Interview: Sara Pascoe – ‘I thought all comedy was stupid’
The former musical comedian still has a social conscience intact as she takes her Animal for a walk across the country
Having got herself onto the Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist in 2014, Sara Pascoe steadily built on that success and is now diving into her biggest national tour to date. Animal bounds across the country until July, saddled with a typically intelligent probing of gender politics, online porn and modern sex as well as self-analytical dissections of her own misdemeanours, manipulations and general bad behaviour.
‘It's about trying to find light and shade in things,’ Pascoe insists. ‘The unspoken theme of the show is how we empathise with other people. So it's dealing with that, but with really silly stories in between. I'm trying to talk about things that really matter to me, but in a way that isn't like a boring TED talk.’ Now that she has garnered a solid reputation and wider fanbase, the temptation must be there to ram her own opinions down people’s throats. ‘It is tempting, because you want to feel like you're a really good person. But you have to be careful how you do it. I have to remind myself that I am a comic, I'm not a politician. I didn't say, "oh, hey guys, I'm going to sort everything out for you and it'll be perfect.” At the end of the day, sometimes it's just about trying to be funny.’
And being funny seems to be coming to her very naturally these days. Yet Pascoe was never one of those comics who yearned to be up on stage showing off and doing their funny jokes for the people. Indeed, she always considered the whole thing to be slightly off. ‘I thought all comedy was stupid. I went to watch a friend do stand-up and I thought absolutely everyone was terrible. I started it very arrogantly, but I did a gig and it was like, ‘”oh, now I know what my whole life has been leading to”. It all made sense.’
Sara Pascoe: Animal is on tour until Sat 2 Jul.