Interview by Graham Finney
Stockport comedian George Lewis is about to hit the road in 2019 with his show “A Man, A Plan, A Girl With A Fake Tan”. We spoke to George about the show, Oasis and plenty of other stuff while he was sat in a car park in Cardiff ahead of a show supporting the wonderful Tom Allen.
1.Thanks for your time George. For those people who you’re a new name to, could you give us a bit of a background?
“I grew up in Stockport but have spent about ten years living in London. I’ve moved back recently though. I’m a huge fan of comedy and thought I wanted to give it a go. It was something I wanted to do because if I didn’t do it then, somewhere down the line, I knew I’d regret it. So, I basically I got myself this show but didn’t tell anyone, not even my girlfriend at the time, because, if I was shit then at least I’d done it and nobody would have to know.”
“The thing is, it wasn’t a burning ambition to do stand-up, what I really wanted to do was be in a sitcom. I saw this thing where Stephen Merchant said the best way into comedy is through stand-up. I couldn’t think of anything worse but I did it and, well, I wasn’t shit and now here I am doing it as a job and it’s the best job in the world.”
2.Which comedians make you laugh and who inspired you to get into stand-up?
“I love TV comedy shows – things like The Office and Peep Show and Alan Partridge. I also love comedians like Kevin Bridges who I’m a massive fan of, Sean Lock, Romesh Rangenathan and I’ve been on tour with Tom Allen who is just brilliant. It’s watching comedians like that who are that good that just keeps pushing me on.”
3.Next year, you’re going out on the road with your own show “A Man, A Plan, A Girl With A Fake Tan”. Can you tell us a bit about the show?
“Yes. It’s about me being at school in the ’90s and falling in love with a girl with a fake tan who, in all honesty, was completely wrong for me. Anyway, I knew girls like that wouldn’t like me as they only liked bad guys so I tried to be like Liam Gallagher. The story is about me and my five point plan which ended up in just utter humiliation.”
4.What about good childhood memories? Any particular favourites?
“Well, one of my favourite childhood stories involves me going to see my favourite band Oasis at the Reebok Stadium. The first concert I’d ever been to was Celine Dion but I went and stood there thinking these are my kind of people. I was about 13 and it was just full of older blokes throwing piss about so I really did stand out.”
5.Okay, so you’ve got the tour next year what else is in your plan for 2019?
“At the start of the year I have a show on ITV2 called Stand Up Sketch Show which is me and a bunch of other comedians. The idea is that they’ve filmed us live then it cuts to us acting out the stories we’ve talked about. Apart from my own show I’m also going on tour with Russell Kane and that includes a show at the Stockport Plaza which will be a bit wierd as I used to work there for about a week as a kid. Other than that I’m going to be doing Edinburgh again. I’m hoping to have a new show at some point so I think I’m going to do the “A Man, A Plan” show but start it out by trying some of my new material.”
6.Going back to Oasis, if you were sat in a room with Noel and Liam and had the chance to tell them to get back together, what would you say.
“Honestly? I’ve thought about this quite a lot, I’d say to them get back together but only if you really want to. It’s uncomfortable watching them arguing on stage because it’s kind of like watching your parents argue. My gut feeling is that they will get back together, I do think it will happen. Liam probably wants to do it and would probably do it tomorrow. You see some of the horrible things they say to each other and, you know, you kind of accept that they’re brothers.”
7.You’ve been doing stand-up for a while now, what’s been your favourite memory so far?
“I think my biggest rush has been playing to three thousand people and them laughing at material you’ve written. There is nothing like being on a stage and seeing that amount of people enjoying what you do. I think taking the show to Edinburgh as well and seeing all those people laughing. When you start out it’s fairly hard because you end up playing to fifteen wannabee comedians who are sat reading through their own scripts. The first year or so is hard work but then you get through it and, once you get through that and you get an agent and you start getting bigger gigs, you get over that worry that you might be shit and it soon becomes the best job in the world.”
8.You’ve mentioned touring with the likes of Tom Allen, what do you learn from touring with someone like Tom?
“I’ve probably toured with Tom Allen the most and he is one of the nicest people. He’s just such a nice, generous person and I’ve never seen him do a bad gig. He’s one of those people who just constantly works on getting better and you just don’t expect him to ever do a bad gig because he works so hard. Work hard and be nice, thats what you learn from people like Tom.”
9.Moral dilemma question now. If your child was looking forward to Christmas and you’d bought them the present they really wanted but, on Christmas Eve, stepped on it and broke it, would you replace it or would you plead ignorance when they opened it on Christmas Day and found it broken?
“Oh god! I’d have to do everything I could to replace it before they opened it mainly because I couldn’t bear the look on my wife’s face if I owned up to breaking it. I’d do everything to replace it and cover up what I’d done so she wouldn’t look at me with that “oh, not again!” look she gives me when I break something.”
10.That’s great George, thanks for your time. Just to finish, how would you sum up the last year for you?
“Probably the most brilliant year of my life. Mainly because I got to see both Liam and Noel Gallagher live this year.”