Interview: Jamali Maddix On Hosting Stand Up For Live Comedy

Interview: Jamali Maddix On Hosting Stand Up For Live Comedy

Jamali Maddix is the host of the latest edition of BBC Three's Stand Up For Live Comedy. It is available on iPlayer now here and on BBC1 on Monday, November 2 at 10.45pm too. It was filmed at Vinegar Yard in London. 

As well as Maddix MCing, the guests are Helen Bauer, Michael Odewale and Eleanor Tiernan.

Below Maddix discusses stand-up in the Covid era and making the show.


Why do you feel Stand Up For Live Comedy is an important show for right now?

Honestly, I think any stand-up on TV at the moment is good and Stand Up For Live Comedy is especially good because it’s showing what comedians are having to go through right now - such as having to do shows in outdoor situations. It’s not all glitzy comedy clubs, you know? You kind of have to do it in alternative places so I think it’s a good show to showcase that. Plus we’ve got some good young talent on the bill, which is always nice to showcase.


How have you been keeping yourself busy over the past few months?

Man, I’ve been going down a lot of YouTube holes and Netflix is a lifesaver. I’ve been doing what everyone else has been doing, which is living in existential dread. I haven’t been as productive as I thought. At the beginning of lockdown it was like ‘I’m gonna write a novel’, then before you know it you’re eating a big bag of Doritos watching Tiger King. So I’ve been doing what everyone else has been doing. It’s just our lives right now and I think a certain level of acceptance of that fact is quite freeing.


You recorded your episode of Stand Up For Live Comedy at Vinegar Yard in South East London. How was it performing there?

I hadn’t performed there before and I don’t really know a lot about outdoor venues, to be honest with you. I can’t say I’ve done a lot of outdoor gigs before, just a handful, because even festivals are in tents. But I just like gigging and I don’t care where I do it, and it was a lot of fun because the audience was so up for it. [Laughs] Some of them went a bit crazy, especially with the old booze. Some people were getting booze-happy, I think, but it was a good vibe.


Was this your first time being back in front of a live audience since lockdown?

No, I’d already done a couple of live shows. I did a gig in a car park and a couple of indoor shows because they’ve just started up again. And it’s nice just to be back at work. There’s an artistic aspect to it but we are workers like everyone else and we just want to get back to earning some money.


Do all the precautionary measures feel like the new normal now?

You have to accept the way it is; you can’t hug your friends, you can’t shake hands and all that stuff. I’m not a conspiracy theorist about Covid so I’m being as cautious as I can. I take all the safety precautions and I try not to make myself sick with worry about it either. I try and wash my hands, don’t rub my eyeballs or [laughs] lick someone’s face. If I stick to all that then I should be OK. As for the audience, the human mind has a weird way of adjusting, you know? At first things were strange, but then you get used to it and you get comfortable. I thought everyone would be going more mad than they are, but people are adjusting to it as best they can. I think after a while people forget about it and just accept it for what it is.

Interview continues here.


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