Comedian Teddy urges audiences to 'toughen up'
Perhaps there are a few things which separate Teddy (aka Ross Craig) and his fellow Scottish circuit comics, but one thing stands out: he (sort of) has a catchphrase. Around the time of his appearance in the Scottish Comedian of the Year final in 2008, the words ‘toughen up’ seemed to be coming out of his mouth more readily than they were before, usually at the gasps of shock and awe at some of his harsher material. ‘People say “don’t you get nervous gigging in front of a big audience?”, but often it’s easier to play because it gives you an authority and so if you just puff your chest out and shout a bit more, and say “toughen up” then maybe they will.’
However, he knows that such a hard-nosed approach won’t always work so well. ‘If you’re at, say, Rutherglen Town Hall and the majority of the audience are over 60, you can’t go in and scream “toughen up”. This time I’m going ‘I’m not trying offend you, this is all the material that I have; this is all I’ve got”. But sometimes people just appreciate a bit of a swagger.’
Recently, Teddy has had just cause to be a little looser in his walking style, given that he beat TV star Limmy and SECC-playing Kevin Bridges to the Best Up and Coming Comedian gong at this year’s Scottish Variety Awards. That accolade comes after years of not winning anything at all, including two narrow defeats in the Scottish Comedian of the Year final at the Old Fruitmarket. Not that he has been put off striving to make it through to that night each year. ‘It’s something I’ll keep doing mainly because of that gig, because we don’t get to play to that size of audience any other time in the year. For all the people that have criticism of the competition, a lot of which is fair, you are still getting a gig in front of 600 people.’
The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Fri 30 Apr