Fringe interview: Leo Kearse

Scottish Comedian of the Year, Leo Kearse returns with the follow up to I Can Make You Tory. Poking fun at liberal sanctimony and hypocrisy, Leo takes on millennials, #metoo, environmentalists and Jeremy Corbyn, showing why socialists are selfish and Trump is great.

AAA caught up with Leo for a chat in between Fringe shows.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Brilliant, the show has been packing them in and I’ve been doing lots of fun comedy industry stuff like the BBC blue tent. Maybe I’ll finally get successful and then people will have to be nice to me or I’ll crush them like an ant.

Tell us about the show you’re in…

My solo show is Right Wing Comedian, it’s a punchy run through my contrarian (but actually true) beliefs that Trump, capitalism, bullying and the patriarchy are great. The liberal left has completely disappeared up its own arse, manufacturing outrage, virtue signalling by erroneously calling people racist and promoting censorship. It’s club standup, not polemics, so it’s actually funny.

What’s the audience reaction been like?

Fantastic. We’ve been turning people away every night. Sometimes just because they look poor.

When did you realise you were funny?

My mates were always telling me to do standup. I wish I’d started in the 90s, then I’d definitely be rich and famous now. If you started comedy in the 90s and didn’t get rich and famous you must be dogshit. Now it’s very hard for a funny comedian to get noticed in the industry because the focus is on Edinburgh shows about trauma and rape and moaning about white men, instead of being funny.

Were you the class clown?

Yeah.

Can comedians get away with saying things no one else can?

I think people still see comedy clubs as an unsafe space where ideas can be aired that wouldn’t be acceptable in other contexts. We often take an extreme angle or play devil’s advocate to make people see a subject in a different way and twist the humour out of it. As long as people can see you’re following your own personal logic, you can get away with a lot. I run a late night show – Hate n Live – where comedians improvise hatred for topics given to them by the audience. It’s anarchic and anything goes – the audience create an environment where we can push the boundaries further than they can go.

Was there a comedian who inspired you?

I love American comedians who are funny instead of having some crybaby sob story – Chris Rock, Bill Burr, Scott Capurro. I love Jerry Sadowitz too. He’s a master of offence, although recently I’ve noticed his overt racism and misogyny has been attracting undesirable characters – liberals who complain about the show and ruin it for me and the skinheads in the audience.

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

Yeah, Russell Hicks is a masterful improviser, I love Scott Capurro too and Laura Lexx. Darius Davies is doing a show about his trolling exploits. I’m looking forward to seeing Andy Storey too – he’s inherently funny.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

I want to see some proper dreary award-winning shit.

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

Day off? Why would I throw away hundreds of pounds by taking a day off?

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

Espionage is a great venue with dozens of shows. Zuhus is a great chicken place and it’s pretty inexpensive too.

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

An elderly Scottish couple yelling abuse at me because they couldn’t get in to my show after queuing for 20 minutes. I’m really sorry that I’m more popular than the Beatles.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Don’t come if you’re poor.

Leo Kearse: Right-Wing Comedian, Laughing Horse @ Espionage – Pravda. 7.30pm, until 26 August, www.edfringe.com

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