Gareth Richards took his third solo show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, after being nominated for Best Newcomer in the 2010 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
When did you first realise you were funny?
I’ve always tried to deal with social situations with humour which often did not work. I can remember a lot of stony silences. But making someone laugh always seemed like the best thing in the world.
The first person I remember making laugh as a child was a friend of mine called Mark. I used to make him laugh by throwing myself off a wall. It felt brilliant to make someone laugh uncontrollably. As my act has developed I’ve phased out the slapstick element.
What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?
I would probably be a preacher as I come from a family of church ministers.
I grew up in a world where the person at the front of the room with a microphone was, not only the most important, but spoke on behalf of God.
My dad was a preacher and used to get into trouble for having too many jokes in his sermons.
I often get into trouble for having too many bible verses in my act (this is not true).
Tell us three things that make you laugh.
1. My son Ethan who is three and is extremely funny. We were watching Let’s Dance For Comic Relief and I was telling him when I had met one of the comedians. He said: ‘Shush now.’
2. Chris Brown music videos. How is he allowed to carry on? His latest song is called Fine China about how the girl is ‘irreplaceable’ and ‘collectible’ which is what every lady wants to hear. Every girl wants to be part of a collection. In the video the girl is Chinese. That is clever.
3. The Simpsons. There is always at least one incredibly funny line in The Simpsons.
Tell us a joke.
First the doctor told me the good news – I was going to have a disease named after me. (Steve Martin).
And one from me would be this. When I die, I want my remains to go to my iPad, my iPod and my laptop. I want to be left to my own devices.
Who’s your biggest hero?
Bob Dylan, because he’s always done what he thinks he should do, rather than what everybody else thinks he should do.
· Gareth Richards comes to Portsmouth Guildhall on Thursday from 8pm alongside Lucy Beaumont and MC Paul McCaffrey. Tickets cost £8 (including dinner) from (023) 9282 4355 or portsmouthguildhall.org.uk.