Catriona Knox

Catriona Knox

One third of the Boom Jennies sketch group, Catriona Knox also performs character comedy in her own right. She was also one of the stars of the 2014 Radio 4 sketch series 2525, co-created by Matt Lucas and set 500 years into the future.
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The breathtaking audacity is bloody funny

Catriona Knox picks her Perfect Playlist

Catriona Knox picks her Perfect Playlist...



Man, I love this show. Jimmy Kimmel described it as ‘the show that was born a drama but identifies as a comedy’ and while I think that’s a little bit cruel, it’s also a pretty accurate way of describing the amazing mash-up of laugh-out-loud funny and howl-out-loud sad that is Transparent.

What I love most about this show is the fact that absolutely everybody is totally horrible in it. Everybody is incredibly selfish. They fuck up, they behave like utter arseholes, and yet somehow you still want to spend time with them.

Jeffrey Tambor as Moppa is a great anti-hero – every bid as self-regarding as the rest of his family, but like all my comedy greats (Alan Partridge for example) you love him nonetheless. It’s a good lesson for a character comedian – your characters don’t need to be likeable.

And that’s what I want to do with my characters – I want you to love them because they’re so awful, not in spite of it. Because what’s funny about likeable?

Kim Noble’s You’re Not Alone

When I first saw this show at the Traverse Theatre in 2014, it blew my mind. Like, literally, I was thinking about it for days and weeks afterwards. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I still think about it often.

If you’ve never had the privilege of seeing a Kim Noble show, it’s hard to really explain what they’re like, because they’re like nothing else I’ve ever seen before. Part comedy, part performance art, but even that doesn’t really cover it. They are unique. Really I suppose they’re provocations – he asks us to be shocked, and momentarily we are, but really the breathtaking audacity of his shows eventually isn’t shocking at all. It’s just bloody funny and then the next second it’s devastatingly sad.

Victoria Wood: Like Any Old Day

It perhaps won’t surprise you to learn that like every other comedian in the country, I bloody love Victoria Wood. Who doesn’t? it’s impossible not to love Victoria Wood, because firstly she is a genius and secondly she was so obviously kindness and love and warmth personified. Who wouldn’t want her as a second mum? I certainly think of her as my comedy mum.

Anyone reading comedian’s Perfect Playlists on Chortle will probably already have a good knowledge of her sketches, so here is a link to a little-known song of hers which you may not have heard. It’s about love and death but as ever, she manages to nail the mundanity and minutiae of it all in a way that only she can. I love it:

Derek and Clive

Derek and Clive are pretty much as far as you can get from Victoria Wood, but still they have a special place in my heart.

I can’t help it, I love the horrible nihilism of the whole thing, the way they try to outdo each other constantly, each of them trying to say the most shocking thing they can imagine. But the absurdity is the best thing about it, the outrageous absurdity. The Pope’s nose hairs, as he lay in state, giving Peter Cook the horn, for example.

It’s always good to remember that comedy can always be more shocking than you think – you can take enormous risks. And in fact, the more surprising it is, the better.

Joyce Grenfell

A few years ago, The Spectator came to see my show and very kindly wrote that I was like a modern day Joyce Grenfell. This was music to my ears because ever since I can remember, I’ve been listening to her recordings, and loving her.

Listening to her now, it’s amazing that even though she’s from what is so clearly a bygone era, those recordings haven’t really dated, they still feel fresh and funny and warm and lovable. I could listen to her for hours.


Pretty much my favourite current TV show. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is second to none, it’s such an incredible performance. And again, what I love about her is that Selina Meyer is weak and self-regarding and - let’s not forget - utterly incompetent, but she’s also so much fun. I love it when female characters are allowed to be flawed on this scale – she is a proper grotesque, even though you wouldn’t know it to look at her.

But I do also feel sorry for her daughter. I’d like Selena as a mate but definitely not as a mother.

Bridget Christie

For my money, the best stand-up working in Britain today. It’s funny because I’ve followed her career since the early days – I remember seeing her show about King Charles II in a dingy Edinburgh cellar about a decade ago. It was so bonkers, a million miles away from what she does now, she actually did a whole skit as The Great Fire of London. As in, she dressed up in red and orange sheets and she was The Great Fire of London. It was insane but I loved it.

It’s amazing to see the sort of stuff she does now – very incisive and political, but still underscored by that same sense of utter absurdity that she had all those years ago. She really is a genius.

Catriona Knox: Adorable Deplorable is at the Pleasance Dome, 18:50

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Published: 31 Jul 2017


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2008

Boom Jennies: Shindig

Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Boom Jennies

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Catriona Knox: Player

Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Catriona Knox: Adorable Deplorable


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