Ref NoBSUCA/OD/1/46
CollectionOliver Double Collection
TitleAl Murray interviewed by Oliver Double
Name of creatorDouble, Oliver, 1965-
Duration48 min. 14 sec.
Extent1 sound disc (MiniDisc) (80min)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionAl Murray interviewed by Oliver Double, by telephone, 2nd April 2012. This interview was conducted by Double for his book 'Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy', 2nd Edition (2014) .
[0.37] Discussing the Pub Landlord character and the origins of the Landlord. [3.23] The clear separation between Al Murray and his character. [5.58] Licence to being rude and playing the fool. [9.00] How much of the character is onstage? [11.13] The background of the Character and his audience. [14.41] The complexity of the Character. [16.21] Parody in Performance. [20.03] The Landlord's Crowd work. [24.01] Preparing for a show. [28.30] Performance. [30.43] Stadium arenas and the difference of venue. [33.45] Steve Martin and his book. [38.24]The set of a comedy show and not using a microphone. [42.00] "Edgy Comedy". [44.30] Comedy Boundaries to different comedians. [48.14] Recording ends
[Analysis by Matthew Hoss]
- Murray didn't decide to choose to do the character but it just happened.
- The character is a good starting point to start talking about anything.
- You can make every gig uniquely different - there is a different audience every day.
- The landlord has the licence to take things quite far because he is playing a fool, and not myself.
- Socially the Stand-up Comedian is the fool where the audience is the king.
- The character is not necessarily Stanislavski and calls himself "Not an actor".
- Only bringing up topics that are funny.
- The background of the character is very rich.
- Ambivalence in ideas is integral to his act- Murray says he does not like certainty and suspects comedians that sew certainty. The comedians' job is to be ambiguous according to Murray. "We are cosmic pranksters not cheerleaders."
- The audience is equally performing in the same way Murray is performing - the audience is doing the same Pantomimic performances.
- The performance is a ritual; everyone has the roles and makes them richer with stories and comedy.
- The biggest joke to Murray is the person who continues to by his ticket and to NOT get the joke.
- Murray makes it different every night so that he does not get bored and the act stays fresh.
- In crowd work, you can't think of everything, so don't.
- The audience can tell everything instantly - they can tell when you are bored, tired etc.
- You have to write some stuff, rehearse it and persuade the audience that you are funny.
- "Stagetime is the best preparation".
- Write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite etc.
- The material comes from the nuances of Murray's performance - like the Nazi Twinkle Twinkle.
- Steve Martin is a pioneer and communicates his comedy across very well.
- Murray does not use a microphone as he seems that tethers a comedian's imagination and shows lack of faith.
- Big sets because "Why not" and helps sustain the comedy.
- Comedy does not HAVE to push the boundaries, it is just one in the quiver. What are boundaries. Your job is to make people laugh!
- You can't always get it right - sometimes you have to make mistakes.
Notes1 MiniDisc, digitised to LPCM wave 24 bit 44.1kHz. Digitised using Sony Minidisc Deck MDS-JE53; Roland Edirol UA-25; Audacity 2.1.0. 2015-05-20.
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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