1. So, you’re performing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this month, what are you expecting from it ?
I’m expecting to go to the gym every day, sit in a sauna, consume only the juices of various root vegetables and to really be at one with my body, my vessel. Sometimes our expectations don’t quite reflect our reality.
2. On the comedy circuit Edinburgh is such an important event. What are you hoping to get out of it ?
Just the chance to perform for lots of new people who maybe haven’t come to see me in the last couple of years. But also see some returning faces. It’s always a delight when people say they’ve been to your previous shows, so wanted to come along again. I am so #humbled and #blessed for to have their time and attention.
3. What can fans who choose to check out your show expect from it ?
Rants and reflections on a few things that are going on at the moment. Yet more jokes and thoughts on a certain 90s pop group. And the story of a friendship that took an unexpected turn.
4. The show is described as Sour and looks back at things we once loved. If you could pick one particular thing that has gone “sour” for you what would it be?
Singing competition shows. Popstars, Pop Idol and the early days of X Factor had such genuine and unexpected characters and bursts of emotion. Now everyone shows up to auditions with a pre-drafted and heavily previewed sob story.
5. What are your favourite memories from your teenage years ?
Skipping PE to hang out In Starbucks, feeling so grown up but looking like a lost child.
6. You’ve done quite a bit of touring including touring with stars from Ru Paul’s Drag Race. What was that like and any good stories you can tell us?
It’s amazing the dedication that drag race fans have to the queens but it borders on scary. One night after a show in G-A-Y Manchester a young fan was shaking in fits of tears because she was stood so close to her idol Alyssa Edwards. You worry what someone so manic might do to themselves or someone around them. Luckily they usually just cry and take a very blurry selfie.
7. You’ve also just done some shows in Finland, what was that like? Are there any countries you’d really like to play ?
It was great! Their stand-up scene is relatively new so it doesn’t come with the baggage that you sometimes get in the UK, which is people treating it as a boozy night out where they’re looking to cause trouble, rather than the very serious cultural activity it really is. I quite like performing in countries where English is a second language because it makes you concentrate on your writing in a different way and you find laughs in parts where you wouldn’t get them back home. So I’d love to continue doing gigs around Europe and then one day Australia, America, Fiji, wherever.
8. In your time performing as a comic what has been the most extreme reaction to your act ?
You can heckle as much as you like but nothing hurts a comic more than falling asleep directly in front of them. Mate, if you need a nap, sit in the back row.
9. Curveball question – if you could be a cat or a dog which would you choose and why ?
A cat because then I’d get to live in multiple houses and lick my own arse. That’s the American dream.
10. After Edinburgh, what are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I’m launching a brunch comedy show in September. It’s called Our Mary’s and it’ll be at the beautiful Mortimer House in Bloomsbury, London. Then hopefully it’ll grow and we’ll take it all over the country. It’s gonna be a combination of great comedy, amazing food and a beautiful venue at a proper reasonable price. In big cities now it’s easy to get tricked into spending ridiculous amounts on mediocre food and entertainment so we’re working hard to make sure we can give you the best for less. That makes it sound like I’m flogging a used car but honestly it’s gonna be boss.
You can get tickets to Joe’s ‘Sour’ at Edinburgh here.