Edinburgh Fringe

Sam Lake talks cake

Sam Lake

Stand-up comedian, writer and presenter Sam Lake is bringing his debut hour to the Edinburgh Festival this year. Let's talk cake...

How has your show Cake changed since its original planned debut in 2020?

It's really very different, and that's mostly because my plan for my life completely went out the window. I was supposed to get married and do my little show about planning that wedding in 2020. And since then, my husband and I ended up doing a covid-restricted, registry office ceremony. Tremendous, but not what we had planned. So now my show is all about the 2020 wedding vs the 2022 wedding. Expectations vs Reality.

It's also about going easy on yourself when it comes to managing big responsibilities you've given yourself. I organised both weddings and I wanted everyone to have the best time ever, and when we realised we wouldn't be able to do that kind of wedding, I felt a bit guilty, as if I'd let everyone down. And I think everyone has experiences like that, where things go out of our control, and it's distressing. So I talk about how I navigated those feelings, and I'm ashamed to say it, it does involve starting a podcast...

What's it been like getting back onstage again after two years of closed comedy clubs?

My first gig back was an outdoor gig and I wore elasticated denim shorts, I obviously wasn't at the top of my game. I don't think I could keep a single sentence stored in my head, let alone a joke. At one point I really couldn't remember what to say next, so I had to check my notes that I'd printed on the back of a picture of Mutya Buena. So the audience had something nice to look at whilst I panicked.

I now feel like I've managed to re-mount the proverbial horse (is that an expression?). During the pandemic, I moved to Edinburgh and now I'm enjoying the Scottish circuit. It's lush. Everyone, for the most part, has been so nice and supportive, and there's a heap of amazingly talented new acts coming up. Clubs like Monkey Barrel and The Stand are wonderful to perform at and the post gig takeaway options are bountiful.

Sam Lake

How was your wedding?

Chaos. But nice chaos. Like a bottomless brunch where there's no food but all the prosecco so everyone's just super buzzed all day. I don't wanna give away too much about our happy day, as that's the fun bit of my show, telling everyone about how dramatic it all was. But I will say this: I can confirm the rumours that I am gay for the entirety of the show.

What's the best joke you've ever heard?

There's a line from Victoria Wood's sitcom dinnerladies that really makes me and my husband chuckle, as he's Scottish and I'm the rogue Englishman with the weird accent. Her boyfriend asks her why she doesn't want to move to Scotland with him, and she goes "Because every town in Scotland is spelt eckle-feckin but pronounced kuk-koo-bruh". It makes us laugh because my husband likes to point to road signs and say "How do you pronounce that?" and I always get it wrong. He's quite mean actually. Why did I marry him!?

What's next for Sam Lake?

Obviously, I'd love to take the show around the country on tour. I'd love to do more stand-up on TV. However, I have one aspiration that surpasses all others, and I am very serious about this campaign: I want to host Eurovision. It's likely to be in the UK next year, and, if it is, I simply must be there. I don't care in what capacity, I will happily be a backing dancer who suffers a nip slip, a butter churner for Poland, I'll apply the rhinestones to Graham Norton's tie. But I seriously have dreamt of being at Eurovision since I was a kid, so if you see my fringe show, like it, and think I'm going places, please start a petition for me to host Eurovision!


See Sam Lake: Cake at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August. For more information and tickets visit edfringe.com or pleasance.co.uk

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