Edinburgh Fringe: Shane Todd interview

Holywood, Northern Ireland is a small town that produces big names. Shane Todd (star of BBC’s Late Licence and Live at The Sunflower) is miffed that the town council have yet to book him to switch on the Christmas lights. It doesn’t help that fellow hometown heroes Rory McIlroy and Jamie Dornan keep stealing the limelight. So Shane’s gone to the other Hollywood in a bid to keep up with his neighbours. What could possibly go wrong? AAA caught up with Shane for a chat earlier this week.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Fun! I’ve had more people in at this stage that I had in all of last year’s run. I think the show’s getting better every night and I’m not dead behind the eyes yet.

Tell us about the show you’re in…

It’s an hour of stand-up – relaxed anecdotes would be a fair description. It mainly revolves around me going to LA this year to chase a dream.

What’s the audience reaction been like?

Even at weekends they’ve been respectful and lovely. I haven’t been heckled yet and feedback has been really great. I’m aware I’ll be heckled tonight now that I’ve said that.

When did you realise you were funny?

This morning. I remembered a bit of last night’s show when I woke up and laughed for a about three hours.

Were you the class clown?

Sometimes. Not in a jack-the-lad type way. I was more of a sarcastic little prick who could do half decent impressions!

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

That should be the case, but comedians mainly can’t say things that other people can now. Material can be so much worse when it’s written down in text. For me, it’s all about where the ‘bit’ is coming from, who it’s really making fun of and how it’s delivered.

Was there a comedian who inspired you?

I watched a lot of sketch shows as a kid and obsessed over them, so plenty of those like the fast show turned me on to comedy. Ricky Gervais’ TV work and anything by Steve Coogan had a big impact on me. Richard Pryor and Kevin McAleer are the stand-ups who I idolise.

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

Micky Bartlett @ Gilded Balloon

Loren O’Brien @ Pleasance

Fathead & The Big Dog @ Newsroom

The Desprettes @ Gilded Balloon

They’re the shows I’ve seen – and they are all worth a watch.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

I go to see Louis CK on Thursday – is that really happening?!

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

Go to the gym and get away from the buzz of the festival. I’m a big football fan, so I’ll catch up on hours of highlights.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

Mums for pie and mash. The Globe for cheap gin and tonics!

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

My name on the sold-out board last weekend!

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

It’s quite good and you’ll be out of the rain.

Shane Todd: Holywood to Hollywood, Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), 10.15pm, until 28 Aug, www.edfringe.com

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