Having appeared on 8 out of 10 Cats and The Alternative Comedy Experience, and getting to the final of So You Think You’re Funny in 2011, Fern Brady has proven herself to be not only an able performer, but an exciting and versatile one too. Her material is homely, honest and personal, with occasional distasteful elements that delight the devil in all of us, and she will be bringing her latest stand up show People Are Idiots to the Edinburgh festival in August.
To learn more about Fern, I asked her these seven questions…
1) What is the oldest trick in the book?
Telling guys “Of course I’ve had a recent AIDS test!” then looking indignant and adding quietly “Besides… it’s not like I normally do this.” Works every time. Did you mean a comedy trick?
2) Are you particularly interested in politics?
I thought I was really into it but my boyfriend works in politics and listening to him read out all the different electoral seats in Scotland last night in a robotic monotone made me realise we all have different interpretations of the phrase ‘interested in politics’.
3) What quality do you most look for in others?
In friends: to have none of my unappealing traits. In lovers: openness to new experiences (e.g. threeways). In audiences: servile devotion.
4) Is there a noticeable difference between gigging in Scotland and England?
Nope, except when I die at gigs in England I try to persuade myself it’s cause they’re having trouble understanding my accent, which is a pretty big lie to sell given the hundreds of gigs I’ve done all over England where everyone totally knew what I was saying. I’d say the biggest difference is gigs in the north and south of England, I find I end up doing different types of material depending on where I am.
5) Are you good at maths?
Not at all, I got kicked out of Standard Grade maths at school a lot, I was really wilfully bad at it cause I remember being in the top class then getting booted into the General level one, then eventually Foundation maths with the proper plebs. None of the maths teachers at my school were a great advert for maths though, they were all semi-literate nerds from Coatbridge and I gave up on them completely when they spelled my punishment exercises wrong.
I smugly told the head of maths I’d never need maths but at the time I think I thought I’d be a famous novelist and not the undignified clown I ended up being.
6) What is your favourite television comedy of 2015 so far?
Hmm. Well. There are so many great comedy shows but I’d have to say the thing that stands out is my BBC Comedy Feed Radges, which is about when I was in a pupil referral unit for mental teens. That hasn’t been released yet but PLEASE WATCH IT SO I CONTINUE TO GET WORK.
I generally prefer stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime so my favourite recent shows are Transparent, Orange is the New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I know the first two aren’t sitcoms but I find comedy drama way funnier than a lot of sitcoms.
7) What is your proudest achievement?
Getting off with two women from the audience of one of my gigs. I’m basically the Hugh Hefner of the UK comedy circuit.