Joe Lycett stormed the comedy scene from the moment he
first grabbed a mic. He appeared on Chris Addison’s Show
& Tell on E4, Channel 4’s
8 Out of 10 Cats and BBC One’s Epic
Now he is preparing for his first hour-long show at the
Edinburgh Fringe, Some Lycett Hot.
Joe describes his act as camp, whimsical, silly and fun – and without any kind of political
agenda. He says, “I
talk about homophobia in my act, but not in an ‘isn't it terrible?’ kind of way. Just in a way that suggests
funny and ridiculous that people are still homophobic.”
Unlike many stand-ups who struggle for years to raise
chuckles from blank-faced crowds, Joe rocketed onto the scene. He did his first
gig in the Comedy Store as part of a charity show in 2008. Just a year later he
won the Chortle Student Award and was runner up in the Laughing Horse New Act
of the Year. In 2010, he was on BBC One’s
Epic Win, an unheard of honour for a
that was ridiculous!”,
Joe laughs, “I
was very honoured and excited to get on the BBC at that stage in my career.”
It seems only straight male comedians are able to do
stand-up without being pegged as a representative of their community. Gay,
female, and lesbian comedians all run the risk of being labelled “the gay one”, or “a woman, but still funny”. As a bisexual “with a preference for males”, does Joe ever feel the pressure of
being an ambassador for all bisexuals?
he says, “I
don't make a big deal out of it, I talk about it because it's funny. I’ve got some jokes about it that work.
People do mention it and I get asked about it quite a lot. I don't mind, it's
what I am, but I don't wish to be the bisexual ambassador!”
In an hour-long set, Joe only dedicates around 3 minutes to
talking about sexuality. He points out that the prejudice bisexuals deal with
is being called things like “indecisive” or “greedy”, as opposed to the outright hate
facing the gay community.
best ever gig was on a normal Saturday night a couple of weeks ago, at the
Brighton Komedia. “I
love playing Brighton, they are the loveliest audience.”
His worst gig was in Stockton – no one laughed, and he left the
stage early. “I
felt like I was wasting their time, so I left – but the compere was in the toilet so
there was a horrible, gaping pause! It was disastrous!”
How to cope with a humiliating experience like standing up
to utter silence? Aside from getting “horribly
Joe goes by Millican’s
Law, created by Sarah Millican –
after a bad gig you have permission to mope until 11am the next day. Similarly,
after a great gig, you have permission to congratulate yourself until 11am.
Then, in either case, you move on and improve.
His favourite comedian is American stand-up Louis CK,
because of his “amazing
and “remarkable” material. He is a long-time fan of
Russell Brand. "The comics I like are the ones with an interesting mind
and something to say, not necessarily the best joke writers."
Joe is previewing his Edinburgh show Some Lycett Hot, which he will perform or the entire month of the
Fringe. It's his first hour-long show, but he is just as excited to see other
Joe's Top Tips for
Lou Sanders. I saw her show last year and it was
brilliant, possibly the funniest show I saw at the Fringe. It's called And Now for a Nice Evening with Wallan.
Definitely one to watch.
Hanks and Conran - a very good sketch double act.
Rob Beckett is doing his first hour, I saw a preview last
week and it's really good -exciting exciting comic.
You can see Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot at the Edinburgh Fringe, 1 - 26 Aug, 8.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard
Words by Erica Buist