phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
Nothing is Off-Limits: An Interview with Comedian Daniel Sloss

Nothing is Off-Limits: An Interview with Comedian Daniel Sloss

6 November 2017 | Nicola Freedman

One of the UK’s fastest rising comedians, Daniel Sloss is showing no signs of slowing down. Although only twenty-seven, Sloss has already performed nine consecutive sell-out Edinburgh fringe shows, two solo off-Broadway seasons, given a TEDx talk, and toured around the world. We speak with the internationally acclaimed, award-winning comic about his latest tour, working in the States, and why nothing is off-limits.

Hi Daniel, thanks for speaking to Culture Calling today. Breaking into comedy and working as a comedian is notoriously difficult. How did you get started?
 
My mum signed me up to a comedy course, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It was fine, but I didn’t really learn too much from it.
 
You have been performing since your teenage years. Were there any particular challenges of being a young comedian? Any advantages?
 
People don’t expect you to be good because you’re young, so the second you are good you sort of blow their mind. Another advantage is that I don’t have a family, so I can tour constantly and be very selfish in my life and devote all my time to comedy. Disadvantages are that it can take a while before people take you seriously. I had to deal with being the young comedian for a while, but by and large I find it a more positive than negative experience being young – it definitely helps.
 
How has your comedy changed since you started?
 
There is a bit more of a point to it. Back then it was just jokes and gags. I was very much a young comedian trying to do an impression of a comedian, whereas now there is a bit more substance to it. It’s a bit smarter and its matured.
 
Who are your biggest influences, comedians or otherwise?
 
Bill Burr – an American comedian. He writes a new hour every year pretty much, and [Australian comedian] Jim Jefferies is kind of the same. Anyone with a good work ethic like that really.
 
You’ve appeared on ‘Conan’ a record seven times. Do you find that American audiences respond differently to your material?
 
More recently it’s been a bit harder. Trump jokes over there are problematic – I don’t do any, but everyone’s got an opinion. It’s a very tense time right now. They also hate atheist jokes – I still do them but you have to be a bit gentler with the way you approach it.
 
Are you ever inclined then to adjust your material depending on the audience or the country you’re performing in?
 
No, I did that a bit when I was younger and I hated it. If you don’t like my stand-up, fine. Comedy is subjective and my stand-up is not for everyone and I’m fine with that. But I am not changing my material so you enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy my stand-up comedy, then you and I have a very different taste in comedy.
 

 
With the rise of social media, and streaming services such as Netflix, more and more people are watching comedy on their phones, or in the comfort of their home. Do you find that there is still a demand for live comedy?
 
It goes down a bit in the UK. We tour Europe and the audiences get bigger every year and they’re so excited that anyone comes over and does stand up. So yeah, I do think there is still a market for it. I think it’s a bit oversaturated in the UK at the moment - the touring market - but I’m part of the problem with that so I can’t really complain!
 
In addition to your stand-up, you’ve done so many different projects. Is there anything you're still eager to accomplish?
 
Just to become the best that I can be, and to be the best you’ve just got to keep doing it – every year, constantly, all the time. When I was younger, my dream was to make a living out of comedy and I’m now doing that so I think having any other dreams would be a bit selfish.
 
Is there anything in terms of comedy you still haven’t done? A Netflix special?
 
Nah (laughs). I don’t enjoy acting that much and I didn’t get into stand-up comedy to make my way into another industry. I got into stand-up comedy because I love stand-up and it’s what I want to do – I like being on stage in front of a live audience.
 
What are your favourite parts of touring the UK?
 
I mean truly, the answer’s not much (laughs). It’s a lot of travel – I miss my friends and family. But the gigs – the gigs are good. It’s nice to go to places that you’ve never been before and find people that have the same interests as you, and the same sense of humour.
 
For those unfamiliar with your work, what can one expect at your show?
 
If you’ve never seen me, please go on YouTube and watch me first. Because if you’re easily offended or upset by anything, for the love of God stay home! I’ve had people come to my shows and be offended by the swearing - that’s the least offensive part of the show! I’m never offensive for the sake of being offensive – I’m not a shock comic - but I do believe anything can be talked about if it’s done intellectually.  
 
