The audience hasn't changed Ė it's just got bigger
Mick Miller on how comedy has grown over his career
I think comedy has come along way in the last 30 years and thatís a really good thing.† My generation had our grounding at holiday camps, I was a Blue Coat and other comics like Roy Hudd, Des OíConnor and Jimmy Tarbuck were all Red Coats. Nowadays itís so different - open mike nights are the training ground for young comedians. †
I admire the new guys who are working these days so much; it isnít easy to get up and do it. I see them up at Edinburgh, they put money into their own act, hiring rooms and travelling around Ė you wouldnít have had that in my day. Of the current group of comedians I like Johnny Vegas, Lee Mack and Steve Shanyaski, Ė Iíve performed with them before so itís always nice to see the lads. Iím also a fan of Sean Lock, Kevin Bridges, Andrew Maxwell, Peter Slater and Harry Hill.
The audiences havenít really changed, itís the same audiences, theyíve just got a lot bigger. When I was coming up it was me, Jimmy Cricket, Roy Walker and Jim Bowen and I guess the big acts were Jasper Carrott and Billy Connolly.
The biggest theatres were about 3,000 but I saw comedy really change and become a bigger draw when people like Lee Evans came along. I saw him in a club in Blackpool about 20 years ago in a talent competition and then he was selling out huge arenas.
There is so much of it on the telly now - you go on Live At The Apollo and Mock The Week and then youíve got yourself a tour together, I like the way itís happening, itís really good for comedy, you get more of a chance now.
People are a lot more open minded nowadays so you can get away with a lot more and with all of the shows on telly you get greater exposure. When I got offered the role in Ideal it gave me a new lease of life for comedy and helped revitalize me.
I do a lot of army shows and have played in the Falklands, Iraq and Bosnia and play a lot on cruise ships which gives me the chance to see the world; Iíve been to Rio, Borneo, Mumbai and Dubai. But itís that role in Ideal thatís got me playing venues as a headliner where before hand I would have been the support act.
Comedy is in great shape and I can only see things getting better.
Posted: 11 Sep 2012