Lee Camp to play stand-up dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Brian Donaldson
- 21 March 2012
The US comedian discusses his politicized comedy
Were US satirist Lee Camp to retire from the comedy game tomorrow, he can always say he once made Jeremy Paxman giggle like a teenage girl. On Newsnight last autumn via satellite, Camp was involved in a debate over a gaffe made by Republican presidential nominee Rick Perry. Sharp as a pin and funny with it, Camp had his own Tea Party opponent reeling and Paxman chortling. ‘I didn’t know much about him [Paxo] before I went on but I was glad when I heard that he had laughed,’ recalls Camp. ‘I didn’t find out til afterwards when a bunch of people on Twitter were talking about him cracking up.’
It’s not just fearsome news hosts that Camp has been making laugh; the likes of Janeane Garofalo, Roseanne Barr and Rain Pryor have been digging his rabble-rousing left-leaning schtick with its roots in the establishment-baiting provocations of George Carlin and Bill Hicks and which shares contemporary ground with Doug Stanhope and Jamie Kilstein.
A shy kid, Camp recalls his first gig at the age of 19 at an open mic night in front of some rednecks in Virginia who had been expecting a guitar band. ‘It went well enough that I didn’t jump off a bridge later and I was quickly addicted to being up on stage. My comedy started very observational but grew because I became more politically aware and I decided that if I was being given the gift of having a paying audience hearing what I say, I wanted what I had to say to matter. Laughter is the number one reason I’m up there but a close second is to say something important.’
Blackfriars, Glasgow, Fri 30 Mar; The Stand, Edinburgh, Sun 1, Wed 4–Sun 8 Apr.