God, imagine what he’d be like if he had confidence
LiF: IVO. Loved the show last year. Tell us about this one.
IG: EDINBURGH IS FUNNY. Thank you for your kind words re: last year’s show and your continued willingness to conduct interviews with me via email. My life between August 2013 and July 2014 hasn’t really turned out to be the rollercoaster of bizarre adventures, farcical mishaps and family deaths that I’d hoped it would be, so for this show I’ve had to resort to plan B, which is more of the same navel-gazing, self-deprecating toss as before, with a little more about my schooling and a fluke recent streak of romantic good fortune.
LiF: What’s your favourite bit?
IG: It’s got to be the romancing. Imagine that! Imagine telling a story onstage, and people laughing (sometimes I have to imagine that bit too), and knowing that you’ve made them laugh without even having to paint yourself as some sort of pathetic loser character to get them to do so. It’s like they’re laughing with you, and not at you. It’s like you’re a popular guy just sharing a cool story with his mates. It’s like school never happened.
LiF: Let’s talk about emotions. Other than uproarious laughter, obviously, what sort of EMOTIONAL RESPONSES are people likely to experience from Bow Ties and Johnnies?
IG: At a gig in Portsmouth in March a man left halfway through to book himself a doctor’s appointment, so if the “comedy” of Ivo Graham can be counted upon to induce one thing, it’s hypochondria.
LiF: What would you say you’ve added to your stand-up armoury this year?
IG: I’ve written some more jokes. Is that enough? My stand up isn’t an armoury. I’m not very good with guns. I went clay pigeon shooting in May and was told by the divorced instructor that I had “amazingly poor technique, even for a beginner”. In other news, lots of clay pigeons are still alive and well.
LiF: Is your gran missing you? And vice versa?
IG: I moved out of my gran’s last summer, and acclimatising to life without her words of wisdom and secret recipe for buying lasagne from Sainsbury’s has undeniably been a struggle. Fortunately, due to another hiccup in my attempts to be a real functioning adult, I’ve found myself hoofed out of my new flat a month before the end of the lease so have had to move back in with her for a fortnight before the Fringe. They say you should never go back. I’ve gone back. It’s brilliant. So much lasagne. Al forno. Al fresco. Al bloody day long.
LiF: How have your attempts at being a “lad” gone so far?
IG: Not so great, it must be said, despite the recent amorous developments. I never really believed it was possible. Certainly not onstage. Just last weekend, I made a joke at the Latitude festival about taking a woman by force, expecting to be given lots of high fives and being asked to down a pint like a Zulu warrior or chief, but it didn’t really work, and a reviewer said the idea of me being sexually aggressive was “laughable”.
LiF: Do you have an Scottish independence material to crowbar in?
IG: I’ve got 10 minutes of stone cold zingers in support of both the pro- and anti-devolution movements, but I’ll be keeping my powder dry until after the votes are in so I can be sure to be backing the winner.
LiF: What will your daily routine be in Edinburgh?
IG: You asked me this last year and I wrote 274 words on the subject which you then edited down to 212. Why ask me again? Up your … [That’s enough of that – Ed].
LiF: What 3 other shows would you recommend to a punter? Please keep the nepotism to a minimum.
IG: Sorry, guys. You can’t just copy paste question 9 straight in from last year and then hit me with this tricky little bugger to round the humiliation off. Any recommendations are bound to be nepotistic because … [it goes on like this for a while – Ed] … assuming as I think we can that anyone reading this interview already knows as much about comedy as I do, unless they’ve been … [for the love of god – Ed] … I sent her back 10 shows with little explanations for each … [cont. p94 – Ed].
• Thanks Ivo, see you next year. Ivo Graham: Bowties and Johnnies is at 8.15pm at the Pleasance Courtyard