John Dredge is a comedy writer and podcaster best known for his absurd sketch show, The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show. This podcast serves as a deliberate move away from long-form narrative, incorporating surreal storytelling with plenty of musical interludes and sounds effects.
I asked John these seven questions to learn more about him…
1) Is podcasting a liberating art form?
Yes, it is for me, because it’s a medium which allows me to give free reign to my peculiar imagination in a ‘safe’ context. Nobody’s going to say ‘You can’t do that!’. The audio environment is ideal because I can create the strangest of situations and make them sound real with a few voices, sound effects and pieces of music.
2) Do you have much spatial awareness?
No, but I do have a piece of knotted string. I was thinking of exhibiting it in the Hayward Gallery but they don’t seem very enthusiastic, even though I wouldn’t need much space. On reflection I do have some awareness of how much space my display would take up. I am also very much aware of the space-time continuum, although I have never invited it to the Hayward Gallery.
3) What do you do when you’re angry?
My anger usually turns into fairly savage comedy. I tweet a lot to get it out of my system. I’m fairly obsessed with the media so it’s usually something to do with that. You can follow me @johndredge for an alarming insight into the myriad problems with my brain.
4) Who are your comedic influences?
My favourite double acts would have to be either Orm and Cheep or Sarah and Duck. I’m also greatly influenced by Bernard Tharggg who had the largest collection of cagoules in Europe.
I’ve always loved anyone who seemed comedically insane. I wouldn’t be doing this had I not heard The Goon Show at an early age – that did my head in. The inventiveness of the language, the use of sound, the creation of an imaginary world, it all had a big effect on me. I still listen to that show now. I’ve always liked Vic Reeves, who amongst other things had the confidence to present a really weird comic vision to the world. Tiswas was a big one for me. It was so joyously chaotic and off-the-wall. I want to get some of that spirit into my work if I can. Noel Fielding has similar influences to me, although he kind of puts them together in a different way, so I’ve always followed his work. I’m also influenced by the magazines and comic books of my youth like Look-in and Krazy, which nobody has ever heard of, including me.
5) Who is your favourite artist?
My favourite artist of all time is Kenny Everett, and to me his greatest achievement was the series of Video Shows he did in the late seventies. Those shows were so innovative in their use of sound and vision, and were completely unique to him. He was such a charismatic performer, and completely round the bend. I’ve always been drawn to artists who create their own world. Escapism is necessary for me on a daily basis. Make of that what you will – a large paper hat, for example.
6) What is your ultimate career aim?
To boldly go where no man has gone before – or Lewisham if it’s raining.
I’ve always wanted to make a TV version of my podcast series, a mad, fast-moving, frenetic sketch show. I thought Noel Fielding’s sketch series was fascinating, so maybe something in that area. Or in the Lewisham area. I do a lot of YouTube videos that seem to do quite well, so I don’t think it would be a problem to translate my humour to a visual medium. I would also like to make a sitcom about a family of talking pipes.
7) What aspect of your life bores you?
Having to get up at 5am to deliver pinecones to Buckingham Palace. I’ve been doing that for ten years now and it is extremely boring. How many pinecones do they need? There’s got to be a better job out there. I’m open to offers.