member farted so loudly that it completely derailed my set. That was probably my worst review, getting heckled by an anus.


During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?

I never plan to, but I invariably do. I’m like a moth to their judgemental flame.


How do you feel about reviewers generally?

In Edinburgh there are just so many people, you end up getting a real mix, of comedians as well as reviewers. You get some world class comedians/reviewers who are at the top of their game. Then you get some lunatics who just want to have a go but probably should have stayed at home. It’s an absolute circus.


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 don’t really know the details of the case, so can’t really comment. From what I know I’d say it wasn’t a criminal offence. I think context is massively important, and although he said offensive things, they were in the context of a joke. Sure, they weren’t very funny, but I don’t think we should start punishing people for telling jokes that aren’t funny, otherwise I’m fucked.


Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?

The most important thing about comedy is that it has to be funny. So you can’t really say whether or not something will be funny or not purely based on subject matter. It depends on the skill of the comedian, some people can make any subject funny, some people can’t make any subject funny. As long as people are laughing then it’s fine.


Have you ever gone too far?

I hope not. I’ve had some people complain about certain jokes in my set before, but other people have found the same jokes very funny. So who knows who’s correct? Probably no one.


Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.

I opened for Russel Howard at the Clapham Grand a few months ago, that was really good fun. It wasn’t a proper support gig, he was just trying out some new jokes, so I thought I would try out some new jokes too. The audience was one of the biggest I’ve played to and I did a lot of jokes that I’d only thought of that afternoon. It’s always exhilarating to try out new jokes and they go well, in front of that many people it was a lot of fun.

Jack Barry was talking to Wrigley Worm.

Published Thursday, June 21st, 2018

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