If you’ve seen Chris on Live At The Apollo you’ll know he’s an extremely funny man, with a fantastic line in material about his wife, kid and why he believes Jesus was married, and he also happens to be the only professional full time blind comedian. He’s been performing for sixteen years now and over that time he’s won many awards, appeared on BBC’s Live at the Apollo, Comedy Central’s At the Comedy Store, ITV’s Stand-up Hero and Channel Four’s Celebrity Deal or No Deal Comedians Special. He’s also acted in Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On, Eastenders and played the role of Rudy the Market Trader in 150 episodes of the CBeebies show Me Too, so to say he’s multi-talented is something of an understatement. Described as “Proper stand-up, honest, straightforward, balls-out funny” by Chortle and “Utterly charming and it’s almost impossible to dislike him” by Three Weeks, you’ll only need to see him once to become a huge fan. Here he talks about his forthcoming tour “Speaky Blinder”, the best and worst things about being a stand up, how he’d like to buy Liverpool FC, and why he’d like to make a tv show with Biff from the Back To The Future films.
Comedy To Watch: How would you describe yourself to someone who wasn’t previously aware of your good self?
Chris: I am just myself on stage. My comedy is very much about life, and family, and everything in between…and with a small dash of surreal nonsense thrown in for good measure.
CTW: You started performing back in 2003, how do you feel you’ve evolved as a comedian over the years?
Chris: I’ve learned to be myself on stage a lot more, and not to let things phase me. I’ve learned that a relaxed and genuine version of me, is also the funniest version of me. I’ve also got older, which I think suits the style of my comedy better. My ideal demographic is probably 35 up.
CTW: Is there any material that you now regret performing?
Chris: Not really. Doing bits that aren’t funny, is the only way you find bits that are funny. And doing things that cross the lines of acceptability, is the only way you find out where these lines are.
CTW: What’s the hardest thing about being a stand up comedian?
Chris: In this era I would say it’s having to have a social media presence. Personally I hate all that, but yet there is an obligation to have that presence and put a constant stream of thoughts and content out there, in order to build a profile.
CTW: And what’s the best thing?
Chris: In the past I might have said that your time is your own, and you can get out of bed when you like. But now I have a kid so all of that is out the window, so I’ll say… You get pretty much instant feedback on your ideas, and get to work with loads of (mostly) great people.
CTW: You’ve acted in Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On, Eastenders, the CBBC sitcom Me Too! and an online sitcom called Wheelbarrow Town, can you tell us a little about those experiences and what the highlights were?
Chris: The highlight was getting to take a main role in Jimmy McGovern’s show. We filmed for a week, and it was a straight acting role. I’d never done anything like it before, and it was great to be trusted to pop my cherry on such a prestigious show. I also loved every minute of filming it.
CTW: You’ve also taken part in a great deal of tv and radio shows including Live at the Apollo, Comedy Central at the Comedy Store, Jimmy Carr’s Celebrity Deal or No Deal, Stand-up Hero, Unwrapped with Miranda Hart, and Loose Ends with Clive Anderson, what were the best things about doing such shows?
Chris: I used to watch the Comedy Store series loads when I was a student, and so it was a real honour to be asked to do that, and ultimately I ended up doing three series. The real highlight so far though has been doing Apollo for the BBC. A live show in front of 3500 comedy fans, and the biggest TV exposure I’ve had to date.
CTW: If you could work with any other comedian in the world on a tv show, who would it be and why?
Chris: I’ve worked with lots of famous people throughout my career, but I think that if I was to ever do a show with Tom Wilson who played Biff in the Back to the Future films, then I might just lose my shit. He’s a musical comedian, but the Back to the Future films are hands down my favourite films, and if I could go back in time and watch them all again, I wouldn’t, because that’s how trouble starts. But yes, I’d do a show where he gets to call me a butthead over and over.
CTW: If money were no object, what would you like to create?
Chris: If money were no object I would buy Liverpool Football Club, and create the greatest most invincible footballing force that the world has ever seen. I would also create an organisation tasked with destroying Facebook, and that TV show with me and Tom Wilson.
CTW: What one piece of underrated comedy do you wish more people knew about?
Chris: I remember seeing a comedy sketch once back when I was at Uni. It was a spoof advert for a really obscure engine part, and I can’t remember ever laughing so much at one thing. In the back of my mind I have convinced myself that it was Saturday Night Live, and that the late Phil Hartman was the voice of the advert, but no amount of Googling has ever unearthed this comedy gem. I wish more people knew about this so that they could tell me what the hell it was.
CTW: And finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?
Chris: Q: Hey Chris, so why should people come out and see your show? A: Because it’s a really funny stand-up show, and it would be really awkward if I’m just there on my own.