Here’s one. Say hello to Tom Ward, an up-and-coming comedian of a distinctly weird and wonderful flavour
LiF: Where you from, Tom?
TW: I live in New Cross Gate, London.
LiF: And were are you RIGHT NOW? Paint us a picture.
TW: I am in my bedroom which is at the top of a shabby but beautiful top-floor flat, with a loose floorboard that wakes me up if walked across at night. I can see everything up here. I am wearing a blue dressing gown and grey sport’s socks. It’s 10.34 am. I woke up late and feel like a waste of space for it. I just spilt water on the Enter button realising I was thirsty and taking too big a swig.
LiF: Quite the tableau, thank you. What’s your style/vibe/thang?
TW: Tough that one isn’t it? “One man sketch show” has been said, which sounds about right as everything I do seems to be a conversation between two people, a voice or have a sound effect.
LiF: Who do you find funny?
TW: Vic and Bob, Eddie Izzard, Will Franken, Tim Shishodia, Phil Kay, Richard Todd, Chevy Chase, Martin Amis (books), Martin Short, my friend Ric Davie, my brother Peter, my sister Charlie, my ex-girlfriend Giselle, my ex-girlfriend Coral and plenty more besides.
LiF: What’s it like running a club with Phil Kay [the Goodfather Club at the Comedy Pub, Piccadilly]? Presumably he keeps on top of all the admin?
TW: Yeah right, Phil’s very keen to keep everything slick … He’s incredible. He just wants to turn up and do it, and he gives everything, every time. He’s the real deal. He lives like he works, I adore the man. His spirit knows no bounds.
LiF: Best and worst gigs please.
TW: Worst was probably last night at the Hideaway. I for some reason always make the mistake of thinking that coming back to do the open mic gigs I did when I was starting out will feel like some sort of homecoming – and it does, but more in the kind of way I’d feel if I had to move back into my mum’s house: sad, resentful, and with a dreadful sense that my life has not moved on.
Best gig was perhaps one of my Edinburgh shows last year with Richard Todd (Bridge Over Toddled Warder). The zen of talking shite with an audience then doing some pre-written shite, and it all melting into one without a sense of where one batch of shite ends and one begins. Beautiful.
LiF: What do you do all day?
TW: I record voice-overs, I swim, I write, I work at a charity shop, I give out flyers for a club, I run the Goodfather for Phil.
LiF: Who’s the cat, Tom?
TW: He belongs to someone in the road but plays us all off against each other for food, thus the scale of the boy. He’s very laid back, never flinches, and always finds somewhere new to perch, like a car bonnet or a box that’s been left outside or on top of a bin.
LiF: What one thing about comedy do you wish people had told you before you started it?
TW: That you’ll be total shite for a while, that you have to let go of trying to be cool, that the best stuff comes when you relax. That it takes time, years, and you have to love that bit rather than be doing it to get somewhere.
LiF: What do you ultimately want to do with your comedy? What’s the dream?
TW: To become the greatest comedian in the world never to have made it. And for everyone to know that. And then to have a renaissance, years on, later in life when all vanity has faded and ego has subsided and when it has become entirely about the doing, a cult hero in my late 40s, touring in intimate theatres, living off it and being mates with Ray Davies (who’ll be quite elderly by then).
LiF: If you were to appear on a chat show as a guest, what would be your walk-on music?
TW: David Watts by the Kinks. Or Money’s Too Tight Too Mention by Simply Red.
LiF: Signature dish?
TW: I’m lousy in the kitchen. I have pasta with lentils every night.
LiF: And finally, any tips for getting through the long winter?
TW: Hit the sauna, eat frequently, read books that make you glow (I like Osho), always leave the house in your favourite coat, shag, dance alone in your room, leave parties when you need to.
• Well, that was all rather enjoyable. Here’s Tom’s upcoming gig list if you like the cut of his j.i.b.