Who? Steve N Allen
What? Better Than
Where? The Stand Comedy Club 2 (Venue 5)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
A healthy dose of terror mixed with a little bit of unhealthy terror. Around this time I get a little over-eager to get up there and start doing my material to people. It probably makes me annoying to know for a few months. Most conversations get peppered with me saying, ‘Oh, I should put that in the show’.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
Doesn’t it feel like the world keeps getting worse? There are some bad people but no one thinks they’re in the wrong. What if you could make the right choice? In the show I look at those small moments in life where you get to pick what to do and these days we’re being coaxed into doing the bad thing and justifying it to ourselves. Pick the option that’s better and you could end up better than the angry shouting people in politics, better than the dodgy movie moguls, better than what you would have been. It’s that. A look at how to be slightly better than the alternative.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
Pretty much all of my past shows in Edinburgh have been topical reviews of the year. That’s harder to write but the trick there is I’d be stood next to a big screen that shows the headline that I’m talking about. It was basically there to remind me what bit to do next. This year it’s all pure stand up, no gimmicks, so I actually have to learn it all.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
I remember the first few times I did it I felt an obligation, you have to do Edinburgh if you want to get on. I don’t think you can hold that opinion long-term of anything. If you think you have to do something you will find a way out. If you want to do something then you can start to enjoy it. That’s where I am these days. I can’t wait to be doing this show.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Any of my fellow cast members on The Mash Report seem to be acing it at the moment. Erich McElroy who crops up on my BBC podcast also has an interesting take on the state of society in his show. But in general, see as much as you can.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
Doing what I do now but doing more of it. I’ve realised that this job is one of the most enjoyable things you can do as long as you take the time to enjoy it. If I get another year where I’m telling jokes on stage, doing odd things in podcasts and recording topical stuff on The Mash Report I’ll be very happy indeed.