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Ask A Comedian: Chris Grace

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

14th Sep 2023 Inspire

3 min read

Ask A Comedian: Chris Grace
You might know him from the US sitcom Superstore but Chris Grace is also appearing at Edinburgh Fringe in three shows. He shares his funniest experiences…
What stand-up or comedy movie made you fall in love with comedy and why? 
A Fish Called Wanda. I was gobsmacked by how funny Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Kevin Kline were, and all in different ways. An engaging story, brilliant dialogue, incredible physical comedy; I was completely inspired and have been ever since. I wore the tape out on that film. Yes, I watched it on videotape. 
What do you remember about your first time doing improv or stand up? 
I remember the positively unique sensation of causing a fit of laughter without having a clue why, or how I'd ever manage to do it again. I always felt I could be funny, but it's taken years to build the craft and awareness necessary to be able to do it reliably.
"It's taken years to build the craft and awareness necessary to be able to [be funny] reliably"
I'm lucky to be able to perform at this year's Edinburgh Fringe in a solo comedy show, improv and stand-up. I'll be able to flex my muscles in all sorts of ways to get people to giggle. 
What’s the weirdest heckle you’ve ever heard and how did you reply? 
I have a gag based on a real incident where someone said that I was the spitting image of Ken Jeong (who I definitely do not look like). While I was recounting this story, someone in the crowd yelled, “You do look like him though.” Now when I tell the joke, I also include the second guy repeating the same daft thing.
Chris Grace. Image © CX Xie.
I just hope no one heckles me during this extended version or the joke is going to get even longer. Eventually my one-hour show will just be me telling this one joke as a long chain of alternating anecdotes and audience heckles. 
What’s the most hilarious thing to have ever happened to you in your life? 
My inaugural year at Fringe, upon moving into our flat for the month, my friend Ashley Ward and I immediately were confronted by two fat, aggressive pigeons that had gotten into the hall through an open window.
"I was on the floor in stitches, utterly useless"
We tried to calmly encourage them to fly out of the window; this did not go well as they flew directly towards us, causing Ashley to shriek and for me to fall to the floor in a fit of nervous giggles that nearly caused me to hyperventilate. Eventually, Ashley managed to shoo them out the window while I was still on the floor in stitches, utterly useless. 
What has been your most funny live show experience and why? 
Nigh on impossible to beat a Baby Wants Candy show about five years ago when a woman in the audience was attending the show with an extremely young newborn baby. Upon hearing him coo and cry, we couldn't help but break the fourth wall and inquire as to why she brought the kid to the show, and of course the next logical question was: "Can we hold him?"
Chris Grace. Image © CX Xie.
She freely handed her newborn infant to us on stage to become an extra cast member. Everything that baby did was hilarious, and everything we said in response got a huge laugh.  
What’s your new stand-up show about? 
It's a comic homage to Scarlett Johansson. It's a love letter from one artist to another. Scarlett has been in some of my favourite films of all time and has also made some of the most baffling career choices in our modern era.
"People get [Scarlett Johansson and I] mixed up all the time"
I gently interrogate those decisions while celebrating her career. Also, people get us mixed up all the time so it's a natural connection and comparison.  
Chris Grace is set to play a run of shows at Edinburgh’s Assembly for Fringe from August 2-27 
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