The Footlights President Meets: Ex-Footlights President
BEN POPE the current Footlights President, had a chat (interrogation) with the former Footlights President, PHIL WANG, ahead of his show Anti-Hero coming to Cambridge.
Ben Pope, the current Footlights President, had a chat (interrogation) with the former Footlights President, Phil Wang, ahead of his show Anti-Hero coming to Cambridge.
(Phil and Ben do secret Footlights hand-shake).
So, Phil, you’re an Anti-Hero?
Well hello to you too, Ben. Christ. Yeah I suppose I am. But we’re all made up of conflicting urges and opinions. Most of us try to be good, but are prone to lapses in morality. Like, I’m essentially a nice guy, but I also swear sometimes.
What’s it like working on the circuit? What are the audiences like? Embittered old men in flatcaps or irony-clad skinny-jean hipsters?
Yup. Both. Depends on which of the two clubs you go to. So I’m really excited about returning to Cambridge for a night.
Would you say being Footlights President helped or hindered you in the real world?
Neither really. People are either “Wow, you were Footlights President!” or “Well ooh lah di dah, posho. No one gives a shit. Get out of my lounge” in pretty much equal measure. So it cancels itself out.
As an observational comedian, is every trip to the supermarket a mine of hilarious material? Are you pole-axed by comic thoughts in the deli aisle?
Nah not at the supermarket. It’s kind of been done now. I try to just concentrate on the milk and ham and – if my birthday’s coming up – more ham.
What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
As I just said, milk.
Edinburgh: friend or foe?
Friend, definitely. The Edinburgh Fringe forces you to work and improve.
What was it like performing on the Rob Brydon Show?
OK. Quite surreal. Rob Brydon forgot my name and the wardrobe lady insulted my outfit. But THAAAAAAAT’S telly!
What’s your favourite joke?
I really can’t say. I’ve heard too many. But it would probably be something from the Simpsons. Let’s say it’s in the episode where they steal their lemon tree back from Shelbyville, and the main Shelbyville guy cockily bites into a lemon.
What’s your favourite of your jokes?
Without giving it away here, my opening joke. I’ve had it for a while now and it’s always served me well. Will need to retire it soon though. The old dog’s tired.
Who is your comedic idol?
I guess right now it would have to be Louis CK. Not a very original choice, but that’s because he is great.
Any advice for up-and-coming comedians?
Make a point of relaxing on stage. Let yourself die, and you’ll realise there’s really nothing to be afraid of. And don’t forget your milk sandwich before you get up there. It’s hard work and you’ll need the energy.
(Phil and Ben fist-bump epically and they both walk in opposite directions into the sunset…).
Beautiful. Truly beautiful.