Charismatic Yorshireman Scott Bennett is an instantly likeable stand up performer, with an admirably relaxed delivery style on stage that enables audiences to trust his comedic judgement; he is a reassuring comic. Having recently taken his debut show to the Edinburgh Festival, Bennett is quickly moving up the ranks as a recognisable face on the circuit.
To learn more about Scott, I asked him these seven questions…
1) Why did you choose to write a show all about your father?
I should say that it was because I wanted a fitting tribute to my father, something that could unite us both and a piece of work we could both look back on with mutual respect and affection. The truth is that he is an endless source of material and I could have probably written a couple of shows. I love studying him, like a David Attenborough documentary, he’s such a rich and intriguing character. I don’t think I could have written a character as fertile with comedic value as my dad and the fact that his escapades have more than a ring of truth to them, just makes it even more attractive.
2) What is your favourite thing about Yorkshire?
Many things, the accent, the thrifty money-saving mentality, even the food – which other county can boast their own savoury pudding? We also got a stage of a major cycling race recently; this was a big deal. I was tempted to go up there with a whippet tied to the back of my Raleigh Grifter with a bit of string and join the leading pack as they passed through Ilkley.
3) Do you think it is important for comedy to be relatable?
I think it depends on the subject matter and how it is conveyed. I think as long as the audience are made to feel part of the comedian’s world that’s the main thing. I love many styles of comedy, although I do have a soft spot for pure observational stand-up comedy. There is a real beauty in the simplicity of it; you can get a bigger laugh if the audience can immediately understand the direction you are taking them in.
4) What has surprised you recently?
How much I enjoyed the BBC programme “The Great Pottery Throwdown” – yes, it’s just people making pots, but it’s bloody marvellous. I think I am definitely getting a potter’s wheel in the shed. Imagine how good that would be, nipping out to put the bin out and then come back in with an ashtray and a vase; amazing. I am also going to be a father for the second time in January, which is fantastic. I probably should have mentioned that before the pottery programme really.
5) Which job role would you hate to have?
The Prime Minister. Imagine the stress of that job, the decisions you would have to make would terrify me. I know politicians aren’t perfect but it’s not an easy job. I’ve heard the way they get grilled at eight in the morning by John Humphreys on the today programme; it’s brutal. I am barely functional at that time of the day; I often have to slide out of my pit like a hungover Gollum, it’s an effort just to form words. Also as a comic I wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to slip material into Prime Minister’s Questions, or slam the leader of the opposition like a heckler in a comedy club. I’d also definitely fiddle my expenses; forget the duck houses and moats I would be sneaking through obscene amounts of Ginsters pasties, Red Bull and caffeine eye rollers, the staples for any road comic.
6) Do you look forward to retiring or dread it?
I am looking forward to it, as long as I am healthy and comfortable it could be great. I’m going to follow in my father’s footsteps and start paying the world back for the misery it has caused me. I could spend the mornings just getting out into rush hour traffic and getting in other people’s way, sitting in supermarket car parks with my indicators on just waiting for spaces and clogging up the queues at the post office just to buy a single stamp. Afternoons would obviously be spent on the potter’s wheel. I’m hoping my children would keep me; I’ll have two girls who’ll be grown up by then. The first one has already shown some aptitude for performance and drama, so if I don’t hit the big time, I will be focusing all my efforts over the next few years living my dreams through her, like any good parent should.
7) Are you content?
That’s difficult to say. In my personal life I would say yes, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. My wife is brilliant. People often forget about the partners of those who do comedy or any type of performance, it’s a thankless task and they have to be unwavering in their support. It’s not an easy sell, “sorry love, I can’t stay and change the nappies; I’ve got to go on stage in Liverpool and seek validation from a room full of strangers! Bye!”
With regards to my comedy career, I am proud of what I have achieved but I am always looking to push things on. I want to develop as an act, do bigger and better shows and take my writing up a level. I have many projects I am keen to try and get off the ground; sitcom ideas, new hour shows, the list is endless! I feel as soon as you feel content with your comedy career you become complacent, you have to keep the pressure on.