Ladies & Gentlemen, The Mumble gives you…. the legend that is… Ro Campbell.
Hello Ro – where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I’m a migratory creature and feel at home in many places. Australia, SE Asia and the just barely “United” Kingdom. I’m currently in Australia performing my way around the country before I head to Magner’s International Comedy Festival in Phillipines and Thailand and then I’ll be heading back to the UK to catch the remaining 11 months of Winter.
So, how the hell did you win the Scottish Comedian of the year award, 2010?
By murdering my rivals and threatening the judges families. You do what you gotta do in this game.
When did you first develop a passion for comedy?
Probably when I first saw a headliner being paid with cash in an envelope. I thought hell yeah cash in envelopes is awesome and I need to work harder so I too can have a job where I don’t have to do anything illegal but still get cash in an envelope at the end of the night. (Serious answer is I was at Edinburgh fringe in 2003 as a punter and developed an interest in stand up that progressively got worse until it took over my entire life and here we are today…a complete mess but having fun).
Who are your favroite comedians, both old skool & contemporary?
Thankfully I got into stand up in the pre-Youtube, pre-Netflix era and just saw loads of live stand up over the years in clubs and at festivals so I would always base the answer to that question on acts I’ve seen live. Yes obviously Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison were beasts of the craft but I never saw them live so it’s not the same. I love watching great club comics working live, killing hard, in proper comedy clubs, that’s where the real magic of the form lies, you’ll never get that watching comedians’ specials on your phone as you ride to work. This isn’t really an answer to your question. What I’m trying to say is I’ve been lucky to see many many top level comedians in the world doing club sets or hour shows live and there’s too many to pick favourites. But I love it when you see one of your mates just having a really great gig, everything firing in the right place. Whoever that was most recently, that’s my favourite comic. And come to think of it I’m doing my Magners comedy festival Asia shows with Phil Nichol and Shane Hunter and I love watching both those guys so they’ll be my next favourites.
What is it about being funny in front of other people that makes you tick?
I don’t know but I’m ticking so much I’m starting to think I might be a bomb so you better run because I’m about to go off. Hopefully on a punchline.
What’s the difference between British & Australian humour – & does it translate?
In Australia if you call the town you’re performing in a shit-hole they’ll boo and throw glass at you, but in Britain if you tell them their town is a shit-hole, they’ll cheer and then carry you from the venue on their shoulders singing “for he’s a jolly good fellow” whilst pouring warm lager down your throat. Apart from that I think four decades of popular television exchange have ensured plenty of common ground.
You’ve performed in over 40 countries – how do you find the travelling?
Travelling is just life on the move. Sometimes it’s spine-tingly incredible and other times it’s soul crushingly bleak but most of the time it’s pretty bearable with headphones on (this should be a meme).
How did you get involved with the Magners Asian Comedy festival?
I love Asia, I love Cider and I’m funny, so I had to be involved really.
You’re performing at this year’s festival; can you tell us where, when & who with?
I’m in Manila on April 3rd and Pattaya on April 4th both shows are with my multiple award winning friend Phil Nichol who pretends to be Canadian but is actually from the architecturally famed Scottish village of Cumbernauld.
What will you be doing for the rest of 2019?
Learning how to post an Insta Story. And being funny in lots of different places.