Feature: GETTING TO KNOW…Joby Mageean | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Comedian Joby Mageean is now firmly established as one of the most popular names in the North East comedy scene. An act who can go from beautifully written gags, to songs, to stories that weave in big laughs, to being a wonderfully jovial and welcoming host; he’s an act whose comedy career is definitely on the rise. We caught up with the comic for a chat on comedy, inspiration, running gigs and more…

How’s comedy life treating you?
Brilliant and awful as usual, luckily it’s getting to be a bit more brilliant and a lot less awful, but the highs and lows are still there. I just did a paid weekend at the Stand, which were three of my favourite gigs ever, then a few days later I had a gig pulled and then paid £100 for a round trip to do an unpaid 5 minute spot in Derby. It’s nice though, keeps me on my toes.

How did you get started in comedy?
When I was 15 years old I had to do an English presentation for school, I decided to do an atheist rant about the flaws of Christianity because I was 15 and full of opinions. I also tried to make it funny, so in preparation I went to a comedy club at The Chillingham (née The Chilli Arms) to watch some live comedy. I was sat in the audience and the host John Scott noticed me and instantly started making fun of the fact that i was clearly not old enough to be in the pub. After the gig I went up to John Scott and told him about my presentation, he invited me to come along and perform it the next month, luckily a couple of weeks before my gig i bottled my rant and wrote some dick jokes instead.

What inspires you most?
My Dad, He is a folk singer and an avid gigger. He is 68 years old and gigs more than I do; he is genuinely the most committed and wonderful person I know and would travel to the end of the earth to help someone out or do a guest spot in some folk club above a pub. His dedication to his craft is truly inspiring.

As corny as it sounds, I really just want to make people laugh, like really laugh.

What makes you laugh?
I love stories, my favourite comedians are the ones that have the confidence to tell long anecdotes and are not worried that every line is peppered with laughter. Dave Allen is a personal favourite of mine, he used to tell ghost stories that were about 5 minutes long and wouldn’t have a joke until the very end. To have that ability to have a whole audience listening to every word allows you to get such a big pay off of laughter.

Where do you want to take your comedy career?
As corny as it sounds, I really just want to make people laugh, like really laugh. I did a gig once and it was going fine, probably a little worse than fine if I was to be completely honest, but there was this one guy who was just doubled over laughing, he was red in the face and had tears in his eyes and he was just shaking and chuckling hysterically. It got to the point where the audience were noticing this guy creasing himself and started to laugh more every time he did, it snowballed until there was about 30 seconds where I couldn’t even say anything because the whole audience were all laughing at each other. Whenever people ask me what my favourite gig ever is, I always think of that moment.

What’s your favourite thing about gigging?
I love watching other comedians, and seeing what they have come up with. It’s like everyone is telling their own story on stage and are conveying their own personality to the audience.

And least favourite?
Paying  £100 for a round trip to do an unpaid 5 minute spot in Derby.

What do you get up to away from comedy?
I work as a live actor in The Alnwick Garden, I play the Big Bad Wolf, I also volunteer for a hospital radio station called Radio Lollipop as a presenter, because I guess I didn’t feel like I had enough opportunities to show off. Other than that I feel I am mainly washing dishes and listening to podcasts.

It’s a little ramshackle, but I love it, the comedians stand on a wooden pallet with a microphone plugged into an old guitar amp whilst people drink cans of beer they’ve bought from the Tesco opposite. It’s like a comedy squat.

You’re running the LOL for Lollipop charity gig soon, tell us more about that and who you’ve got on?
It’s a comedy night  to raise money for the aforementioned Radio Lollipop. They are a wonderful charity who provide play comfort and care to children in Hospitals, the volunteers are just amazing, I feel like I just muck about on the radio but there are hundreds of unpaid volunteers who go on ward rounds entertaining children and spreading joy during very difficult times for families. The money we raise will go straight to buying games, toys and other resources to help children in hospital. We have a fantastic line up of brilliant comedians including; Ben CromptonLost Voice GuyNicola Mantalios LovettThe Mimic Men and more..most of whom are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts to help out the charity, I have been amazed by the support I’ve had so far and it’s shaping up to be a brilliant night. Tickets are just £5 and the gig will be at the Hancock pub on the 28th of June (my birthday) at 8pm!

You’re also the man behind Mr Shindig’s at True Coffeehouse, how have those gigs been?
Wonderful! It’s a lovely little ridiculously hipster vegan cafe in Heaton. the venue holds about 30 people comfortably and we cram 40 in there every month. It’s a little ramshackle, but I love it, the comedians stand on a wooden pallet with a microphone plugged into an old guitar amp whilst people drink cans of beer they’ve bought from the Tesco opposite. It’s like a comedy squat. I try to have something different every month like a different theme or activity.. but it’s always fun! And free!

What’s up next for you?
At the moment I am in Manchester preparing for my heat for the BBC new comedy award. I have had a look at the line-up and there is literally not a chance I will get through so I’m just looking forward to performing in front of a big crowd. Other than that I am happy just plodding along. I love what I do and the friends that I have made. The people I have met through comedy are so incredibly lovely and warm and I am so happy to be surrounded by such great characters.

You can see Joby Mageean and more at LOL for Lollipop at The Hancock Pub, Newcastle on Tuesday 28th June.

Like this story? Share it!