Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Australian Comedian Yianni Agisilaou

Yianni Agisilaou
Yianni Agisilaou

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Australian stand-up comedian Yianni Agisilaou.

We kick off the interview by speaking about how he once accidentally (so he says) put on his girlfriend’s pair of jeans and it lead to a profound questioning of the differences between men and women.

We get talking then about Yianni ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Festival show then, Pockets of Equality and how those jeans were one of the inspirations behind it. We delve deeper then into the show and speak about the different themes of it and the narrative that ties it all together.
We chat then about gender roles in society and what’s both expected of us and what we’re force to do in society thanks to the bits we’re born with.

We get talking then about the differences in what are perceived as ‘gender roles’ in Western Europe and Britain. Yianni has lived in Britain now for quite a while so I was interested in asking him about this, particularly as there’s a giant stereotype that Australian men are far more macho than their Pomme cousins.

We talk a bit about Yianni’s childhood and thanks to his upbringing he’s always known a lot about women’s rights, feminism and gay rights, all of which he takes very seriously but is able to joke about with great panache too.

We get talking then about the language we use when we slag each other off, how men use derogatory words in the name of, to use that dreaded word, banter. We all know it’s wrong but should we completely stop doing it because if we stop using derogatory words in jest then they become subject we can’t joke about. As you know listeners, I don’t think anything is taboo so it was something I wanted to get to know from a stand-up comedian’s point of view.

We return to gender roles then and we speak about some of the roles that Yianni talks about in his show.

We do something then a little bit different. While researching Yianni I came across a good few interview where he spoke about take a ‘gender roles’ test so we took a ‘how much of a feminist are you?’ test. There were so many things I had no idea about, but thankfully Yianni steered me though choppy waters and know I know a bit more about feminism.

We speak about a previous show of Yianni’s a few years ago, The Simpson Taught Me Everything I Know, so we speak about that since we’re both massive Simpsons fans and Yianni tells a story about how he was in the running to replace Harry Shearer when he was thinking of leaving the programme.

Yianni Agisilaou’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival Show: here
Yianni’s website: here
Yianni’s Twitter: here
Yianni’s Facebook: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Kwame Asante

Kwame Asante
Kwame Asante, photo by Mark Dawson

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Kwame Asante.

We kick off the interview and speak about his ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Open Arms. We speak about the themes behind the show and his inspiration for it. We chat about it being Kwame’s first full-hour show and how he says it’s been a long time coming.

We talk about how the previews had been going and Kwame speaks about his excitement about bringing his first hour-long show to the Fringe.
I ask him whether he’s nervous about getting back on the scene having had a 4-year break while he was finishing his studies.

He has performed at Edinburgh many times over the years though, just not with a solo show, so I asked him about some of the highs and lows that he’s experienced performing up in Edinburgh and what he’s learned that he can use to ensure he puts on a good show this time around.

Kwame is a doctor, a proper medical doctor, none of this Hunter Thompson stuff, so I ask him about if there are any similarities between the two disciplines and what he’s learned from being a doctor that he can use as a stand-up comedian.
We talk then about how it can be tricky to fit in doing stand-up comedy while having a medical career, but Kwame says that he’s found a way to do it and that he make sure to keep time for comedy because, for him, is about being inspired, about improving his writing and about getting up and performing his material on stage.

We speak about the dark humour that doctors and medical professionals are known for and where that comes from and why so many doctors embrace life because they know we could be gone at any moment.

We get talking about why dark humour is so prevalent among medical professionals and Kwame speaks about something very interesting, about how when you work so many hours you sometimes forget that out in the real world it’s not full of sick or dying people so when you’re working and surrounded by morbid situation you develop different coping mechanism than you would if you works in a job where you didn’t always see sick people.

We chat then about the reaction of medical colleagues when they find out he also does stand-up comedy.

We speak about the advances in medical technology and how in the future Kwame hopes that Google won’t make him obsolete.

We get back to comedy then and we speak about the challenge Kwame faced of putting a show together, and using his best bits from over the years and trying to weave them together into an show-type narrative. We speak then about Kwame’s writing technique and how he goes from the original idea for a joke to performing it in his set.

Kwame Asante Edinburgh Fringe Festival Show: here
Kwame’s website: here
Kwame’s Twitter: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Italian Comedian Francesco de Carlo

Francesco De Carlo
Francesco De Carlo
Photo by Snej Shandarinova

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Italian stand-up comedian Francesco de Carlo.

We kick off the interview by speaking about Francesco ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Show, Comfort Zone. He tells me about the idea behind the show and the themes that he speaks about during it.
He speaks about finally realising a dream by moving to the UK, however, he was soon in a place of shock when very soon after arriving in London the British voted for Brexit.

