The linguistically cleaver and hysterical John Robins dropped in to chat about his new stand up tour Incredible Scenarios. John has been performing comedy since 2005, popular with the Edinburgh fringe crowd he is a regular at many of the counties comedy clubs. In 2011 he performed in Australia as part of 'The Best of The Edinburgh Festival' showcase at the Brisbane and Adelaide comedy festivals.
Warning video may contain explicit language
Interviewer Nicky Cook March 2013
Q. John, please give the readers a taster of what they can expect from your new stand up tour?
A. It’s about losing out on my big TV break to someone from a reality TV show. Not in a bitter way, but more a good excuse to mine my life for some funny stories. I think the atmosphere I most aim for at gigs is like when your mate turns up at the pub and you can’t wait to hear them tell their funny story to someone who hasn’t heard it before.
Q. Two of your hero’s are Sherlock Holmes, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy, if you could pick four people past or present to have as your come dine with me guests, who would you choose and why?
A. Hmmm, tough one. I torture myself with fantasies like this. I mean if I mixed musicians with comedians and writers they might not get on. And I need that £1000! I’d have to have them in a pub, not at a meal. And I’d have to have my friend Robin there, so we could talk about it for years to come. Which leaves three… I would go for Frank Zappa but I’m not sure he’d be great company. So Captain Beefheart, Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy) and Philip Larkin. I think they’d all get on, and I know Captain Beefheart was a big fan of Philip Larkin, when I found that out in an interview it made my hairs stand on end, to know that your heroes are also your heroes heroes, if you know what I mean. And I’d like to think Will and The Captain would hit it off.
Q. As a single bachelor can you cook, and if so what is your signature dish?
A. You seem to know a lot about me! Have you been looking at my Myspace page or something?! I make an excellent bolognaise, it takes hours and is great for using as an excuse to drink at home. I have also made beef wellington on two occasions, which was really cool.
Q. What has it been like to work with Arthur Smith, Jon Richardson and Russell Howard, and is Jon as gloomy as he appears on tv?
A. I never actually met Arthur Smith until recently. He’s a dirty old man with an incredibly sweet heart. Working with Russell is always fun, a lot of people don’t realise but he’s a real student of the craft of comedy, he knows every stand-up DVD inside out, and always has great stories from his time on the circuit. Jon’s not all that gloomy either, just somewhat pessimistic. Now there’s a cook for you, and a fantastic one at that. He once made lamb that was so good it started me drinking again after 2 years off!
Q. Which do you prefer to work on stand up, radio or tv?
A. Stand-up. But I’ve not done a huge amount of Radio, and very little TV so far. But I may have some radio fun coming up in the pipeline. Stand-up is so unfiltered, there’s weirdly less pressure than telly, but the buck stops entirely with you. I love the tension of it, and the connection with the audience.
Q. Can you give the readers an insight into behind the scenes at the Edinburgh fringe? And will you be appearing there in August this year?
A. Behind the scenes in Edinburgh is the best place to be. Hanging out with all these amazing people you feel like you’re in the engine room of the whole comedy world. The highs are so high, and also the lows can be pretty bad. The romance of it all! Plus there’s so much gossip and everyone’s sleeping with everyone and having all these tiny dramas and triumphs. It’s the best working holiday ever. I’ll be back this August with a new show.
Q. Do you plan to come back over the bridge (Wales) in the near future?
I love gigging in Wales and always have done. A lot of my very early gigs were in Cardiff, at a place called The Yellow Kangaroo, I don’t know if it’s there any more. So far on the tour I’ve been to Neath, Blackwood and Cardiff. What a treat!
Q. You confess to compiling quotes can you share your favourite with our readers?
A. Now I know you’ve been looking at my Myspace page. How’s it looking? I think I last logged on to that in 2007! I think I’d have to go for something Goethe said that has always inspired me "Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." So it doesn’t matter how well you do at something, the magic is in doing it in the first place. I like that.
Q. What are your plans for the rest 2013?
A.It’s all about preparing for Edinburgh really. But also settling into London, I’ve just moved here from Bristol. I might be doing some radio stuff which would be ace.
And probably deleting my myspace page.
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