My Comedy Hero: Sarah Callaghan on French and Saunders
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 January 2019
The rising star of stand-up storytelling is popping up across the nation over the next few months and here, she nominates the acclaimed double act as her comic icons
'I remember the shows of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders always being on at home as my mum loved that era of comedians: Victoria Wood, Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, etc. We still quote a lot of their famous lines today. Apart from being incredibly funny, I really admired their attitudes to comedy as they didn't care how they looked and were just silly on stage. This came at a time where you didn't see many women on TV, particularly funny women. They were the best female double act going; when I think of their early sketches, it's so nostalgic for me.
The comedy satire and spoofs were my favourite shows. I love Ali G for the same reason. It takes a level of bravery to mock certain subjects in public and it was always done so brilliantly you couldn't do anything but get on board with it. Their Titanic sketch is my all-time favourite: I've watched it so many times and still piss myself laughing.
The writing was spot on; every line was funny as were the little asides and facial expressions that made the character. When I started doing stand-up in 2010, I definitely took a lot away from them subconsciously; I really wanted to perform my material as naturally as possible. Even their silliest of characters had a human element to them which made it even more endearing.
Together they are amazing but they're equally incredible apart too. Both of them do various sitcoms, sketches, shows, and even Hollywood films; their careers have been great to watch. I love artists who work brilliantly with others but aren't tied down by their partner creatively. If I could have even half the career they've had, I'd be very happy.'
As told to Brian Donaldson.
Sarah Callaghan is appearing across the UK until Friday 12 July.