Meet Luca Cupani our opener in February
Updated: Feb 22
How did you get into stand-up comedy?
It happened almost by chance: I moved to London from Italy in 2014 and my initial plan was to become an actor (I trained as an actor in Italy). Unfortunately, I found out very soon that my Italian accent and my not-so-Mediterranean appearance didn't make me very castable, but I missed being on stage and a friend told me about the open mic circuit, where without agent or any previous experience anyone can book a 5 minutes spot and try his luck on stage.
I googled "best open mic in London" and I booked a spot at the famous Gong Show at the Comedy Store, the best (and most brutal) open mic in the UK. It's a competition, you need to manage to "beat the gong" i.e. don't get booed off stage before 5 minutes. Surprisingly, I won it and that's how I started comedy!
Where do you get your inspiration for your material?
I try to get inspiration from everything: sometimes it is easier, because something very interesting happens and it only feels natural to talk about it and exploit the funniness in it. Sometimes it starts from my brain, maybe I have a silly thought, a bit surreal, and then I try to see if it can be interesting or funny.
What is your writing and performance process like?
I don't write much, although I'm now trying to force myself to write something, anything every day, to practice my English. Usually, if I have some raw material that could become funny, I write down a list, a bullet point, a few words on my phone. Sometimes I first try it in a conversation with friends, without telling them, although they usually find out...
And then I go to some new material night and I have a look at my bullet points and try to see how it might work. In my experience there is a huge difference between a joke and the performance of that joke: even a very good joke can be ruined by a poor delivery, as I found out many times. When I try my new material I also want to find out whether there are laughter and whether they happen where I was expecting them.
How do you deal with hecklers or a tough audience?
I'm a clean and soft spoken comedian, so luckily I never had to deal with proper hecklers (they can see that I'm not much of a challenge), but sometimes there are audience members who won't stop talking throughout my set. In those cases, if I can I try to ignore them, but if they are loud I just try to address the problem in a light way: for example, I stop and say "I can hear voices" or something like that. Usually it works.
What is the funniest or most memorable moment you've had on stage?
Hopefully it will be in my next gig! So far the funniest one was when, in London, I introduced myself, at the very beginning of my set, by saying "My name is Luca and I'm Italian" and a lady stood up and said "No, you're not Italian" and another lady stood up and said "I think he is" and they started arguing among themselves about whether I was Italian or not.
Do you already have an impression of Switzerland and the Swiss, if so what is it?
I've been to Switzerland a few times and I am always fascinated by the beauty of the scenery: lakes, mountains, tidy villages... but I have the feeling that you need a very dark sense of humour to balance all that beauty.
If you had to choose a favourite city, Zurich or Basel?
That's a difficult question, because I have friends both in Basel and Zurich and they are both amazing cities... if I had to choose I would stay neutral, like Switzerland ;)
How do you see more of Luca?
Come see Luca Cupani open our premier show "The Big Comedy Kiss with Jake Lambert" on the 23rd February in Zurich and on the 24th February in Basel.
Can't make the show?
Check him out here on youtube and click on his linktree to see where else you can follow him.