THE FRINGE IS COMING!! One of the first comedians to get their poster finished is the clearly professional & incredibly funny Lew Fitz. The Mumble got the fella on the phone & had a wee blether…
Hello Lew, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
LEW: From Manchester, now I live in South London. Moved away from Manchester when I was 18 on a Lacrosse Scholarship to North Carolina. Got kicked off the team a year later and ended up transferring to the University of Florida. I started writing in Uni but didn’t perform for a about a year, did my first show at an open mic biker bar just outside of Gainesville in 2013. Then I graduated moved to Miami and started gigging regularly 3/4 times a week there for about 2 years then moved to London in 2016.
When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
LEW: I’m not really sure. Probably school. I found it easier to drift in and out of social groups and use voices or act outs or whatever it might be to make people laugh. It depends entirely on who I’m around. I always wanted to make people see the joy in themselves and then bring that out. People and situations wherein you have to be serious don’t interest me at all. So yeah, I’d say school and around my family.
How did you get into stand up?
LEW: I started writing in University and did a couple of gigs up there. First open mic was a biker bar just outside Gainesville, FL. Then just hit the open mic circuit hard in Miami and continued that in London.
What are the differences between an American crowd and a British?
LEW: I’d say its the regionality. The inside jokes that you have with a British crowd, being a British performer. You have rules and schools of thought that you both share so references and phrases and experiences are similar so you can connect more quickly. American audiences differ because as a British person I was an outsider so in a way a spectacle instead of someone having a shared experience with them. On the whole they are the same because people are people and I started in America so I’m a different comedian. I’m better now because of it, but I’d just say its a little easier for me to connect to a British audience and then as a result, get more of a response from them.
Which comedians inspire you, both old skool and on the scene today?
LEW: Billy Connolly is probably the main guy, he’s the first comedian I watched with my Dad. Then where I’m from Peter Kay is God so I’d have to say him. Especially his energy. For me people like John Kearns, James Acaster, Maria Bamford, I like the oddballs. People who command your attention and they make you laugh and you don’t know how they’ve done it. People that make you think and say something interesting or in an interesting and risky way.
What does Lew Fitz like to do when he’s not being funny as fuck?
LEW: Ha! Nothing too exciting. I work from home so I’m usually doing that if I’m not gigging. Hang out with mates, few beers, I’m a pretty big Man City fan and I love American Football. Hanging out with next doors cat Marmalade is also one of my favourite things to do.
On the outside its an unlikely pairing, one person who is very intense, chaotic you might say then another who is calm, collected, methodical.
You’re bringing a show to the fringe this year, but you’re not alone, what’s the crack?
LEW: It’s called “The Neighbours Are Worried” a split bill with me doing 30 mins and my good comedy pal Akin Omobitan also doing 30 mins. We are at Just The Tonic’s, The Caves (Venue 88) at 10:15pm every day of the Ed Fringe Festival. The aim of this year is to continue to try and get better and learn as much as I can.
Can you describe your working relationship with Aki in a single word?
Can you give us a hint of the topics and themes covered by the show?
LEW: We talk about all kinds of things, all rooted in real life experiences from two people that grew up in very different places. On the outside its an unlikely pairing, one person who is very intense, chaotic you might say then another who is calm, collected, methodical. But what we are going to reveal shows that no matter the appearance we’ve all got worries and people that worry about us.
What will you be doing after the Fringe?
LEW: After the fringe I’ll be back in London, back to gigging and seeing what I’ll be doing the next fringe. At this stage I’m considering a Work In Progress for 45 minutes but who knows?!
You can catch Lew Fitz & his pal Akin Omobitan this August (2nd-26th)