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  • Richard Cunha

Meet Ian Smith, star of March's Big Comedy Kiss show

Updated: Mar 6

How did you get into stand-up comedy?

I did sketches with two friends of mine in school - we put some shows on at my local theatre (a theatre which is now a martial arts studio after a brief run as a furniture storage facility). I loved making people laugh and because we were going to different colleges and Universities, I realised I'd have to do it by myself.

Where do you get your inspiration for your material?

I usually have a theme in mind - something that links whatever has been going on in my life that year, and then I'll go off and do some things that reflect that theme. I like to put myself into weird situations so I have somethign interesting to talk about. I've been on holiday to Chernmobyl, had a terrible time at a sensory deprivation floatation tank and smashed a car up with some hammers and a tank, for example.

How do you deal with hecklers or a tough audience?

I beat them up, one by one, screaming "no prisoners" as I do it. That's the rumour I want to spread in Switzerland. At the Edinburgh Fringe this year a woman told me, with no real prompt, that her ex-husband had attempted to kidnap her children and she had to send them to boarding school... that's quite a difficult heckle to know what to say after.

What is the funniest or most memorable moment you've had on stage?

One fo the funniest for the audience, but not for me, is when I blew a huge candle out on stage and all the wax flew up into my face and pretty miuch sealed my eyes shut. This was 3 minutes into a 20 minute set. I had to do 17 more minutes picking wax out of my beard and trying to open my eyes again. Horrible for me. Audience seemed to enjoy watching such a massive idiot live.

What's been the highlight of your career as a stand-up comedian so far?

This year at the Edinburgh Fringe I was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show - since I started comedy, I'd look at the lists of previous nominees, which included so many comedians I looked up to. It's been a big dream of mine to make it on to that list. I also did the voice of a Pringles vending machine in an advert so bad it didn't make it on to the TV. So, it'd be one of them.

Do you already have an impression of Switzerland and the Swiss, if so what is it?

The main thing British people get told about Switzerland is that it's very expensive. I'm going to try and prepare for that. I'm saving up all my money and hope to be able to buy a beer. I've also been told that all your banks have holes in them and that a lot of wealthy people keep their money in your cheeses.

If you had to choose a favourite city, Zurich or Basel?

Zurich. I'm not just saying this because I won't be in Basel during my stay. Zurich all the way. I refuse to travel to Basel because of how much I love Zurich.

How do you see more of Ian Smith?

Come see him headline our premier show "The Big Comedy Kiss with Ian Smith" on the 8 of March in Zurich.

Can't make it?

Check him out on his socials for more dates and shows here: Ian Smith.

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