We speak about Francsco’s background in politics and how after becoming disillusioned after working in the European Parliament he decided to get into comedy. He had been working as a press officer and had been very passionate about politics, now he’s taken his experience into political and satirical comedy.

Franceso is one of the Italy’s pioneering stand-up comedians, the discipline of comedy is still pretty new in the country. In the past, comedy was more like in cabaret shows with monologues and some slap stick and stand-up is still finding its feet, so we speak about that for a bit and how Franceso believes that practicing comedy and learning his craft in Britain is the best place to do it.
We also talk about comedy clubs in Italy and how some day he wants to return to Italy to hopefully get some off the ground.

We talk then about how Francesco de Carlo got his break in Italian comedy. After he stopped working at The European Parliament; he wrote a satirical song about Silvio Berlusconi and his Bunga Bunga parties, this led to him getting a job on afternoon radio on one of Rome’s best-known radio stations doing prank phone calls.

We get back to politics then and we get talking about his experience of living in Britain since the Brexit vote. We also get chatting about the rise of populism in Central and Eastern Europe. Francesco, as an Italian, knows a lot about populism in politics so we speak about what he thinks will happen in Europe in the coming years.
He tells me then about how the Italians fought back against populism and how he believes it will also happen in other countries. However, it took the Italians a long time to get to that points, beginning with Beppe Grillo (Italy’s most well-know comedian) organising the Vaffanculo (Fuck Off) Day.

We talks then a bit more about why he moved to England and what he misses from Italy, in particular he says that time passes much more slowly in Italy. But he actually quite likes British food, so we bury that old cliche.

We chat then about Comedy San Frontiers, a set of gigs he did with Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and more, where they toured all over the world bringing comedy to places that Western comedians would never have been allowed to enter not all that long ago.

We get talking then about his previous Edinburgh experiences and what he learned from his 2014 show that will help him with this year’s show Comfort Zone.
Finally then we speak about his writing techniques and how he takes an idea and brings it to stage in his sets.

Francesco de Carlo’s Edinburgh show: here
Francesco’s website: here
Francesco’s Twitter: here
Francesco’s Instagram: here
Francesco’s Facebook: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Irish Comedian Conor Drum

Conor Drum
Conor Drum
Photo by Mark Dawson Photography

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Irish stand-up comedian Conor Drum.

We kick off speaking about Conor’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe show All My Friends Are Dead, we speak about where the name comes from, don’t fear he’s friends aren’t actually dead, just metaphorically dead.

He tells me about his friends always trying to set him up with the loser girl at weddings and he speaks about how he seems to be not achieving “life goals” at the same rate as his friends.

He talks about the idea of ‘the one’ and how simply ludicrous it is, but if it does exist scientists need to descend on his hometown and study his mates because so many have seemed to found ‘the one’ in their own backyards.

We chat then about why it gets harder and harder to go on the session as you get older and Conor laments for his younger days when hangovers didn’t hurt so much.

I ask Conor about when he meets his married friends now does he get a sense of pity of jealousy from them.

We return to the subject of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival then and I ask Conor about his show a bit more, he had actually done a shorter version of it last year so I wanted to know more about the process of improving on last year’s show.
We talk about some of the highs and lows of performing at the Fringe over the years and what he’s learned during that time from performing there and how those experiences have helped with him putting on his current show All My Friends Are Dead.

It comes up a lot on the podcast that Irish comedians almost have to move to England to make it there first and Conor tells me a story about a time he met Jimmy Carr while working and some advice he gave Conor about getting better gigs in The UK.

Conor Drum will be well-known to Irish listeners, he made headlines in Ireland in 2014, when his show Nutjob about his testicular cancer became widely known, so we speak about that as well.

Conor also does a bit of acting and writing so we got talking about a recent article he wrote for HuffPost about the new drinking session, a Baby Storm, a bit like a Baby Shower, but totally different and actually enjoyable.

We talk then about film, what he loves about it and what he’s like to do in the future but also what he prefers about stand-up comedy when you compare the two disciplines.

We speak then about his writing process and how he likes to expand on ideas and who his comedic influences were growing up.

Conor Drum’s Edinburgh show: here 
Conor’s Website: here
Conor’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Stuart Black

Stuart Black
Stuart Black
Photo by Steve Ullathorne

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Stuart Black.

We kick off the interview in unusual fashion, with a bit of a preamble about who much Stuart reminds me of Britain’s greatest punk poet, Mr. John Cooper Clarke.

