One random comedian, eight random questions: it's the ultimate test of funny person and fate. This week's edifying humourist is Edy Hurst, who'll be doing his stuff at London's rather good Vault Festival on February 1st.
"Hurst Schmurst is my debut full-length show," says the eponymous comic, "featuring my very best songs, a cracking story about a goose with a lot of graphs, and a hand-built puppet that is the physical embodiment of my self-doubt, so I'm covering all the bases."
He's the Hurst with the murst. Meanwhile Edy also posts "very silly videos" on the requisite social media platforms, and is "getting ready for my new show, Edy Hurst's Comedy Version of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of H.G. Wells' Literary Version (via Orson Welles' Radio Version and Steven Spielberg's Film Version) of The War of The Worlds, taking place at Leicester Comedy Festival on the 20th February."
Blimey. Edy Hurst, your Random 8 await:
Which film/TV show would you love to have been in (and which part?)
I'd love to have been in The Muppet Show. Maybe I could be Michael Caine's role in Christmas Carol or Kevin Bishop in Treasure Island? But if I'm being honest I'd love to have been Gonzo. Although then I don't get to meet Gonzo: what a double-edged sword.
Maybe the role of Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth! I'd get to meet David Bowie and perform with puppets, and that's a win-win in my book.
Jim Henson has been a big influence of my performing, and in my show Hurst Schmurst I've had my best bash at a Kermit the Frog. As the picture shows, I think I nailed it and absolutely didn't make the physical embodiment of all my self-doubt.
What's the very best thing you ever saw?
Oh man, I think when animals do human stuff by choice is great. Definitely by choice though, like a monkey being made to ride a bike is tragic, but a monkey just hopping on a bike is great. Like a little cycle-jacking primate, what a joy.
Anyways, the very best thing I ever saw was when I was on a tram in Manchester. Not a strong start admittedly. To explain what a tram is, it's like all the discomfort and smells of the underground with all the inconvenience of being on ground and getting stuck in traffic.
As it stopped doors opened, who pops in, a ginger tabby cat, completely calm like it's just on its regular commute. Rides for two stops, waddles off into the night. Unbelievable! Amazing! I don't know if it bought a ticket, but it was absolutely unphased about the whole thing.
Ever met a surprisingly great or awful celebrity?
I try to keep my expectations of celebrity meetings low because it's a weird experience in general isn't it? It's like you have a relationship with this person, or at least their public persona, so when you meet them you have a lot of information or perceptions, but they have no idea who you are so it's a weird imbalance. I'm a massive comedy nerd (so obviously I started doing comedy) and I've been lucky to perform with some of my heroes.
A few years before I started performing though I went to see Stewart Lee at the Lowry in Salford. After each show he did a signing for books and albums, and my girlfriend (now wife) and I went in the queue. I was very excited, she was happy I was excited. As I'm a consummate and possibly outdated gentleman, I let her go ahead of me and handed Stewart my book to sign.
He had a chat with Chloe and me before signing the book, but as he signed he put it in Chloe's name. She said it was actually for me and rather than getting a different book he just crossed out her name and put in mine. Hands down the most Stewart Lee experience I could have had meeting him. 10/10.
What's the weirdest thing in your wardrobe?
I've bought some right crap over the years, zebra print platform boots, a reversible shiny brown and gold baseball jacket that turns out to have some very unsavoury words on one side. I'm slowly building up the courage/lack of shit to give to wear mad great stuff out and about.
I think possibly the weirdest thing is the hairy fur shirt that I wear in the photo for my show Hurst Schmurst. I made it out of a discounted roll of fabric whilst doing my fine art degree (because of course I did).
It was meant to be a performance art thing where I was a shaman and tried to fix people's spiritual problems. I'm not saying it was a raging success but I am saying I had absolutely zero lawsuits. So I'll chalk that up as a win.
Do you have a favourite shop?
I don't think I do to be honest. When I was a wee lad in the '90s shops like the Warner Bros Store and Disney Store used to have play areas and amazing cartoon sculptures - I remember the Manchester WB store had Marvin the Martian's space ship, and inside it had a TV playing Looney Tunes. That's a high watermark that sadly I'm yet to see met by any other commercial establishment.
Your most interesting injury?
I was in a new act competition a few years ago, and it was in the natural habitat for comedy, a very quiet university union sports bar. The scene had been set by them leaving all the screens on playing MTV, but to their credit turning the volume off, so it was completely silent music videos. Perfect.
Needless to say, the energy was a little low, I decided I'd come in strong. Arms in the air, and screaming 'YEAAAAAAAAAH.'
At that point my body reminded me that I'd been working on about four hours of sleep after travelling across the country, and proceeded to black out. I forgot there was a step just before the stage and flew like a slab of gammon into the sound desk, very carefully placed on a stool on the stage.
Like an absolute pro I got straight back up and started my set, but apparently I was too 'bleedy' for the audience. As you can imagine, I absolutely stormed it and won the prize. Actually, they didn't have a first aider but recommended I got to hospital.
Having sustained a number of head injuries over my life, I knew this wasn't worth wasting the valuable resources of the NHS, and so instead went back on and did my set. Unsurprisingly, an audience that has seen you sustain a head wound often struggles to feel comfortable laughing at you.
Who are you most envious of?
'Most' is a real challenge. Doing comedy it's so, so easy to be jealous and envious of people you've met or done gigs with and you see doing really well, whereas you may be doing well too, but you are also aware of all the things you don't have and all the stuff you're not confident about.
I guess to pick one I'm envious of Matt Berry. He's a great egg, performs music that can be funny, intense, and serious whilst also making amazing weird comedy shows. Also he was in the Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
When were you most embarrassed?
A lot of the time my head accumulates embarrassment and shame and saves it for whenever I'm trying to get to sleep or when I'm alone. I think once the wooziness had cleared out from my interesting injury, and I realised that not only did I not win (who saw that coming?!), but I'd also potentially emotionally scarred the admittedly small audience didn't feel great.