10 Questions with… Matt Kirshen

Short in stature, tall in comedy terms, Matt Kirshen introduces us to his 2009 Edinburgh show.

matt_kirshen3What is your show, Shorter Than Napoleon, about?

My show’s about confidence and self awareness. And it’s about America and France. And older relatives. Plus there’s a story about an optician. Who doesn’t like opticians? Not me, that’s for sure.

Why did you decide to do a show about this?
I found out from Wikipedia that I was shorter than Napoleon. I called my show that, and then I had to write it. I also found out from Wikipedia that I am a Jew. Wikipedia’s useful like that.

If your show was a dog, what kind of dog would it be?
Which dog is it that’s consistently hilarious but also has an extremely pleasing dramatic structure? You know – the one that teams up with Tom Hanks to fight crime. Or the one that teams up with James Belushi to fight crime.

Complete this sentence: “If you like (blank) then you’ll like my show”
“If you like dogs that team up with men to fight crime, then you’ll like my show.”

Is the Edinburgh Comedy Award important to you?
No. Unless I win it, in which case, yes.

Which other acts would you recommend this year?
Loads. I’ve seen Nick Doody, Jamie Kilstein, Carey Marx, Glenn Wool and Lady Carol’s previews and they’re all superb.

What is the most frightening thing about the Edinburgh Festival?
The two-part TV adaptation of Stephen King’s It. I watch it before every show.

Any tips on where to get the best pint or pie in Edinburgh?
I found a small watering hole last year which served a delicious French brew called Kronenbourg and was about to announce it to the world when I went into another bar and found it there too. It turns out the damn thing’s everywhere. I felt horribly cheated.

Sum up the festival in one word
Matt Kirshen – Shorter Than Napoleon is on until August 31 (except Aug 18) at 10.20pm at the Pleasance Courtyard. Click here for tickets

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