Doorstep Interview: Lee Kyle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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One of the region’s top comedians, Lee Kyle is a very busy boy, but still found time for a little chat with us.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?
My name is Lee Kyle, I’m a stand up comedian. I do bits of writing and podcasting and host kids comedy shows too. I’m from Jarrow but moved to South Shields a year or so ago. Some people might think that that is not a hugely drastic move but I have been able to increase the amount of supermarkets that I can feasibly walk to threefold.

What inspired you to first start doing comedy?
I’d been a wrestler throughout my twenties but saw no future in it and, in reality, had wasted a decade. I’d always wanted to do it for as far back as I can remember, but, not being a go getter, I waited for ages.
Then, for a few days before hitting thirty, I listened to some songs I loved in the nineties and panicked about how long ago they came out.
I realised then that I’d better get a move on if I wanted to talk total rubbish to strangers for a living.

Who/what would you say are your biggest influences?
I used to think I was heavily influenced by Rod Hull, Les Kellett and Frank Sidebottom, all three of whom are, I think, amongst the top comedians of the 20th Century. I don’t know if I am though. I suppose I like messing around and getting into trouble, they were all of that ilk.
My biggest influence is not wanting to go back to a job I hated and was bad at.

What can we expect when we come and see you performing?
I’m not sure.
I don’t mean that I’m some sort of wild man who has no idea what he’s doing and that everything is going to go crazy, I more mean that it’s quite difficult to explain what you do isn’t it?
Like, I could describe loads of other comedians I know in a sentence but I lack the self awareness to be able to it about myself.
I try really hard though. I really want people to laugh at my stuff, I think I’m a decent-ish person and I’m told that comes through.
Yeah, that’s what you can expect, someone who tries his best. I mean, I really can’t do any more than that can I?

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Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?
Certainly! I have my kids show ‘Gunge! – A Show With Gunge In It’ at The Stand on Saturday 28th November at 2pm. It’s the one think I do that I’m absolutely certain is a great show.
It’s a rude, messy, funny game show where two teams of comedians compete in games and the losing team captain gets gunge poured over them. I’m lucky that I know some great comics who are happy to throw themselves head first into the games and I think everyone, adults or kids, loves the show.
Oh, I also host the Stand kids show on the second Sunday of each month, it’s always fun and has a nice regular audience of the kind of kids I’d have loved to have been friends with had I not been too shy at that age.
I’ve not said this to anyone yet but I’m doing my second solo show at The Stand on 7th April. I’m nervous about it; I have much to do…

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a comic?
Really, just doing it and not stopping. I’m normally very much someone who doesn’t bother doing things.
I suppose both doing my show ‘The Ultimate Worrier’ (reviewed here) at The Stand last year and getting a good sized crowd in who seemed to really like it was great. I don’t know how to plug this unsubtly so I’ll just say it. I got the show recorded and it is available to download if anyone wants it!
Deep down though, my biggest achievement is that people let me say things, that I just thought of in my house and jotted down, on a stage and then give me money for it.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your comedy career?
The biggest challenge is mental. I don’t particularly enjoy spending time alone writing or travelling but it’s part of the deal so it has to be done.
There have been some tough gigs of course but they affect you less as time goes on. For the first couple of years a bad gig is devastating, after a while, you still feel dreadful but it is easier to move on from it without thinking you are a total disgrace as a person.

What else have you got planned for the future?
I’m writing a book about my time in wrestling, I was just writing it as a useful writing exercise to get me started in the morning but, and I’m still aghast at this, someone wants to publish it! I don’t know what it’ll be called yet but it should be finished by the end of the year (ish).
Then I think I’m going to get ready for the Edinburgh Fringe, it’ll be my first time taking my own one hour show up, so I will look forward to having my already fragile spirit crushed .

You can see Lee in GUNGE! – A show with gunge in it, Saturday 28th September at The Stand, and his acclaimed one man show Ultimate Worrier is available now.


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