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An Interview with Tony Hinchcliffe

19 February 2019 | London Calling

The American stand-up comedian and host of weekly 'Kill Tony' podcast is hitting UK shores for the first time. Best known for his dark and free flowing comedy style, Tony’s truly unapologetic stand-up show will not be for the easily offended...

Tell us about your shows, what are they like?
I’m really excited – I’m doing a lot of really compelling material that has been extremely well worked out. I’ve been touring all around America and Canada for years now, especially for my last special, which was in 2015. When that came out in 2016 I got the opportunity to tour in front of more fans and bigger audiences, so I really believe in this set that I have right now. It’s something that I’m really proud of. This is going to be my next one-hour special on Netflix.
 
And your three shows outside of London are for podcasts, right?
Yeah, the podcast is going to be absolute chaos. Our road episodes of the podcast are always the best because I draw guests from the audience to perform comedy for 60 seconds. The most compelling characters are the people we find on the road.
 
Are you anticipating any differences between the US and UK audiences?
From what I understand, people in England can be more… what’s the word... proper?
 
Do you mean prudish?
Yeah, I’m thinking, like, sarcastic.
 
Do you think that anything can be funny?
As long as it’s funny, it’s funny. If it elicits a reaction, then yeah. But there are certainly things that aren’t funny, and it’s not specifically because the subject matter. It’s a lot easier to not touch on dark subject matter, and pander towards the middle because there are more people there.

You’re known for having a dark sense of humour; how do you navigate that line between darkness and comedy?
Well I go over it here in LA almost every night that I perform. And then I dial it back and figure it out and make sure it’s funny. I’ve been doing this for over 12 years – it has to be funnier than it is groaning. I don’t want ooh’s and aah’s, I want cackling. And it’s not easy these days, you know, sometimes there’ll be audience members who get up and start an argument. Every once in a while you’ll have a wild audience member, but you have to stand your ground and push it. If they’re my fan they know what they’re getting into, and if they’re taking a chance then they’re a guinea pig. Currently I’m talking about Kevin Spacey and Louis CK and there’s a lot of hot button issues.
 
Do you ever worry about the legality of addressing those topics...?!
No. America takes a ridiculous sense of pride in letting artists say whatever they want. I guess I should probably look into that though so I don’t get arrested in London. But if I get arrested in London for telling jokes that are over the line, I’ll be a legend, so I think it’s a win-win situation.

To find out more about Tony's tour, visit his website
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