Stand-up comic and regular MC Chris Chopping has recently been performing his second hour of comedy, Chris Chopping’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at the Edinburgh Festival. Having previously been a semi-finalist of So You Think You’re Funny, this engaging performer is producing comedy that is smart and unpredictable – definitely worth keeping an eye on him.
I asked Chris these seven questions to find out more…
1) How did your career in comedy begin?
When I was growing up stand up comedy didn’t seem like a thing real people could do. There were no comedy clubs near me so comedians were these people who existed exclusively on home video and had a new tour show out for Christmas every year. It was years later I got a job at a comedy club in Cardiff and realised you didn’t have to start out with a full hour. Having not really set the world of retail or call centres alight I thought I might as well have a crack at the dream job.
2) What’s something you used to hate that you now love?
Recently my parents took me out for dinner and my mum tried to persuade me to eat courgette. I’m 31. I’m too old for these conversations. I think if I had refused I wouldn’t have been allowed pudding. So I tried it, it was deep fried and delicious. Love would be a strong word. I used to hate courgette, now I regard it with a healthy scepticism.
3) What is the most difficult aspect of writing and performing stand-up, for you?
I’t took me a long time to start writing more and replacing my material frequently enough. When I started other comedians would talk about getting bored of their material. I worked in a call centre reciting the same script over and over all day for two years. In comedy I was performing a script I’d written myself at most once a day and being rewarded with laughter and approval instead of people swearing and hanging up. I never got bored but sometimes boredom is a good motivator.
4) Do you have a good memory?
No I have a terrible memory. I don’t even remember where I live. If you were staying at my house and I met you at the station we’d be walking for about 45 minutes before you asked, “how much further now?” And I realised I’d been following you the whole time. Is that what you asked? I don’t remember.
5) Which year of your life has been the best so far?
When I was eight, that was pretty good. I lived next door to my best friend and for my birthday I got Ring Raiders. Airplanes that you wore attached to your fingers via a plastic ring and a translucent plastic pole. It was a simpler time. They came with a VHS cassette with a cartoon of their adventures. That’s got to be hard to beat, year wise.
6) What one person would you be most afraid to meet?
I’d be terrified to meet my younger self. He’d be delighted I was doing stand up comedy but I feel like he’d find my life wanting in other crucial areas. I don’t want to see the disappointment in his eyes when he finds out I ate courgette for example.
7) Where would you like to be in six months time?
I’d like to be the new face of the £50 note with the film of my show Chris Chopping’s Lonely Hearts Club Band being made part of the national curriculum having rocketed me to national treasure status. Realistically, best case scenario I’ll be in Gloucester services buying some sort of gourmet pie.