The Spotlight on… Andrew Watts

Meet Andrew Watts. He used to be a lawyer. But don’t hold that against him, he’s really very nice and very funny to boot. Rubbish at buying drugs though. I mean, really bad.


andrew_watts1Name: Andrew Watts

Where do you live: Leytonstone

How long have you been gigging for?: Three years

What do you do?: I used to tell jokes, but then one evening I started talking about my life (I’d just split up with my girlfriend and couldn’t think about any other subject.) And it turned out that that got much bigger laughs… So basically, since then, I’ve been holding my own inadequacies up to public ridicule.

Who makes you laugh?: The more I do comedy, the fewer people make me laugh – at most stand-up nights I’m unconsciously watching to pick up tips, which is sad. The exception being people whose style is so different to mine that I just sit back and enjoy: Milton Jones, Tim Vine, Ed Aczel, Bryan and Krystall, Dan Hoy, Suzy Bennett… Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson among the greats.

If we’re not just talking comedians, there are lots of writers who make me laugh – PG Wodehouse, of course, is the master; David Nobbs, Simon Raven, Evelyn Waugh, Craig Brown – and the funniest person I know is Jojo Lyle, who is a nurse in Oxford.

At which London venues do you usually appear? Anywhere that will have me. A lot of clubs in London tend to be at one extreme or another – the big venues like the Store (where I do short spots) and then the little rooms-above-pubs (where I’m often headlining). I prefer clubs in the middle, like the Laughing Horse chain.

What is your favourite London venue? Any club that’s better than it strictly speaking needs to be. I mean, the Poodle Club is far more glamorous and exciting than a gig above a pub in Stoke Newington needs to be; and no one has any right to expect bills as strong as the Porthole or the 99 Club put on for a fiver or less.

Even the Comedy Store is better than it really has to be – it could, like some other big clubs, rest on its laurels and book tried-and-tested acts, but instead it’s really encouraging of new talent. All of these clubs are labours of love on the part of their promoters, and it shows.

What are you/should you be famous for? I am famous for once buying lavender from a drugs dealer in Brixton. I should be famous for something else. Anything else…

What is your placing in the Top Million Comedians League?: Hard to say – there seem to be so many great comics around, especially in London – London is funny, to coin a phrase. I much preferred it when I lived in Wiltshire, because then I could say “I am definitely the top comedian in Urchfont.” When I was sharing a bed-sit in Leytonstone with Suzy Bennett, I wasn’t even the top comedian in the flat

Which celebrity do you look like? I switched my Facebook picture with that of Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Big Lebowski, and no one noticed. Audiences sometimes say Boris Johnson – purely because I’ve got that blond and scruffy thing going on – and when I did a gig the day after the mayoral election I could feel the waves of hate coming up from the audience

Whose sex face would you least like to see? Suzy Bennett. Largely because she was answering a similar questionnaire and put my name

Audiences love it when I… Talk “street” on their ass

Audiences hate it when I… Sing
LAUGHTER LINK To see Andrew dispatching an audience through long-on with his wit, then click on this The World Stands Up link

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