CB: What is your show about?
TH: The show is about my up bringing, specifically living on military barracks across several countries, boarding school from 7 years old and eventually ending up in The Tower of London. It tackles privilege, living in the shadow of a hugely successful father and how where you’re from shouldn’t dictate the person you become. Its all tied in with observations of an ever changing British identity and lots of flapping about making musical references.
CB: Why did you write this show?
TH: This is my debut solo show, having had 9 previous years with my group “The Noise Next Door”. I felt it was time for me to fly the nest and take on the new challenge of straight stand up. As such I have dropped all music, improv and gimmicks. This is just me and a microphone. For me, the show has been an absolute joy. I am in part introducing the audience to who I am as a person, rather than previous years in a group where you get diluted or mould to fit around other personalities. Now I get to do the routines I want and the jokes I want.
CB: What comedians and comedy writers have impacted the way you write your show structures and material?
TH: Oh many. As far as big name comedians, its many American ones. I like comedy that can be hilarious but also makes a point at the same time. Routines that test you, make you think about thinks from a different perspective. Bill Burr, Louis CK, George Carlin. Then as far as comedians working the British circuit, I have been very fortunate to fall in with a bunch of great comics who really helped me with the transition from improv to written. Daniel Sloss, Kai Humphries, Milo McCabe. I think because they know me well, they help me realise why I’m funny. Mostly by ripping the p*ss out of me.
CB: What is your advice for new comedians and writers who want to write their first show?
TH: Take your time. Don’t rush. You only get one crack at your debut. Don’t write what you think people want, write what you want. Clear your mind of awards and reviews, go up with the mindset of having an amazing Edinburgh with a show you love. And stick to your time limit. You don’t wanna fall out with the act on after so the first first face upon exiting your show each day looks like they want to slap you across your chops.
Tom Houghton will perform his show Class Half Empty at the Edinburgh Festival.