Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Phil Kay

Phil Kay

Phil Kay is a bit of a legend around these parts. In fact if there was any justice he would be a bit of a legend around any parts. Over the years I’ve seen this unpredictable Scottish goon-slash-genius do absolutely stunning gigs and absolutely terrible gigs, but the one consistent element is that he is never less than totally watchable. I thought he had mellowed in recent years but the last time I saw him he had an arm in a sling and was trying to control a rowdy crowd in a pop-up venue in a Leicester hotel lobby. Needless to say I was hooked. 

Kay currently co-runs The Goodfather Club in central London with Tom Ward. The next one is on February 3 and features Lou Sanders, Will Franken, Luke McQueen and Andy Storey. He is also going to be appearing at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival on February 13 at Bob Slayer’s swish new venue, [email protected] Depot. Other acts there include Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Devvo, Ian D Montfort, Ivan Brackenbury, Tim Fitzhigham, Tim Renkow and the Weirdos Collective. Anyway, back to Phil. Here are his answers printed as he wrote them. 


1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies, check for spinach between teeth and check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt)?

remove knickers from teeth..keep open..thinking this could be the one..


2. What irritates you?

that cars don't have two options for the for nice peeps and the other for the other


3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

stood up really quickly in a hispanic drug den in NewYork


4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

jumped onto a moving flat bed truck as it drove past our cocktail bar at dawn..rolled like a sausage...


5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy? 

..that every now and then you can still the best gig ever..


6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?

most of my kids are young enough to imagine it as just storytelling and they think i do it with a big book and the crowd on my knee..


7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?

really there is no bad, nerves, bad gigs are all part of it and not that awful..perhaps though the look in the eyes of an individual

in a crowd of a poor show that you are as bad and mean as this all the time...aiee..


8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?

everynow and then i do gigs as good and daft as any i've ever seen.. there is space left for a personal best quite a lot of the time...


9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?

 five figures..and high five figures..


10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?

yes, hundreds...over the years i've coincided a great show with someone seeing me who can offer me work..this luck happens all the time..

then the foreign travel trips: they are the luckiest offers of all - i'm off to Asia for the seventh time..


11. Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category?

Always a third way..Golfer with inadequate footwear and a scratch handicap wound..self-harmed by mistake, sat on a tee...hit by a ball on the nineteenth..actually: once i was golfing with comedians and we lost a club in the rough...

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