An Interview with Russel Kane


Russell Kane is a changed man. For his Right Man, Wrong Age tour, you may encounter someone with a new look, fresh perspectives and a different approach to his comedy. “In the last year I’ve been married and had a baby. I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my look, I’ve thrown all my eyeliner in the bin. I literally went to my wardrobe one day and got all my ridiculous clothes and took them to the Sue Ryder shop for some other man having a midlife crisis then bought the four exact same suits in different colours from Topman. Then I got my hair as flat as it can go and I thought, ‘that’s it: this is me now’.” Russell K USE - MID RES.jpeg

In fact, Russell can pinpoint the exact moment when he needed to alter his outlook and write a new show. It started with somebody at the door . . . “I’m always looking for the moment that can make me look ridiculous in a way that is compelling. I was in the middle of spray-tanning myself upstairs in these tiny pants when the doorbell went. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and this window cleaner was touting for work. He leaned in and said, ‘I’m really sorry to disturb you: is your mum or dad in at all?’ Initially you might have thought this was a compliment, but it’s really not. He could be talking about how I’m putting myself across so I thought: ‘clothes in the bin’. And at that moment, there was Right Man, Wrong Age.”

In the world of stand-up, acts are continually expected to evolve and grow and turn over a significant amount of material every one or two years. For some this burden might prove too much, but for Russell Kane this is a challenge he relishes. “I’ll keep changing, and I don’t really ever want to stand still. I don’t care if it confuses people about where I’m coming from. I’m protean; I don’t want to be recognisable in five years’ time; that’s what keeps my writing going. One day I’m learning Spanish, the next I’m learning survivalism. I might do my maths GCSE next week: who knows?”

For now, though, Russell is focused on making Right Man, Wrong Age the best show it can possibly be. His topic this time around is how we never quite feel the life-stage that we’re in and the age that we’re at, whether we’re 80 or 18. “When you’re 18, you look in the mirror and think ‘I know what I want to do, so why am I trapped in this 18-year-old body?’ while the 80-year-old is still waltzing and dancing around in her head. That’s going to be my jumping off point and from there I’ll do lots of accessible observations as well as the odd thinky bit. But I don’t want to disappear up my own bum with this show, I just want to go on in my suit, like Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay, and just be funny and have lots of big laughs. My only job in life is to be funny.”

Inevitably, his new fatherhood status will have to be addressed in his show. As ever with Russell, he’ll work hard to avoid easy clichés and tired stereotypes as he tackles a subject that has been raised on many a stage by several generations of comedians. “It’s so hack to talk about having babies that I need to find another way in. It’s like walking into Pret at 5pm and there’s one boiled egg left: that’s what’s left to say about childbirth. But when you’re coming at it from a male point of view, you need to find a way in. I’ve never heard a man talk about caesarean section, so that might be the way to go.”

If you’ve seen Russell on stage, you’ll know there is a physicality to his act which matches the blizzard of ideas and words. So, how does he wind down after a show? “Nothing exotic, just a glass of red wine. I would like to get to bed earlier, but I need a good movie or, if I’m feeling particularly tired, something like Towie or Take Me Out; something that lobotomises me. I’m always reading good stuff, but now and again you need a burger because you can’t live on quinoa all the time. So I need something mega mainstream to bring me down.”

Normally in the run-up to a touring show, Russell will have almost a month of preview gigs under his belt. This time around, he had to ditch most of those plans to film his BBC series, Stupid Man, Smart Phone, for which he jetted off to various inhospitable parts of the world (the Arctic Circle, North Africa and Costa Rica among them) to see if he could survive purely with the aid of a constantly fully-charged mobile device with a permanent Wi-Fi connection. This is another example of a man who constantly wants to stretch himself, both physically and intellectually, whether it’s going on to Radio 4’s Saturday Review alongside AS Byatt to discuss the new Julian Barnes novel or writing his own next literary work. In 2012, two years after he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award, Russell published The Humorist, the tale of a tormented comedy critic who discovers the secret blueprint for humour, and he is continually working away on future literary projects.