We delve into me fiding out I’m lactose intolerant, Stuart says when a man can’t eat cheese a man can’t live. Then he tells me about the impending doom of a butter shortage.
Stuart tells me a little bit then about his Irish roots and I reveal why the Polish thing the Irish and British are inbred.

We get onto Stuart’s Edinburgh Show then, It’s the End of the World as We Know it, he tells me all about the show, what it’s about, where the inspiration came from and of course when and where it’s on during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We have a chat then about why a late night slot perfectly suits his show. We get talking then about positive ‘morning’ people and why it’s all delusional, sure you feel good watching motivational talks and videos but then you’ve got to go and sit on a bus to work.

We speak about the cycle of growing up and how as we get older we always look down up the new, but Stuart like to look at the madness happening in the world and point and laugh at it.

Stuart talks then for a bit about his particular style of comedy, certainly alternative and definitely dark, and how while we can all watch the world go up in flames it’s important that we don’t just point and say something is shit, but that we laugh at just how completely ludicrous it all is anyway.

He speaks about how he comedy came from a place where he was always trying to break the tension at home, and he believes confronting uncomfortable situations from an early age with humour led him down the road to the comedy he performs now.

This is Stuart Black’s 12th time at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival so we speak about that for a while and all the things he’s learned over the years, and some of his highs and lows over the years, one of the lows including a pretty nasty story about a rat and a seagull.

We speak about Stuart’s comedic influences and how he works on his material.
We speak about what the future holds for the world, and how Stuart is kind of optimistic….kind of.

Stuart Black’s Edinburgh Show: here
Stuart’s Website: here
Stuart’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with American Comedian Maria Shehata

Maria Shehata
Maria Shehata

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from American stand-up comedian Maria Shehata.

We kick off the interview by speaking about Maria’s ongoing Edinburgh Show, Wisdomless a show about why she left LA for London after falling in love.
She talks about what she both loves and hates about London and the differences she’s noticed having living in both New York and LA before.

We get talking about living in cities in general, how I don’t particularly like it and find it hard to sleep among noise, while Maria finds no problem at all and while talking about it, she tells me I probably have misophonia, a strong reaction to specific sounds.

We speak about Maria’s ancestry and how ancestry.com got her name 100% wrong.

We get talking then again about the Edinburgh Fringe and how this is her first time doing an hour there, we talk about what she knew about the Fringe when living in America and what American comedians think of it.

We speak about the challenge of putting on a solo-one hour show and the differences between having polished 10,15-minutes of different clubs sets and why she wanted wrote something completely new for her first Fringe Show.

We speak about the differences between British and American audiences and if there’s any truth to there being any difference between them at all.
We talk about whether her delivery or style of comedy has changed at all since leaving America for the UK.

In a previous interview Maria had said that a friend noticed she kind of lived her life somewhat detached from herself, I thought that was really interesting and to be honest, really helpful when it comes to a life in comedy so we delve into the subject for a bit.

We speak then about a web series Maria was part of the America, called My Super Overactive Imagination with Cat Reinhart.

Finally then we talk too about Maria’s upcoming comedy album that she’s recording soon.

Maria Shahata’s Edinburgh Fringe Show: here

Maria’s Website: here

Maria’s Twitter: here

Maria’s Facebook: here

Maria’s Instagram: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Australian Comedian John Robertson

John Robertson
John Robertson, photo by Chris Schmidt

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Australian stand-up comedian John Robertson.

John was a host of the videogame TV show a few years ago, Videogame Nation, I loved that show so we got straight onto that, how he got involved and what he liked and disliked about working for a Saturday-morning TV programme.

John tells me how to this day people still recognise him from it in the UK and do his catchphrase from the show and he tells a hilarious story about being recognised after coming out of a Parisian Burlesque/strip show.

There’s an infamous video of John Robertson that went viral about a year ago of when he goes to town on a Heckler, I’ve linked it here so you can have a look, it’s pretty much a work of art, so we spoke about what happened on that faithful night.

We speak about John’s Edinburgh Fringe show, Dominant, when and where it’s on an all about it.

John won a Choice Award for his Edinburgh Fringe show last year, so I wanted to ask him about that and did he feel any pressure while putting together this year’s show to top last year’s.

John talks about how over the years he’s learned to not write his shows, instead coming up with an ending and improvising a full show to get to the end. It’s an amazing talent and I delve into it a bit more with him.

We chat about how John learned to read rooms, how he learned how to recognise how far he can push material with different audiences.

We talk about kids these days not knowing who the Venga Boys are.

John Robertson’s website: here

John Edinburgh Show: here
John’s Twitter: here
John’s Facebook: here
John’s YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Andy Storey

Andy Storey
Andy Storey

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Andy Storey.

