Tim Key poetically lays his life out to the delight audience, one of the most cleaver comic acts I have had the privilege to see.
Having had a varied career in stage screen and radio, I managed to catch up with Tim prior to his show and ask him about his Masterslut tour, and just where his ideas come from., I was surprised to find out Tim has Welsh roots, his mother is from Newport, and Tim has fond memories of visiting his grandmother in Cwmbran.
Warning video may contain explicit language
Interviewer Nicky Cook October 2012
Firstly Tim I have to ask, you attended Sheffield University where you studied Russian, how on earth did you end up going into comedy?
Much to my mothers disgust I have not really used the Russian apart from singing occasionally in Russian on stage, I do this just to let my mother know that it was not a total waste of degree. After finishing University I returned to Cambridge and auditioned for a pantomime, and from there I joined the stage production ‘Far Too Happy’ with the Cambridge Footlights, and was nominated for a Perrier Award for Best Newcomer.
Where do your Ideas for your deliberately bad poetry come from?
Well I try to tell everyone that it is not deliberately bad ! It comes from everyday occurrences real conversations or events that happen ever day, like most comedy writers I carry around a note book and just jot down lots of ideas, I then try them out keep what works and bin the rest. Poetry is my guilty pleasure.
Your slutty trilogy The Slut in the Hut, The Slutcracker, and your latest Masterslut tour are these shows based on anyone in particular, if not why the slut slogan?
I was in the Hut in Edinburgh and The Slut in the Hut just sort of sprung to mind, I ran it past my director who liked it and then my agent who thought it was good, from there it just sort of had a mind of it’s own. So having reached Masterslut I suppose there is nowhere left to go with the Slut slogan? Oh don’t you believe it there are loads of places my mind can go with it. I will keep a look out for future sluts !
Having worked in radio, TV and on stage which do you prefer and which if any is harder to write for?
All are equally enjoyable for different reasons, doing radio and TV mean that my work is forever out there, and that gives me a quite a buzz, to know that I or anyone else can always go and look at it. I have some books I have written and to think of them on peoples book shelf’s and to know that they are there forever, is a nice thought, sought of like a legacy. Stand up is altogether different, as once done the show is forgotten, but you do get instant feedback from your audience and there is no feeling quite like that.
The longer I have to work on a script the harder it gets, I have been at my desk banging my head against it while writing new material, it is very rewarding at the end, but getting there is a different thing.
You wrote a short film ‘The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island’ which you wrote and performed with Tom Basden which won best short film 2007, it was nominated for a 2008 BAFTA. Where did you find the title and do you have any plans to make more films?
Tom played a meek singer songwriter and we did not know anyone that was called Herb so that seemed a good place to start and the rest just seemed to follow. I am hoping to do another short film next year, and hope that Tom and I can work together again as he is great to work with, but I may make the title a little shorter so that the BAFTA people find it easier to remember.
Who have you most enjoyed working with and who dead or alive would you most like to work with?
I have been so lucky as I have been able to work with friends such as Alex Horne, Mark Watson and Tom Basden, the latter I have just worked with on a new radio show ‘Party’. I also got to work with my comedy hero Steve Coogan which was defiantly a highlight. I would like to work with Caroline Aherne and also Chris Morris, and I suppose if I was pushed to work with a dead person, I would choose Hancock as I think he was a comedy genius, I also liked Les Dawson I sort of grew up with his comedy.
How do you deal with hecklers, and what happens if your audience does not laugh (if any)?
I have been very lucky I suppose as I do not really get hecklers, people who come to my shows tend to enjoy my style of comedy so come along knowing what to expect, in the past, I think that I have been able to hold my own with any hecklers, what I don’t like are hecklers who have no substance to their heckles, I have no time for people like that.