Ref NoBSUCA/Events/1/3
CollectionBritish Stand-Up Comedy Archive Events
TitlePhill Jupitus in conversation with Oliver Double
Name of creatorJupitus, Phillip, 1962-; Double, Oliver, 1965-
Duration1 hr. 38 min. 42 sec.
Extent1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionPhill Jupitus in conversation with Oliver Double recorded at the Templeman Library Lecture Theatre 1 on 29 September 2015.
[0.10] Oliver Double (OD) introduces the 'In Conversation' event with his guest, Phill Jupitus (PJ) and briefly talks about the venue, the new Lecture Theatre at the University of Kent's Templeman Library [1.24] PJ comes to stage and OD begins by talking about his activities at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe 1.41- PJ says in Edinburgh this year he was doing 3 shows a day. He would wake up at 8am and walk to the art gallery to do his show 'Sketch Comic' where he would sketch paintings and encourage others to join in with him. He says that this year he did not drink while he was in Edinburgh. At 1.20pm he would then play Arthur Conan-Doyle in the play Impossible with Alan Cox. Then, at 5.20 pm he would perform 'Apologist Now', his fourth Porky the Poet show in a row for Edinburgh's Free Fringe. [3.20] OD asks PJ to explain about the 'Free Fringe' [3.25] PJ explains about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe being set-up by Richard Demarco and other 'free-thinkers' in the 1960's when Britain was still rebuilding itself after the war. It was in the 1980's when 'alternative' comedians began to take hour-long sets to Edinburgh. Comedians were used to doing 20 minutes in circuit shows and so this enabled them to develop their act, PJ describes this as becoming a 'marketing exercise'. The big venues: The Gilded Balloon, The Assembly Rooms & The Pleasance then put on full comedy shows. He describes the Perrier award and the creation of competition among performers as 'the beginning of the end'. PJ's first show at the Fringe was in 1991. The Free Fringe was developed by Peter Buckley Hill who wanted to create free shows [8.50] OD talks about the British Stand-Up comedy archive and begins to bring up images from collections that relate to PJ. The first of which was a cartoon he drew of himself and Linda Smith [9.02] PJ explains that before he was a performer, he was a cartoonist who would illustrate for fanzines [9.43] OD explains more about the Archive and how it began with the Linda Smith Collection. OD then asks how PJ knew Linda [10.11] PJ explains how he began in poetry in 1983, around the time of the ranting poets. He toured a lot on the London circuit, toured with acts such as Billy Bragg and performed a lot for CAST new variety where he would have met Linda in 1984 [11.57] OD explains the next image which is a flyer from 1991, from Route 52 Cabaret Club in Sheffield (LS-003-008-001-011-2-A) [12.08] PJ talks about the venue of Route 52 Cabaret which was a working men's club. PJ describes the audience reactions like 'a hamster with an iPhone'. The audience were used to 'gag' comedians and this wave of alternative comedians were more about telling stories. What this was able to do was to force comedians out of their comfort zones [16.68] OD shows PJ another Archive piece which was a programme for the 'Red Wedge' tour in which PJ has drawn an illustration for the back page [17.16] PJ explains Red Wedge, an arts organisation that worked with the Labour Party, set up by Billy Bragg to work with Youth Groups to discus polices and what they wanted from the party. He describes the passion and hope behind this project and about the Labour election defeat in 1987. He talks about how politics has changed and about education being free [21.45] OD shows PJ another archive image of a flyer for a show 'South of Deptford' in 1988 (LS-003-004-001-004-A) [22.15] PJ begins to describe some of the acts that were on this line-up. He talks about Andrew Bailey having three acts: the first was Andrew himself performing stand-up. The second was Podomovski who was a trade delegate from the Russian ministry of toys. Fredrick Benson painted his face like a panda and would stack shoes, he once came on stage on a motorised chaise lounge and another time he sang 'There's no business like show business' while hitting Weetabix with a tennis racket into the crowd. His final act was performing as Lenin. PJ says he misses the maverick side of these cabaret acts [28.00] OD asks PJ about his transition from being a poet to being a comedian [28.05] PJ said he found that he was doing his poetry and would talk in between the poems and found that these parts of the show were becoming longer. He then performed in Leeds in 1986 and remembers journalist James Brown telling him that his talking sections were better than his poems and so to do this more. PJ then took a few years to consider his act, he worked in the music business from 1987-1989 and then decided to give this up to become a full-time comedian [31.23] OD introduces the next image; a page from the Meccano Club's booking book (1987-1995) [32.14] PJ comments on some of the other acts on the page with him and talks through which ones are still performing and which ones he has seen since. He also describes what it was like to perform in the Meccano Club [33.46] OD brings up another page from the bookings book for PJ to look at [34.08] PJ continue to talks about fellow acts that were on the line-up. OD draws attention to the fact that he was also on the same bill. PJ said that at this time he was very methodical about his stand-up and would treat it like a job. He would go through the Time Out back pages and ring the clubs whose details were given. PJ then talks about performing with John Hegley and admiring his amazing heckler put-downs [38.35] OD shows PJ a contract he signed to perform at