Funny but not cruel

Stephen K Amos
Stephen K Amos
Dylan Kelson, above, and Joseph Grout, below, let rip on stage

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After his own BBC2 series – The Stephen K Amos Show – and appearing on BBC One’s Live At The Apollo, Stephen K Amos is back on the road. And, with his new tour, he’s hopping to prove the old adage that laughter is the best medicine.

‘The Best Medicine’ tour kicked-off in January and follows Stephen’s successful 2010 tour which saw him perform to 60,000 people.

Known for his inoffensive, all-inclusive comedy, Stephen says: ‘My brand of comedy is not angry at all. You can be funny without being cruel. I may indulge in some gentle ribbing, but I’ll never attack an easy target. I’m not a fan of having a go at people, particularly people who don’t have a voice. You can have a go at the government or BP, but don’t start singling out individuals.

‘Comedians hold dear the notion of free speech, but you must be able to justify whatever you say on stage. I can’t simply use the get-out clause of, “I’m just telling it like it is”. If I say anything inflammatory, I have to be able to back it up.’

The comedian, who has appeared regularly on The One Show, The Wright Stuff, Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week and Stand Up for the Week, carries that he never resorts to expletives, either. ‘People say, “comics have to be edgy and swear”. But I don’t swear in normal life and I don’t swear on stage. You don’t need to add the F word to bring a joke to life.’

We probed the star a little more.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I never realised I was funny, a tad annoying maybe. A lady called Delphine told me I was funny and to do stand up. Thank god I met her.

What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?

I studied law, so perhaps a criminal barrister. Why? Dressing-up, wearing wigs and showing-off to a captive audience...hello!

Which three things make you laugh?

1. My nephews. Their innocence and laughter takes me back to my own angst-free days.

2. The sitcom Raising Hope. I just discovered it and it made me laugh out loud.

3. People-watching is always a source of laughter, especially those people who don’t have the lever in the brain to stop them from saying whatever is in the brain.

What’s your favourite one-liner?

Knock knock. Whose there? Doctor. Doctor Who.

Does that class as a one liner? Whatever, it’s a joke that made primary school go by quite quickly.

Who’s your hero?

My hero is my dad – a man who worked hard every day to raise and provide for a large family. I never heard him complain and his nickname was Smiley.

See Stephen K Amos at Southampton Guildhall next Saturday, May 14, from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £21.25 from (023) 8063 2601 or livenation.co.uk/southampton.