Random 8

Sid Singh

Sid Singh

One random comedian, eight random questions; it's the ultimate test of funny person and fate. This week's guest is Sid Singh, who's doing a show at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe called Illegally Funny. We're definitely intrigued to hear what's happened since his last appearance on these pages.

"The last time I was with BCG I did a comedy show about the time I got to help the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies beat Donald Trump in court in 2019," says the human rights lawyer and humourist. "This new show is about everything that has happened since, both with the world, my life, and most importantly with refugees."

Illegally Funny 2022 poster. Sid Singh

Things have certainly developed in the latter area. Not that every government is being massively progressive, in response.

"This year my show will be raising money to fight insane refugee restrictions like the United States's Title 42, which of course states that refugees cannot yet enter the United States because of the possibility that they might have covid and spread it! This restriction was created by President Donald Trump, who got covid and immediately started trying to spread it."

Good luck turning that tide. But now, Sid Singh, your Random 8 await.

Who was your childhood hero (real or fictional)?

My childhood heroes were Bill Cosby, Will Smith, and then as I got into high school, Woody Allen. I, uh, got better at picking heroes as an adult.

Do you have a favourite device, ever?

Blackberries are so underrated. I miss phones that had a hard keyboard because I was much better at using them than I am at using a touch screen! Sure 17 year-old me looked like a divorced dad trying to trade stocks, but less typos.

Sid Singh. Copyright: Adrian Tauss

Who's the most interesting person you've ever met?

I met an American Football player in Amsterdam who was the nephew of a world leader who, based on his plans to help his country, might one day be a murder target for a different foreign government. We would all absolutely watch the hell out of a TV show based on him.

What's the best thing you ever bought a ticket for?

I bought a plane ticket to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival about eight years ago with pretty much most of my savings at the time. I got to perform at least 30 minutes every day while sleeping on a futon wedged into a closet. Now I get to tour Europe regularly and write for TV and it all really started with that trip!

Which historical figure should get more attention?

Stuart Couch. The Bush era official became an immigration judge whose denial rates and asylum decisions were so odious that Donald Trump promoted him to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Not the most ancient historical figure, but these are the people who get away with awful acts precisely because they work in the shadows and think history will never remember them.

Who are you most envious of?

People with good backs! I travel constantly for work now and I often crash in slightly less than glamorous places like futons, couches, and air mattresses. Basically at this point, my back looks like a jigsaw puzzle and I should really start learning how to do yoga to keep those pieces together a little longer...

Sid Singh. Copyright: Adrian Tauss

Is there a book we should all read, to make life a bit better?

After the Fall by Ben Rhodes is great. A book written about foreign policy by a former Obama foreign policy speechwriter who helped thaw relations with Cuba? It even somewhat predicts a lot of the last six months by discussing Victor Orban and Vladimir Putin! Pretty darn cool if you're a foreign policy dork like I am (and, honestly, even if you're not).

What's your favourite phrase or expression?

"You die anyway." I know it sounds quite dark and morbid, but it's actually a phrase I use to remind myself to take chances and not take life too seriously. Plus, I'm a volunteer refugee advocate and a travelling comedian, so it's somewhat vital that I'm able to find hope and inspiration from things that seem dark and morbid on the surface!

Sid Singh: Illegally Funny is at Edinburgh's Cabaret Voltaire from August 4-28. Edfringe.com

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