Comedy: A newsworthy stand-up

The wacky humour of Eddie Izzard or Harry Hill is not Kevin Day's cup of tea. This self-confessed puritan aligns himself with political humourists like Jeremy Hardy or Mark Thomas, though he can't say that he doesn't crave a little fame and fortune...

Kevin Day acknowledges that his style of topical, political stand-up is currently as trendy as voting Tory. "It's not considered fashionable," he sighs. "Straight stand-up - one man or woman with a mike - is seen as passe."

As with so much in life, the answer to this problem is to blame the Conservatives. "Everyone knew the last government had run its course," Day reckons, "so everyone was fed up with being reminded about it. That's why surreal comedy came in. Now the new government is in its honeymoon period, and anyway, the Labour Party is so good at controlling its MPs that they just don't do daft things like the other lot did. Also, people don't know who they are. If you have to pass round notes to explain a joke, that rather spoils it."

Now a highly experienced performer, Day jokes that "my wife says I'm more relaxed on stage than I am off it. If she wants a decent conversation, she puts a fake mike in front of me."

Nevertheless, he is slightly depressed by the uniformity of up-and-coming stand-ups. "I do get frustrated because I love the craft of comedy," he confirms, "and all the new comedians these days seem to be budding Eddie Izzards or Harry Hills. Eddie and Harry are excellent, but it's very easy to do their style badly. People think all you have to do is mumble a bit and say, `And then they all died' to get huge laughs. They just don't do topical material. It sounds a terrible old-man thing to say, but younger people's humour tends towards the wacky. They haven't yet become cynical and bitter enough to do other stuff."

Day remains hopeful that political comedy will have its day again. "It may come back in eventually," he surmises. "People will recognise that words are important. I think it's more satisfying to listen to someone like Mark Thomas or Jeremy Hardy delivering opinions. I'm a puritan - I like to see a comedian who makes me think as well as laugh. Unfortunately, a lot of comedians are deciding there are easier ways of getting laughs."

He needn't worry. Day has a flourishing radio career and is a regular on television panel-games. He is honest enough to admit, however, that he still yearns to be a household name. "Any performer who says they don't crave fame and fortune is lying," he laughs. "Of course I'd sacrifice my integrity for fame and fortune. I do sometimes crave being pestered in supermarkets. When I do occasionally get recognised, I'm desperately praying that they think it's me and not Nick Hancock."

Kevin Day appears with Jenny Eclair, Lee Mack, Roger D and Jon Reed at the Hackney Empire, London, E8 (0181-985 2424) tonight

EXTRA

You can catch the last gasp of Harry Hill's monumental national tour if you're prepared to travel a bit this week. The man who has got every student in the land rabbiting on about badger parades and wearing several pens in their jacket pockets for no discernible reason plays at Cambridge Corn Exchange (01223 357851) 21 Jan, Southampton Guildhall (01703 632601) 22 Jan, and Southend Cliffs Pavilion (01702 351135) 23 Jan

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

    £55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

    Science Teacher 0.4

    £85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Science Teacher 0.4 - Immediat...

    Maths Teacher (Bath and North East Somerset)

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Maths teachers for day to day cover, l...

    SEN Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: English teacher required! Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week