Some Lycett Hot
There’s one thing that many people say about stand-up Joe Lycett: he really makes it look easy. As the Birmingham-born comic goes on tour with the puntastically titled That’s The Way, A-Ha A-Ha, Joe Lycett, audiences across Britain will be able to see his seemingly effortless stage manner and performance style up close.
“When it’s flowing, it feels glorious. I think it’s all about the work I’ve put into this over the last eight years that allows it to happen and it then becomes about instinct. Being told that it’s being made to look easy is the greatest compliment I could be paid. I’ve always wanted to create this persona on stage that people watch and don’t feel as though they’re watching a show; I’m at ease so they’re at ease.”
With his new touring show, Joe Lycett will be taking audiences to various different places with his material. He’ll be sharing his recollections of the campaign he launched to get himself on a high spot in Attitude magazine’s Hot 100. It clearly worked, as he made the number ten position in the company of such luminaries as Tom Daley, David Beckham and Zac Efron. “I was 57 last year and they were all a bit ‘who?’ But after a few tweets saying that it would be a travesty if I didn’t win this year, they sent a private message saying ‘are you available on this day to come along?’ Next year, I’ll canvass someone really inappropriate like Vladimir Putin. It’s such a silly event, but that issue of the magazine sells really well and gets people talking.”
Also part of the show is his by-now trademark online campaigns to prank and shame individuals and organisations who have wronged either Lycett or others. In the past he earned some comedy miles with his campaign to have a ridiculous parking fine challenged and in this show, he manages to brilliantly turn the tables on an email spammer.
Having established himself as a fixture on the circuit and with three strong solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe under his belt, Lycett is also a familiar face on TV for comedy-watchers. As well as 8 Out Of 10 Cats, he’s appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Live At The Apollo, while on Comedy Central’s Drunk History, he chatted about Dick Turpin and the Kray Twins with some choice Prosecco and Sambuca running through his veins.
But in the past 12 months, he’s put extra focus on the scripts he performs on stage in order to make his live shows as good as they can possibly be. “This year I’ve found my rhythm with writing. It’s been a long time to find it though; I’ve really struggled in the past. But now I’ve done a month of the show in Edinburgh, I’m really excited about refreshing, adding and honing material for the tour. This is the second time I’ve gone on tour with my own show and I’m excited about it just as I was terrified about the first one.”
Lycett has previously described going on stage as like entering the ‘hellmouth’. This seems like an unlikely term to use for a place that seems to be a home from home for him. “About a year ago, I did a gig with a comic called Mat Ewins and often comedians will say something like ‘see you on the other side’ just when you’re about to go on. He said ‘see you in hell’ which really made me laugh and that’s where that word came from. It comes as a welcome relief from the nervous energy. Once I get the first laugh, I’m fine. I might chat with the front row, but if you’re not geared up then sometimes it’s better to simply open with a gag. No one’s expecting the killer stuff in the first few minutes.” With Joe Lycett, the killer stuff is always just around the corner.
Catch Joe Lycett at The Octagon on February 17th. Tickets available from leadmill.co.uk.