UK comic Alex Horne, in his 2012 show, ‘Seven Years in the Bathroom’ has created a show chockers with stats- something that, coming from, say, the mouth of Snooki, would be quite dull. Alas, Horne has garnered his comedic energies, put on his maths hat and made an energetic, jaunty show spectacular. T-SQUAT chatted with the man as he makes his way through his MICF run.
Have you ever had any trouble making statistics fun for an audience?
I don’t understand the question- everyone finds statistics fun…well, 98% of men and 96% of women. It can’t be a coincidence that stats is a palindrome – they’re fun too! All this should be printed in some sort of font that indicates irony, if possible. Maybe Wingdings.
How was your experience in the hallowed Footlights revue? Is it the buzzing hive of comedic genius many expect it to be?
I certainly expected it to be so and was disappointed when I first tried to track it down, only to be greeted by a Mexican restaurant of the same name. I sat down, had a meal, expected it to be hilarious. Left. A term later I had my first audition at the club. I was certainly not buzzing nor genius, nor comedic, but thankfully the people there were supportive enough not to tell me the truth.
You’ve mentioned you’ll be unleashing some “firsts” in your show; what can we expect?
Expect live cooking, satisfactory nudity and actual sleeping. Do not expect juggling. I’m yet to enjoy juggling, either as a performer or a viewer. I know it’s tricky but it also seems so unnecessary.
Were you always into stats and the like, even as a child? What kind of little one were you?
I hope that the second half of the question was posed in a really horrified sort of way, maybe with the ‘were’ accented. For I was, even as a child. Other kids collected marbles and knives. I didn’t. But I did collect information about how many marbles and knives they collected and could tell you that six out of every ten boys at my school were doubly armed. I was a vulnerable and fragile little one. Luckily, I could woo my attackers with pie charts.
Is there a challenge in creating an original show concept in such a massive comedic market?
You’d think so, but to a certain extent, themes and formats are infinite. Equally, every show that someone does has been done to a certain extent by others. Best not to worry too much about the concept and make sure you’re funny for an hour.
Your Guardian article on the science of laughter and humour was excellent; what did you learn in your scientific-based exploration of comedy?
Thank you, that’s much appreciated. The main lesson I learnt is that exploring laughter and comedy scientifically is horrifically dull. I also learnt that not everyone approves of you experimenting on your first-born child and using the other as a control. Ultimately, I learnt that everyone finds fat people falling over funny.
Do you worry about offending people with your humour, knowing that some topics will inevitably be labelled “un-PC”, etc?
Unfortunately I’m one of the tamest comedians ever to vaguely earn the job-title. My gran used to come to my shows, unannounced, much like a restaurant critic, so I used to tailor every performance to her needs. Hence I now have a terribly old and dwindling fan-base.
Famous last words?
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, blast off…I plan to get a job in at a launch pad, but don’t expect it to go well.
Check out Horne’s show at the Melbourne Town Hall, details here.
Words: Lisa Dib