Comedy blog

Chris Coltrane: Edinburgh Fringe 2017 interview

chris coltrane edinburgh fringe

One of the best political comics of this, or indeed any generation, Chris is your go-to source for Tory bashing this Fringe.

Expect powerful points intelligently made, great jokes and a tinge of the surreal.

Hello. How are you today?

Tom, why did you allow Nick Cody to remove this question from his interview. Why, Tom. Explain to us why you allowed this. I’ve never met Nick, though he seems like a nice guy; nevertheless, I think you have failed in your responsibility as a journalist by letting him get away with dodging this question.

These are the facts: when you let the powerful pick and choose the ways in which they want to be accountable, democracy dies, and you do a fundamental disservice to your fellow citizens. Nick “The Beefman” Cody must, MUST be made to answer this. I demand that you follow this up, and publish it as a separate article. If you refuse then your entire website is nothing more than a sham [We can only apologise. The world will never know how Nick Cody was when sat in front of a computer in the middle of June 2017 – Ed].

Also: I’m good! Thanks for asking.

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

I tried to plan ahead: my blurb was something along the lines of “Who knows what the planet will look like by the time you’re reading this, but if you like friendly socialist comedy then I’ll make you happy for an hour.” I mean, I’d go and see a show like that. And more importantly, dickheads wouldn’t.

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

What events? Do you mean the referendum? Please don’t tell me what happened, I’ve got it recorded and I’ve still not watched it yet, so no spoilers plz.

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

Mine is a busy flat, including the supremely talented James Rowland and Matt Winning. Sadly though, I’m afraid to report that success has gone to their heads.

For example, James Rowland refuses to get out of bed until the Uber driver he orders every morning has whispered ten minutes of delicious #compliments into his ear. And who has to let the Uber driver in? You guessed it: old muggins here. (Me.) It’s a nightmare.

Plus: James eats diamonds for breakfast every single day. There’s only one word for it: pure greed.

Meanwhile, Matt Winning has decided to fly from our house to his venue every day, via a privately chartered plane. Three reasons why this is a stupid idea: 1) He’s on the Free Fringe, like I am. 2) He’s doing a show about climate change, so it’s extremely hypocritical. 3) There’s no runway outside our house, or at the venue, so he has to get a taxi to the nearest runway, which is Edinburgh Airport. Except that he then has to land at the nearest airport to his venue, which is also Edinburgh Airport. He makes the plane basically just do a loop in the air. It’s preposterous. He could get get a cab from our house to the venue in literally one-hundredth of the time it’s going to take him to go through this ludicrous palaver. But, that’s what fame and success does to you. Sure, he’s rich and famous now, but it’s turned him into an idiot.

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

I’m quite looking forward to seeing “The United Nations On Ice” (Assembly Ice-Rink, 1.30pm). I think UN secretary-general António Guterres was right when he said “There is literally no reason why we cannot conduct our affairs on ice for an hour each day. By bringing more people to our meetings we surely increase our transparency and democracy. By charging tickets, we raise more money with which to fight global poverty. And by performing our meetings on ice, we surely help to work our thighs and core abdominal muscles in a way that is usually so hard to combine with an international office job.”

(Tom, perhaps you could take some inspiration from these words about democracy and accountability when letting other comedians pick and choose which of your questions they want to answer. Just a thought mate. Just putting that out there for you to think about mate. Something to think about maybe, in regards your job and your responsibilities) [Again, we are truly sorry – Ed]

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

Literally nothing.

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

Gosh. I mean, there were so many.

Henry Heimlich (inventor of the eponymous manoeuvre) was a tough one for me. I mean, we’ve all performed manoeuvres since then, but they’ve not been the same. Even the band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have lost their spark since he died. At times it can hardly seem like it’s worth carrying on, when the planet has lost a candle that shone so bright.

I saw a woman choking on a vol au vent in Greggs the other day, and she didn’t even want saving, using his patended technique. “What’s the point in living”, she wailed. “Manoeuvres died when our hero abandoned us. Let me die; let me sleep, so I can be with him once more.”

Well, Tom, in moments like this, we must of course turn to Shakespeare. I said to her, “To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.” She thought about it, and then declared “Yeah, fair enough actually”. She coughed up the hazard quick-as-a-flash, and all was back to normal, except that now we’re both banned from Beaconsfield services on the M40.

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

Please listen to my podcast, at It is one of the few podcasts of live stand-up comedy in the entire world, and I try very hard at it. If you like lovely socialist things then you’ll like it. Also, when my listenership gets to 500,000 I have promised to personally defeat Boko Haram in hand-to-hand combat, so there is a personal incentive for you to listen.

Chris Coltrane: Make Love and Smash Facism
Banshee Labyrinth
5-27 Aug, 3.30pm (and 5-14 Aug, 11.30pm)

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