If you ever meet Scottish comedian, Danny Bhoy, there are two things you should hold yourself back from doing – telling him a joke and asking him to tell you one.
“I’m the antithesis of a joke-teller. I’ve always hated jokes. Even the rare ones I like are silly and I can never remember them anyway. I can remember a 90-minute show and deliver it to an audience but I can’t remember even a one-minute joke. They just go straight through you.”
Danny prefers to connect with his audience on a personal level, telling stories and sharing observations. On his first few tours to Australia, he targeted the baffling nature of our culture; from the size of our servo toilet keys to our overuse of the word ‘bizarre’. “The first few times you come to Australia it is quite baffling. But I’ve been coming here for nine years now, so I can’t really get away with that anymore.
“I’ve become familiar with your politics, so when you very quickly ousted your leader and then had a new prime minister within the hour, I was probably the least surprised Scotsman. I was like, ‘yep, of course you got rid of your leader. And of course you got another one within an hour, of course you did.’ I don’t regret the shows I did back then, because they felt right at the time, but I’ve got more structure now and it’s all stuff I really want to say.”
"I remember at school being bullied, having quite a hard time, so maybe comedy was like a defence mechanism.”
As his material has matured, so too have many other aspects of his show. There’s one change in particular that, to Danny’s surprise, people have been quite vocal about: his pants. A review of the comments on Danny’s YouTube videos reveals just how enamoured his fans are of his old, flared jeans. In new videos where the jeans are absent, disgruntled fans are demanding to know where his pants are.
Danny is quick to point out he always wears pants, but the flares are a thing of the past. “I haven’t worn them for about seven years, but people still come up to me and say ‘that’s weird, you didn’t wear your flared jeans’. It’s like going up to a pop-star from the '70s and saying ‘that’s weird, you don’t have an Afro?’.”
With the amount of attention they receive, perhaps a charity auction might have been an appropriate way of parting with them. “Can you imagine that? It wouldn’t be good. Jimmy Hendrix’s old guitar would be great but I don’t think my old jeans will ever find their way to the wall of a Hard Rock Café.” Danny took a few months off at the start of the year and casually joked about spending his time pondering the crumbling inevitability and futility of his existence.
"My favourite journey, the happiest one I take, is always the one home.”
While the comment was a cheeky one, Danny concedes there was a smidge of truth in it. “We all think about it from time to time. But I can’t think about things like that for to long because I have gigs to do and I have to be cheerful and happy. It would be quite a disaster if I went on all depressed and philosophical. So I’ve come to no ground-breaking conclusions. Other than you just have to accept whatever comes.”
Continuing in this vein, Danny consider the darker side of comedy. “I’ve never really explored too deeply the genesis of my comedy. But a lot of comedians have tough, background stories. There’s an old theory that behind every clown is a person weeping with frustration and anxiety. I think there’s some truth in it. I remember at school being bullied, having quite a hard time, so maybe comedy was like a defence mechanism.”
After delving into some rather heavy discussion, Danny tells us what he loves most about comedy. “The whole point of it is to be life-affirming and to make people happy.”
And what he loves most in life. “I travel a lot doing this job. I stay in nice places, meet interesting people, see incredible things. But my favourite journey, the happiest one I take, is always the one home.”Danny Bhoy plays Just For Laughs Sydney at the Sydney Opera House 25 October and the State Theatre 26-28 October.
2016 Tour Dates
Sat 5 Mar - Canberra TheatreTue 8 Mar - Her Majesty's Theatre (Adelaide)Sun 13 Mar - Concert Hall (Perth)Fri 18 Mar - The Arts Centre Gold CoastMon 21 Mar - City Hall (Brisbane)Tue 29 Mar - IPAC (Wollongong)Thu 31 Mar - Civic Theatre (Newcastle)Sat 2 Apr - Costa Hall (Geelong)Sun 3 Apr - Hamer Hall (Melbourne)Mon 4 Apr - Hamer Hall (Melbourne)