Edinburgh Fringe Interview – Tiernan Douieb

Who the hell are you and what business do you have in Edinburgh?

I’m Tiernan of the clan Douieb and I must shout at people in a room for an hour otherwise I do it elsewhere and get given an anti-social behaviour order. Probably.

You’ve done the Fringe a few times now, is there a bit of a disadvantage for professional comedians not performing at the Fringe?

I don’t think so. I actually think the more you do Edinburgh the more you realise that no one outside of the EdFringe really cares all that much about it. I feel the only real reason to do it is for your own good, to hone a new show and get to perform it.

 You’re very busy on the Interweb, is there a big difference between your online persona and your stand-up shows?

Very little difference at all. Except in real life I’m not confined to 140 characters. I’m now trying to actively make my actual stand-up longer form jokes than the stuff I spew out on Twitter. Just so there is a teeny bit of difference. But content wise its the same mix of silly and political throughout.

Describe your perfect audience member? 

Sits, listens, laughs in all the right places but doesn’t have an annoying laugh. Preferably doesn’t wear a sombrero which would upset other audience members. Doesn’t take pictures on their phone during the show. Isn’t on fire. Isn’t a horse.

What’s the best/weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at the festival?

Years ago I remember seeing Phil Nichol rock up to a few late night gigs, dressed as Nina Simone with a full band and then proceed to do a frighteningly good impression of her singing. I wish he still did that. It totally baffled and entertained everyone all at once.

How do Fringe audiences compare to ones from your neck of the woods?

There isn’t one type of ‘Fringe audience’. You do so many shows in a month that you tend to get every type of audience at least once. Some good laughers, some good applauders, some that like taking part, some that don’t and always, always one awful one. Always. So they are pretty much like audiences everywhere else!

What’s the best/worst heckle a Fringe audience has thrown at you?

My 2010 show was in a sweaty cave. One night a man stood up halfway through and said ‘I’m so sorry to interrupt. I’m really enjoying the show but I’m going to have to leave because it’s frightfully hot in here and I want to smell nice for the ladies.’ Then he left. Incredible.

You’ve just been trapped in an elevator with a ‘critic’ who panned you and called you Tintin Dubdub. How would the next hour go? You also might happen to have a dead hedgehog glued to your knee.

I’d give the hedgehog a creepy voice, do knee puppetry and criticise the critic on everything he did in that lift, as the hedgehog. Endlessly, until we were saved. I’d also pronounce their name slightly wrong on purpose throughout.

With exception to your own show, who do you recommend people go see?

Tons and tons of people: Nick Doody, Chris Coltrane, Bridget Christie, Josie Long, Simon Munnery, Ben Target, Ola The Comedian, Tiffany Stevenson, Craig Campbell, Nish Kumar, Mark Thomas and even more that I can’t remember right now. Also, definitely take a chance on something you’ve never heard of before. That’s what the fringe should be about.