How did you get into stand-up comedy?
In my first week at university, someone handed me a flyer and asked me if I wanted to join the comedy society. I thought it seemed like fun and 13 years later I am coming to Switzerland to tell some jokes, which is very exciting.
Where do you get your inspiration for your material?
I tend to write quite autobiographical comedy, so a lot of time I just wander around waiting for something to happen to me.
Inspiration is a peculiar thing. You can spend hours in a café trying to figure out a joke and get nowhere and then when you’re in the shower or washing up it will just pop fully formed into your head. You have to tell yourself that if you hadn’t done the writing session you wouldn’t have got the joke, but there is no way of knowing this. Maybe I should just spend more time in showers.
How do you deal with hecklers or a tough audience?
No, on the whole, malicious hecklers are relatively rare and pretty easy to deal with. Often just pointing out the stupidity of what they’ve said is enough to get the audience on your side.
What is the funniest or most memorable moment you've had on stage?
I was in the middle of my show at the Edinburgh Festival when someone’s phone went off. Normally when this happens the audience member is mortified, but this man, dressed impeccably in an expensive suit, told me it was his alarm to remind him he needed to leave my show. He then walked across the stage, handed me a signed picture of Piers Brosnan and walked out of the door.
I think about that strange man at least once a week.
What's been the highlight of your career as a stand-up comedian so far?
A slightly overly sentimental answer, but just being able to do Stand-up for a living is an amazing privilege.
Do you already have an impression of Switzerland and the Swiss, if so what is it?
I don’t have much of an impression of the Swiss beyond broad stereotypes – great chocolate, beautiful mountains, versatile knives and a super place if you want to hide some ill-gotten money from the government.
If you had to choose a favourite city, Zurich or Basel?
In reality I do not have a favourite, but for the sake of this question I will say Basel. I love Basel. What a place Basel is. I cannot get enough of Basel. Basel!
How do you see more of Jonny Pelham?
Come see him headline our premier show "The Big Comedy Kiss with Jonny Pelham" on the 15 of February in Zurich and on the 16th of February in Basel.
Can't make it?
Check him out on his socials for more dates and shows here: Jonny Pelham.