Liam Pickford is a young stand up who is carving out a name for himself across the North West. Far from your average “cuddly northern funster”, his aggressively funny and sharp as a pin brand of breakdown / comedy won him the Manchester heat of BBC Radio’s New Comedy Award in 2012 and reached the semi-finals of Chortle Student Comedy Awards in the same year. We chatted to Liam about… well… you’ll have to read for yourself…
How would you describe your act?
A fun jamboree of veritable mirth. I talk about things that the general public can really relate to, like drawers, kettles and silly bloody women. Women, eh? Hahahahahaha. I am a cuddly northern funster, with a winning smile and punchlines that are so amiable they could ostensibly cure your Nan’s arthritis. It’s a whirlwind of good-natured banter. Sometimes, I ask an audience member “Hey, where you from?” then they respond, and I go “Oh no! That’s terrible!” then everyone laughs the hearty laugh of someone with dysentery and has got away with a fart without shitting out some rectal mucus or a kidney. I know nothing about dysentery. BECAUSE I’M TOO BUSY BEING A BLOODY CUDDLY NORTHERN FUNSTER!!! Please help me, I wish I was dead.
How did you get into stand up?
It was a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake, and one which I regret with the purpose of a committed jobsworth bastard. I thought that making people laugh would make me happy. It has become intolerably burdensome, and my dreams have been diminished and cheapened as a consequence. I used to dream of making a difference to people’s lives, and that joy may be found, like some hidden fruit, in the tumult of my failures. Now, I dream that, one day, I shall be able to look my family in their kind eyes again. “Hi, Grandma. Remember me? I’ve got a job stacking piles of paper so they’re easier to burn. I’ve given up on comedy. I’ve left it by the side of the road like a bullet riddled corpse. It’s me. Your Grandson. I’m back. I am someone now.” Then she’ll embrace me, and a tear of pride will brush my cheek and it slides down her face. I’ll come home. One day, I’ll come home.
How far is your material based on your real life?
Mind your own business. LOL! JKZ! Etc. Not at all. It would be awful. Audiences are confronted with their own inadequacies as it is. Pouring mine on top would merely pour fire onto a fire that is on fire. I don’t have material per se. It’s more revelations. Visions, if you will. I regularly receive letters from people who go “Thank you. I’ve given up on Christ, because I have you now, Liam. You’re a much better prophet than all the other God guys.” The fans are great. Sometimes they pretend not to know who I am, as I beg them for bus fare home. They’re such scamps! I’m in tears just thinking about it!”
Would you say your onstage persona is different from you in real life?
I’m not answering any more bloody questions until you agree to dance with me and lend me bus fare. I’m good for it, honest. Just a slight cash flow problem at present. My Nigerian general friend who handles my accounts isn’t answering my emails. He’ll be back soon though. Eight years isn’t too long for a holiday is it really?
Who are your comedy influences?
All the top comedy guys! Oh boy, they’re great!
What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
All the well funny, expertly crafted, sensitive and meaningful Rolf Harris jokes by the top comedy guys. Oh boy, they are off the chain!
Your best gig anecdote?
Life is a gig. Think on, pal.
You can follow Liam on twitter @HouseOfPickford