Bhoy is this man funny
FOR someone who literally stumbled into the stand-up comedy scene, Scottish funny man Danny Bhoy has done pretty well making a living out of making people laugh. Entertainer writer KUE DAVIS spoke to the internationally renowned comedian as he gears up for his show at the Coffs Ex-Services Club this Friday and Lismore Star Court Theatre this Saturday.
You started in comedy back in 1998 - within a year you had won The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award, and it's kind of snowballed since then. How did you get into comedy - was it a definite career choice?
Not really, I kind of stumbled into it, literally. I was on my way home from the pub, I'd left my friends and there was an open mic night on at a pub on the way home. I went in to have a look and there was this guy standing on stage in front of about 15 or 20 people; I thought he was the bravest man in the world and I wanted to give it a go.
So what were you like growing up - were you the class clown?
I used to make fun of teachers, for sure. Not in a malicious way, but more because I was bored and had classic Attention Deficit Disorder. I guess I kind of was the class clown because I used to try and make everyone laugh - but I got myself into a lot of trouble.
You're observations about your home country Scotland- and others you've visited - are absolutely hilarious . . . but has anyone ever taken you seriously and taken offence?
It's hard to say - I guess they wouldn't come to the show if they did! I try to be as magnanimous as I can about it and not target any one country more than another. I find that making fun of the country you're in is best. People are fond of local jokes, they like a bit of piss taken out of themselves - and I love all the countries I visit, otherwise I wouldn't be there. I try to do it in a friendly way.
You're an amazing mimic. You fall into the Aussie, French, German accents so naturally. Is that something you've worked on?
I think that comes from being at school and mimicking the teachers. I used to do it a lot, and I used to do it pretty well (laughs). It's not so much an impression as mimicking - I hear a voice and I can repeat it. Some people have photographic memories, I guess I have a voice recognition memory.
So are your shows improvisation or do you have a set list?
It's definitely not improvisation. There's improvisation within the routine, but I have sort of footnotes for the show. Then I just kind of go with the flow. The show changes each night, I don't sit down and write a script but it's definitely planned.
How do you deal with hecklers? What's the best heckle you've heard?
Honestly, there have been hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. I don't mind a good heckle, as long as I can hear what they're saying. If someone yells something and I say 'Sorry?' and there's no reply it makes the gig a little difficult. The Scottish are really good hecklers, I've had some good ones. The Aussies are good, too...they're always keen to have a bit of a dig.
Have you ever lost your train of thought mid-show?
Frequently - and they're the best kind of shows I think. Those moments are really genuine, I think that's when it's at its rawest.
What would you be doing if you weren't doing comedy?
Probably shouting at people in the street (laughs). Really, I have no idea. I have history degree, so maybe teaching or something like that. I had part time jobs out of uni, but it was from there things snowballed.