Chris Coltrane is a stand up comedian who makes it his business to talk about activism and, in turn, makes a valiant attempt at inspiring his audiences to become more of an engaged and interested part of society. His material is often very political, which, unsurprisingly to some, I find incredibly important due to the relevance of politics in our lives and an apparent lack of it in comedy itself. But Chris can also be silly too, often bordering on surreal, which adds balance to the heavier, political material.
To find out more about Chris, I asked him these seven questions…
1) Are you a productive person?
Let me answer your question with another question: Yes? Here’s my typical day: I wake up at 6am. I then go immediately back to sleep, wake up at 10am, and read the newspaper. To save time I just read every fifth word. Apparently Prince Bodyguard is selling birth to her favourite crown this week. Got to be worth keeping an eye on that story.
After that I’ll put my “pen” in my “hand”, and do some “writing”. I’ll also occasionally email new romantic lyrics to Chromeo. One I thought of today was “Hey girl, you need a man that can respect you / A man to love and hug and kiss and sometimes sex you”. Chromeo usually pays £40 for a high-quality lyric like that. The afternoon is what I call my “special time”, and I’ll thank you not to ask anything more about that. And finally, in the evening I usually smash it at gigs like the Comedy Owl Sanctuary, the Comedy Burger, Tim Vine’s Comedy Sadness, The Alternative Frederick, The Comedy Surgery (where comedians perform comedy next to actual live medical surgery, despite the surgeons pleading with us to stop), and the unpopular Comedy Srjigwmf.
2) What would make Britain’s political system more effective?
I honestly think it’s time we gave dogs the vote. Haven’t they proven that they deserve it? They’ve been such good boys, yes they have, and they’re so cute and good aren’t they, yes they are, yes they are. Who’s a good boy? They are, yes they are. I had another idea that we could build “Democracy Pods” in each town, which members of the public can sit in for seven days, after which they’ll transform into a fully functional democracy. Like slugs do before they become butterflies or whatever. The pods would be large, and full of a special scientific slime to aid with the transformation process. I don’t think I need to explain to you the benefits that such pods would bring to British democracy.
3) Has being a comedian ever landed you in trouble?
No, although now you mention it, yes. I knew that all the swans belonged to the Queen – but no-one told me that it was treason to make jokes about swans on stage. Apparently it’s technically illegal to hurt a swan’s feelings. Bloody stupid law, if you ask me. Anyway, I went to prison for 50 years, and now I won’t rest until I’ve wreaked vengeance on the entire Windsor clan.
4) Which meal of the day is the best?
It’s a meal that I invented, called Prµñşt. It’s happens at 2am, when you’ve had your dinner, and you’ve had a little bit of supper before bed, but then you’ve stayed up for another five hours by mistake and you feel really #sad. A cheeky Prµñşt helps to keep you going & stops you from dying. Typical things to eat at Prµñşt include: Toad In The Face, Angry Stir-Fry, Moustache a la carte, Immature cheddar cheese, Honey-glazed fear, Steamed ice in a water sauce, Ladyfingers, “Live Or Die” pizza, Sweet and/or sour butterfly, Lamb waffles, Some cakes, Supercrisps, Cock au vin, Sweet potatoes (1954 vintage), Knuckle sandwich.
5) Are you glad the dinosaurs are extinct?
Yes. Fuck dinosaurs. Creepy eight-legged bastards. Fuck dinosaurs, fuck their webs, and fuck their poison fangs. I’m glad they’re all dead.
6) When was the exact moment you decided to become a comedian?
Actually, I remember the exact day. In 1931, sometime in May (I forget when), I was watching an open mic in Germany, and a new act took to the stage, and told the audience that his name was Adolf Hitlers. I’m sure you can see where this is going! He did a 5 minute set which, to be fair to him, was technically perfect. Great stage presence, excellent timing, he really knew how to perform. And his set was structurally textbook. But the content – well, you can guess. Utterly hack. “Aren’t men and women different”. “What’s the deal with airline food”. “What’s up with self-service checkouts”. So boring! I knew I could do better. And that was the day I decided to become a comedian. Here we are, over 6 years later, and Hitlers has become known as one of history’s greatest monsters. There’s a lesson for us all about the dangers of lazy comedy there.
7) Is there something that the whole world seems to care about, apart from you?
Sports. Whether it be footsball, basketsball, rugsball, hockeying, sprints, badmanton, horses, tennips, keep-them-up, “John’s Game”, or a simple game of goals, nothing interests me less than the idea of sports. If I had one wish, I’d wish for everyone to stop caring about sports. And if I had two wishes, I’d wish for it twice, just to make absolutely sure that sports STAYED THE HELL AWAY from me and my seventeen awful daughters.