Nick Elleray’s an extremely accomplished comedian having been a finalist in the NATYs, the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year Award, the Up The Creek One To Watch Competition, and a contender for three years running in the BBC New Comedy Award, while hes won the 2017 Old Comedian of the Year Award and on screen has featured for BBC 3 in their Quickies sketches. Now his latest show has garnered him his best reviews yet, with The List describing it as “Brilliantly penned gags… a perceptive portrait of middle age ★★★★” and Short Com saying ” ‘A fantastic Fringe experience ★★★★” and he’s performing it in London (and hopefully elsewhere) this autumn. Here he tells us about the show, what the Edinburgh Festival was like for him this year, how he’s changed as a stand up over time, and how he wishes he could work on an ill conceived vanity project that wouldn’t see the light of day until he was dead.
Comedy To Watch: How would you describe your comedy to someone who wasn’t previously aware of your good self?
Nick: It’s stand-up comedy, but with a crazy twist. The twist is that it’s mostly about Nick Elleray. So, if you’re a fan of Nick Elleray or would like to know more about Nick Elleray, you will enjoy it A LOT.
CTW: And what can you tell us about your latest show?
Nick: It’s the best thing I’ve done so far. Even ignoring the fact that it’s approximately 50 minutes of material about Nick Elleray (which I’m very partial to), it’s fun and honest and has a bunch of good jokes and I really like performing it.
CTW: How was the Edinburgh festival for you this year?
Nick: I did a good show, got good reviews and had good numbers and audiences. So it was a success, but it would be completely out-of-character for me to declare it as such.
CTW: What are your favourite and least favourite things about the festival in general?
Nick: Favourite: Getting to hang out with lots of entertaining pals. Least Favourite: Constantly running into entertaining pals.
CTW: When it comes to stand up, how do you feel you’ve evolved since your first ever gig?
Nick: I am no longer mute.
CTW: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you since you started performing?
Nick: After I did my first open spot at the Comedy Store, I sat down for the one-on-one debrief with Don Ward, the club owner. In the middle of the conversation, he stuck his hand out and I shook it because I thought he was signalling the chat was over, but he wasn’t – he was just gesturing to make a point, so he returned the handshake but kept talking and never acknowledged that I randomly shook his hand in the middle of our discussion for no reason.
CTW: Apart from stand up is there anything else you’d like to do comedy -wise?
Nick: I have been told I have a very relaxing voice, so I would like to narrate an audiobook that can be enjoyed even if you fall asleep before the end of it.
CTW: If you could change any element of the comedy world, what would it be?
Nick: There would be just me and maybe four or five other people doing it. We’d be spread pretty thin, but I like a full diary.
CTW: And if money were no object, and you could collaborate with any living comedian, what would you like to create?
Nick: I can’t imagine collaborating with any of the people whose work I most enjoy – I never think “You know what’s missing from Maria Bamford’s set? Nick Elleray material” or “Gee, I hope The Delightful Sausage do some gags about being an emotionally repressed, middle-aged Australian man in their next show”. So, I would collaborate with some hack comic on an ill-conceived, doomed-from-the-start, vanity project movie that would require five years of filming in tropical climes but would never see the light of day until I’m dead.
CTW: Finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?
Nick: Q: Did you really once work in the busiest ice cream store in the Southern Hemisphere? A: Gosh, what a left-field question, Nick – you’ve really done your research! No, no, it’s good, I like it, good for you. I wish more interviewers were this thorough. Anyway, um, yes… yes, I did.