Comedy blog

Ken Cheng: Edinburgh Fringe 2017 interview

ken cheng edinburgh fringe

A debut hour from this Cambridge University dropout and professional poker player.

Expectations are big for Ken Cheng who made the final of the 2015 BBC New Comedy Award.


Hello. How are you today?

Very well thank you. I’ve just had my flatmate’s Wii added to my flat, which came with riveting titles as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (both 2008 and 2012 versions) and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007.

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

Very closely. Mostly because of its inherent vagueness in the first place. I am still very much Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian, a title I picked for the very reason it would probably remain applicable come August.

Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your act in any way?

The events of 2016 were so big that they are now so ubiquitously talked about by comedians that it’s become a crowded market – if anything, it’s turned me away from talking about anything topical as I can’t be sure someone’s already covered that ground. There is one Trump reference in my show.

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

I am sharing the flat with a group of other comedians who are performing in a sketch show I’m doing some writing for. I think the main key is to play a lot of board games with each other at night, that’s been my MO the past few fringes.

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

I’m actually most excited about seeing James Acaster’s 2014 show Recognise again. Other than that, The Wrestling is a guaranteed good night.

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

I think just being in a hub of lots of people I know. London can feel very sparse. Very empty. Alone.

What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?

Carrie Fisher. Star Wars was a big part of my life growing up. I had just seen Rogue One when she was hospitalised, and after a few days, it felt like she was pulling through, and we could claim one lone victory against 2016. Nope.

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

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Wii) has some incredibly questionable game design decisions. Large portions of the game are dedicated to “potion-making”. I have no idea who thought this would be a fun and engaging game-mode – it literally involves you adding random ingredients to a very badly rendered cauldron, and then jiggling your Wiimote until it heats up. Come on, it’s 2009.


Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian
Pleasance Courtyard
2-27 Aug, 4.45pm
£9-£10

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