Age: 29 | Location: London, UK
For a man of many jokes, it surprises me that the guaranteed way to make The Comedian laugh is simply to pick a banana up and say hello, as if it’s a phone.
Even telling me this, he giggles.
Beyond banana-phones, there are a few things that The Comedian feels strongly about.
One of them is Sainsbury’s cookies, the ones you buy in paper bags from the bakery section at the back of the shop.
‘You gotta treat yourself. Obviously it’s not the five shit cookies, it’s the four excellent Taste the Difference cookies. Triple Chocolate or Salted Caramel.’
I tell him that I normally buy the cheaper ones, five for £1 rather than four for £1.50, and he informs me sternly but politely that I know nothing about Sainsbury’s cookies.
Another thing he seems passionate about is being a better dancer than others his age.
‘I’m good for my demographic of middle class white men.’
I reply that all middle white class men say that and he sets up a quick defence, switching into the posh acted voice from his viral videos.
‘No no no there are people that go - I’m ahhhctually not baaad on the dancefloor, I’ve got some pretty decent moves - and then they do big fish little fish cardboard box and think they’re top banter. I’m talking about holding your own on an R&B night. That’s the sort of thing I can do.’
Most of all, The Comedian is seriously committed to football.
In fact, he even defines success in football terms.
‘I don’t know how big a football fan you are, but there’s this one article on Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game, when he drew 5 all with West Brom. Not the best result but a crazy game. They talk about how he was on that day, because he was retiring, having been the most successful manager ever. And he was just so happy, because he was proud of everything he had done. That for me is success.’
‘I don’t know when it will be, but at some point when I have to hang up my boots, I just want to look back and be happy and proud, and think I gave it my best shot.’
Perhaps this is all because for him it’s a family tradition. It has meaning beyond pints and goal-scoring (although these are obviously important).
His last family holiday was to San Sebastián, Northern Spain, to see a match.
‘Me and my Dad, we got tickets to the Man United Real Sociedad game, so went out there with my mum and sister, who decided they wanted to come too. They were up for that game but they’re not as much up for the away games at Wolverhampton and Leicester.’
Later on, he lets slip his growing anxiety that holidays like this might happen less and less.
‘My Dad’s going to be seventy next month. I thought about how we go to all these football games together and at some point that’s going to end and I’m not going to be able to go with him anymore and that made me so sad that I started crying.’
He tells me he’s scared of two things. The first is underachievement. The second is Manchester United getting relegated. My guess is there’s a third. His Dad dying.
I ask who in his family has impacted him most.
‘That is tough. Definitely not my sister, she’s waste.’
He chuckles, eyes bright.
‘I’d probably have to go with Dad because I wouldn’t have done the things I'm doing now if it wasn’t for him. The comedy and following football. My mum didn’t want me to be a stand-up, she wanted me to get a job. Which I did, at first. But my mum has given me a lot in terms of the values I have in life. Looking after people, putting others first - something I struggle with but she’s really good at. That’s my mum.’
But The Comedian doesn’t want to be defined only as a son and a football fan.
He’s worked hard to get to where he is now.
‘There's a feeling of some people that you just put your phone on a tripod and record something and then you get tens of thousands of pounds for it, but it’s just not true.'
'Instagram, Twitter, they don’t pay you anything. TikTok pays you a little bit but it’s nothing to live off, nowhere near.’
‘I think maybe it would surprise people how much these relatable chilled out people online, how driven they are, and how entrepreneurial we have to be.’
Gigs happen in the evenings, but he works hard to practise and prepare beforehand. With the exception of Sundays, he does ten minutes of stand-up writing, ten minutes of sketch writing, and ten minutes of listening back to stand-up gigs every single day.
‘You are your habits. We all think we’re good people doing great things. I love reading, but if you don’t read, you don’t love it. It’s better doing a little bit of something daily and making that your routine. That’s going to benefit you over the long run.'
'Consistency is the big divider between people. We’ve all been brilliant at some points, but I think if you can keep doing a bit everyday, over years you’ll be so much further along.’
For The Comedian, all the work is totally worth it.
‘The best bit is when you’re in the pocket with the audience and you’ve just connected with them. You’re having a good time and they’re having a good time, and you feel like you’re just making this genuine connection with people. You can do that with a thousand people sometimes, and that’s incredible.’
He also loves getting feedback from people, hearing that he’s said something which resonated in a particular way or helped someone make light of something serious.
‘Our job, and what we do, it’s representing that broad spectrum of emotions. I’m always wary of people who don’t seem to have anything that sets them back. I think they must be hiding it.’
The proudest moment of his life so far?
‘There’s a couple. One of them was I came runner-up in the Leicester Square New Comedian of The Year, right at the end of 2017. My parents were there, and it was the first competition I had done that well in. They looked genuinely proud of me in that moment, which was the first time I had probably ever seen that in my life. And then selling out my Edinburgh show was sick. That was great.’
And my final question - I want to know something which nobody knows.
‘Sometimes I still pick my nose.’