Al Pitcher

Al Pitcher

New Zealander Al Pitcher started comedy in 1999, reaching the finals of the So You Think You’re Funny? new talent competition. He then decided to capitalise on his growing reputation – by becoming a vegetable picker in Naas, Ireland. A couple of years later he returned to stand up, making the final of the Daily Telegraph Open Mic awards.

Since then he has become a regular fixture at the UK’s top clubs. In 2004 he made his solo Edinburgh fringe debut, and now has four full-length shows to his name.

He was invited to appear at Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in 2007 and has performed at both the Melbourne and New Zealand comedy festivals.

Pitcher was also the voice of the Fosters Lager commercials, has written for BBC Radio 1 and is an experienced TV warm-up.

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'I knew them when they were shit'

Al Pitcher on his comedy favourites

An Audience With Billy Connolly, 1985

This was the first time I ever knew stand up comedy existed. My mum and dad had left Britain to live in New Zealand, so for them it was also fun to spot the celebrities; it was like Heat magazine live. For me, this is the greatest stand-up show captured on camera,. It has stood the test of time. It's full of swearing, but Billy Connolly swearing is different, it just fills the gaps wonderfully. I laughed at what I didn't know I was supposed to laugh at, it's incredible. I met him at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal in 2007, I was speechless. He spoke about the Tour de France; I lied, just to remain near him.

My mates

It s still the greatest job, the overnight success can take ten years or it can take 100 gig minutes. I feel honoured at some of the heroes I have seen on the comedy circuit. The great thing with comedy for me is that you never know how far you can go, you still have a great life. Then other times you have friends who go on and become huge stars and then you can say, 'I remember seeing them when they were shit'.

New comics show unbelievable passion and naivety and that is beautiful to see, then a year later you turn on the TV and there they are winking at you. Some are just destined to be stars, the McIntyres, Bishops and Russells of this world, work their arses off and deserve the plaudits. Some don 't get the whole of Britain repeating their material but they still make the world an absolutely funnier place. The great thing is you never know how quickly your rise can be. I mean look at this guy, I think he s 12:

Will Ferrell

I've never been into catchphrase comedy, I have never had that knack of being able to repeat a whole movie word for word, but this guy came along and changed that for me. He can walk in on a film or TV programme and I will laugh. He is a comedy genius. He s married to a Swedish lady and so am I, the connection ends there. Those wanting to act in a film and do great, watch this guy, just amazing.

Goodevening. I'm Ron Burgundy and here'swhat happening in yourworldtonight

The Office

I think The Office has influenced so much comedy in recent times, it was groundbreaking and it had the most sweet and tender moments but was so cringe worthy you had to look away. You notice on the live stand-up circuit how many comics became David Brent, who is arguably the most developed character in modern sitcoms. Every mannerism and trait was so delicately done, you knew him, you wanted to be him and you loathed him. No matter what you think of Ricky Gervais he was part of the team that created this. End of.

Steve Martin's Born Standing Up

Firstly, I can t believe this book came out in 2007. I think I personally have searched for a bible of comedy, one that can teach me the way to a promised land. But the wonderful thing is we are all on our own journeys and the Steve Martin story is such an anything could happen  story that it fills you with hope. I don t want to write a review of it, I just want you to go away and sit down and read of a genius from a genius.

Tommy Cooper

The strangest thing for me was I couldn't believe how shit he was at magic and how many times he would start laughing when telling a joke. It was like Alan Partridge, when his chat show came to New Zealand, most Kiwis thought it was serious and couldn't believe how it was allowed to be made.

My granddad used to love Tommy Cooper; he would carry his jokes in his shirt pocket and tell them at pubs. I was born on the same day as him but I don t normally steal jokes. If you are ever down, ever chasing the meaning of life, YouTube this guy, he will just inject you with a happiness needle, it won't hurt - he will do it just like that!

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Published: 6 Aug 2012

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2001

Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award Final

Edinburgh Fringe 2002

Big Value Comedy Club (Late)

Edinburgh Fringe 2003

The Comedy Zone

Edinburgh Fringe 2004

Al Pitcher

Edinburgh Fringe 2005

Al Pitcher: The Wolf Catcher

Edinburgh Fringe 2006

The Al Pitcher Experience

Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Al Pitcher: Tiny Triumphs

Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Al Pitcher - Sweden Syndrome


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