Interview: Mike Wilmot – ‘We're back into PC World now’
The globetrotting no-holds barred Canadian comic has had enough of censorship but would never say anything bad about his wife. Maybe...
Affectionately known as 'Dirty Uncle Mike' by fellow comics, Mike Wilmot is largely indifferent to society's mores. After almost three decades of confessional routines, 'I couldn't give a fuck', the Canadian confirms. 'I've seen political correctness go crazy, then calm down, then go crazy again. We're back into PC World now because Twitter and Facebook make everyone think they've got a valid opinion. Well, they don't. Good comedy exists regardless.'
Dividing his year between Toronto, Australia and the UK, Wilmot has radically changed his lifestyle since acquiring a granddaughter and Type 2 diabetes, cutting out cigarettes and switching from beer to wine: ‘that’s so I can maintain the right level of drunkenness'. Constant though are the filthily frank intimacies he shares about his wife of 30 years, Elaine. Likening her stage character to that of Phyllis Diller's fictional husband 'Fang', Wilmot would never say that anything he says about her is true. ‘Sometimes, honest to Christ, I'm getting something off my chest. It's so fucking real I'm having a breakdown. But other times, it's make believe.'
He's candid about his sex life and deteriorating body 'because it's easier to speak in front of 1000 strangers for an hour than listen to my kids talk for the same amount of time.' Twelve years ago he starred with his friend in Rich Hall's Fishing for BBC Four with the pair discussing a return to the Trossachs lochs for a follow-up. 'That was like making a home movie,' he enthuses. 'I'm sure we'll talk about it again when he returns to the UK.’
The Stand, Edinburgh, Thu 12–Sat 14 May.