Interview: Jonny & The Baptists

jonny and the baptists index
I’ve only seen Jonny & The Baptists the once but plan to rectify that as soon as I can as they’re one of the best musical comedy acts around, something that’s notoriously difficult to do well but which they manage somewhat beautifully. They’re justly multi-award nominated and have been describes as “Excellent ★★★★” by The Guardian, “Wickedly funny ★★★★” by The Times and “Superbly crafted ★★★★” by the Metro, and we agree with each and every one of them. Here they talk about their new show “Jonny & The Baptists Love Edinburgh and Hate Bastards”, what they love and dislike about the Edinburgh Festival, and how an accidental bit of clumsiness was described in a review as a “perfect piece of satire”.

Comedy To Watch: How would you describe your comedy to someone who wasn’t previously aware of your good self?

Jonny & The Baptists: We are silly, satirical musical-comedians who are very joyful and want the world to be better. We perform funny, silly and sometimes serious songs about love and friendship and climate change and the rise of fascism.

CTW: And what can you tell us about your Edinburgh show?

Jonny & The Baptists: It’s called Jonny & The Baptists Love Edinburgh and Hate Bastards. We’re very proud of this show and genuinely think it’s our best ever show. It’s about love and friendship in an unloving world, and it’s got about 20 new songs somehow squeezed into a very fast-paced hour. Come see us! It’s very funny and very lovely!

CTW: What are your favourite things about the festival?

Jonny & The Baptists: It’s the best arts festival in the world and it’s in the most beautiful city. Where else can climb a mountain, swim in the sea, visit a castle, eat the best curry of your life and then and go and see a mainstream comic then a contemporary-dance-performance-artist all in one day? Edinburgh is totally unique.

CTW: And are there any aspects you don’t like?

Jonny & The Baptists: The rent prices? That really has started to get awful.

CTW: When it comes to stand up, how do you feel you’ve evolved since your first ever gig?

Jonny & The Baptists: I guess the main thing is we know who we are now, and that is the most helpful thing possible. It takes ages to be certain about your style and your comic voice, but once you know that and have it down comedy is the most wonderful thing in the world.

CTW: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you since you started performing?

Jonny & The Baptists: I once kicked over someone’s pint in the front row by mistake, whilst talking about the banking crisis of 2008. I thought it would be funny to get the guy in the front row to clean it up whilst I kept on talking. The next day a review came out that said it was a perfect piece of satire on the banks – fucking up, then getting someone else to clean it up. It wasn’t, it was a genuine error. I’m just clumsy.

CTW: If you could change any element of the stand up scene, what would it be?

Jonny & The Baptists: I think I’d make it easier for comics to make a living and try to get rid of the promoters who get rich off them. But it’s a pretty nice scene, to be honest, so I wouldn’t change a great deal.

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

Jonny & The Baptists: A machine that fixed climate change and made people less angry and gave a everyone a really nice new hat.

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

Jonny & The Baptists: The question would be: “tell me your darkest secret” and the answer would be “absolutely not”.

Alex Finch.
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Related Links:
You can find out further information and buy tickets for their Edinburgh show here.
Jonny & The Baptists Official Site.
You can follow them on Twitter here.
And you can check out their Youtube channel here.

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