Michael McIntyre - My Hero
The nominations for my comedy hero are Billy Connolly, Larry David, Woody Allen and Richard Pryor. And the winner is … Woody Allen. But it was close. Connolly is fantastically naturally funny and a benchmark for my own comedy while David has made a late but compelling bid for the role of comedy hero in my life, but Allen nicks it. When I first discovered Woody Allen’s work I became a proper fan for the first time in my life. I watched all his films repeatedly, and it got to the point that I could watch Annie Hall in my head (great for train journeys before mini-DVD players), I read all his prose, listened to all his stand-up, researched every interview, I even went to see him play his clarinet at the Carlyle Hotel in New York.
Films like Hannah and Her Sisters, Play it Again Sam and Husbands and Wives are wonderful, his book of collected prose is hilarious, his stand-up routines are legendary and his clarinet playing is average. But my love affair with Allen, and I’m sure many would agree, has peaked. His last dozen or so films have been appalling and he married his step-daughter, but he was the first person to show me just how funny comedy can be. For that he is my hero. (Interview by Brian Donaldson)
The Stand, Glasgow, Thu 26-Sat 28 Oct.