My Comedy Hero: Ruby Wax on Jennifer Saunders
Currently on her Sane New World tour, the comedian and writer picks the Ab Fab creator as her comic idol
This article is from 2015.
My comedy hero is probably Jennifer Saunders – though not as a person! As a comedy writer. She’s just there. She will have nothing and then the night before she needs to, she’ll be struck with genius and suddenly it just pours out of her. And we don’t know where it comes from. Usually it’s too late because the show is the next day, but you think, ‘how did you write those lines? How did you get those characters’? And she writes in a rhythm: it’s out of this world and something that you just can’t fake.
Ab Fab is her finest creation, no question. She is very talented and Dawn [French] is too, when I first saw them years ago, Jennifer had this deadly blank face and she sucks the personality out of people and becomes them. She almost doesn’t have her own personality and I had never seen that done before.
Tina Fey, if I knew her, would be next. Rik Mayall was brilliant too, but it just takes a lot more to write comedy than to just act comedy. And there’s a guy I saw in Melbourne, Ronny Chieng, who is beyond hilarious. He’s very smart and plays this outraged personality who is helping his mother get on the internet and when she works a computer she gets a virus just by going on Google. His rants are almost the funniest thing.
As told to Brian Donaldson.