You have to be joking? Dominic Holland

The joke that you loved but no one else did?

I was lucky enough to tour with the great Eddie Izzard back in the day and from time to time, I would do his laundry and got used to his smalls being different to mine.

But I have been completely blindsided by the gender neutrality thing – and particularly people not identifying with a gender and explaining that gender is false.

So my joke went as follows…

For me gender is the most binary and obvious thing. When a woman gives birth, that’s the first question she wants to know. What is it?

And what happens nowadays when the mother asks this question…

The midwife or father – “We don’t know yet, time will tell…”

I think this is a good joke but the laughs were matched by boos and I don’t have the energy nor inclination to take on the comedy police.

The Joke that worked but you are not so proud that it did?

been a tough time for me lately. I just found out recently that I was in fact adopted. My mum somehow thought that now was a good time to let me know. And I was bewildered and upset as you can imagine and like most people, I went on-line. And the good news is, I have worked out that my real dad is Fabio Capello…

I used to open with this joke and to be fair, I did so, because punters would shout out ‘Fabio’ during my set and would always get a huge laugh and so I figured that I should probably claim the laugh for myself.

But that said, lookalike laughs are easy laughs and almost always naff. They most often feature early in to a set when the comic is looking for the nerve settling early laugh. Never underestimate the pressure that a comic is under when they first get on stage!

The comedian that made you want to be a comedian?

Ben Elton.

He came to Leeds University when I was a student and smashed the room for 2 hours. It was his heyday. Sparkly suit and all that. I had wanted to be a comedian since I was very young – maybe 12 or so – and seeing Ben that night made it all seem obvious to me. I am going to be as funny as I can be and see whether I can make a living from it.

I first met Ben when he hosted the Royal Variety Show that I appeared on. I was nervous anyway doing such a big show and even more so because it was being hosted by Ben and the impact that he’d already had on me.

Ben is not the force in live comedy he once was and I believe he is unfairly maligned by certain sections of the arts elite. He received a lot of criticism from the left for hosting the Royal Variety Show and also daring to work on a musical with the arch Tory, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

This criticism smacks of typical bullying and often stinks of hypocrisy. Ben Elton being a millionaire left wing comedian who sends his kids to state schools being criticised by other millionaire comedians, often from gilded backgrounds who themselves send their kids to private schools and so their privilege continues…

Not that Ben makes his point. He is too dignified to respond.

The last thing that made you cry with laughter?

I am a bit of a sucker for funny youtube clips – if only because this is the only time that my kids want to talk to me – to show me a clip.

If you search – ‘little boy being tricked by his dad with a bird in a box’

For those not inclined to search – it is basically a dad who puts a box over a large dog turd and tells his little boy that inside the box is a bird that he has caught. The little boy is overcome with excitement and is determined to grab the bird when the dad lifts the box.

The box is lifted and the little boy grabs the pooh.

The dad bursts out laughing until the little boy smacks him in the face with his pooh laden hands.

This made me howl.

Dominic Holland: Eclipsed

Voodoo Rooms Ballroom. Free Fringe


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