His name’s Jack Harris and we asked him a few questions.
You’re a left-wing comedian. Isn’t that a bit boring? Isn’t it just too easy to get material from what the government’s doing now – where’s the challenge?
“Yes you are right that would be too easy to do. I am on the left politically, ever since I read Arguments For Socialism by Tony Benn as a teenager, instead of having friends, but I wouldn’t say I put it in my act. In my regular ten to fifteen minute spots I tend to talk about everyday things things like trying to speak Finnish, my depressing love for Birmingham City Football Club and my Improv idea where I get the audience to write the last five mins for me which is definitely because I’m not a lazy writer.”
I’m reminded of the American comedian Alonso Boden’s line when Trump got elected – “It’s like the comedy gods looked down on us and said ‘You guys relax for the next four years. We got you covered’.”
“I’m glad you’re reminded of that, I don’t know where the question is, sorry.”
Have you been watching events unveiling at the ICC over the past few days and thinking “Yup – there’s another three minutes”?
“It’s actually made things difficult when watching the Tory Party Conference because you have to keep chopping and changing every bit of the show to keep it fresh. Originally there was going to be a few mins talking about Boris Johnson but for obvious reasons it’s not as relevant, so I’ve had to take time out and watch several clips of Liz Truss talking, which is a fate I don’t wish on my own worst enemy.”
Then again, it’s made an interviewer’s job a lot easier as well; just ask your subject what they think of what’s going on so I’d better move on. Tell us about your new show.
“The show is about the left’s shortcomings, where we are going wrong as a movement, mainly the Labour movement, and how can we show the general public that we have electable policies, you know, it’ll be a feel good comedy show. There will be some good old fashioned Tory bashing as well but I’ll be mainly aiming the show at pretentious, middle class, liberal types who think they’re doing great things because they carry around a tote bag with an obnoxious slogan on it.”
You do a regular gig in Erdington. Is that where you’re from?
“Yes it is, born and raised there. I do like Erdington, we’re the birthplace of Big John’s.”
Comedy in Erdington must provide what might be called a few life lessons. Have you had any hairy experiences?
“Yes with comedian Dave Flynn, his moustache is impressive.”
At least at the Comedy Festival you’ll be amongst friends. Who else are you playing with/looking forward to watching?
“This is clearly a cop out answer but I would recommend to people watch the shows from the local scene in Birmingham, there are some genuinely funny talents coming out of Brum and I would suggest to watch them before they charge you ten times as much in theatres because they have developed drug addictions.”
What’s the local scene like? Are you all best mates or is there any deep-seated rivalry and jealousy?
“With any creative scene you will get some egos, present company included, but there are some comedians who I will take time to talk to and some that I won’t. I’m sure a lot would say the same about me which is okay I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m just here to perfect my craft, hope to build my stature in comedy, possibly make some friends along the way and tell some jokes to audiences because I really like doing that.”
So when you get your own TV show you’ll get a load of Brummie comics on?
“Thank you for the optimistic vision you have for me but there’s no point in lying. I will never get my own TV show.”