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.
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