“It came out tongue in cheek,” Stephen proclaims. “Most of my shows have very general titles, so it doesn't put people off… People are very much aware about what's going on around the world and most of them want to come and see a comedy show for a bit of escapism.”
After circuiting the world with his renowned observational humour, the British stand-up comic is touring Australia with his latest show, 'World Famous'. The all-new show takes inspiration from Stephen’s recent tours around the globe, but perhaps not in the way you'd expect. “It's not just about what people were saying to my face, it’s a bigger picture about race, the symbols of hate, and people's perceptions,” he explains.
With the world in a state of almost constant panic; the result of terrorism threats and refugee crises, Stephen says he uses his shows to connect the common threads between us all as human beings, and try to revive the compassion he says that many people around the world have seemingly lost. What’s more, across races, genders and classes, Stephen uses his unique ability to create a bond within his audiences simply with laughter.
“I go for jokes and stories, but what is woven into those jokes and stories are little snippets [of the truth]. It's not that I'm demanding people think about stuff, but I will try and catch you off-guard by giving you a good laugh about something, then pulling the rug away from your feet and saying 'it was actually about this',” he admits. “For me, there's no point doing a show in front of people who agree with me on any level; politically, economically, or whatever. I want a room full of people from all different backgrounds and different walks of life, that all end up laughing at the same things. That’s my goal.”
Though for a British comic of Nigerian descent, he says that tends to be pretty easy for him to manage with Australian audiences.
“In my experience, the Australian crowds are very up for it. There aren’t many comedians coming here with my point of view; from a black British comic of Nigerian heritage, that’s an interesting topic for an Australian audience to see.”
If you're starting to become a little worried about the laughability of Stephen’s shows, he pleads with you to fear not. “I don’t want to give too much away... But it’s a comedy show, so it’s first and foremost my interest to make people laugh. I don’t call it a political show!”
While Stephen undoubtedly originally made his claim to fame through the stand-up comedy route, the Brit has also spent a fair amount of time entertaining audiences on televisions too. Though, as Stephen puts it, there’s quite simply nothing that compares to taking his stand-up shows around the world.
“Nothing beats doing a live stand-up show, because when you do TV, radio, interviews, and even print media, you are constrained by the editors and editorial policy. When I do a live stand-up show, nobody can tell me what to say or do. I don’t self-censor and if something happens in the moment I will run with it. When you’re flying by the seat of your pants, nothing beats that.”
Stephen K Amos Tour DatesSunday 23 April – Athenaeum Theatre (Melbourne)
Friday 21 April – Country Club Showroom (Launceston)
Saturday 22 April – Wrest Point Show Room (Hobart)
Friday 28 April – Concourse Theatre (Sydney)
Saturday 29-Sunday 30 April – Enmore Theatre (Sydney)
Thursday 4-Sunday 7 May – Regal Theatre (Perth)