Reginald D Hunter: The controversial comedian on sex, 'Star Trek' and why he moved to Britain
I moved to England after having a gun held to my face I was in a situation with an old high-school buddy back in Georgia in the US, playing cards and gambling. He was on crack and he caught me cheating. That thing they say about your life flashing before your eyes – it's true. I'd always wanted to see England and I promised myself that, if I got out of that situation, I'd go. I was mad, too, that I'd got busted by a crackhead!
I had an idealised vision of this country That it was this quaint, scholarly and polite place. That was naïve, but unlike any other place I've visited, on a society-wide level, you all do give a serious go at being fair. Take the phone-hacking scandal; it's similar to America's NSA spying scandal, in that an institution that we trust is spying on us, but whereas the American authorities responded by saying things like, "Move on, watch some TV," in the UK, it's like, "You know what, we're going to put some people on trial."
All I really want to talk about is anal sex and farting All this stuff about me being a controversial stand-up talking about race and gender politics are just labels that people have thrown on me. Left to my own devices I'd want to talk about other things, but I can't because white people in this country are a little too self-congratulatory about being above it all, and I can't let it go.
There's more racialism than racism in Britain People here have trouble telling the difference. If we're at a bar and you're white, that situation is inherently racial, but people are so paranoid about racism, they're afraid to acknowledge and talk about it.
I didn't anticipate footballers getting upset about my use of the word 'nigger' Football is overscrutinised in this country, particularly in a racial way. And at my gig at the Professional Footballers' Association in April [when Hunter caused a furore by repeatedly using the word in his set] my politics [of race] were at odds with the politics in a room full of privileged people, and they were oversensitive. But no one got hurt, no one got disenfranchised, no one got raped, so it's absurd and perverted that it got covered in the media above real issues.
Being assaulted by a racist is like being bitten by a vampire After you get attacked by one, you become one yourself. It's a joke I'd written that never worked, as it was more clever than humorous. It took audiences not laughing over three straight nights before it dawned on me that it wasn't actually funny.
I'm a huge Star Trek fan I'm not a Trekky, I'm just a fan of the philosophy of the show. There's a Christian angle and a touch of Buddhist philosophy, too. One of the principles is about duty and collectivism: saying that we will answer distress signals even from our enemies. And being kind to our enemies is what Martin Luther King [Jr] talked about.
I have a very sparse sex life It's not that I don't get offers – in fact, I get more than I used to. But these women assume I'm getting a lot of sex, that I'm a player, and as a consequence they act with resolve towards me: they feel they can be rude or unkind to me in a witty way. So I decided to no longer get connected physically or emotionally to women who are not as nice to me as I am to them; it's one reason why I've never had a one-night stand.
Reginald D Hunter, 44 is an American stand-up. His latest tour, 'In the Midst of Crackers', is at the Pleasance Grand, Edinburgh (0131 556 6550, pleasance.co.uk), from Friday to 24 August at 8pm. His nationwide tour runs to 30 November (reginalddhunter.com)
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 San Francisco TV news crew attacked by armed robbers during live broadcast
- 4 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
- 5 Miami defendant sobs in court as he realises he and the judge attended the same school
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
The Crystal Maze: Richard O’Brien confirmed to return as more details revealed about show's rebooted format
Guillaume Tell's gang-rape scene caused uproar at the Royal Opera House – but the portrayal of extreme sex and violence on stage is nothing new
Britain's best outdoor cinemas to visit this summer from Somerset House to Luna Cinema
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture