Ask A Comedian: Ignacio Lopez

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

14th Nov 2023 Humour

3 min read

Ask A Comedian: Ignacio Lopez
A Spanish/Welsh comedian known for his hilarious observations about British life, Ian Chaddock asks him about his funniest experiences

What stand-up special or film made you fall in love with comedy and why?

I love Peter Sellers and Eddie Murphy, and watched everything they made when I was growing up. I think I wore out my copies of The Pink Panther and Beverly Hills Cop films. I didn’t see Eddie’s stand-up till I was a bit older, but it blew my mind that one person with a microphone could fill 90 minutes with hilarity. 

What do you remember about your first time doing stand-up?

Not much—it was a bit of a blur, and I hadn’t prepared anything! One of the many jobs I worked before I was a comedian was in a bar in Swansea as a musician—I would play guitar and sing at the end of the regular comedy night. A few of my friends convinced the promoter to let me try stand-up, but nobody had told me, so after the headliner (I think it was Russell Kane!) had wrapped up their barn-storming set, the promoter tapped me on the shoulder and told me to tell some jokes before I did a song.
"I walked off stage feeling like I was going to do stand-up for life, which was for the best—I was a very average musician"
Stunned, I put the guitar down and, much to the confusion of everyone in the bar, except my friends, I rambled on. Nothing I said could be considered a typical joke but, surprisingly, I got some laughs. I remember walking off stage and feeling like I was going to do stand-up for the rest of my life, which was for the best—I was a very average musician, but I still had to strum through some covers that night.

What’s the weirdest heckle you’ve ever heard and how did you reply?

Ignacio Lopez talking on the mic
I did a gig on a cruise ship. Roughly 20 minutes into my set, a little girl in the audience was whispering to her family. I asked what she was whispering, and very loudly she announced, “I was asking when the comedy starts”. Devastating. I told her she was adopted. 

What has been the funniest thing that you’ve seen happen during one of your shows? 

I walked on stage in Birmingham and a guy was asleep in the front row, so we all played buckaroo, by stacking more and more items on him until he woke up. He jolted awake, startled, with six hats, at least 15 coats, and a feather boa falling to the floor.
"A guy was asleep in the front row, so we all played buckaroo, stacking more and more items on him until he woke up"
Everyone in the crowd applauded and laughed, he joined in not understanding what was going on and I carried on with my set as if nothing had happened. It was glorious. 

You’ve gone viral with comedy songs about why Spanish barmen hate British tourists and posts about public transport. Do you see British people doing crazy and bizarre things every day that make you laugh?

Ignacio Lopez smiling while talking on the mic
Stag parties still bewilder me. You’re getting married, so your best friends kidnap you, dress you in something ridiculous (the most wholesome one I’ve seen is a Buzz Lightyear costume, the craziest was a full bondage suit, zipped up mouth with a straw poking out, and drinks duct taped to both of the stag’s hands), take you to every bar in a one-mile radius of wherever they’re invading that weekend, and try desperately to ruin the marriage before it’s even begun. Outstanding work. 

What’s the most hilarious thing to have ever happened to you?

I checked into a very cheap “hotel” in London. The receptionist was belligerent, and explained he couldn’t find my booking. While he was waiting for a call from the manager to tell him which room to put me in, the cleaner arrived at reception and started shouting at the receptionist, in Spanish, that she couldn’t clean room three because the light was broken and it was pitch black. The receptionist didn’t speak any Spanish so I had to translate both sides of the conversation. It was like something out of a Peter Sellers film.
"I had to translate both sides of the conversation between a receptionist and a cleaner at a hotel"
Eventually the receptionist told the cleaner to go home, the phone rang, the receptionist spoke with the manager for a few seconds and said, “yes, no problem”, reached behind, selected a key and handed it to me. I looked down at the key ring, it said “room three”. Farcical. 

What’s your new stand-up show about?

This show tells the story of the absurd jobs I did to get the money to see my favourite band at a show in Los Angeles. I talk about some of my most catastrophic gigs, brutal heckles, and I talk about my upbringing and my United Nations-like family from Spain, Wales, Ireland and Morocco. It’s 90 minutes of hilarity.
Ignacio Lopez tours the UK with his show Nine Ig Fails in November
Banner credit: Ignacio Lopez (Michelle Huggleston Photography)

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