Kane also has ambitions to tap into the online market with his stand-up. “I’ve not really seen other stand-ups doing it; I’ve seen some using their social media and doing bits of sketches but I haven’t seen many take the risk of doing stand-up down the barrel of a camera, posting it and seeing what happens. I did a thing recently, which I called The Kaneing, where I looked at a celebrity news story and put it on my Facebook wall. I was worried it might seem a bit embarrassing and desperate, but it got 64,000 views overnight.”

The popularity of Russell Kane is in little doubt, but he’s keen to make the most of his time at the top of the British stand-up tree. His sense of gratitude for the job he’s doing is palpable and he confesses that touring the country and making people laugh is something he will never tire of. “I love it. If I ever have a bad day and feel miserable, I think about the things my family have done for a living. The fact that I can walk into a hotel, lie on the bed, watch a sci-fi movie, go and do an hour’s work on stage is incredible.”


Interviewer : Brian Donaldson

Russell will be performing in Scotland on the following dates:

Thursday 9th March – The Garage (as part of the Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival)

Thursday 6th April – Rothes Hall, Glenrothes 

Friday 7th April – The Nevis Centre, Fort William

Saturday 8th April – The Corran Halls, Oban

Sunday 9th April – Gaeity Theatre, Ayr 


An Interview With Grant Stott

THE MUMBLE :  When did you realise that you were actually kinda funny & people were digging your stuff?
GRANT :  Tricky one to answer, I was always a show off at school and was constantly getting in bother for it – once getting the belt for doing Eric and Ernie’s “Bring Me Sunshine” dance as the class line made it’s way into school!!! WTF?!? But I never really got up with a prepared set of words which got laughs until my wedding day.  It was a very important moment for me (oh aye and the getting married bit too) but hearing people laugh at my stories was a huge buzz…but it took years of trying out wee bits here and there and courage plucking to garner the necessary gonads to get up and do my own one man show.
image1.jpegTHE MUMBLE :  You are a Hibee fan of course – well you’d need a good sense of humour to be one – so did you & your family get a photo taken with the cup
GRANT :  You serious? I got my hands on the Cup THAT night! I was lucky enough to get invited back to the Club for the post match party with my Dad and we spent the night getting photos with the Cup, the team and the Cup again.
THE MUMBLE : Which comedians both past & present have tickled your own funny bone?
GRANT :  Billy Connolly is the obvious one – but I remember watching his “Audience With..” programme when it first went out in the 80s and for the first time heard stories about things that I could ABSOLUTELY relate to…Late Call….The Carry Out and Looking For A Party and of course, the drunk singer in the corner!
Timage2.JPGHE MUMBLE :  You are just about to take your hit Fringe show Tales From Behind The Mic on tour around Scotland. Can you tell us a little about it.
GRANT :  It’s really a show that has genuinely been 27 years in the making.  I tell (mostly) true stories of my journey from leaving school to DJ at a roller disco to joining the police to getting in trouble for DJ’ing while still in the Police and eventually moving into radio and some of the many funny things that have happened to me on (and off) air.  I’ve kept archive audio from callers that did – and didn’t – make it on air and I use them along with tweets and Facebook posts from listeners who can often be a little less than kind when commenting on you.  I also take a moment to explain how my internet sensation “That’s Fife” came about.
THE MUMBLE :  How long does it take to create a show like Tales From Behind The Mic?
GRANT :  Apart from being 27 years in the making, the decision was made to do it in March last year and I spent the following few weeks writing the script, collecting the stories, putting them in order and working with Ryan Dewar who took them all and helped bring them to life on the screen by some very clever video creations.  We rehearsed for about a two week period in July with Andy Gary casting his directorial eye over the proceedings.  Did a one off preview at Radio Forth for the staff the week before we opened, which was invaluable and gave us lots to change before we finally opened the following week!!
THE MUMBLE :  What does the rest of 2017 have in store for Grant Stott?
GRANT :  Well, the tour which will take in about 13 nights over a two month period starts at the end of February, the same week I’m back at the Kings in Edinburgh to appear in Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show.  I’ll finish the tour back at the Kings in Edinburgh myself for one night only in May and then in the summer will team up with Andy Gary for a brand new project for the Edinburgh Fringe.  The year will finish as it started; in Panto at The Kings in Cinderella!

