Ref NoBSUCA/OD/1/24
CollectionOliver Double Collection
TitleJeremy Hardy interviewed by Oliver Double
Name of creatorDouble, Oliver, 1965-
Date01/04/2004
Duration29 min. 43 sec.
Extent1 sound disc (MiniDisc) (80min)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionJeremy Hardy interviewed by Oliver Double on 1st April 2004, in Streatham. This interview was conducted by Double for his book 'Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy' (2005) .
Summary:
[0.04] Oliver Double and Jeremy Hardy begin to chat casually about interviews [0.58] OD asks JH about seeing comedy as 'just talking' [1.07] JH says he believes comedy to be excessively revered. He sees it as part of the oral tradition which includes teacher, arista's priests, its platform speaking which is needed in a lot of professions. He says that there are 'trick's in stand-up that can be taught but he does not have much respect for these. Some of his favourite comedians have little technique such as Arnold Brown and Kevin McAleer. He tends not to like shouting and swearing comics how use this as a lazy 'trick' [4.22] OD comments on JH balance of angry political content and well-mannered delivery [4.38] JH thinks that comics should acknowledge what they are doing is theatrical. He does not think comedians should be 'rock stars' or 'cool' because this defies the absurdity of being a comedian [6.18] OD talks about being told to have a rock song on before he goes on stage [6.33] JH says this happens a lot in America and it's like a Jerry Springer type audience mentality. He says that the best comics are usually those who have a sense of their own ridiculousness [8.29] OD asks JH to talk about his reference to comedy being similar to other forms of public speaking [8.48] JH says the similarity is in the use of false logic and false analogies and he finds that the best political speakers are often funny. OD and JH discuss different politicians and their comedy, for example Blair is quite good, however Thatcher never really believed in the jokes she was reading [10.13] OD talks about JH's role on BBC Radio 4's New Quiz and what he was able to bring to it that was different from other panellist [10.50] JH says that when he started out, it was very journalist orientated and he was one of the first comedians to do it. He finds that the only issue with being a comedian on the show is the tension between the pressure to be skittish and the desire to express actual anger. He quotes Mark Hurst who said that he doesn't do a lot of topical political shows because it is disrespectful to the subject matter and cannibalising on other people's tragedy. However JH does find it hard sometimes to pick the best stories to cover as politics is often so boring. JH then talks about the perception of comedians by the audience as character actors, having personas, being scripted or doing adlib. Comedian's having personas is correct in so far as we all have different personas for different situations in our lives. He says that being an actor may make performing comedy easier, however he believes the best comedians are those that would mess up and being inspired by these occurrences [21.05] OD asks JH about his process of developing his material [21.28] JH says he does this in various ways. Sometimes he will cannibalise on material he has sued in radio, sometimes he will say something on stage and it will stick. He says that he finds it very difficult to sit down and write stand-up. He doesn't tend to remember improvisations he does and also struggles to remember material as his notes are often incomplete. JH will sometimes record himself but he finds listening to it back 'unbearable' [22.40] OD asks how JH goes about deciding how to structure his show [22.55] JH says that if he hasn't toured in a few months it can take quite a lot of hard work to bring it all together. However if he is touring regularly he finds he has enough in his head to work from. He used to structure his show quite closely but how he tends to just go with what he feels. To do the best performance, he says it is better to really plan and this involves factoring in breaks etc. [25.20] OD asks if JH ever practices his set [25.26] JH says he doesn't do this anymore and hasn't done since he started out in comedy and would do 10 minute open-slots. He will, however, go through his material in his head. He enjoys the fact that he brings his moods to stage and does not have a strict persona [26.27] OD thanks JH for his interview and the recording ends.
Notes1 MiniDisc, digitised to LPCM wave 16 bit 44.1kHz. Digitised using Sony Minidisc Deck MDS-JE53; Roland Edirol UA-25; and Adobe Audition CC 2014. 2016-03-17.
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. Access is available via digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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