the Colchester Arts centre for the Meccano Club in 1992 [39.06] PJ discusses his fondness for this venue and about performing there [41.14] OD asks PJ how he began to write material when he first started out as a comedian [41.44] PJ said he knew what he wanted to talk about and would write them in bullet-points. When it came to performing he would give a joke three attempts and if it didn't get a good response. PJ said the big turn-around for him in terms of developing material, was when he began to MC a lot more. He was able to develop his ideas and do a lot more improvisation with the audience which developed a lot of his best ideas. He says this happened increasingly when he worked with Lee Evans, who would always be late. One time Kevin Day heard PJ's Chewbacca impression which eventually built up a set which developed into an hour-long Edinburgh show [50.22] PJ talks about performing on the London Club circuit and how this was able to train you to cope with every crowd and every venue. He then talks about how being a compere also helped him to develop his reactions to hecklers [56.13] OD asks PJ how he went from doing to radio full-time to getting back into comedy [56.27] PJ talks about going back to Stand-Up after you have been on TV- crowds are quick to negatively judge when you play on the London Club circuit so he has been motivated to just do his own shows now. The only way back into comedy is to never completely stop. PJ decided to get back into performing by doing a Porky the Poet show. For stand-up he practiced first doing 20 minute slots and then did 14 hour-long preview shows before taking it to Edinburgh. Stewart Lee once gave him the advice that if you book a room, you have to perform and that will motivate you to do it [1.01.07] OD begins to ask PJ questions from the audience by first asking questions posed to him on Facebook. The first question is about improvisation and where PJ see its place in stand-up comedy [1.01.44] PJ talks about his experiences watching 'Second City' improve. group. He then talked about the role of improvisation in his own performance saying that compering relies a lot on improvisation. He also used improv in a show where he used 'hot seating' to play 3 different characters: An older, dead version of himself, a 114 year-old dead actor and the Captain of a WW2 U-Boat [1.06.08] OD opens up for questions from the audience [1.06.10] Audience member asks what advice would PJ would give to inspire young political comedians in the current political climate [1.06.36] PJ says that the most important thing is to keep talking about these topics. But he believes that comedians should stick to talking about politics in their own forums while entertaining, he objects to comedians being on shows such at Question Time. PJ says that most attractive political comedy is the most absurd ideas. What is important is to highlight the issues that are being ignored by mainstream media and allowing the government to get away with terrible activities [1.10.53] The next audience member asks about satire and whether it dilutes the 'seriousness' of politics [1.11.51] PJ says he believes you can and should talk about the absurdities of politics and that raising an issue does not dilute the issue, for example the comedy of Bill Hicks [1.13.52] Audience member asks whether having musicians on Never Mind the Buzzcock's was like dealing with hecklers at a comedy show [1.14.34] PJ explains that if he was rude to musicians on the show, it was because they had been ruse to him prior to the show. Where this was different was in the years where Simon Amstell presented, at this time acts were purposely booked so that Amstell could take the mick out of them, which PJ did not like/approve of and wanted to quit because of this. He goes on to talk about the 'fake-ness' of television [1.21.48] Audience member asks whether comedy ever can and should change people's minds [1.23.12] PJ says comedians are always changing minds because by making people laugh, you are changing their emotional state. Using this vehicle, comedians can through other opinions in. He says that it was only through the work of Bill Hicks that he found out about the American CIA Contragate scandal. Despite this, personally, he does not do political comedy himself because he gets too angry. He does commend political comedians, like Mark Thomas, who act as political campaigners [1.28.47] Audience member asks about PJ's Star Wars shows and how he dealt with audience members who did not know the show. PJ responds by saying that his show actually explained the whole of the film and so it was not too much of an issue [1.29.12] Audience member asks whether Jedward are as annoying as people think they are [1.29.17] PJ said he actually felt quite sorry for them and feels they have been exploited by the industry they are in [1.32.57] Audience member asks whether PJ would like to work with Noel Fielding in the future [1.33.07] PJ said he would love to as they get on so well, however they do very different acts [1.34.12] PJ thanks the audience for coming and asks whether OD has any more questions [1.34.28] OD talks to the audience about Monkeyshine events coming up and also his own 'Break A Leg' show in December [1.34.47] Commenting on OD's upcoming show, PJ talks about how comedy can be created from any and every life situation and encourages everyone to do what they want to do because they love it and not in order to make money which he has been able to achieve [1.37.46] The audience show their thanks to PJ for a great show [1.38.42] Recording ends.
PhysicalDescriptionAudio file WAV LPCM 48kHz 24 bit stereo
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsAvailable for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU.
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