The Russians DO have a wicked sense of humour…
Konstantin Kisin is living proof
Hello Konstantin, first things first, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I was born and grew up in the Soviet Union, then Russia. I now live just outside of London.
When did you first realise you were funny?
I broke my arm playing basketball and found myself cracking jokes in the emergency room to keep everyone calm as they straightened my arm out!
How did you get into stand-up?
I went to a comedy festival where I saw top tier comics doing clubs sets for 8 hours a day, 5 days in a row and naively thought “That looks easy – I can do that!”.
What is it about being funny in front of other people that makes you tick?
It’s a buzz. I think the most addictive thing about it is that it’s unpredictable. One night you’re killing it, next night you’re struggling. You never know how it’s going to go so it keeps you hungry and sharp.
Can you tell us what you know about the comedy scene in Russia?
There isn’t much of one. To have a genuine comedy scene, you need a freedom scene.
Can you tell us about Kilkenomics & your role?
Kilkenomics invites some of the leading political and economic thinkers in the world to participate in debates hosted by comedians. It’s the perfect place for a political comedian like me!
You’re debuting at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe; what are you bringing to the table?
A show about being in the middle of a major international newstory, being saluted by John Cleese and abused online by Katie Hopkins.
What are the ingredients that make your show special?
It’s a funny but intelligent, informative show that pushes back against woke dogma and restriction of free speech.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the streets of Edinburgh, what would you say?
Did you see the news story about the comedian who refused to sign a safe space contract? Wait, don’t go!