Edinburgh Fringe: Peter White interview

Through no fault of his own, Peter White was born a straight white male. Lots of people hate straight white males. Should they? Do they deserve it? This bold, honest and hilarious debut show tackles race, gender and sexuality in a way that few comics would ever dare. AAA caught up with Peter for a chat this week.

How has your Fringe been so far?

It’s been good! It’s my first time here, so I had no idea what to expect. At first it’s pretty overwhelming, there are just so many people and so much going on. But now that I’ve got my head around it a bit, it’s been great. Although I’m pretty sure I’m developing gout.

Tell us about the show you’re in…

The show is called Straight White Male. It’s a hilarious and honest look at the world, especially my place in it as a much hated person of privilege. It’s not a pro-men show or anything like that, it’s surprisingly PC.

 What’s the audience reaction been like?

So far everyone has been lovely. It’s such a nice break from the clubs, the audiences here are much more patient and attentive. I’ve been very happy with how every show has gone.

When did you realise you were funny?

In high school I ran for class president because I wanted to make a speech, and it went over really well. I got a lot of laughs and then I won the election. Though the joke was on me because then I had to do the job. And I did it poorly. We all learned a valuable lesson that year.

Were you the class clown?

Aside from the speech mentioned above, not really. I was more anxious than anything else, and learning how to be funny was kind of a coping mechanism. I know that’s a bit of cliché answer, but sadly it’s true.

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

I think that used to be true, but it’s changing. As a comedian now you have to think about what you’re saying, and be confident in it, because with the internet and social media now if you say something you shouldn’t the word is going to get out. In Canada, the great Mike Ward just got fined $42,000 for a joke! Nobody on the street would get that kind of treatment.

Was there a comedian who inspired you?

There wasn’t a particular comedian who inspired me to get into comedy, but once I was in there were a ton that inspired me to keep going. The thing about Canada is that no one gets famous, so it wasn’t big names. It was the local guys who were incredibly funny without ever expecting to make it big. They went out every week and did a great job because they love it, that’s what was really inspiring.

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

For sure. I haven’t seen too many yet as I’ve been panicking about my own, but of the ones I have you can’t go wrong with Dylan Gott, Andrea Hubert, and Evelyn Mok

What’s on your hit-list to see?

Bill Burr is number one for sure. Anything after that is just gravy.

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

It’s still one more week before my only day off. I’m hoping to spend it asleep and away from people. Maybe take in a couple of shows, but the rest of the festival is so hectic that I’m looking forward to grinding life to a halt for a day.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to take in many yet. I’ve been mainly eating at this little boutique place, I think it’s local. It’s called Subway? Delicious sandwiches.

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

I was walking through the meadows and saw a guy taking a piss against a tree, which wouldn’t be weird except instead of facing the tree he had his back against it and was pissing towards people while making hard eye contact with everyone who walked by. That’ll ruin your day.

Sell your show in no more than ten words…
It’s hilarious. And if you miss it God hates you.

Peter White: Straight White Male, Just the Tonic at The Mash House (Venue 288), 6.20pm, until Aug 28, www.edfringe.com 

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