Ref NoBSUCA/OD/1/35
CollectionOliver Double Collection
TitleAndre Vincent interviewed by Oliver Double
Name of creatorDouble, Oliver, 1965-
Duration54 min. 28 sec.
Extent1 sound disc (MiniDisc) (80min)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionAndre Vincent interviewed by Oliver Double on 14th July 2004, at a Café in Central London. This interview was conducted by Double for his book 'Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy' (2005) .

Summary: [00:04] Interview starts. Oliver Double [OD] asks Andre Vincent [AV] when he got into stand-up comedy. School production of Oliver Artful Dodger. [00:48] Boy chorister, grandparents were acrobats The Flying Toffs. [01:44] Taming of the Shrew Biondello
[02:08] AV learnt circus skills, unicycle juggling, for a production of The Comedy of Errors
[02:18] AV studied at the Fratellini Circus Course in France. [03:02] Ended up at the Vancouver World’s Fair 1986. [03:11] While he was there he saw improv, worked with Keith Johnstone. [03:34] OD asks AV what Keith Johnstone was like. [04:37] AV says Loose Moose is a good place for training.
[04:44] OD asks where AV grew up? South East London [04:50] OD asks what time frame did you start acting? 1980. 1981 went to Guildhall. 1984 Circus stuff. 1984-5 Street work. 1986 Vancouver.
[05:29] OD asks if the circus school and Keith Johnstone and Loose Moose helped with standup? [06:04] AV brings up hecklers. [07:38] The old boys from the variety shows could deal with hecklers and silences; Ken Goodwin.
[10:20] OD asks AV how he moved from Loose Moose to standup. Comedy Store Players Theatre, [10:39] Started compering at the Tram Shed in 1990.
[12:00] In 1989 AV was working for Disney MGM Studios, [12:50] In 1992 he was in North America doing standup. [13:10] AV opened for Bob Hope, OD asks what he was like.
[14:03] AV did the Comedy Zone in Edinburgh with Harry Hill, Al Murray, and Brenda Gilhooly.
[16:20] OD asks about superstitions or rituals. AV says he didn’t like wearing green. [17:30] AV adds that he gets nervous if he performs in a room he’s never got a laugh in. [18:25] AV recalls Cole Parker blaming AV for him having a bad gig. [19:02] AV tells an anecdote about compering Bath University, The Rubber Bishops and Dave Thompson’s pre-show ritual.
[20:10] OD asks how AV generates material. AV admits he never writes stuff down. [20:50] AV talks about the writing process and writing five shows for the BBC. [21:59] OD talks about how it’s a sin to steal a joke but using a standard anti-heckle line is common property.
[22:15] AV has read a lot of Dennis Miller and got into his silly throw-aways. [24:46] AV praises Ross Noble’s use of language. [24:58] OD praises Ross Noble’s way of dealing with hecklers.
[26:51] OD asks about prepared material vs spontaneous material. [28:07] AV tells an anecdote about a cellist in the audience.
[32:42] OD asks AV if he’s the same offstage as he is onstage. [33:27] OD asks AV about his relationship with the audience. [34:30] AV talks about doing a gig at the Peace Bike Race, Ivor Dembina had been on.
[35:37] OD asks AV about texting Phill Jupitus with sick jokes, and why he tells shocking jokes.
[36:32] OD talks about Don Rickles going on stage and insulting people and saying outrageous things. [37:09] AV says it may have something to do with having cancer and being told he couldn’t talk about it. [37:34] OD asks about the cancer show. [37:57] John Gordillo liked the show, which meant a lot to AV.
[38:41] OD brings up Richard Pryor doing jokes about his heart-attack, or Billy Connolly talking about being beaten as a child. [39:18] AV says Andy Kaufman, Graham Chapman, Bill Hicks and Arthur Askey never talked about their battle with cancer. [40:04] George Egg never lets AV forget that he brought him onto a crowd he’d told he had cancer.
[40:58] OD asks if it gives him an ownership of doing jokes about cancer if people believe him. [41:15] AV talks about doing a show in the Hellfire Club. [42:08] OD asks about doing the show in Edinburgh [42:17] AV talks about doing two previews
[42:50] AV says at the first show the audience was filled with faces of people he knew, including Steve Bennett from Chortle, and he instead tried to appeal to the comedians in the audience. [45:40] OD asks if doing the Cancer Show was his way of coping.
[46:36] AV was annoyed that having cancer was his claim to fame. [46:47] Alan Davies criticised The Times critic Steve Armstrong for saying AV only became funny when he got cancer.
[48:00] OD asks AV what he thinks about the morality of doing jokes that may offend. [49:56] AV tells an anecdote about doing a joke at the Ealing Comedy sketch night.
[51:21] Apparently Jeremy Hardy was in the audience and was so offended that he left. [51:30] AV talks about how he was furious at Jeremy Hardy for writing an article taking Ann Winterton commenting on offensive jokes about the 2004 Morecambe Bay cockling disaster out of context. [52:20] AV talks about the difference between doing jokes in a gay style and the spike of casual homophobia in standup.
[54:10] Interview wraps up.
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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