An Interview with Rick Molland


THE MUMBLE – Hi Rick, so where ya from & how did you end up in Edinburgh

RICK – I’m originally from Liverpool, but been in Edinburgh for 15yrs now. I came to Edinburgh for a work placement that was supposed to be 6 months, after 2 days here I decided I wanted to stay. I love this city.

THE MUMBLE –What made you get into comedy into the first place?

RICK – There’s a few things that lead to it I’d guess…. I developed a genuine love of comedy as a kid, through things like Who’s Line is it Anyway, Have I got News for You, Drop the Dead Donkey and Black Adder. Skip forward a few years, I’d just drifted though life and I found myself post uni in a routine i hated, 40 hours a week, hitting targets, new relationship, Insurance penetration, company cars, company mortgage, one holiday a year, get pissed at the weekend, credit card debt, relationship fails, giving a shit about x-factor results and who said what to who on jungle program, Monday morning hits, another fucking 40 hours. I figured It’s probably not a good sign, when you’re walking to work and hoping to get knocked over by a car. Something had to change.

One day I snapped. I quit my job, sold my flat, cleared my debt, inadvertently ended a shitty relationship, went back to uni to to study film production and started doing stand-up comedy.

THE MUMBLE – Whats your favorite corny joke by somebody else

RICK – Gary Delaney’s Joke – They’ve got a special on at Tesco’s; He’s doing the trolleys!


THE MUMBLE – MonkeyBarrel is expanding this year, can you tell us the shpiel.

RICK – Monkey Barrel is no longer the little gig above a pup on the Grassmarket, thanks to hard work of Ben Verth, John Millar, David Bleese and Chris Griffin, Monkey Barrel Comedy now has its own purpose built venue open 6 days a week on Blair Street. We opened at the beginning of December and since then the shows have just been going from strength to strength. It’s comedy by night whilst the cafe serves great food during the day. The beer is pretty cheap as well!

THE MUMBLE – Who are we to look out for in 2017 at Monkey Barrel nights.

RICK – New Acts – Will Naameh is definitely one to watch this year. Personally I want to see more of Ben, Chris and John back on stage! Looking further ahead a the line ups, Matt Price, Jamali Maddix and Patrick Monahan are ones that I’m really looking forward to seeing.

THE MUMBLE – Whats the best joke you’ve ever written yourself.

RICK – Tough one. I don’t really do short gags, and I compere so much that I’ve not written a new Joke down in years, I sort of just wing it. Glasgow Comedy Festival is fast approaching so most of my writing these days goes to the “Freedom of Speech” double act I do with Sully Sullivan. It’s difficult to lift jokes directly from it due to it’s format, but It’s the best show we’ve ever written. We get to talk about Issues of Freedom of Speech along with Fake News, Trump, Putin, Boris, Britain First and Sponge Bob Square Pants. We’re at Yesbar, on Sunday 12 March 4.45pm.

Rick & Sully

THE MUMBLE – What does 2017 have in store for Rick Molland

RICK –This year is looking pretty busy. There’s always a lot of Monkey Barrel stuff on the go and the Freedom of Speech Show in development for the Fringe 2017. This year, as well as show commitments, I’ve taken over the running of the Scottish Comedy Festival at the Beehive which is going to make for an interesting August! Sitting iu the background of all this is a longer term documentary feature film project that I’m directing. So creatively, things are looking pretty rich! Monetarily not so much!!

