We caught up with the king of surreal comedy Harry Hill for a quick chat.

What’s your favourite one-liner?

“I’m very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.” —Woody Allen

 

Do you have a memorable heckler experience?

I was once on stage when this guy in the audience stripped down to his underpants. He made his way up on to stage and everyone just thought it was part of the act. I was expecting security or the stage manager to do something, but they didn’t. So I just talked to him for a while and then I sort of encouraged him to go and sit back down. Apparently it was a dare.

 

Have you ever bombed on stage?

I was playing Jongleur’s in Battersea, where they used to get a lot of office parties. I was doing a routine where the punchline was me shouting, “Beds, beds, beds, beds!” As I started doing that, people started chanting it. And when I stopped, they carried on. Instead of being booed off stage, I was sort of “bedded” off stage.

 

Are any parts of the country funnier than others?

Everyone says it, but it’s true—the further north you go, it seems people are more relaxed than in the south.

 

Who’s your comedy inspiration?

Woody Allen was a brilliant standup— he started out on stage in the Sixties, before he made the big films.

 

What’s your favourite Harry Hill joke?

First we were hunter gatherers. Next we learned to kill for ourselves. Then we learned to eat meat. Then we discovered fire and how to cook meat. And then...my parents separated.

 

 

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