10 Questions is back, and we bother comedian Sully O’ Sullivan with the action.
Q1. Thanks for your time today Sully, your career as a stand-up has taken you across the globe from New Zealand, what’s the difference between UK comedy and the scene back home?
The biggest difference is size. While the NZ scene has grown, we still only have one dedicated comedy venue in the whole country. In fact when I left my hometown all those years ago, it only had one gig, once a week, for the entire city, and I know ’cos I was running it.
Q2. You compered a few gong shows that I took part in at the old Mr Bens gig in Leeds, you’re cut throat in your delivery, where does that stem from?
I’ve had reviews that used phrases like ‘no nonsense delivery’ and ’stand & deliver style’, a fellow act even recently described me simply as ‘brutal’. It’s also often said that your on stage persona is 10% of your personality dialed up to 11. So while it was never anything I cultivated intentionally, it just might explain why I live alone.
Q3. With closures to comedy clubs is it harder to make a living at comedy theses days?
Everybody ‘comedys’ differently; both on stage and off. I know people who only do festivals, I know folks who only perform at clubs, and I know acts who are great on TV but simply can’t play clubs. Part of making a living from comedy is figuring out how you ‘comedy’ best.
Q4. Who is standing out on the circuit at the minute for you?
Scott Bennett is massively underrated, if I could place a bet at Ladbrokes on a comedian to blow-up in the next 2 years, it’d be him. Paul Smith is also making some exciting industry waves; there aren’t many TV acts that could sellout a 1k+ seater 7 nights in a row, let alone someone who’s never been on TV at all, but he’s just done it.
Q5. What is the best thing about being a comedian?
Not having to get up in the morning (this answer is interchangeable with the answer to the question “what’s the best thing about not having children?”)
Q6. What’s the worst experience you have encountered on stage?
Indifference. You can work with groans, you can work with disgust, you can even work with abject hate, but it’s really difficult to work with indifference….
Q7. You experiment with different beard styles….discuss?
My beard is like your favourite Chinese dish, the one you always get from the same place despite the fact there’s lots of other Chinese restaurants on the same street you’ve never even tried. So every once in a while you think ‘I should try something different’ but they’re never as good as your ‘usual’, and you just end up in the middle of the street yelling “why did I do that?!!!” While shaking your fist angrily at a cloud. This is usually what happens when I change my beard.
Q8. Which comedian on the circuit at the minute is most annoying?
It has to be Rick Molland. I’ve got to do 2 double act shows a day with him at the Edinburgh Fringe, plus we run a Pick of the Fringe showcase, while living together for the entirety of August. Just thinking about it makes me want to punch him and it’s not even Fringe yet.
Q9. Tell me about the most inappropriate time that an idea came into your head for a joke?
“There’s never an inappropriate time for a joke, only an inappropriate joke for a time” Confucius, probably.
Q10. What’s coming up for you Sully?
You ask “What’s coming up for you Sully?” but what I hear is “Hey Sully, tell us all about your 2 new double-act shows with Rick Molland at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe!” Why sure….they’re ‘Freestyle Comedy: Improvised Stand-Up’ and ‘A New Political Comedy Show’ both at The Scottish Festival @ The Beehive Inn! See www.scottishcomedyfestival.com for more details.