Frank Skinner: 'YouTube has already totally killed the anecdote’
The comedian talks to us about live performance and dirty jokes ahead of his Man in a Suit tour
He may have started in the stand-up game relatively late at the ripe old age of 30, but Frank Skinner can’t be accused of not making up lost ground. The Perrier winner of 1991 has done chat shows, chatted about football with his old flatmate while being paid for it, had a hit single, written a memoir that was, obviously, frank, and garnered respect from comics both young and older (on these pages, rising Scottish star Jamie Dalgleish picked Skinner as his comedy hero).
One thing that’s changed, though, is Skinner’s decreasing reliance on material that could best be described as adult. ‘I still have to do a bit of filth on stage,’ he says ahead of his Man in a Suit tour. ‘If I didn’t, that would be like Bernie Clifton not performing with his ostrich. So I go through a process of negotiation with my audience: “Let me read you some haikus, and I’ll trade you that for some knob gags later on.” It’s like training a dog: you have to sit while I say my bit, but then I’ll reward you with a chocolate biscuit afterwards.’
One thing he’s not such a fan of is the constant recording of stand-up now, whether the act has control over it or not. ‘So much stuff is recorded these days. Small clubs will often have a camera at the back of the room, and you never know where the footage will end up. In the end, memories will be completely closed down. YouTube has already totally killed the anecdote.’
King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Sun 27 Apr.