We thought it was about time we had a catch-up with Stuart Laws. He's been performing a work-in-progress show at this year's festival, titled Stuart Laws? Is That Guy Still Going?. It's now finished its run, but he's still at the festival with another show: Putting Zoo.
Hi Stuart. Er... you're still going?
Yeah it's baffling actually - in spite of all the clamour, all the begging - I am still doing comedy, or a close approximation to it.
You seem to have ditched your trademark gilet look in this latest brochure photo?
Every single time I play a room in Edinburgh I wish I'd ditched the gilet because it can be a grotesque performing experience. Wearing a bodywarmer in a room that has a wet bulb temperature of 38C is not a healthy career choice.
I have actually tried wearing a suit on stage in some previews of the show and it turns out I'd rather sweat like a frog in a sauna than perform in formalwear. I cannot stress how uncomfortable wearing a shirt and tie made me feel. But if that's the worst thing in my life I can't complain. Luckily it isn't, so I can.
What's this about you getting married?
The wedding was a small affair, down on the coast, only about 20 people there and it was lovely. I mainly did it so that I had something to talk about on stage. I've now done 7 solo stand-up shows, a play, a double act and literally have nothing left to talk about. That's why I got a vasectomy before my 2019 show, I'm desperate to have children but needed something to talk about beyond puffins and bakeries.
Ideal world? Wouldn't be married. But we're here in 2022 and I guess that's what's needed to keep the comedy going. And that's a rough approximation of my vows.
You've had a number of viral successes over lockdown. Which one are you most proud of?
The ones I spend the longest on, the most fastidious attention to detail and making rich and layered and as punchline heavy never do well. Then I chat with some friends over Zoom and mention how ridiculous Michael Caine's line-reading of "Never!" in Batman Begins is and then quickly bash out an overlong, slightly slow-paced riff on that and suddenly Mark Hoppus is retweeting it and thousands of people are following me in the hope that all I tweet about is the word "Never".
That said, probably this:
Your TV and radio comedy production company is getting busier. Is it getting harder to juggle performing and producing?
Every few months I have that conversation with myself: "You can't keep doing all of that stuff and still do it to a standard that you're happy with". Then I realise I've got 10 emails to reply to, three film crews to book in and a stand-up show to write and preview and I realise I don't have time to have serious conversations with myself.