Happy as Harry
Some comedians just don't make sense. TV star and stand-up Harry Hill has it down to a fine art. Words: Peter Ross
Committed. lndustrious. Responsible. Pick an adjective, any adjective. and you almost certainly wouldn’t choose those three to describe surrealist comic Harry Hill. Yet those are the most suitable words when it comes to pinpointing where stand-up’s premier slaphead is at in 1997.
Having pulled in a mammoth 2.5 million viewers for Channel 4’s Harry Hill show. he has now been commissioned to write a second series.
The busy comic is also about to embark on a mammoth 50-date UK tour and has been invited to appear on The Late Show With Letterman for the third time. an unheard-of feat for a British comedian. Hill has even put the dad into Dada. becoming the proud father of a baby girl.
Thankfully this new-found responsibility and work ethic has not affected the Hill comedy mindset. his familiar stream-of-consciousness mix of trad gags and absurdist observation remaining firme intact. On the forthcoming tour. for example. he will reveal the truth behind alien abduction.
‘When people say they’ve been taken away in a spaceship. they always describe the aliens as having big heads and black eyes.’ Hill explains. ‘So I can’t help wondering if they’ve actually been abducted by pandas. but are too embarrassed to admit it because pandas don’t have a very tough reputation. Out of all
hope.’ Harry Hill
'We plan to have badgers on the tour. The problem is getting them to parade. But we live in
rt. i ’57
Harry Hill: one badger short of a sett
the bears — the grizzly. the polar — the panda’s pretty low down.’
When asked whether any other mysteries will be cleared up in the course of his live show. Hill will only reply. ‘l’ve got three songs about shirehorses. and all the usual bollocks. really.’ He may be reticent about his material. but a glance at the publicity ﬂyer for the tour. which purports to show the garish contents of the Hill brain. suggests that badgers and biscuits will figure heavily.
‘Biscuits are always at the forefront of my mind.’ he confesses. ‘l've got one here. actually. It’s a shortbread with an embossed thistle. which I’m sure you lot in Scotland will appreciate.
‘We also plan to have badgers on the tour. But the problem is getting them to parade. and it is sometimes cancelled. But we live in hope.’
Fans of Hill’s sometime sidekick. an astonishingly charismatic feline glove puppet known as Stouffer The Cat. are also in for a treat. as the manually- manoeuvred moggie will be a constant feature on the tour.
Trouble may lie ahead. however. On a large national tour. tension between performers is not unheard of. and showbiz insiders are hinting that Stouffer could well steal Hill’s limelight.
‘Well. when that day comes, he’s off the tour.’ Hill snaps. ‘Stouffer does try to upstage me. but he is. after all. a cat. He needs me as much as 1 need him. We work together because people want to see us. but we never socialise. I admit there does seem to be a spark between us. but I can't stand that cat. to be honest’
Harry Hill: committed. industrious. responsible. Oh. and one badger short of a sett. (Peter Ross)
Harry Hill is at the Pavilion, Glasgow, Mon 10 Nov and Usher Hall, Edinburgh Wed 12 Nov. The new Channel 4 series, Han'y Hill, is due for transmission in autumn 1998.
Comedy is listed by date, then by
city. Shows will be listed, provid ng
that details reach our offices at least
ten da 5 in advance of publication.
game listings compiled by Ellie arr.
The Stand The Tron Ceilidh House. Hunter Square. 220 1550. 9—l lpm. Five acts for £5 (£4). Weekly. lrish charmer Kevin Hayes. Newton Meams’s Jo Mackenzie. Susan Vale. Colin Ramone and resident compere Jane Mackay are tonight‘s entertainment at the thriving Friday night arm of Stand enterprises.
SATURDAY 8 Glasgow Chloe Poems In Universal Rentboy Tron Theatre. 63 Trongate. 552 3748. 10.30pm. £8 (£4). The gay socialist transvestite. otherwise known as the Gingham Diva returns with his/her comic barbs for the chemical generation. The Joke Box Mister P‘s Bar/Diner. 42 Wellmeadow Street. Paisley. 561 7117. lOpm—Zam. Free. A full pint freebie night of comedy. every second Saturday courtesy of Belhaven Best Of Comedy. Janey Godley comperes.
Viv And Jill's Comedy Capers Gilded Balloon. 233 Cowgate. 226 6550. 8.30pm (doors 7.30pm). £5 (£4). New weekly comedy venture from the Gilded Balloon. hosted by funny gals Viv Gee and Jill Peacock and styled as a pot—luck variety evening. presumably not the Johnny Beattie kind of variety. but something far more post modern and daft. Tonight's offerings include Declan Colgan. Brian Hennigan and the ‘band of the moment’ Polly's Band.
The Comic Club Blackfriars Underground. Blackfriars. 36 Bell Street. 552 5924. 9pm (doors 8.30pm). £5 (£3.50). Weekly. Tony Roach takes top spot at the busy comedy club. with support from Raymond Meams. James Donlan and compere Viv Gee.
Jackie Clune Tron Theatre. 63 Trongate. 552 3748. 8pm. £9 (£6). Relive the girly delights of Abba. The Nolans. Olivia Newton John. Kiki Dee. Kelly Marie and Karen Carpenter courtesy of kitsch impressions specialist Jackie Clune.
Christie's Comedy Cellar WJ. Christie & Son. 27—31 West Port. 228 3765. 9.30pm (doors 8.30pm). £4. Sunday is the re ular ‘new material night' in this new cTub. with the latest witty creations from the boy wonder from down under. Greg Fleet. writer. comic. poet and nude model Jill Peacock (as seen hosting Viv And Jill's Comedy Capers at the Gilded Balloon on Saturdays) and John Flint.
Harry Hill The Pavilion. 121 Renﬁeld Street. ()141 332 1846.
7.30pm. £12. The egghead star of surreal comedy takes time out from the world of television for a spot of national touring. See preview.
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7 Nov—20 Nov 1997 THE U8T89