'Unique, courageous – and absolutely hilarious...' | Katie Prtichard picks her Perfect Playlist

'Unique, courageous – and absolutely hilarious...'

Katie Prtichard picks her Perfect Playlist

Fringe comedian Katie Pritchard picks some of her comedy favourites


Well, what can I say? I am OBSESSED with Hacks. It’s like every line in every scene in this show is a beat in a sketch, but it’s not a sketch show.

I don’t know how they have such a high joke hit rate coupled with such a wonderful narrative arc and they work together in perfect harmony which is just non-stop amazing, and my mind is blown with every episode! There are even well-crafted female characters – !!WOWSERS TROUSERS!! – and the whole cast are absolutely incredible! 

There are some topics about being a woman in the arts which aren’t often discussed aloud too much, let alone feature in storylines in a massive TV show, but this show brings them to the front with so much love and grace and humour, it doesn’t fail to move me, fire up a passion in my belly, and make me howl with laughter all at the same time.

From how the industry has and, often, still does treat female comics, to how the industry reacts to age, to trying to work in the arts industry, to belief in yourself, to care, to the sacrifices people make to have a career in the arts, to the giant walls people put up around to protect themselves in this industry, to those same walls being torn down, to joke-writing processes, to living life on the road, to everything in between and so much more.

At the heart of it, this show features a cast of imperfect characters just trying to be better, and it’s so wonderful to watch.


Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel

Wow! Jerrod Carmichael filmed this HBO special in a jazz club. That’s all I needed to know before I watched this show. I was hooked on that.

I’d never seen any of Carmichael’s previous shows or sets, but to film in a jazz club was so exciting to me. Jazz clubs are such intimate and exciting venues – they’re designed so that you feel like you’re at your own home, you feel instantly relaxed, and you can just sit and enjoy the music and ambiance and just be you.

Why am I banging on about jazz clubs?

Because this is exactly how Jerrod Carmichael makes his audience feel straight away. One of his first lines of the show is: ‘I have so much to tell you. You're comfortable? You can talk back to me. I want you guys to feel that. This only works if we feel like family…’ and he achieves that. And watching at home, we feel that too!.

This special is directed by Bo Burnham, so a lot of care has gone into the camera angles used and the overall vibe of the show from a technical point of view. The lighting is fantastic, and the shots used are exemplary. Carmichael and Burnham play with silence a lot in this special, and that silence is all at once captivating, emotional, and allows for all his jokes to hit hard - I was laughing away very loudly on my own at home. 

I’m not going to tell you any more about the special than that – it’s beautiful, it's unique, it’s absolutely hilarious, and I think it is one of the most courageous specials I’ve seen in a while – mostly because of the use of silence, the amazing audience members who feel comfortable enough to just shout out and join in and create some really lovely moments, and the incredible shots that are used which draw us in to this amazingly intimate show. I definitely can’t wait to watch this again and feel like I’m in Jerrod Carmichael’s front room while he’s chatting to me.

Mawaan Rizwan: ‘I got a new walk’

I’m going to level with you – 97 per cent of the time when I’m walking anywhere, I’m singing this song in my head, and have been since I first saw Mawaan perform it live. I just love it! It makes me feel amazing, it’s so fun, it can really brighten anyone’s day, and I wish everyone knew about it so we can all sing it together whilst walking down the street doing our incredibly cool walks! 

I’m a big fan of Mawaan, and have been ever since we gigged on a bench together in Edinburgh in 2014. I also sing Mawaan’s Baby Wipes skit when I’ve been taking wipes out of packets, and with the pandemic, that’s been a lot.

If you get a chance to see Mawaan live, please do. He’s such a wonderfully talented performer, and I’ve never left a show he’s been in feeling anything other than giddy with the giggles and full to the brim with joy. Such a talented so-and-so! 

The Opening Sequence of Hot Shots!

OK, so I love movies from the 80s and 90s – especially the spoof films. I know you’ve all seen Airplane! by now, but have you seen Hot Shots!? I’ve brought it up with a few people recently and they’d never seen it, so I thought I’d share it with you. 

This video here is of the opening sequence, which is almost a shot-for-shot spoof of the Top Gun opening sequence. I’ll level with you – I did watch these movies in the wrong order. I watched this one before I saw Top Gun, then howled with laughter all the way through Top Gun remembering the Hot Shots! jokes. Then I immediately watched Hot Shots! again to laugh again at how accurately they’d spoofed the shots in Top Gun. 

For me, this opening sequence is a real showcase of how everything in a shot can be a joke. Sprinkle the parodies with the slapstick, and hilarious and absurd jokes, and you’ve got yourself one of the best executed spoof sequences (I reckon anyway, and I did say ‘one of’ so don’t get mad at me if you think there are others, I’ve clearly said that I know there are others I’m not like only a fan of Hot Shots! I was just bringing it up in case you hadn’t seen it!).

Anyway, if you’ve not seen it – watch Top Gun, and then Hot Shots! back-to-back to really enjoy the effort they’ve slammed into every shot in that opening sequence. 

Tig Notaro - Live (Live rhymes with Give)

You’ve probably already heard this set, but just in case you’re new to Tig Notaro, or you’ve not checked out her back catalogue of astoundingly incredible performances, then this should definitely be No1 on your list! 

Recorded in 2012 just four days after being diagnosed with cancer in both breasts, and amid a cascade of other utter misfortune and trauma, Tig Notaro took to the stage to work through some of this at a gig. Sounds like a wild thing to do a comedy set about doesn’t it? And this is the thing – it’s just so funny! I don’t actually understand how she did it, because everything she is talking about is just so terrible.

If you went through even one of the things, you’d probably not be going to work that day, but here she is at work, the crowd are howling, they’re yelling out their support and love, she’s absolutely smashing the gig, and it’s just incredible! Just absolutely wow! 

Obviously, you probably know she’s fantastic already, but if not, do check out anything and everything she’s done – she’s an absolute legend and incredible at her craft.

Aunty Donna: Everything’s A Drum

When Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House Of Fun hit Netflix last year, I watched the first episode and then I was chomping at the bit for more.

I had no prior knowledge of Aunty Donna and I think it was one of those moments when the algorithms actually help you, so I just clicked on it to see what it was. I watched episode 1 on my own and loved it, and I then watched all of the other episodes with the Aunty Donna watch-a-longs which had the team narrating it so that we could all get the inside scoop on the sketches and songs. 

This song is called Everything’s A Drum and is essentially what goes on inside my head if there’s any silence in the day and I am either procrastinating or have finished my to-do list and am thinking of what I should do next (truth: it is never the latter). Anyone who is a drummer, musician, wriggler, or sound fan, will know how irresistible it is to tap on something to check out how it sounds. And this song makes me feel like at long last I know I’m not the only one.

If you enjoy this song and you’ve not seen their show yet, do check it out. It is full to the brim with amazing songs, hilariously surreal sketches, and some fantastic concepts which will make you look at the world a little bit differently. I love them. Everything IS a drum! 

Katie Pritchard: Disco Ball is on at the Pleasance Courtyard at 6.05pm until August 29 (not 15)

Published: 2 Aug 2022

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