Interview: Andy Zaltzman – 'The universe is scheduled to end in 5 billion years, so we might as well enjoy the ride towards Armageddon'
- Brian Donaldson
- 11 November 2015
Satirist for Hire comedian discusses Donald Trump, cricket and Purslow McCladdagle
Taking questions from your audience via email in order to shape your show is potentially rife with peril. But Andy Zaltzman (aka the Satirist for Hire) is up to the task as he speculates on potential leaders of the ‘free world’ and the state of modern satire.
What's the weirdest and/or most worrying question you've received as part of Satirist for Hire?
I recently had an email from someone asking me to satirise the fact that his sister was introducing her new boyfriend to the family for the first time. At my gig. That was an odd one. Besides, taking someone to one of my shows on a date is pretty much telling them that the relationship has gone as far as it can possibly go.
What's the general state of satire in the UK?
Lurking in the nooks and crannies of culture, waiting to burst out. If it can get past the panel shows.
Is Donald Trump beyond satire?
Not yet. In five years’ time, after a term in the White House, he might well be. If the world still exists. A combination of that hair and a big red button is not one that humanity should be comfortable with.
Picture the scene in five years’ time when Prime Minister Corbyn meets President Sanders for their first meeting in the latest chapter of the 'special relationship'. How do satirists react?
By waking up, and writing some jokes about Prime Minister Osborne and President Cyrus instead.
Picture the scene in five years’ time when Prime Minister Johnson meets President Trump for their first meeting in the latest chapter of the 'special relationship'. Are we pretty much doomed?
The universe is scheduled to end in 5 billion years or so, so we might as well enjoy the ride towards Armageddon. These guys are two natural entertainers who would promise a feast of action-packed global politics for the neutral. Admittedly, given that Trump is potentially American president, there are no neutrals. But the point stands.
Larry David won acclaim recently for his Saturday Night Live impersonation of Bernie Sanders. Which politician past or present would you mimic best for your party piece?
Purslow McCladdagle, the deputy head of Nantwich Borough Council, 1923-1926. I’ve got him down to a T.
Given that you’re such a massive fan of the sport, can you come up with a cricketing analogy that best sums up the current state of British politics?
I’d rather not. Cricket is a far too important and august aspect of human civilisation to be trivialised by association with such an ephemeral, infantile game as Parliamentary politics.
Andy Zaltzman: Satirist for Hire is on tour until Mon 4 Feb. Get your question to him.