Malcolm Head is a very interesting performer who has recently supported Paul Foot on his UK tour. His style of stand up is distinctly recognisable with its bursts of poetry, “heckle gaps” and lengthy comic pauses, as is his performance attire which includes his trusty National Trust cap and mysterious rucksack of possessions. His haikus are little insights into an entirely new world, a microcosm of the strange, the dull and the ordinary, all culminated into three lines. He’s concise, he’s unpredictable and he is absolutely hilarious.
I asked Malcolm these seven questions to learn a little more about him…
1) What is your favourite aspect of live performance?
I love being able to be silly for 20 minutes. I’m fairly introverted, and acutely aware of the drudgery of everyday life. And for me, acting like a tit for 20 minutes releases a lot of tension built up by all that drudgery.
I’ve never used the word drudgery before but as you can see, it’s here to stay now. Drudgery. Difficult to rhyme with though. Fudgery? A place where you make fudge?
2) Do you enjoy gardening?
Yes, but I don’t have a garden. But I like the sort of gentle, and slightly pointless, labour involved in gardening. Toiling away all day to remove weeds that just come back. I also get the impression that it’s much easier to just do gardening than it is to just do, say, architecture or engineering. Landscape gardening maybe is more complex, but simply pulling up a few flowers is within the remit of ‘gardening’.
Also, I don’t like Alan Titchmarsh but I’m not at liberty to explain why. Just trust me when I say, he’s a bad egg.
3) Which book do you wish you had written?
All of them. All of the books.
If I had written all of the books then I’d be the only authority on any subject. It’d be great. There’d be no debate over who caused the First World War, for example. I’d just say ‘I know I’ve written 25,000 books conveying various perspectives on who caused the First World War, but I’ve now decided once and for all. It wasn’t anyone really, it just sort of happened. Case closed’.
Also this means I’d have written 50 Shades Of Grey and Gravity’s Rainbow, so I’d not only be loaded but also respected by critics.
4) Should badgers be culled?
I don’t think anything should be culled and especially not badgers. They just dig about and eat insects. Like kids really. Fantastic.
I do actually think one thing should be culled – members of the House of Lords. A few of them are probably ok but mostly they’re stuffy, miserable, unelected and over-privileged gas-bags. Compare them to badgers and you’ll see it’s a no-brainer. Badgers are neither elected nor unelected – they’re just there. They’re under-privileged if anything. Maybe some are stuffy but overall they’re far better than members of the House of Lords.
5) Are you a good liar?
I’m good at telling white lies, but very bad at telling serious lies.
So, for example, if I needed to tell someone that a casserole they made was great despite being average at best, I’d be fine. ‘This is a great casserole, Tina’ I’d say, and Tina would believe me. And potentially give me more – this approach can backfire.
If, however, I needed to say ‘we are going to bomb Iraq because they definitely have nuclear weapons’ even though I knew they probably didn’t, I’d have a problem. ‘We are going to bomb Iraq, which is fine because they have nuclear weapons, Tina’ I’d say. But I’d be looking elsewhere and giggling, and Tina would see right through me.
6) What is the best room in the house?
The scullery. I think it’s something to do with a kitchen – I’ve never seen one. But the name is sensational. Imagine bringing a date home and saying ‘this is my scullery’. Wait, scullery rhymes with drudgery! Sort of!
‘So to remove their daily drudgery,
The lovers fought in the scullery’
7) Who do you most enjoy watching perform live comedy?
So many people. Simon Munnery is one of my faves. Gavin Webster is so brilliant – great jokes but with a constant glint of madness, so exciting to watch. There’s a huge amount of fantastic young comedians like Rhys James and Fin Taylor who I love. Daniel Simonsen. Richard Herring. Tim Key. Paul Foot. I also loved Mitch Hedberg growing up.
I tell you what, all of them. All the comedians. X