About the blog

Interviews, advice, essays and opinion direct from the UK comedy scene.

Comedy Knights supply fun, affordable, professional comedy events.

You can check out our main website here

Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian of 2015 Finalist JULIE OLIVER

InterviewPosted by Bobby Carroll Tue, August 11, 2015 09:54:26

What area of London do you currently live in or most associate yourself with?

I’m originally from Gants Hill, so outer London. Louise Weiner from Sleeper and Penny Lancaster (Rod Stewart’s wife) all went to my school. Hard acts to follow.

How would you describe your act in five words?

Quirky, observational, quite flight based.

How long have you been doing comedy?

I did my first tentative gig in December 2011.

What is your day job?

Marketing Officer for Komedia Brighton, which is excellent as I am surrounded by comedy all the time.

What has been your worst job?

My first job when I moved to Brighton was advertising boilers. The boilers were great compared to the vile specimen of a human that was my boss. Think big fish in a small pond with cankles and a massive chip on her shoulder.

Why do you love comedy?

I always loved the ability of comedy to take an ordinary situation and see the farcical in it. If you’re worried about something a good stand-up comic can really take you out of yourself for the time you’re watching them. If I’m feeling stressed, instead of relaxing music I tend to stick a Father Ted on.

Who are your heroes?

Harry Hill, Steve Coogan, Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews, Rebecca Front, June

Whitfield, Terry Scott, Matt Berry, Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Julian Barratt, Yootha Joyce,

Zoe Lyons and Simon Amstell.

What made you bite the bullet and start performing?

I was in a counselling session for anxiety (not the funniest anecdote). I was much better and I think we’d run out of things to talk about after a few months, but I’d paid up front so kept going. Somehow between us we conjured up the idea that maybe I should try stand up as I loved it so much. I googled courses in Brighton (I would never have known where to start otherwise) and it went from there.

What was your first gig like?

Fine…there were only 8 people to disappoint. It was a tiny pub in Brighton, with mainly friends in the audience.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Anytime I get to the final of a competition I’m really excited as it makes me think I must be doing something right, and I am quite proud of myself. So getting through to the Comedy Knights final is brilliant.

What has been your favourite gig?

Comic Boom at Komedia is always a great gig. By the second time I did Boom I was extra nervous as I worked at Komedia by then and my new colleagues were in the audience. Somehow despite the nerves I had a really great gig in front of 296 people.

And describe your worst?

A restaurant in Shoreham for someone’s 50th. No-one told the guests there was comedy. They were tired, had finished their meal and wanted to go home, and then the 3 of us bumbled on. I think people had their head in their hands at some point during my set.

Weirdest heckle?

I mention Marilyn Monroe in my set and someone shouted out that she’d had loads of miscarriages but never had a child.

What is the best thing about being a comedian?

When the whole room is laughing, everything works and you can see people really get what you’re trying to say. It’s a great feeling to know that your presence has contributed to a good night of comedy (as opposed to hindering it).

What is the biggest lesson you've learnt?

You can’t please all of the people all of the time. If you’ve got a crowd that loves knob gags they may not get a quirky Essex girl talking about Concorde. If you’re pleasing some of the people some of the time you might be onto something. If you’re never pleasing anyone at all, maybe it’s not for you.

Where do you hope to be in ten years with your comedy?

I really do take each day at a time, from the comedy course, to the first gig, to entering competitions. I’d love to make a living out of it, but there are a few stages to go before I get to that.

Any other aspirations?

I would like to know that every single person that has ever dumped me or upset me hears that I am doing well at comedy and looking great! Apart from that I would like to have a glass of wine with Steve Coogan and appear on a bill with Harry Hill. Is that too much to ask?

What's your favourite joke by another act or from your childhood?

Harry Hill – War memorials, they’re to remember the war dead. Of course that was before they invented post it notes.

JULIE OLIVER // // @JulesOliverCom