As anyone who’s seen him will know, Kieran Boyd’s a superb comedian whether he’s performing stand up or as part of a sketch group, with Three Weeks saying that he’s “Genuinely funny…very talented comedian” and View From The Gods stating “Kieran Boyd, one third of sketch comedy group WitTank, is always a joy to watch…whether alone or with his group, he’s one of the shining lights of the scene”. Here he talks about his new show, how he technically supported Metallica, the differences between stand up and sketch work, and the time he unexpectedly spoke about coffee to a mostly Italian audience for three and a half hours.
Comedy To Watch: You’re performing your show Crashing The Party at the Soho Theatre very soon that’s all about your time in the sketch group Wittank, what were the highlights of being with them?
Kieran: Highlights included getting our sketches on TV for a BBC3 sketch show, and spending a week on location filming our own sitcom pilot based on those sketches. Also playing Reading Festival – I’m a metalhead, and we technically* supported Metallica.
*This involves a fair bit of mental gymnastics, but I’m cool with it.
CTW: You mention in the description that the group was often “Reckless and Disapproved-of”, can you expand upon that a little?
Kieran: We were an awful lot of fun, as people in their 20’s are wont to be, and I’d say we developed a reputation as being drunken and loud and obnoxious, sometimes to the extent that the gigs could be pretty rowdy. I’m sure there people who thought what are they doing?
CTW: Do you prefer performing as a stand up or as part of a sketch group? And can you ever see yourself regrouping or starting a different group?
Kieran: They’re two different beasts, and I’ve experienced the best and worst of both. Obviously not doing sketch any more stand up is the favourite – it’s easier to mobilise, to have an idea and try it that night. No plans to regroup or start another group – I think after a certain point sketch is a difficult type of performance to sustain, especially financially. There aren’t too many sketch acts featuring performers over 30.
CTW: You’re currently working on a new solo stand up show, what can you tell us about it?
Kieran: Not much I’m afraid as it’s all very new. Loosely I’ve been talking about being a control freak because everyone in my family growing up is a control freak and how exhausting and also funny that can be.
CTW: What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?
Kieran: Last year I got to support Ed Byrne on a leg of his tour – that was pretty special, playing some big sold-out rooms and having some amazing gigs and generally a lovely time.
CTW: And conversely, has there been a lowlight?
Kieran: So may to choose from… I once did a corporate where I hosted a latte art competition in Ealing where contestants had to draw patterns in the coffee foam. I thought it was a 10-15 minute set before the competition but it turned out they wanted me to commentate, so I spoke about coffee art to an audience who were mainly from Napoli, weirdly, for 3 and a half hours.
CTW: Many comedians gain larger audiences by appearing on panel shows, is that something you’d like to do? If so, which ones? And what are your feelings about them in general?
Kieran: Of course I’d do them, but I don’t think they’re anybody’s endgame. I think if you’re lucky enough to be touring, they’re your way in to public consciousness, so they serve a purpose.
CTW: Apart from stand up and sketch work is there anything else you’d like to do in the comedy world?
Kieran: Yes, I’m writing several projects, as is everyone I know. A sitcom would be a dream.
CTW: What one piece of underrated comedy do you wish more people knew about?
Kieran: I often wish more people knew about specific bits but I’m currently drawing a blank… Although I’ve been rewatching the League of Gentlemen recently and discovered a number of my friends had never seen it! It’s all on iPlayer right now, get on it.
CTW: And finally, can you tell us something about yourself that you’ve never mentioned in an interview before?
Kieran: My show Crashing the Party is at 8.45pm at Soho Theatre on Monday 16th March.
Our interview with Kieran from 2019.