American comic Hailey Boyle set for shows at The Stand
US comic returns after Glasgow Comedy Festival show
Back in March, the America Stands Up! bandwagon rolled into town for the Glasgow Comedy Festival with a Saturday night date at The Stand. While host Scott Capurro gave the crowd a typically catty performance, a couple of the lesser-known acts shone brightly. One of them, Hailey Boyle, was born in New York and forged a comedy career there, though her nomadic existence (‘my parents kicked me out because I was obnoxious’) led her to live in various parts of the USA, with her spell in Alaska becoming a defining period.
‘I started stand-up comedy there but there wasn’t too much to aspire to,’ admits the Steve Martin and Harry Potter fan. ‘The comedy scene is incredibly small and very Alaska-centred; if you see a comedian in Alaska, they’re telling jokes about Alaska. I’d have to keep writing new material every week because it was the same audience all the time. It’s very political too, the people there are either very Republican or very liberal, so everything is politics and everything is shouting. I’m not political; I just want pot to be legalised. Other than that I couldn’t give a crap.’
While she is no relation to Susan, Frankie or Jimmy, Hailey Boyle does claim Celtic roots with her grandfather being a Scot. ‘I was very disappointed that I couldn’t find any Boyle tartan on any of the shops on Sauchiehall Street because I was hoping to feel extra Scottish.’ One thing that didn’t have any extra Scottishness on Boyle’s earlier visit was her 20-minute set. While preparing for that Glasgow Comedy Festival show, she admits that her compatriots spent time working out their ‘Scottish set’. Refreshingly, Boyle was uninterested in shamelessly ingratiating herself on the natives. ‘All I did was change the word “hand-truck” to “trolley” in my rape joke, and bam, that was my Scotland set. I’m more likely to be successful in each performance if I just do what feels good to me. If I’m having fun, they’re going to have fun.’
The Stand, Edinburgh, Mon 13–Sat 18, Mon 20 Dec; The Stand, Glasgow, Tue 21, Mon 27–Fri 31 Dec