MTT: Dinner With Comedians


As the decade grows to a close, THE MUMBLE can reveal its secret mission, that is to record the cultural landscape of Scotland & beyond through the years 2013-19, or to put it another way, MUMBLING THE TWEENIES. 


Over the past couple of years, The Mumble have asked a bunch of comedians a singular question, being, ‘You are having three famous figures from history round for dinner; who are they & what would you cook, starters, mains & dessert.’ This year we tweaked the question a bit by changing historical figures to comedians. The answers, then, contain the zeitgeist, & also the culinary habits, of an age. Click on the comedian’s name to access the full interview…

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Nicky Wilkinson: Amy Johnson – she was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia and she’s from Hull. What a dude! And Julie Walters, cause she’s probably my favourite human of all time. And finally the legends that are, French and Saunders (I know that’s 2 people but I’m breaking the rules cause it’s MY dinner party). We’d all have a right laugh together. I’d do a buffet. I love a spread and quite frankly, who doesn’t?!

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Gary G Knightley: I’ve been listening a lot to James Acaster and Ed Gamble’s podcast, Off Menu, so I am very prepared for this question! I’d invite Sarah Silverman, Nick Helm and Johnny Vegas. No explanation needed, they are all great. I’d cook them Greek Mezze starters (is there anything better? I love a stuffed vine leaf). Then I’d move on to sausages, red onions and mash potato for the main, but the sausages would have to come from my local butchers in Knebworth, Trussels. And for dessert, chocolate fudge cake with ice-cream.

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Bex Lindsay: Edward VII, because from what I’ve read about him he was a bit of a rogue but would be very fun at a dinner party. Barbara Castle, because she was a fearless MP who I reckon would have razor-sharp party chat. And Kermit the Frog- is he allowed? I think he’d be one of those friends you could plonk with anyone and they’d get on immediately. I’d cook what I do for anyone who comes around- three courses of pie. Mini pork pie to start, fish pie for main, banoffee pie for dessert. It’s what my friends affectionately call ‘The Bex Special’.

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Travis Jay: Dave Chappelle, Katt Williams and Bernie Mac… tbh I think we’re ordering a Chinese and discussing comedy. I’m not missing a moment of this, but I’d order salt and chilli chicken wings to start, sweet n sour chicken Hong Kong style with egg fried rice and then ordering dessert from somewhere else that does waffles or crepes because most Chinese restaurant places have awful dessert. If you’ve never tried, please never try.

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Katy Schutte: Firstly, cooking for three strangers would make me really stressed, so I’d cook easy, familiar stuff. I’d probably get a really good Olive bread to dip in oil and vinegar as a starter, Shakshuka or a feta filo pie made beforehand as the main. Dessert would be a pumpkin or banana cake. I’d want to invite comedian friends, but under pressure I’d invite Mike Birbiglia, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig.

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Barry Ferns: I would choose Robin Williams because he seemed to be (both by friends reporting it and by reputation) a very kind and gentle man. I would invite Albert Einstein and hope that he speaks English, and I would invite Elizabeth Barrett Browning – a brilliant poet from the 19th Century, just to see if she’s as interesting as she seems. I wouldn’t cook as I wouldn’t want to offend them. Maybe an omelette, I can make omelettes. And some huel. And a M&S desert. Something nice and flashy.
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Claire Ford: I’d have all famous people from my home hood East Anglia. Stephen Fry so we can all fall in love with his voice and brilliant knowledge, Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni people, so we can tell her how she did good by us East Anglians and then Marilyn Monroe for the glamour. I’d cook indulgent food like scallops to start, Thai green curry for main and Cheesecake for dessert. I’d say ‘Marilyn, you’re not in Hollywood now girl, eat up your fill.’ and I’d say to Stephen ‘I’m sorry about the combination, pick around what you don’t want’ and I’d say to Boudicca ‘Thai green curry is from Thailand and Thailand is a country in East Asia and East Asia is.. never mind, eat your cheesecake, you’ll need the energy for all that murder later.’
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Samantha Pressdee: First of all, I wouldn’t cook. I can’t. One of them would have to do the cooking, I will do the washing up. (Or just order a takeaway and pretend I cooked.) I would invite Marilyn Monroe, because she was also Bipolar and we generally don’t eat properly anyway. I like nurturing my fellow nutters. Then I would have Joan of Arc, who was psychic, as am I! Then I’d have the Guru OSHO so I could see for myself if he really is the narcissist he was painted as in Wild Wild Country on Netflix. The starter would be Saganaki, which is greek fried cheese. Then for the main we would have chicken tikka madras with garlic fried rice and keema naan. Dessert we’ll have hot chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream.
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Nick Revell: Oooh… well; I think Queen Cleopatra would be very interesting. Profound insights on global politics, probably some good gossip, and of course, a reputation for being extremely hot, and a bit saucy. Francois Rabelais – 16th Century French comic writer, polymath and noted wine connoisseur. Jane Austen. She’d probably be quiet at first, but once she got on the wine, I reckon she’d be highly entertaining. And fearlessly sharp. I’d start with cocktails: margaritas – loosens everybody up in a good way, and it takes a bit of time to kick in. Martinis are tempting but they can mess you up too early. With these guests, you’d want the conversation to flow without descending into nonsense. Some salatini with the cocktails – tiny Italian salted pastries. Then – oysters. With a Sancerre. And soda bread, which I’d get my mate Brendan to make. Homemade pasta with a sage butter dressing and maybe a bottle of Spanish white – like a Godello; then rare steak tagliata with very thinly cut chips and a green salad. Barolo or a really good claret. Chunk of a French mountain cheese after that, or Stilton, depending on the time of year, followed by a chocolate mousse. Armagnac. Then hopefully tequila slammers, loud music and dancing.
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Neil Frost
You’ve got three famous comedy double-acts (dead or alive) coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
Neil Frost: Well firstly I’d be a little annoyed that I’ve got to cook for six guests rather than just three, so I think some kind of soup to start, a stew for mains and rice pudding to finish, all of which can be put into three big bowls and just slopped out onto the plates. I guess it would be rude not to invite Morcambe and Wise, as they were always on the TV when I was growing up,so defined what a good comedy double act isfor me. I’d like to invite Little and Large, as I’d be interested to know what they’ve been up to since the eighties, but mainly because I think they would be fine withonme making jokes on how one is too fat and the other is a little short, which is generally considered a conversation faux pas at a dinner party. Finally, I’d invite the Moustache Brothers, who are a Burmese double act that I once met whilst travelling. One of them was imprisoned after pulling the short straw to tell a political joke criticising the government.After eventually being released from six years of hard labour they continued their double act, despite being told not to. I feel this kind of commitment to comedy deserves a free three course meal.

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