Comedy blog

Joz Norris: Edinburgh Fringe 2015 interview

joz norris edinburgh fringe

Joz Norris is the Andrex puppy of comedy. Lovable with a sense of fun, but with hidden darkness that comes out in the form of ruining toilet roll. He’ll always be one of our favourite acts at the Edinburgh Fringe. So do go see him. The Chuckle Brothers recommend him too.


Hello. How are you today?

I’m good thanks. I’ve just had a major creative breakthrough and am thinking of making a Youtube video where I sing along to all 11 minutes of Van Morrison’s “Listen To The Lion” with total conviction, then halfway through start throwing up. I think it’ll be a big hit, and proper Van Morrison fans will really get it, so I feel great about things.

Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

Very excited. I’m less stressed this year and I think I have a better show. Or an even better show, I guess I should say, otherwise it sounds like I’m doing myself down. I did one Edinburgh in 2013 where I goofed around, one Edinburgh in 2014 where I worked very hard and panicked a lot, and now I’m hoping to have one where I’ve got the balance right. It feels that way in previews anyway, so it should be a fun month. Also, loads of my favourite comedians and best friends are gonna be up there, so I’ll struggle to not have a lot of fun.

At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?

I think last year I worried a lot about trying to make the show “about” something, but I didn’t really have much to talk about so it was just about dating, which is an ok premise but not groundbreaking. This year, at the time of writing the blurb, I had a sort of idea I was grasping towards but it wasn’t really emerging as a theme, more a kind of feeling or a series of images that I wasn’t yet able to compress into a coherent shape, like a smashed mirror. So the programme blurb is a series of fragments with no clear meaning. If you tried really hard I’m pretty sure you could trace every one to an origin point within the finished show, but it would be a pretty futile exercise. They’re just some silly words to make it sound interesting.

What are your tips for getting people to see your show?

I’ve been hassling the Chuckle Brothers a lot during preview season because they always retweet me, and that’s been filling rooms around London. I’m hoping it’ll do the same in Edinburgh, although maybe I need to find a more local equivalent. Maybe I’ll try and get the cast of Balamory in on the action. I’ve actually been to the town where they filmed Balamory, it’s called Tobermory but they had to change the name because they were worried people would get confused with the Wombles. I found all the houses from the show except the red house, which I just couldn’t find, and Miles Jupp’s pink castle, which apparently is a set. Oh, and I’m gonna flyer loads and impress everyone with my sweet credentials.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to see in your audience?

My friend Emily, and my old flatmates Tanya and Emma. Emily moved to Vietnam two years ago and my housemates have just moved on elsewhere after living with me for a few years so the show’s kind of about how having people leave your life changes the focus of what you do, and makes you more committed to it. So this is a show where I try to defend the idea of doing comedy specifically in the wake of having to deal with being on your own.

Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?

I’m sharing a flat with the Weirdos and their respective partners – Beth Vyse, Ali Brice, Mark Stephenson, Gareth Morinan, Natassia Caffrey and Luke Chauffer-Phone. Last year me and Ali and Beth and Luke lived together and we all just went slowly mad in our own ways. I got stressed and panic-ridden, Beth got stressed and shouty, Ali got all mysterious and quiet, Luke continued being Luke. I’m hoping Mark and Gareth and Natassia, as nice balanced people, will have a calming effect on us all. Mind you, every single one of them has an amazing show this year, so we’ll be there to cheer each other up when we need it and remind one another of that. I actually have no idea what Gareth’s doing in Edinburgh this year. That guy’s a mystery.

Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?

I’m going to go and see Inside Out at the cinema and I’m very excited. It’s apparently their best since Up. I’m also going to see my good friend Jamie who I get to see every August and this time I’m going to try and properly spend some time with him and not just wave and nod at him between shows. And I’m going to quit sugar again. I managed to quit sugar during Fringe 2013, and I can do it again.

What’s your topping at The Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street?

Vegetable chilli.

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

I’d like to do a shout-out for the Shambles webseries, which has just finished. We filmed it earlier this year, it’s devised and directed by Harry Deansway and is very funny and has a great tone to it and some amazing characters and a brilliant cast, including loads of awesome comedians doing turns as themselves. It’s about Harry’s attempts to run a comedy club, and the various things that go wrong and get in the way. I play his ineffectual intern Toby Tadpin. Everybody should give it a watch! I feel bad using this last space just to plug something, last year I really enjoyed using this bit to talk about Parliament-Funkadelic, but this year I do have something to plug so there we go. Also, this time last year I called myself a Parliament-Funkadelic fan and I’d never even heard “Not Just Knee Deep.” Jesus Christ, that is a monster of a song. Absolutely incredible. Bernie Worrell excels himself. The whole gang do. Watch Shambles and then listen to “Not Just Knee Deep.”


Joz Norris: Hey Guys!
Heroes @ The Hive
7-30 August, 2pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

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