We get straight in the Edinburgh Fringe stuff and speak about the show he’s putting on with Maddie Campion, Epoch.

Andy’s the first ‘clean comedian’ we’ve had on so I was really interested to get to ask him some questions about clean comedy and how he sees it as being more difficult to be both funny and clean and how he enjoys the challenge of it.

We chat about how recently he was compared to Vic Reeves and Alan Bennett and how comparisons like that make him feel.

We speak about what he’s learned over the years from putting on shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We talk then about the kinds of existential questions that come to comedians when they’re performing; do the audience care; why am I bearing my life and soul to people I don’t know who I’ll never see again, deep things like that.

We chat then for a minute about the the depths of the subconscious and how you can’t even trust your own mind as it’s always playing tricks. And it’s always good to keep grounded by reminding yourself that everything is meaningless really.

We talk about why he loves gigging so much, doing 5-nights-a-week as much as he can, honing his material at Open Mic nights and New Material nights around London.

We speak about that god-awful phrase ‘the comedy voice’ and how Andy has learned over the years to be more like himself on stage. He sees less of a difference between who he is on stage and who he is in real life.

We talk for a bit then about how Andy likes to challenge himself by constantly testing out new material, knowing that he cannot rely on trusted material he has to push his stage presence, his charisma and get his new ideas across well to the audience to get them laughing.

We natter too about the importance of language in joke, how particular words at particular times can completely change how an audience laughs, he speak about using the phrase ‘hipster hairdressers’ instead of ‘hair salon’ and how the reaction of the audience was totally different.

We speak about why some people need a push to get into things and how it took him so long to get into comedy even though he’d always wanted to do it.

Andy Storey’s Edinburgh Dates: Epoch & Keeping it Clean

Andy’s Website: here

Andy’s Twitter: here

Andy’s Instagram: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Irish Comedian Rory O’Hanlon

Rory O'Hanlon
Rory O’Hanlon

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Irish stand-up comedian Rory O’Hanlon.

We start off asking about how the previews have been going in the run up to his show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We get talking about the whole idea behind having to have a theme for shows at the Fringe and why comedians do this and why some of them use the term very loosely.

We speak about Rory’s Edinburgh Show “Getting Serious“, how he’s been preparing for it and what’s the show’s going to be about. We get a bit nerdy then on Edinburgh and speak about what he’s learned over the year from performing there. We chat about the highs and lows of performing at the Fringe and how one of the best parts of it is meeting other comedians from all over.

We talk then about the other show he’s running with former Comedy Cast guest Danny O’Brien about a variety show they’re putting on every day.

We speak about why Rory’s laptop is set to Spanish instead of English.

We get talking then about why if you want to ‘make it’ in Ireland you have to make it in England first, mostly because the Irish love to claim someone once they become well known.

We speak about the differences between Irish and British crowds and how there’s very little really, the biggest differences are when you go out into the sticks away from the cities.

We chat about sleepy English seaside towns and how they’re like something from old Scooby-Doo cartoons.

Rory O’Hanlon’s Website: here

Rory’s Podcast, This Happened Last Week: here

Rory’s Twitter: here

Rory’s Facebook: here

Rory’s Instagram: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Zahra Barri

Zahra Barri
Zahra Barri

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English comedian, Zahra Barri.

We speak about her Irish and Egyptian roots, where she lives in London now and what it was like spending a few years in Saudi Arabia as a child. We talk then about what it was like growing up in a multicultural family.

We chat about comedy writing and how it was writing that lead Zahra into comedy. We talk as well about whether it’s something she wants to pursue in the future.

We have a chat about how comedians evolve and how they have continue to evolve over the years to keep their audience interested and laughing.

We talk about the difference between the on-stage persona and the off-stage persona and about how the person on-stage is a heightened version of the off-stage person.

We natter then about the line in comedy, why it’s OK for men to joke about their penises and wanking but women are slated for joking about vaginas and periods. We talk about how really jokes should be judged on how good they are,
it doesn’t matter if a joke is ‘dirty’ if a joke is good it’s funny, if it’s not then it’s not.

We talk then a bit more about bodily functions, and I get to leave more about something Zahra jokes about; cystitis, or the honeymoon disease as it’s more commonly known as

We talk about Zahra’s writing process then for a bit and how she works on her act.

We talk about Zahra’s upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show, Walk Like an Egyptian (Bar 50, Edinburgh – https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/zahra-barri-talk-like-an-egyptian).

Zahra Barri’s website: here

Zahra’s Twitter: here

Zahra’s YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here