My Comedy Hero: Gary Delaney on Adrian Juste

One-liner comic Gary Delaney shares memories of a radio influence

My Comedy Hero: Gary Delaney on Adrian Juste

For me the real hero is the person who first introduces you to something and helps you take your first steps in a new world. So my comedy hero, for introducing me to the entire world of stand-up comedy is 1980s Radio 1 DJ, Adrian Juste.

In fact, from the ‘comics in cars’ conversations, I think he was a lot of comics‘ first exposure to stand-up. I’ve no doubt he also had a big hand in the rise in stand-up’s popularity at that time. If only DJs still did the same now.

When I was 13, I used to work on Saturdays cleaning up at a garage in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Mopping the floors and so on. The guy who worked the till was called Sarfraz. He always listened to Adrian Juste’s show and therefore so did I. The show featured loads of clips from comedy albums, primarily American ones.

In particular, pretty much every week he played Emo Philips. Emo blew me away, such incredible writing and such short quotable gags. Emo doesn’t swear either which would have been another reason he featured prominently. Whenever an Emo routine came on I’d take ages mopping the shop floor so I didn’t have to miss anything by going outside to clean the pumps.

Reading up on Adrian’s show now it seems he also used to cut himself into the routines and pretend to be having a conversation with the comic. ‘Really? and then what happened?’ etc. But that sounds a bit naff to me and I’ve clearly filtered all of that out of my memory. All I remember is my exposure to great comedy at a very formative age and the lifelong love it gave me of one-liners. My life would never have been the same without Adrian Juste.

Gary Delaney: Purist

Gary tours his 2010 Fringe show, which is jam-packed with jokes, one-liners and amusing thoughts, but not with a coherent narrative structure. (On purpose. We hope.) That's fine, no one has time for that anyway.


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