Interview: Tony Law

Tony Law should need no introduction as he’s been one of the best comics on the scene for over a decade now, and has appeared on Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, No Signal, Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats and many other tv programmes, whilst his full length shows can be seen via GoFasterStripe and NextUp. One of our all time favourite comedians, here he talks to us about how he’s evolved over the years, the sitcom he’s currently writing, what he’d like to see change about the comedy scene and much much more.

CTW: You’re just back from Edinburgh, how was the festival for you this year?

Tony: It was my best show I’ve ever done.

CTW: How would you say your take on stand up comedy has changed over the years?

Tony: It’s got worse. Then it got better. Ageing as you notice that what makes you laugh now requires more. Needs to be cleverer, more unusual, more surreal, layered. Stupider. Smarter. Clownier. Just more. You are both funnier and less easily laughed. So getting to grips with that has been the thing. I’ll never be huge. But when people like me they really like me.

CTW: We absolutely loved Tony Law and Friends in the Battle for Icetopia, would you consider doing it again? Or something very different but also unconventional?

Tony: For sure. That felt like we just scraped the edge of what’s possible. But it wasn’t a rent payer or a food buyer. So hard for me to justify spreading my limited audience out.

CTW: If money were no object, what would you like to create?

Tony: My own podcast vodcast studio. I’d lead a factory of all the comedy that is genius but not courted by tv. The acts who struggle to get by doing comedy and balancing a job but are brilliant. Just pay their rent to produce funny shows for everyone. And a live room too.

CTW: You co-wrote a sitcom with Stewart Lee about Thor back in 2007 which the BBC sadly didn’t pick up, but we’d love to know a little more about it if possible? And do you think you might ever release the scripts in book form or something like that?

Tony: Stew won’t hear of it. Yet.

CTW: Is sitcom writing something you’d like to do more of in the future? And if so, what would a Tony Law sitcom be like?

Tony: I would. But I’m unable to due to my moronic education and lack of confidence. If I can get a typer and a structure dude. It’d be in the woods. And feature time travel. I’m currently writing one with Eleanor Tiernan my favourite comedian.

CTW: What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

Tony: Not had it yet. Wellllll. You know 10-12 times a year when doing a solo show to real fans of mine it gets pretty close to perfect for me. My dream is to be able to just simply do more. Have a larger audience. Then I’d be in heaven. I need about 10000 more fans.

CTW: And conversely, what’s been the worst thing?

Tony: Dying in my arse at Hot Water comedy in Liverpool. The club is impossible to die at apparently. Was. It haunts me every day. I can’t let it go. Or figure it out. Could be the clown make up and feathered poncho was too distracting.

CTW: Is there any material that you’ve later regretted doing?

Tony: Lots. I don’t care if you are religious. Do what you want. I mean it’s stupid. But carry on. For balance I mean Islam too. Sorry guys. It’s silly. That stuff. Dwarf tossing routine. Etc.

CTW: What would you like to see change about the current comedy scene?

Tony: Hard to say. Tv comedy seems more conservative than ever. Bland acts. Not enough Paul Foot like on there. Obsession with youth. Or middle class people. They’re great but that’s all their seems to be. Is it a scene? Alternative scene seems good but underrepresented.

CTW: Apart from stand up and script writing is there anything else you’d like to do in the comedy world?

Tony: Have a hit podcast. And a film. And a panel show with dogs. I’d host of course. Dogs could bring their owners. The owners could translate for the dogs. And make it about news.

CTW: And finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?

Tony: Are you interesting? Not at all. My stand up version of TONY is I think.

Related Links:
Tony’s Official Site
Dvds / Downloads of Tony’s shows on Go Faster Stripe
Tony Law – I’m Dangerous Youtube Clip

Alex Finch.

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