Comedian and Dave’s Joke of the Fringe winner Ken Cheng brings his debut tour ‘Best Dad Ever’ to Manchester this February and took some time to have a quick chat with us.
1. Your debut tour kicks off in a few weeks, how excited are you and what are you expecting from it?
Very excited thank you. It’s a great chance to perform in places I’ve never performed or even been before. I’m expecting to enjoy the shows but go insane from the time spent on our British rail system.
2. Tell us about what inspired the title “Best Dad Ever”….
It’s called that because I found a Toblerone with the words Best Dad Ever written on it and I found that kinda weird, especially as I found it in my own Dad’s room. The mystery begins there.
3. You’re a full time stand-up comedian, who inspired you to get into comedy?
I accidentally stumbled into it really. I was actually playing online poker for a living but I signed up to a gig on a whim. I guess some people thought I might be funny so I went for it.
4. What is it like for a stand-up comic back in China. Have any of the big name English comedians had any success over there?
I haven’t actually ever gigged in China as I was born here – I’m westernised to the max. As far as I know stand-up isn’t very big over there though last I heard it’s on the rise.
5. You’ve won numerous awards over the course of your career, what has been your proudest moment as a comedian?
My BBC Radio 4 series ‘Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian’. I feel like it was the greatest challenge, adapting my show to a completely new medium and a different criteria, it felt like the biggest step up.
6. Looking back what do you remember about your first ever live stand-up gig?
I remember it vividly. I recorded about 60 sound clips rehearsing it beforehand. The moment I got on stage I still couldn’t speak properly but once the first joke landed it was a lot easier
7. What is the best piece of advice from Dad you’ve ever had?
He never really gave me advice. That’s what the show’s about really. He did teach me mental maths when I was young though, which is worth more than any advice
8. Other than the tour, what are your plans for 2019
I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe again in August and hopefully other things will come along in the meantime.
9. Tell us the funniest thing your Dad has ever done…
Well if you go by my show it’s choosing to move back to China when I was 10 and leaving us here. He’s not exactly the comical Dad archetype.
10. Thanks for your time Ken. You’ve got one last chance to plug the tour before we finish.. go for it.
Come see this show!!! It coincides with Chinese New Year weekend so what better way to celebrate!
Ken Cheng is on tour with ‘Best Dad Ever’ until May 2019 including The Dancehouse in Manchester on Friday 8th February. For details see www.kencheng.co.uk.