Comedy blog

Edinburgh Fringe interview: Nish Kumar

Nish Kumar Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Nish Kumar has been among our favourite comics ever since we first saw him at the Camden Crawl as part of the brilliant double-act The Gentlemen of Leisure.

Since then, he’s focused on his solo career, hitting Edinburgh last year with a critically-acclaimed debut, and he’s back in 2013 with a show about the terrifying consequences of becoming an internet meme.

Come see him preview his show in Camden, London, on July 25 as part of a double-bill with Sara Pascoe.

_ _ _

Hi Nish. How are you today?

Stuffed – I’ve just had too much lunch. Other than that I’m good.

On a scale of cardboard to Christmas, how excited are you for the Fringe this year?

I’m both excited and terrified. It’s like it’s Christmas and I’m a young child who is part turkey. so there’s pure delight, mixed with a sense of impending doom.

Your show this year is about becoming an internet ‘meme’. Are you worried you’ll confuse some of the older audience?

No, I explain what a meme is pretty clearly. It’s easy for me to engage on that level because I actually didn’t know what one was until I became one, so I’ve got more in common with the older audience members than the ones my age. I also don’t know the difference between the One Directions and the Justin Biebers.

The meme was based on the poster from your show last year. How did you react when you first found out? Did you think “Boy, this will make a great Fringe show?”

No I was just baffled. Then I started talking about it onstage, because that’s how I deal with all my problems and the show started from there.

Will you be disappointed if the internet doesn’t turn this year’s poster into a meme?

I’ll be absolutely furious. I’ll have to start writing jokes about cats or trees or something. (NB as I respond to this there is a cat sat in a tree outside my window. So you can see how I get my inspiration)

What is the full range of emotions an audience member can expect from your show?

Anger, disgust, empathy and then sexual arousal.

Is the show easy to adapt for a Radio 4 show in case it wins the Fosters’ Comedy Award?

Considering it’s about a picture of my face, it could be a tricky transfer to radio. It might just be me reading out hyperlinks for an hour.

Do you have a favourite Fringe memory?

I have a lot. Watching Tom Neenan attempt to flyer Sean Connery on the Royal Mile, being chased offstage by a heavy metal band, my parents seeing me do stand up for the first time and many others.

What else are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year?

Loads of great shows and haggis. I love haggis.

Here’s a space to write anything you want about any subject. Go for it:

Please all come to my show as it will be a brilliant time, with great laughs for the whole family apart from anyone under the age of 14 (not allowed in because of swearing) and anyone who is racist (not allowed in because of brown).


Nish Kumar Is A Comedian
July 31 – Aug 25, 8.10pm
Underbelly, Bristo Square
£9 – £11

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