| 20 questions: Janey Godley

20 questions: Janey Godley

How did the idea for the show come about?

My daughter Ashley decided that I should just do a show where I just talk about talking, as I never really stick to a theme anyways. My life is a show every day! I am also doing a chat show and that came about because Calvin at The Green Room thought it would be good watching me shut up for a while.

Did it change much as you worked on it?

Yes, I don’t think I have ever done the exact same show twice, but that suits my style. The chat show will be different daily.

Which comedian(s) inspired you to become a stand-up? Jerry Sadowitz and Billy Connolly

Where and when was your first gig?

In a tent on the Glasgow Green when I owned a pub near it in 1994

How did it go?

Strange as the place was filled with the customers from the pub who just followed me down to the tent, but funny coz the special needs people who freaked out the other acts were also my customers and I knew I could joke with them

What’s the best gig you’ve ever had?

That would be the night in Glasgow I did an improvised hour in front of the Glasgow police who found guns in our house in 1994. My husband actually heckled me for effect - not technically a gig but I got out of jail through the power of talking, so that’s a GREAT gig in my eyes.

And the worst?

When I did a gig for a benefit and joked about skinny women who starve themselves and then remembered the gig was for a woman who actually died of anorexia, I can’t begin to tell you how I got out of that hole, but I know I am going straight to hell for the way I did.

What’s your ultimate ambition in comedy?

To make my dad laugh and convince him that comedy is actually a real job, and to write a film screenplay that I am proud of.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever regretted saying on stage?

I regretted saying on stage that my husband's mother died of boredom after having seven sons. My husband's mother died when he was 13 years old and that hurt his feelings, but I still think there is some truth in the matter. Comedy is comedy, feelings get hurt.

What’s the worst thing a critic has ever said about you?

A critic once said I was funny but people don’t want to hear a woman talk about such tough subjects. She was a woman and a Christian and like most Christians she assumed she had the right to talk for all 60 people who paid to hear me, not her. How annoying is that?

When did you first come to Edinburgh, and what did you do?

I first came in a car with Johnny Vegas to do the So You Think You’re Funny heats in 1996

Has the spirit and the atmosphere changed much since then?

Yes, its all about who has the biggest posters, biggest venue, biggest advert, not who has the most talent or the most progressive act, its also about who can shock and be the most controversial.

What’s you favourite Edinburgh experience?

Lying in bed with my husband in 2006 and reading that my autobiography had made the top ten list in Sunday Times and Ashley got the results of her Higher exams and she passed all of them, and my show had got a four star review the same day....awesome.

And your worst?

Trying to talk a man down from trying to kill himself in 2003 on the Grassmarket tenements, I really thought he was going to jump and kill himself in front of me, but he didn't but it was scary. He wasn’t even a comedian who had got a bad review!

Where are your favourite place to eat and drink in Edinburgh?

At the flat as my husband is an ace cook and I don’t drink much booze ever.

Where do you go to escape the festival?

Bed and sex with husband, works every time and he always gives me a five-star review.

What’s your view of comedy awards like the if.comedy?

It would be nice if they gave an award to small shows who are struggling to get onstage despite cash flow and publicity, just a wee recognition to the struggling artist would be a great boost.

What one bit of advice would you give to someone visiting the festival?

Don’t be intimidated by the big shows and the big names, believe in yourself and don’t assume other people's success is your failure.

What one thing would improve the Fringe?

A cap on rent charges, something that made it easier to stay here during the festival, the rents are horrific, I am paying for one month what I would pay for one year’s mortgage in my own home.

Apart from your own, what other show would you recommend?

I would recommend that people go see Andrew J Lederer at the Green Room, I love his stuff...oh and Craig Hill whom I adore, he is addictively wonderful.

  • Janey Godley: Tell It Like It Is is on at the Pleasance Dome at 19:00. Janey Godley's Chat Show is on at the Green Room at 17:00.

    Published: 17 Aug 2007

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