Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Kai Humphries

In boxing, the only thing more powerful than sibling rivalry is brotherly love. Stand-up Kai Humphries and his brother Gav grew up on a council estate in Blyth and in Humphries' new show Punch-Drunk he tells the story of how a life-changing accident in 2013 led him and his brother to create a chain of comedy clubs and how Punch-Drunk's Comedians Boxing charity event rejuvenated a community's spirit. See the live show now, maybe one day they will make a movie out of this story. It sounds like a cracker. Oh and have a read of Kai's answers below - they are very revealing and very original. Warning - his answer to question 4 may terrify you.
 
Kai Humphries: Punch-Drunk is at Gilded Balloon Teviot from Aug 2 - 28. Tickets here.

1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?
 
I don't have any superstitions or rituals that I stick to and can usually be deep in conversation back stage right up until I'm due to go on. Occasionally, however, I use a photo as a prop, revealing it is the punchline. I once set up the gag at a show in Oslo, reached behind the curtain where I'd stashed it and the staff had tidied it up thinking it was left there from the previous show, it left me in a bit of a pickle I had to flounder my way out of. Since that day I always get a visual that the photo is still in place before I go on. 

2. What irritates you?

 
Audience members that think the gig is a conversation, hecklers are annoying but can be easily dealt with but these ones who just join in are actually enjoying the show, albeit a little bit too self indulgently and to the detriment of the other audience members. You can't put them down as you would a heckler because their interruptions aren't confrontational, they're often lovely people with an irritating lack of social awareness. Putting them down is like kicking a puppy. 

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

 
I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, while I was running I tripped and fell and curled up in a ball as a dozen bulls leapt over my body, I got up completely unharmed, the photographs show 24 horns and 48 hooves narrowly missing me. I should totally be dead, I've lived every day since like it is bonus time.
 
4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?
 
See question 3...
 
Also, when I first started driving in my teens I had this old clapped out banger, my friend in the passenger seat wanted something from the glove box but it was locked, so I passed him the keys from the ignition while I was driving, I thought it would be a quick transaction and I could coast while he used the keys, but when I went to turn the corner my steering lock went on and I had to slam on the breaks as I mounted the kerb and was an arse hair away from wrapping it around a lamp-post. Luckily no-one was hurt but I felt pretty god damn stupid.

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

 
How often you brush shoulders with superstars. From the very start of the eight years I've been going I've constantly found myself sharing a stage green room with famous comedians, everyone from Jasper Carrott to Dave Chapelle. I've met so many of my heroes it doesn't even phase me anymore. It's so remarkable how close the industry is, if you started a band you wouldn't imagine to be gigging in intimate venues with the likes of The Foo Fighters and Oasis on a semi regular basis, but with comedy this is so normal. 
 
Interview continues here.
 

 

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