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Ask A Comedian: Marcus Brigstocke

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

9th Aug 2023 Humour

Ask A Comedian: Marcus Brigstocke

Award-winning comedian and international cheese judge Marcus Brigstocke discusses prosthetic legs, his new Fringe show and the art of a really good whine

What stand up/comedy film stands out as making you fall in love with comedy when you were young?

Robin Williams’ Live at the Met. It’s still one of the greatest stand up films ever made. I knew it by heart as a teenager and annoyed anyone who’d listen with huge chunks of it whenever I had the opportunity.

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

That it was shocking and fun. It was exhilarating and terrifying and I did OK. I got some laughs and finished strong. It was a stand up competition at a club in Holborn. I came second. Not bad for a first go.

What is the funniest heckle you’ve ever heard and how did you respond to it?

I had a prosthetic leg thrown at me in Birmingham. I don’t remember why or how I had so angered this audience member but he saw fit to fling his leg at me.

Comedian Marcus BrigstockeCredit: IAB UK, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr

What has been your most ridiculous live show experience ever?

Well—it’s funny you should ask. At the “thrown leg” gig the compère was John Bishop. John went on to tell his touring audience about the time the posh London comic got “limb heckled”. It was a good story and John’s very funny.

Some months later I was on tour in Gloucester and as soon as I walked on stage someone yelled, “Is it true you once had a leg thrown at you?”.

"Two legs in under a year. That’s nearly half a man"

I said yes and began to explain how and why…and blam! It happened again. There was a member of the Gloucester audience with a prosthetic leg and so for the second time in a year I got “legged”. Heckled with body parts. From over ten feet away.

Two legs in under a year. That’s nearly half a man. It still makes me laugh to think about it. I think I should have kept those legs. I’d be well on my way to being a spider by now.

Your new show is called Cheese and Whine and is interactive—pairing the audience’s gripes with cheeses in “gourmet comedy”. What are some examples of the types of gripes that you would pair with some delicious cheeses?

If they give me some trivial nonsense that’s what they’ll get in return. “Ooh, I don’t much like cyclists when I’m driving…”—they’ll get a triangle of Dairylea and be sent on their way. But give me a proper, full bodied, fruity whine and, who knows?

“My husband is a cyclist. He disappears for days on end on his bike. I swear he loves it more than me. He certainly services it more often.

"If they give me some trivial nonsense that’s what they’ll get in return"

"He comes back with an aching, chafed bum and asks me to apply Savlon to the area while he regales me with tales of roadside puncture repairs and steep inclines. I think I might buy an electric scooter and bin him off.”

Now that is a whine. That might very well earn you a slice of Lanark Blue or a fat creamy wedge of Sinodun Hill (an exquisite, mousse-like goat’s milk cheese—creamy and delicate. Not totally unlike Savlon). I’m a curd nerd. Cheese is a passion for me.

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