We asked our NextUp members to come up with some questions for the lovely Tiernan Douieb. Check out his answers below.
1. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get better at compering?
Firstly, do it lots. Boring as that is, the more comfortable you are with talking to people, the easier it is.
Secondly, if you ask someone a question, keep asking them questions till you find comedy. Don’t give up ‘cos you can’t think of anything. You’re the compere, the audience will give you the time.
Thirdly, the show isn’t about you. It’s about the acts. Don’t overrun or hog the stage. Make sure you get the crowd warmed up so they’re really damn nice to whoever you’re welcoming on stage.
Fourthly, remember all the act’s names that you’re going to welcome on. Ask them how to pronounce it if you’re not sure. Make the microphone stand their height
Lastly, don’t listen to advice from idiots like me, it’s highly likely by doing the first step you’ll find your own better way and then steal all my work.
2. If you were to start a cult, what would it be called and what would it’s top three comandments be?
1) Thou shalt do very little at all.
2) No, do even less than that.
3) No, I didn’t mean fewer.
3. Who would be your double act partner if you could choose anyone (alive or dead) and why?
Jimi Hendrix, dead. That way he’d still sell tickets for the show but wouldn’t upstage me.
4. What’s your best tip for budding comedians?
Don’t push it all the way into your ear or it can cause an infection. Oh sorry, I see what you mean now. There’s loads but one I always found useful very early was after a pretty grim death at a pretty big comedy club, a more experienced act saw how shook I was as I walked offstage and just said ‘what you gonna do? Kill yourself?’ I said no and he said ‘exactly. Its only 10 minutes of your life. They won’t remember it tomorrow, neither should you. Get on with the next gig.’ Pretty straight up but sometimes that clarity really helps.
5. What has been your biggest comedic struggle so far?
Trying to get anyone to pay me on time.
6. What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened to you during a gig?
Either Gillian Anderson shaving my back using hummus, having to follow Robin Williams, or the time I found out the man that I’d heavily criticised for not wanting to start the applause only had one hand and then the rest of the gig didn’t go so well.
7. What’s your top life hack?
The most effective life hack is an axe.
psst… want more Tiernan?
Watch his stand-up comedy special on NextUp – a digital come club with over 100 stand-up comedy specials for your stream wherever, whenever.
8. Somebody asks ‘How do I be funny?’ In terms of craft – what would you recomend…
Doing it loads. Also getting older and caring less. Also heavy amounts of crack. Ok not the last one. Much.
9. Can stand-up comedy change the world?
Nope. But it can help people laugh about the awful state of it, rather than cry. And then after laughing, they can go change it because they feel all a bit happier.