How did you get into stand-up comedy?
I was living in Switzerland and feeling homesick. The thing I missed most from the UK was the humour. A friend of mine was really kind and he took me to an English speaking comedy show. It was pretty bad. When we came out, he asked me if we think we can do better. I responded "We can't do worse, so we should probably try". We did and the rest is history.
Where do you get your inspiration for your material?
I write about whatever the topics are that occupy my life. At the beginning, I wrote a lot about my Swiss cultural observations, then I moved to writing about my former relationship when it was going through problems and since then I've been writing a lot about relationship psychology and sexuality. This is sometimes hard because it's super personal and not always very relatable, but it's important to me. Though I also do a lot of spontaneous stuff based on what the audience gives me.
How do you deal with hecklers or a tough audience?
To be honest, this is not really a problem in Switzerland. The Swiss are so polite and kind and the expats are just so happy that someone is finally making them laugh.
What is the funniest or most memorable moment you've had on stage?
It's either one of the times I've bombed and no one has laughed. That really hurts. Or it's one of the amazing audience interactions I've had. I had one show in Basel where we had a hyper functioning autistic eleven year old girl in the front row. She was amazing. She kept shouting out the most hilarious additions to my crowd work that I ended up giving her a microphone and incorporating her into the show. it was hilarious!
What's been the highlight of your career as a stand-up comedian so far?
I just feel so blessed after every successful show. It's amazing to walk away having earned money for making people laugh. It feels so natural to me and so much part of who I am. So it feels like I am just being paid for being me, which is incredibly affirming.
Do you already have an impression of Switzerland and the Swiss, if so what is it?
Ha ha..I've been here for 13 years. You'd best come join our shows to find out. What I can say, is that my view has been changing slightly as I have begun to recognise and understand the subtle ways in which the Swiss actually show love and joy. It also helps that I now understand Klingon.
If you had to choose a favourite city, Zurich or Basel?
Zurich! I live here.
How do you see more of Shane?
Shane hosts all our big shows and the majority of our open mics. The next one is on the 19th May.