Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Fin Taylor

fin taylor

Update 9/11/16: Fin Taylor is doing his latest show Whitey McWhiteface at the Soho Theatre until November 12. It caused quite a kerfuffle in Edinburgh this summer. Go and see what the fuss was about. Tickets here. Read a review here.

2015: Fin Taylor released his last stand-up show as a free download. He chose to do this in preference to a potential bank balance-breaking London run, but, who knows, maybe he will get a London run out of it. Taylor is a comedian on the rise. He has been a Chortle Student Award semi-finalist, has warmed up for Never Mind the Buzzcocks and supported Glenn Wool on tour. Give his set a listen - money back guaranteed. Oh, did I mention that it's free? Live at the Wardrobe, recorded in Bristol, is available to stream and download for absolutely nothing here.






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)?


I stretch and I also have a habit of undoing my shoelaces and then re-doing them to make sure they’re tight. I really like having tight shoes. Subconsciously I’m terrified of turning an ankle as I walk onstage.


2. What irritates you?


God, a whole scale of things. People who are too twee and play ukeleles and wear bowler hats and who seem to ignore reality and just swan around watching plays. I really hate plays, almost on an ideological level. I’m also reading Owen Jones’ book about The Establishment in this country and it’s making me furious (in a good way). 

I guess the common link is people who don’t hate themselves, even just a little bit, or have any kind of self-doubt.



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


I remember in Edinburgh a couple of years ago when I was doing a package show, we did the last show, got hammered and then climbed up Arthurs’ Seat in a thunderstorm. That could’ve gone either way.


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


I once wrote an essay during my history degree that had one footnote in it. I thought they didn’t really want any footnotes because it was an essay that we had to write in 24 hours. 

I handed mine in after an afternoon and then very ostensibly got a pizza delivered to the library in front of all the other history students. 

Turns out they wanted you to footnote and that everyone else’s had like 50. And they were all to AJP Taylor books. And mine was to a YouTube video of Michael Caine narrating the story of the 1986 World Cup.


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


I was 18 when I started. So I kind of started seeing live circuit comedy at the same time as I started doing live circuit comedy, so maybe most people already knew this but I remember being taken aback that some comedians had kind of ‘stumbled into’ the job. And that some comedians make a living when they’re not natural performers at all, some aren’t even that funny in person and yet support themselves on the comedy circuit. I found that very surprising. I’d wanted to do stand-up since I was like 14, maybe even younger, it was this intense calling for me. I remember having to wait until I was old enough to do it, it was so frustrating. As a teenager I lay awake at night sometimes worrying what I’d do with my life if I didn’t get to be a comedian.

I’m also quite surprised when I meet a fellow comic who isn’t that much of a comedy fan, and doesn’t seek out the new specials from all the big dogs in America and that.

Interview continues here.


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