“A once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the greatest living comic of every generation as Fogg delivers a pant-wetting, heart-warming, pole-stiffening watermelon of a show.” – BEN FOGG, 2017
Suffice to say, an evening of carefully crafted chaos awaits 99 Mary Street when Fogg hits the stage on 10 June. Ahead of this pay as you feel live performance, we caught up with the ever-modest comic and Championship Manager extraordinaire for a natter.
Fogg, tell us a bit about your background in comedy?
I started out doing jokes, like a pussy, but I soon found out that my real skill is in dispensing a thick torrent of pure joy straight into the ears of my grateful audience. If Jesus was a stand-up, I’d mentor Him.
How did the mean streets of Ealing treat you as a youth? Have they been formative in moulding the person you are today?
Absolutely not. If anything I was formative in moulding Ealing. Before me who knew anything about Ealing? Now the whole place is synonymous with comedy. That’s all down to Fogg.
Your achievements have been many, including becoming the 12th best Championship Manager Player in the world back in 2011. Pray tell us, what is the secret to such success?
Don’t try to be good. In fact, if you can, be comfortable with failure. Just never give up. If you quit then there’s no chance of winning. Also look out for players with high teamwork AND technique ratings as neither of those values change over a career.
Precisely what can the crowd at 99 Mary Street crowd expect when Fogg steps on the stage next month?
They can expect joy, laughter and wisdom, along with some comfortingly on-trend exposed brickwork and very sexy acoustic. If you want to get girls to like you, this is your show; if you want to get guys to like you, this is your show; if you want to get in for free then this is your show. Essentially, if you were at the rumble in the jungle when Muhammed Ali knocked out George Forman then please don’t’ come, you’re old, and the show is pretty exciting.
When you come to Sheffield it will be a ‘pay as you feel’ show. Bit risky, no?
You’re right. It is risky… for the audience. I’m advising people not to bring high value notes as you will end up forcing me to take them. I’ve seen people sell internal organs to one another just so they can pay me what I deserve.
How do you unwind away from comedy?
Simple. I never wind in the first place. Comedy is like sex: the less you care the better it goes.
We’ve read that you were once banned from Hammersmith Town Hall for fighting a 70-year-old man, or is this fake news?
What can I say? I’m a rebel. I’m the Meredith Brooks of my generation.
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way
That’s what I sang to that security guard, but it just seemed to make him angrier.
Is that the oldest person you’ve ever exchanged fisticuffs with?
Who ultimately won?
Me. Next question.
Moving on, what is the funniest thing you have ever seen?
Genuine answer: There’s a video called ‘Bat fight’ featuring David Robinson and Will Ferrell. I actually vomited from laughing when I saw it. 100% true, ask my living room carpet.
But inadvertently funny? I shot this photo in Regents Park:
2017: is it a good or bad year to be a stand-up?
Obviously a lot of the Mayan comics have quit the circuit so there’s an opening there. I’ve written a whole bunch of new stuff to fill the void. Just your classic ‘What’s the deal with human sacrifice?’ bit or a ‘I can’t work my highly complex series of interlocking ritual calendars’ riff. I’ve got a tight 5 mins on the difference between maize and corn that pops pretty hard.
Ben Fogg: How I Won Best Newcomer 2017 takes place at 99 Mary Street from 7pm, Saturday 10 June. You decide on how much to pay afterwards.