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring comedians?
 
Do a gig. It doesn’t matter where it is, or how long it is, you just have to learn how to be on stage. There will be an open-mic somewhere, and make sure you nail it because the waiting lists can be very long.
 

Daniel Sloss is currently touring the UK until 9th December 2017. For more information, and to book tickets, please visit livenation.co.uk.
 

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Bristol’s Best Cider Bars

Bristol’s Best Cider Bars

A cider city through and through, Bristol is one of the country’s premier purveyors of the traditional tipple. From festivals to cider cycle trails, the city…

Top 5 Running Routes in Bristol

Top 5 Running Routes in Bristol

Get out; get fit. Those things we should all be doing. But if you don’t know where to go it can often be hard to find…

Top 5 Cafes and Coffee Shops in Leeds

Top 5 Cafes and Coffee Shops in Leeds

Looking for the perfect spot to snuggle up and enjoy a cup of coffee and slice of cake in Leeds? Then look no further. The…

A Guide to Must-See Venues at the Brighton Fringe

A Guide to Must-See Venues at the Brighton Fringe

Every May, Brighton city centre becomes even more of a buzzing cultural hub with theatre, comedy, live music, cabaret, poetry... the list goes on. To…

Interview with Jonathan Holloway, writer/director of 1984

Interview with Jonathan Holloway, writer/director of 1984

Big Brother is watching you! Creation Theatre adapts George Orwell’s classic 1984 for the stage, opening in Oxford’s Mathematical Institute on 5 February. We talk to…

York on a Budget

York on a Budget

Renowned for its exquisite architecture and its cultural and historical wealth, York is a truly exceptional city that has its character woven into every one…

Best BYOB Restaurants in Brighton

Best BYOB Restaurants in Brighton

From cheap and cheerful eateries to slightly more upscale restaurants, Brighton has no shortage of places that offer Bring your own Bottle (BYOB). Whether you…

Valentine’s Day in Oxford: A Guide

Valentine’s Day in Oxford: A Guide

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the City of Dreaming Spires? Whether you’re all coupled-up, or happily single and wanting to party with the friends you…

Rose Finn Kelcey: Life, Belief and Beyond

Rose Finn Kelcey: Life, Belief and Beyond

On March 30, 1987, Van Gogh’s painting, Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers was sold by auction house Christie’s in London for £24.75 million: a…

World Vegan Day: The UK’s Best Vegan Restaurants

World Vegan Day: The UK’s Best Vegan Restaurants

From Sunday roasts and spicy curries to pizzas and burgers smothered in “cheese,” vegan food has never been tastier. Indeed, the significant rise in the number of…

{ad_alt}

Most popular

Exhibitions to Look Forward to in 2017

Exhibitions to Look Forward to in 2017

We take a look at what will be gracing galleries in 2017.
Theatre to Look Forward to in 2017

Theatre to Look Forward to in 2017

We look forward to the best theatre, opera and ballet on offer this year.
On Record: An Interview with Sophie Willan

On Record: An Interview with Sophie Willan

We talk to Sophie Willan about her experiences of social care and mental health, and her sell out comedy show.
The Best Healthy-Eating Restaurants in Bristol

The Best Healthy-Eating Restaurants in Bristol

Keep to your new year's resolutions of healthy-eating while still enjoying eating out.
 How to Survive Blue Monday in Edinburgh

How to Survive Blue Monday in Edinburgh

Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, falls on 15 January this year. To cheer your day up try out one of these pick me ups.
Top 5 Roasts in Dover

Top 5 Roasts in Dover

It’s nearly that time of the week again! If you’re embarking on a little trip to Dover soon, make sure you visit one of these for a delicious Sunday roast.
Awards Season Films to see in 2018

Awards Season Films to see in 2018

You get the drinks, we'll get the popcorn.
Albums to Look Forward to in Early 2018

Albums to Look Forward to in Early 2018

Be up to date with the best music in 2018.
24 Hours in Birmingham

24 Hours in Birmingham

If you're headed to Birmingham, check out one of these hot spots for food, drink and culture.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!