My Cultural Life: Colin Geddis
The comedian on shelving Barry the Blender, grabbing a shandy with Hunter S Thompson and juggling naked for his granny
What or who first inspired you to choose stand-up comedy as a career?
I have no idea. I was bullied into it by other comedians really, although after making videos and writing sketches for television it is quite liberating to be able to create and say whatever I want onstage. As soon as I did my first gig I was wondered why I hadn't started stand-up sooner.
Stand-up gigs are a comedian's bread and butter. Do you enjoy performing live?
Performing live is great, but sometimes it takes me about ten minutes at the start of my set to explain to people that it's not I Am Fighter live, and that Barry the Blender is not a real person. I like stand-up because there is instant gratification, not like making a comedy video where you don't get to see the audience's reactions first hand.
Producing your own online comedy series, I Am Fighter, was both a brave and intelligent move: it got you noticed.
We didn't really do it to get noticed, we just made it for a laugh and it got fairly popular. It's a good platform to start from as far as comedy goes, because it has created a loyal group of fans who are interested in anything that we do. But there are still a few 'Blender Heads' who don't care what we do, they just want more I Am Fighter.
How would you describe your style of comedy?
I heard someone say 'It's a young man's frustrated views on society and pop culture'. Whatever that means; the guy that said that was probably wearing a trilby. But I would say it's just observational stuff, which usually ends up being fairly crude.
Comedy gigs in Belfast seem to be becoming more sophisticated recently, local comedians more confident and professional. Does it feel that there is a 'scene' at the moment?
There is a scene, for sure. It's now very easy to get started in comedy in Belfast. I've heard people say comedy is the new karaoke, and that everyone is having a go, although I would rather juggle nude in front of my own granny than do karaoke.
Do you think that the local television stations do enough to support Northern Irish comedians?
It is getting better, but I think comedy should be something that you have to go and see live. Comedy on TV is usually watered down, and that often means the comedians have to compromise when it comes to their material, which is something that seems to only happen to comedians.
If you could invite three cultural figures from any era round for dinner, who would they be and why?
Bill Hicks, Doug Stanhope and Hunter S Thompson, and to be honest we'd probably skip dinner and just go for a few quiet shandies.
If you could have written any joke or line from a famous comedy, what would it be?
I would have liked to be the first person to say 'That's what she said!', because it doesn't really make any sense but if it's well timed it's still very funny.
Which comedy series do you keep coming back to for inspiration?
Curb Your Enthusiasm or The Office, because I'm a big fan of 'real' comedy with awkward situations and characters rather than punchy, one-liner sitcoms.
If you were falling out of a plane and had six seconds to scream something that people on the ground would hear before you died, what would it be?
Please look away because this will deeply traumatise you for the rest of your lives!