The Spotlight on … Josh Howie

Bit of an LiF favourite is Josh Howie – and that’s with his top on!! He goes, under the spotlight …

josh_howie8Joshua. Please introduce yourself to the London is Funny readers.
Jesus, you’re ramping up the pressure already. Can’t we just stare at each other for a bit and try and suss each other out? OK fine, hello people reading this trying to avoid doing any work. I’m Josh. I’m writing this to avoid doing any work. See, we’ve got so much in common. Let’s be friends. Associates? Look, I’ll let you decide the parameters of our relationship but just to let you know I’m here for you if you need me. No pressure.
Enchanté. Whereabouts in London are you AS WE SPEAK?
Sorry, for a second there I was confused as I thought I was in France. I don’t want to get too precise as I’ve had an issue with stalkers in the past. Not related to comedy but when I was at University I was pretty fit. Thinking about it I wouldn’t mind a comedy stalker. I could use the ego boost.

So, here are the clues Mr/Mrs Stalker to get you started: I live in the gangster part of Crouch End. There are quite a few comics around here. Tim Minchin lived on my road but then he got too successful and betrayed us for the posh side. Mark Watson just moved in around the corner but I haven’t seen him yet. My wife’s walked past him a few times and she says he’s ignored her. Number 58.
Re stand-up comedy, you any good?
Well it’s not really for me to say whether or not I’m a good comic, but absolutely yes, I’m a very very good comic. Surely the fact I’ve been asked to partake in this expose is validation enough of my skills? I’m certainly taking it that way.
Your London is Funny epithet is “mischievous gag machine”, or very occasionally “relentless button pusher”. Happy with these?
I remember being quite pleased with both of those when I first saw them during my daily googling myself sessions. I do love jokes and I do love winding people up, so you’ve summed up those aspects of myself nicely.

Getting an outside view can be a nice way of crystalizing to yourself what the hell it is you’re getting up to onstage. Although, when it comes to comedy critics there are very few whom I believe watch enough comedy – and certainly on the circuit – to really know what’s what. Big arena tours and the occasional new act final does not a critic make. But with those that I do see out and about, I tend to take their opinion very seriously.

Saying all that, I’m afraid you’re a year or so out of date. I’ve shifted into more long-form storytelling and my subject matter and style have changed considerably. I’ve been googling myself every hour to see if you’d noticed but I guess you’re too busy now. You’ve changed Paul. [Come on then – Ed.}

Best and worst gig please?
These aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Once you get to a certain level past proficiency, most gigs are somewhere along the scale of good to excellent – and the bar for what constitutes excellent tends to shift ever upwards as you continue to grow. But, every so often a curve ball still comes your way and whilst on the outside the gig might be terrible with heckling, evictions etc, that can force you into being the funniest you’ve ever been. So, Watford.

What one thing about comedy do you wish people had told you before you started it?
I wish I’d known how massive Michael McIntyre was going to be so I could have sucked up to him. I really feel like I’ve backed the wrong horses with my comedy friends.

What do your family think of your act?
My dad took me aside last year and said “I’ve been thinking about your problem,” ie why I’m not on TV. “I was reading this interview with Jason Manford and he was saying that the secret of comedy is likeability, and the thing is Josh, you’re just not likeable.”

And my 3-year-old thinks I do too much ethnic material.

What’s your favourite bit of your material at the moment?
My non-ethnic likeable stuff.
Who makes you laugh?
All my comedy friends who are reading this and are now pissed off about what I said about them being losers.
Do you have a secret talent?
Stand-up comedy.

If you were to appear on a chat show as a guest, what would be your walk-on music?
Fuck that – he can be a guest on my show. Go ask the cunt what music he’d want.[Word-for-word what Parky said about you – Ed.]

Describe your dancing.
I dance like everyone’s watching.


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