Liverpudlian comedian Mitch Benn shares a few things with us
What advice would you give to a school pupil that wants to make it in comedy?
Not sure how much practical advice I could offer as “how one makes it in comedy” has changed a lot since I was new. There are comedians now who build up massive followings on Vine & YouTube before they’ve ever done a single live gig.
As regards artistic advice I’d just sat do whatever makes you laugh. At least that way by the time you perform it, it’s made somebody laugh and as such may well make other people laugh too.
How long do you spend writing comedy compared to performing it?
Varies wildly. Some of my stuff I spend ages writing and re-writing, to the point where even if I’ve been doing a bit for years I still don’t necessarily regard it as “finished”. On the other hand, some of my best material gets written in about as much time as it takes to perform it. If I’m doing a show with an interval, sometimes I get suggestions from the audience at the end of the first half, write a song based on those suggestions and then perform it st the start of the second half. I’ve actually written some songs in that way which have then become part of my set.
What is the best advice to keeping fit and healthy on the road?
ME you’re asking?
Your home city of Liverpool has changed so much. What still are your favourite things to do in Liverpool?
Visit my parents. That’s about it. The places I used to hang out in Liverpool when I was a teenager are pretty much all gone now.
Is it easier to perform comedy with or without music?
For ME it’s easier with, as that’s what I do.
I’m sure this never happens but what do you do if you feel you are starting to lose an audience?
Who do you admire in comedy yourself?
Whoever’s doing stuff that they really believe in rather than stuff which will impress critics and TV producers.
Do you think that some comedians have too much exposure on television that they become less funny?
It’s not so much that, as that most comics on TV are doing the wrong thing, or at least they’re not doing what they’re best at.
This is the paradox of becoming a “TV comedian”; in order to attract the attention of TV people you have to stand out from the crowd and be different, but in order for TV people to find a use for you on TV they have to make you the same as everyone else.
Mitch returns with his Don’t Believe a Word Tour on January 31 in Salford.