Interview: Daniel Sloss

Londoners don't get many chances to see stand-up powerhouse Daniel Sloss onstage. If he is not playing Estonia or Zagreb on a European tour or appearing on British television he is guesting on American TV – he has become a regular on Conan O'Brian's talk show. Sloss is maturing into a fine, provocative, thoughtful comedian, taking on big issues and leaving his smutty teenage gags behind. Well, mostly behind. Catch his latest show, So, when it comes to the Soho Theatre from Dec 5 - 10. Ticket details here.

 

Daniel Sloss used to have a simple rule about awards. Don’t accept them. That was until earlier this year when he deservedly won the “Best of the Fest” International Award at the Sydney Comedy Festival. Funnily his attitude softened: “I always said if I ever got nominated for an award I’d turn it down, but it was so nice of them I decided it would would be rude not to accept it.” 

This is a sign of the the Fife-born stand-up’s growing maturity. The smutty teenager is long gone, replaced by a polite, thoughtful man in his mid-twenties discussing serious issues onstage. In his new show, So, he takes on subjects as diverse as religion and veganism and confesses to having dark thoughts on the inside even if he is a nice person on the outside.

There is still a little splash of smut if you want it but he is thought-provoking too: “I want to do the best shows I can,” he says. He is very self-critical. “I want them to sound like stand-up shows, not lectures.” The laughs always come first. He is, after all, a comedian. And a very skilful, very entertaining, award-winning one. 

What exactly has he got against vegans? To know the full story you’ll have to buy a ticket. He did offer some hints though: “Vegans are right. It’s more their attitude, the arrogance of thinking you are right. It’s not what they do its their attitude to it. I love vegan food myself!” 

Sloss is drinking water today in a bar in Edinburgh where he is based. He is also vaping. These are further signs that maybe at 25 he is moving away from his more wild years. His behaviour on the road has changed too. He and his flatmate and regular support act Kai Humphries used to look for hotels with all-night bars. These days they look for hotels with all-night gyms. Sloss works on his biceps by pumping iron, not lifting pints. 

And given the amount of time he currently spends in hotels it is no surprise that his biceps are bulging. He is not just big in Scotland, where in August he completed another sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he is becoming a global phenomenon. He has appeared regularly on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show in America and after the UK will be taking So all around the world.  

He is something of a pioneer, playing gigs across Europe. Along with Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran he has gigged in places as far afield as Iceland and Riga. At first he was nervous that they would not appreciate his stand-up but the rapturous response was immediately reassuring. “Zagreb is my favourite place to tour. They were cheering me before I was even onstage. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. With so much comedy online everyone understands comedy.” 

Interview continues here.

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