'The English hate comedy'

Scottish stand-up's claim

Scottish stand-up Danny Bhoy has slammed English audiences as being humourless curmudgeons who hate comedy.

'In England they've got no time for comedy,' he said. 'They don't laugh at all. They have no muscles in their faces. So they just stare blankly with their dead, cold eyes.'

His comments came in an interview with Canadian newspaper The Edmonton Journal – which means it's unlikely he intended them to be heard back in the UK.

In contrast, he flattered those likely to see him on his current tour, saying in a separate interview: 'I'm pretty impressed by Canadian audiences. They've understood me, which is good, and they've laughed, which is even better.

'Canadians have the same sort of sense of humour as the Scots. They know most of the stuff I'm talking about. I have to change the odd word but pretty much the routine remains the same.'

Bhoy, who lives in Edinburgh for six months of the year and Australia for the rest, is currently on a Just For Laughs tour of Canada alongside Irish if.comedy winner David O'Doherty and English comic Hal Cruttenden.

However, he told Chortle his comments wer 'tongue-in-cheek', adding jokingingly: 'I get just as many Scottish audience members stare at me with ‘cold dead eyes’ Particularly reviewers.'

Earlier this year, when he was promoting his English tour, he claimed: ' I love touring England, even if they don't love me.’

Talking to the Canadian media, the 33-year-old also spoke of why he came into comedy.

'Comedians tend to be misfits, ' he said. 'I think after a while you realise why you're a misfit. It's frankly because you're a little bit emotionally irresponsible. You find that's because you're always looking for the laugh. It's not a great way to live your life, but it's a great way to approach comedy.'

And he said of his own approach to stand-up: 'I do shows now that are 90 minutes or two hours long. People physically can't laugh for that length of time. I guess in those moments between stories is where you try to make a plea for humanity. I think there is a degree of politics now behind my comedy. But that's what comedy is all about - about pushing people to think, as well as laugh.'

Published: 9 Nov 2008

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