My Comedy Heroes: Julia Sutherland on Limmy, Maria Bamford and more
The comedian also idolises Eddie Izzard and the Absolutely sketch crew
When I was young, I never felt like stand-up comedy was for me. But I revelled in the weird and wonderful world of sketch comedy (French & Saunders, The Fast Show and Absolutely) with my school friend Marie and I learning the latter’s sketches off by heart and re-enacting endlessly, always ending in fits of giggles.
Last year, as part of sketch group Endemic, I got to support a reunited Absolutely team for a recording of BBC Radio 4's Sketchorama which was a true career high. Watching them live was a joy and my cheeks ached afterwards from non-stop grinning.
The first time I saw Eddie Izzard's stand-up was a game-changer: clever, glamorous, and a real PERFORMANCE! I learned full routines and wanted to be him. When I eventually saw him live, I felt a little cheated, as it was in a massive venue. Now I really appreciate the chance to see brilliant big-name acts like Frankie Boyle and Kevin Bridges in a perfectly sized room like The Stand. It’s exactly how you should experience comedy: intimate and exciting.
But what I crave most in comedy is authenticity and truth, and the hilarious Maria Bamford has that, plus a bucketload of invention and joy. She also tackles difficult subjects like her own mental health, which has really influenced me. This year I presented and co-produced Feeling Kind of Funny, a comedy documentary series for BBC Radio Scotland about other comedians who tackle mental health in their act.
I still love sketch comedy, which seems more popular than ever now. My favourite on the telly is Limmy's Show. He's such a sublime performer and it's really cool to see something with such a singular vision.
Vespbar, Glasgow, Sat 22 Mar; The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 31 Mar; New Material Night, Vespbar, Glasgow, Wed.