You have to be joking? Tom Ward


The joke that you loved but no one else did?

It’s pretty much guaranteed that if I find myself laughing alone in a café about something then you can be sure it won’t work on stage. I had one about marriage proposals where I suggested that I don’t congratulate anyone on getting engaged until I know how it played out… ‘Did he go down on one knee or was he brought to his knees by the sheer weight of hints bearing down on him?’ I then acted out the highlights reel of an aggressive woman’s marriage hints ending with me on my knees in tears proposing. To a very silent, uncomfortable audience. Such a shame.

The joke that worked but you are not so proud that it had?

I had a joke about male sexual performance…where I used the image of horses ‘galloping into town’ to depict the male orgasm, and how during sex a man must always keep ‘one ear out for the horses hooves in the distance’ so as not to let himself down. In the joke I essentially say that I am not a good lover. Which is ridiculous as I’m brilliant in the sack. It’s never nice to lie on stage for a joke but it is sometimes necessary to bend the rules.

The comedian(s) that made you want to be a comedian?

Eddie Izzard. That period in the mid 90’s he was just so exciting. Ben Elton too in the late 80’s with all that ‘reality gap’ stuff about advertising. He was so on the mark. And only about 27. Unreal.

The last thing that made you cry with laughter?

My kid brother Pete. We were discussing how the pressure just gets more and more as you go along (he is a leading expert on North Korea and has started turning up on TV and in global newspapers). We discussed the idea that you have two choices – you can either go with it and try to rise to every new challenge or retire now and move back in with mum. I find fatalistic fantasies to be so funny and awful. Moving back into your old room…in your mum’s house in the suburbs is as close to my worst fear as it comes, and the better you’re doing in life the bigger that fall is…

Tom Ward:Popcorn Lung


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