Edinburgh Fringe: Kirk Smith (Rice Krispies With Ketchup), interview

Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian Kirk Smith has performed in over a 1000 venues on five continents. A regular at some of the best clubs in NYC and LA, he also has done several tours of Australia and Europe.

His best-selling book Rice Krispies With Ketchup is loved for its authentic voice and honesty. His podcast Autastic is consistently ranked on iTunes with 10’s of thousands of downloads a month.

This stand-up show covers: his wife’s depression, his child’s autism, travel, and unicorns. And yes, it is funny, not sad.

AAA caught up with Kirk for a chat in between shows.

How has your Fringe been so far?

The Fringe has been an amazing experience. It is an opportunity to catch up with great artists from all over the world. To hang out with buddies from Australia, Romania and Turkey all in one place. Edinburgh for a month becomes the city of misfit toys…and I fit right in.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in?

Stand-up comedy show covers, wife’s depression, child’s autism, travel and unicorns. Jokes man…just jokes.

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

I have been overwhelmed with the audiences outpouring of love and support. I enjoy talking a little about my journey raising a son with autism – I am always encouraged by people connecting with my wacky story…even though they do not have a child with autism. Pain unites us all.

Do you read your reviews? Do you? 

I have had a few social media reviews.  The two recent ones that made me laugh are:

“Hot piece of a** …who is also very funny.” Written by a man

And my personal favourite: “Go see him, he’s not sh** and he’s got a skateboard”. But that’s actually not a negative Scottish review – if anything, it’s a ringing endorsement if I have ever heard one.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

First of all…it’s pay what you want lol, so no forking money until you know if you have enjoyed it. I talk about raising a son with autism, my late wife’s depression and growing up in Ecuador and El Salvador.  The Venn diagram of comedians talking about those three is small…there might only be one person in it…me. I’ll make you laugh…or I’ll give you your money back.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Ohhh yeah.  Zoltan is at the Mash House…you should see him if only for the name!  LOL Olympics is at the Stand 4 – great chance to see acts for all over the world. Yianni Agisilaou has two great shows this year. Al Lubel is at the Free Fringe in my same venue.  He is veteran of comedy having appeared on Leno, Letterman, and CARSON! There are many great acts.

What’s on your hit list to see?

I want to catch Al, who I have not seen in years. Elixir, who I saw in Perth, but enjoyed.

Oh, I really want to catch Harry and Hendersons. A Glaswegian band I watched year and LOVED. And there is a rumour that Eddie Izard is going around holding the bucket for people.

What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off? 

Day off? What is that?

Do you agree with those who say the Fringe has become too big?

Who gets to decide who performs? The problem with gate keepers, is you’re putting power into the hands of people who don’t perform. Let everyone come in, the cream will rise to the top.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

I really liked Mother India (worth the line). For bars, you can’t go wrong with Devil’s Advocate.

Oh, and I like to give a shout out to the Balmoral hotel. I am not staying there…but I used their bathroom. It’s exquisite.  If you get the chance definitely use it  – great toilet paper.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in Edinburgh this year? 

What stands out after two weeks in the Fringe…the two sober people I saw on Cowgate after 11pm last Saturday. Narcs for sure.

Sell your show in no more than ten words:

Ok two options:

Come see me…Pete on twitter says I’m not sh**.

Or

I don’t know what to tell you…I don’t suck.

Rice Krispies With Ketchup, Black Market (Venue 399), 3.15pm; 6.20pm, until 26 August, www.edfringe.com

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