Rich Hall is Heading North


This March, Rich Hall is bringing his Hoedown to Scotland for three nights only, as part of his spring tour.  Join Rich Hall and his virtuoso musical mates for a mash-up of music, comedy and gratuitous coloration as they return this spring with a UK tour of Rich’s infamous ‘Hoedown’. Rich’s Hoedown will be touring the UK from March until July this year, with a stop off in Lochgelly, Fife and Glasgow in March. The floor will reek of liquor and spent dreams. Tickets are on sale now!

Rich Hall is rightly regarded as one of the funniest comedians to come out of the US in recent times. And, as he is based here most of the time, we in this country have over the past three decades been lucky enough to benefit from his wonderfully grouchy sense of humour. The comedian, who has won both a Perrier (Edinburgh Comedy Festival) and a Barry (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) Award, is the most dazzlingly funny curmudgeon in The West.

Rich’s straight-talking and acerbic comedy leaves his targets reeling and his audiences in stitches. He sends up whichever country he is in, but perhaps reserves his most trenchant scorn for his native USA. He is a superb live performer but don’t just take my word for it. Critics have long praised Rich’s highly original deadpan style (which was the inspiration for the marvelously cantankerous barman, Moe Szyslak, in The Simpsons).

In the run-up to the tour, Rich takes some time out to chat with The Mumble. You will no doubt be very pleased to learn that this particular comedian is just as funny in an interview as he is on stage. Rich, who has presented such critically acclaimed BBC 4 documentaries as ‘Rich Hall’s Californian Stars’, ‘Rich Hall’s You Can Go To Hell, I’m Going To Texas’, ‘Rich Hall’s Inventing the Indian’ and his most recent, ‘Rich Hall’s Presidential Grudge Match’, begins by underlining how excited he is to be performing live once again. “I love being on stage”. “I love the fact that when a live show is over, it’s gone. It’s happened, and it will never happen like that again. It can’t be replicated. That’s a great magical moment.”

Rich, who is also an accomplished author and has released three books, ‘Magnificent Bastards’, ‘I Blame Society’ and ‘Things Snowball’, all published by Abacus Books, thrives on the spontaneity of live comedy. He observes that, “In every single show, there are always two or three moments where I’m thinking, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’ You’re constantly thinking on your feet.”

One of the many unique features of Rich’s act is that he goes out of his way to find out about the town he is playing in and then improvises a song on stage about it. He goes the extra mile to tailor-make his material for that particular venue. “I try to tap into what is happening locally and address that musically by writing an improvised song based on the town I’m in.” Audiences really appreciate this bespoke comedy. “Once they realise you’re not just trotting out your regular act, people think, ‘He’s made a real effort. He’s on our side, so we’re on his side.” Then you can take them anywhere.


“I like to do something custom-made every night, otherwise you would just be like a robot. That can really wear you down. Nobody gets more sick of hearing their own voice than a comedian.” Rich, who was also enjoyed huge success as his country and western musician alter ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw, carries on that, “When you’re improvising a song, you think, ‘I may never do this on again, but it’s a special moment for everyone here’.

“You want to reach the point where audiences say, ‘I’d like to see that guy again’. You want to deliver the goods and be Old Reliable.” The stand-up is one of only a handful of performers who can genuinely combine comedy and music in one act. He says that, “I will have such a great collection of musicians on stage for the Hoedown. Having a band there makes it a much richer experience – if you’ll pardon the phrase!”

Before he has to go, Rich reflects once more on what he loves so much about touring. “I’m not a big showbiz hound,” he muses, “but for me being on stage is the most satisfying thing imaginable.” A sentiment with which Rich’s legions of fans would no doubt wholeheartedly agree.


Rich Hall’s Hoedown will be at the Lochgelly Centre in Lochgelly, Fife on Thursday 16th March and The Garage in Glasgow, as part of Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th March. Tickets for Rich Hall’s Hoedown tour can be found at / @offthekerb /