Nish Kumar to release stand-up albums

Exclusive   Thursday 18th February 2021, 5:43pm by Jay Richardson

  • Nish Kumar is releasing two stand-up audio albums on Friday 19th March
  • The two-part It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves will be on streaming and download channels
  • The comic has also spoken of death threats he's received and says the BBC should not "appease" its critics
The Big Asian Stand-Up. Nish Kumar. Copyright: BBC.

Nish Kumar is releasing two albums.

It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves Part One and Part Two are a mix of new material and his 2019 stand-up show of the same name. They will be released as audio specials on Friday 19th March, available on all major streaming and download channels.

The albums have been produced by US label 800 Pound Gorilla Records, who are also releasing Sean McLoughlin's Hail Mary on Friday and have previously put out shows by Fern Brady, Alfie Brown, Garrett Millerick and Scott Gibson, with The Book of Randicus, the latest show from Australian puppet comic and Edinburgh Fringe regular Randy Feltface, operated by Heath McIvor, coming next month as well.

Kumar has conducted a number of interviews ahead of releasing the double album, which derives its title from a line in Terminator 2, discussing The Mash Report host's status as a hate figure for trolls and criticising the BBC for its "appeasement" of its right-wing critics.

Speaking to Richard Herring on his RHLSTP podcast yesterday, Kumar reflected upon the continuing fallout from his (unpaid) performance at a 2019 Christmas lunch for the Lord's Taveners charity, in which his jokes about Brexit and colonialism provoked heckling and the throwing of a bread roll at him.

Image shows from L to R: Nish Kumar, Richard Herring.

Turning the political comic into a lightning rod for online abuse, the notorious event has also seen him subject to death threats, a certain number of which he told Herring, he simply has to ignore.

"If you're a woman, or a person of colour or someone from the LGBT community, if you do anything in the public eye, there's a certain level of death threat that you have to just let slide because otherwise you would do nothing else. Your job would be comedian/death threat administrator.

"But a couple of them got quite specific. And your mental state gets quite addled because then journalists start calling you from unknown numbers ... and they weren't calling my agent, they were calling my personal mobile phone ... who the fuck is passing around my mobile phone?"

At a certain point, the threats reached a level of concern that his agent advised him to contact the police.

"So the problem is, you've got to speak to a policeman, who's like, 'can you tell me what happened?'" He laughed, recalling for Herring: "'Well, it all started with me being pelted with bread' ... The fact that [the policeman] got through that meeting with a straight face blew my mind."

Being misrepresented by the media and becoming a polarising figure in "culture war-style things" was like being involved in gross-out horror film The Human Centipede he suggested.

Incidents like the Lords Taveners gig "get picked up by the respectable end of the conservative press. And then it's like a Human Centipede effect where it gets shat into the mouth of the talk radio people. And they swallow it down. And then they shit it into the mouth of these right-wing pundits that do the talk show circuit.

"And by the process of the digestion and the shitting and the digestion and the shitting, by the end it comes out that I walked on stage and was like, 'right, everyone who voted Brexit, up against the wall, I'm going to shoot you. And in the meantime, I will be masturbating over this picture of Lenin while you all line up, let me sing The Red Flag as I massage my erect penis, whilst reading extracts from Karl Marx's Capital!'

"Whereas actually, what I did was say some very mild things about Brexit ... it's just interesting to see how the cycle of outrage works."

The News Quiz. Nish Kumar.

The comic expanded upon this in an interview with journalist Ash Sarkar for Novara Media on Tuesday. A fifth series of The Mash Report is expected to air later this year and he criticised the BBC for striving to bend to the agenda of its right-wing rivals in the media.

"I think the BBC is really trying to appease people who will never be appeased by it" he said. "I think the BBC's really trying to compromise with people who aren't trying to compromise with them.

"What does an organisation like the [Daily] Mail, or any of the Murdoch papers, what is their ultimate goal here? The goal is not to have a balanced, representative BBC.

"Their goal is either for the BBC to effectively be a propaganda distribution network for the government. Or really, their goal ultimately is for the BBC to not exist. Because the BBC stands as a kind of buttress against a complete media whitewash by the Murdoch papers, the Rothermere Group [Daily Mail and General Trust plc]. The BBC is a direct competitor to them.

"So when the BBC tries to compromise with them, there is an element of the antelope trying to meet the lion halfway ... you can cut off your leg and feed it to them but they aren't going to go 'thank you very much, we're done'. If you give them an inch they will take a mile.

"And that is the thing that I find most frustrating and worrying for the future of the BBC. Because I think on any number of levels, a healthy, functioning public broadcaster is an essential component of a democracy ... from the perspective of the arts, it's good to have a public broadcaster, it's good to have somebody putting money into things that don't necessarily have a guaranteed, commercial pay-off."

By way of illustration, he questioned whether another channel would have made The Office.

"I'm just not sure that a commercial broadcaster is going to risk giving Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, two guys with moderate at best track records, total control of a six-part sitcom."

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Nish Kumar - It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves Part 1

Nish Kumar - It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves Part 1

Recorded live at the Duchess Theatre, London on December 12th 2016, this is the show that Kumar did in Edinburgh, and then on tour that year, culminating in this performance captured on whatever the modern word is for tape.

The show is about gentrification, history and the rise of the far right and what happened to me on Brexit night.

Technically speaking, this is a recording of Actions Speak Louder Than Words... Unless You Shout The Words Real Loud.

First released: Friday 19th March 2021

Nish Kumar - It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves Part 2

Nish Kumar - It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves Part 2

Recorded at the Hackney Empire over two nights - March 29th and April 1st 2019, this is the show that Kumar toured the UK with in 2018 & 2019 and then took to New York and Montreal.

It's about Brexit, Trump losing heroes and getting arrested.

It also covers his "unlikely (and ill-advised) transformation from comedian into news commentator".

First released: Friday 19th March 2021

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