‘I’d be a swan or a swashbuckler’

Ben Target
Ben Target
India Electric Company

Bringing the country into the city for folk duo India Electric Company's new project

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Shortlisted for the Fosters Comedy Award (formerly the Perrier) and Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe, Ben Target mixes stand-up, clowning and performance art. JODIE JEYNES caught up with him ahead of his Havant Comedy Club show.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I’ve yet to make that realisation.

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

Something magnificent like a swashbuckler or a swan.

At a push, maybe something useful like a proletariat or a can opener.

At school we filled out a form to predict our future. The results were disappointing.

Hoping for time traveller, I ended up with fashionista and haven’t been able to trust forms since.

There’s no playing the lottery, adopting a pet or working in HR for me.

Possibly to society’s detriment, I’ve ended up joining the everlasting ladder climb of culture’s pedestal. The aim: to reach that high plateau of adoration reserved for footballers, karaoke idols and other forms of human chintz.

Name three things that make you laugh.

The universals: nudity, falling over and flatulence.

Can you trust anyone who doesn’t laugh at the basics?

Tell us a joke.


Who’s your biggest hero?

The hero looking back at me in every reflection, but I don’t like to brag about it.

My public relations manager has just pointed out that my zest for answering your questions truthfully makes me sound like a smug git.

She recommends I provide a literal response to your above query.

So, my biggest hero to date is the character Bonnie Grape from the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?.

Her dietary habits, caused by crippling depression, result in her weight being around 35 stone.

She valiantly begins changing her life by climbing the stairs of her house.

Swept up in the sheer determination displayed, this scene left me weeping and hopeful.

She dies immediately (spoiler alert).

In another remarkable feat of heroism, Darlene Cates, the actor, lost around 17 stone.

My second biggest hero is Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who is from Somewhere Over The Rainbow [he’s the large Hawaiian who covered the Wizard of Oz song].

Ben is joined by Romesh Ranganathan, Ellie Young James Sherwood, and compére Joe Wells from 8pm tomorrow at The Spring, Havant.

Tickets cost £9.50 from (023 )9247 2700 or the spring.co.uk