We asked Dapper Laughs for his thoughts on Uni lad culture
He won’t sign your genitals, don’t bother asking.
Well known for his risqué humour and upfront style, Daniel O’Reilly (AKA Dapper Laughs) brings his sell-out Res-Erection Tour to Southampton. Rachel Winter and Ed Bannister caught up with him at the Joiners…
Last year brought a lot of ups and downs for internet sensation-cum-TV star Dapper Laughs, but with over 375K twitter and nearly 2 million Facebook followers behind him, he’s as tricky to hide as the awkward boners that constituted a large proportion of his subject matter. After his 2014 was cancelled under the cloud of a rape apologist scandal, Dapper turned up on Newsnight in a dodgy turtleneck and promised that Dapper Laughs the character was to be retired. Money talks however, and just a few months later he’s back with the aptly named “Res-Erection” Tour completely sold out, a DVD available for pre-order and talk of being in a movie.
He runs on stage, beer in hand and greets the crowd with a laddish “Oi oi”. Yet his performance was never as risqué as the Dapper Laughs backlash had conditioned us to expect, reliant on smut and observational comedy. The audience, 90% male and 99% middle aged loved every moment, with Dapper’s performance frequently being interrupted for catcalls of “proper fucking moist”.
His show was surprisingly entertaining but no way as risqué as expected – the impression is that Dapper is a man once bitten, twice shy. However with such a divided stance by the media, he truly is a Marmite character – but love him or hate him, with a Christmas DVD release, sell out tour and rumours of a debut film, you can no longer ignore him. Dapper is back, and he’s coming in your general vicinity. Bring an umbrella.
After the show, we snuck backstage and were able to have a quick chat with the man himself prior to his meet and greet afterparty at Switch. It was hard to know what to expect, with such a big personality visible on stage, but would his claim that it was all just a “character” prove true?
Tab: You’ve played Southampton before, what do you think of doing your stuff here?
Dapper: I love playing Southampton – we sold out Southampton like that, bang bosh. It’s got the right demographic, a young fan-base – people that understand that this is just comedy.
And what do you think of Southampton women?
They’re beautiful – my friends from back in the day are from Southampton. They’re lovely, I haven’t spent enough time up here. I guess they’re like girls from anywhere else and always up for a good time!
Students are a massive part of your fan base, but we heard you got banned from a student union?
Unfortunately Cardiff had an “anti-lad culture” policy, so we shouldn’t have been booked there anyway really.
What do you think of universities cracking down on lad culture?
If it’s done in the right way it’s a good thing. I don’t think there’s any sort of place for being sexually derogatory, degrading of offensive to a woman, you know what I mean? There’s definitely a level of banter but there is a side of lad culture that has no place.
And we have to mention your appearance on Newsnight…
I’ve become a poster boy for the lad culture. I’m a stand-up comedian, the stuff I do on stage is satire – Dapper Laughs is a character, I’m not trying to teach people what to do, I’m just trying to make people laugh… Let’s not go too much into that anyway!
Where’s your favourite venue to do a show?
God, hard one – London, its where I’ve got the most fans, we done under the bridge and Chelsea. Sold out ages in advance, expensive tickets as well. But actually Wolverhampton was amazing too, in terms of the fans just being nice.
How long do you think you’ll keep being ‘Dapper Laughs’?
Its character based humour, so as long as the character lasts I guess
And to finish, what’s the worst thing a fan has done do you reckon?
All sorts! I’ve had guys getting their willies out, asking me to sign them and stuff…
And did you..?!
Dapper: I didn’t have a pen small enough!