CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
LP: Four and a bit years. My first proper gig was a So You Think You’re Funny heat in Manchester and I did a terrible thing about having asthma, which proved far more contentious than I could have ever envisaged.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
LP:Visions. Ha! I don’t know. I think it’s a bit of a shambles really. An endearing one hopefully. Like a pissed up uncle. Read into that what you will. I try and avoid thinking about it as much as possible, because I don’t want to add to the pervasive tumult of guilt and shame that I labour in perpetuity.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
LP:Morecambe and Wise. I was raised by my grandparents so have very fond memories of watching them on Sunday nights before being sent to bed. It’s nice to laugh at stuff grown-ups do. As a child it gives you a sense of equality that is soon dashed by dungarees and being grounded. I really like Peter Cook because everything he did was amazing. And he dressed immaculately too. I like to be surprised. If you do comedy then you stop laughing so much, because it’s awful and tiresome, so anyone who smashes stuff up or is wilfully terrible I find extremely endearing.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
LP: I think so. I was a very, very fat child and went to an all boys school. I attempted a rugby union career which was short lived because Mr McKenzie and myself had fundamental disagreements on the uses of a severely asthmatic proper forward. After that, making people laugh seemed the obvious way to avoid being given dead legs.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
LP: This’ll sound terrible and supremely conceited, but I don’t. I don’t sit down and think “let’s go gold mining.” I have tried and have found it a singularly futile process. I tend to wait for stuff to happen and then change the wording as it develops (after floundering and dying) and then hope for the best. All the comedy I got in to seemed to be shambolic and chaotic, so I thought this would be the best way to capture that spontaneity. It’s a choice I regret and remedy with heavy drinking, chain smoking and a reliance on Rennies.
CB: Do you gig as a comedy performer full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
LP: Sort of. I’m lucky that most of the stuff I do is paid now and I’m getting the chance to do some fucking awesome stuff which I scarcely deserve. I work on a bar too. I enjoy it, the people are good. Apart from people who order Guinness last in a round. Those people can suck a hydrocele. It has no influence whatsoever though. I don’t really do stuff about me. I live a very sad life and the experiences accumulated from it have no comedic merit whatsoever.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
LP: I moan and grumble like we all do. Probably people like me are the most frustrating thing about comedy. Miserable bastards. It’s reassuring to surround yourself with people with validation problems, but I don’t think it’s very healthy. No-one outside comedy gives a fuck about what you do, and nor should they. It’s a flagrant and unbridled egotism exhibition. But the gigs are top and make you feel dead good, and the vast majority of people involved a kind, generous and interesting.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
LP: Ones who buy me drinks.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
LP: A bit. Not as much as I thought which is disappointing. I have a scary face and carry myself like a poorly crafted latrine, so I think that puts people off. I once ran at a heckler with a bin in Liverpool. The silence afterwards was like a symphony.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
LP: Run, you fool!