Interview: James Acaster

james-1mbJames Acaster is a terribly funny young man. If you visited Edinburgh during the Fringe you probably saw a poster for his latest show covered in more stars than face, or heard that he’d been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for the third time. Not that any of that phases him. His latest show, Recognise, is a shining example of the minutely calculated whimsy and original understated gags that mark Acaster out from the crowd. You can see the show at The Unity Theatre this Saturday night as part of the Liverpool Comedy Festival. We asked him a few questions about the show…

How would you describe the show?

Low key whimsical stand up about the life of an undercover cop pretending to be a stand up comedian (me).

How similar would you say you are to your onstage persona?

I don’t have an onstage persona, only an offstage persona, and I am nothing like that.

What inspires your material?

The eternal battle between good and evil.  Also, food.

Who are your comedy influences?

The Rock mainly.  Really, just The Rock.  He had so much going on back in the wrestling days. The People’s Eyebrow, “Know your role”, calling people ‘jabroni’, saying “it doesn’t matter” all the time…

You’ve just come back from Edinburgh, where you were nominated for Best Show for the third time. Do you think that this has affected the way you write and perform? Do you feel a pressure to live up to expectation?

No way, man.  Uh uh.  Not this guy.  If people go to a show just because it got nominated and not because they know what the comedian does and they like their comedy, then they are going to be disappointed 9 times out of 10.  Nothing I can do about that.  No way, man.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?


What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool?

Do you still have the weather map on the water? I loved the weather map on the water.

Follow James on twitter @JamesAcaster.

You can catch James Acaster: Recognise at The Unity Theatre, this Saturday, 27th September at 6pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

This show is part of the Liverpool Comedy Festival. To find out more about this and other fantastic shows as part of the festival, check out their website or the rest of our coverage here.

Recognise will be touring the UK until the 29th November. Further details on his website here.


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