Published in Issue 140 of ScotsGay Magazine
Tell us about “Always (A Work in Progress)”
This year I wanted to come to the Fringe and try out some new things. For example this year I have a guitar. I know! It’s a show of new ideas and there’s no better place to try out new things than the Fringe.
You perform regularly at The Stand venues. What is it about The Stand that you like?
It’s all about the comedy. That sounds like it should be a given but in some clubs it’s all about the booze. The Stand books quality acts, supports local comics and particularly female acts. The Stand have no problem booking more than one woman a night, which is surprisingly rare. The Stand was the first gig I ever played – they’re more like family now!
It’s seems that you’re never been off the TV or radio in the last couple of years. Which do you prefer or is performing live still your favourite way of working?
I love performing live. There’s no question that the thrill of an audience liking what you’re doing (or hating it) is a huge rush. I love Radio without question and Radio 4 in particular have been a huge supporter of mine for the past few years. I like television shows as well, mostly because someone does my make up and my mother is always happy to see me looking pretty.
After seeing last year’s Edinburgh show, “This Lady’s Not For Turning Either,” I heard several audience members state that they had changed their minds about gay marriage and that they would start to support equality.
That show was important to do as the debate on equal marriage hadn’t yet reached Westminster or Holyrood and I wanted to do what I could to explain what it meant to me. Demystify it if you will. The main thing is to believe what you’re saying. There’s no point in being political for the sake of a soundbite or to seem edgy. Funny first of course, but if you have something to say and you can make a difference I think you should go for it.
How do you feel about the current debate about equal marriage?
I think the public are extremely cool about the whole thing and politicians need to catch up!
Which other comedians inspire you?
Growing up I loved Victoria Wood, Jo Brand and French and Saunders. They still inspire me. In terms of comics that are around just now Sarah Millican has been a friend and inspiration since we first started. Mary Bourke makes me want to write better jokes because she is so damn good and having seen Sarah Silverman live, if I could have an ounce of her charisma I’d die happy.
What was it like growing up gay in Glasgow?
Not the easiest, but then I grew up when the internet wasn’t around. I think it would’ve been easier if I’d known other gay people existed! I had some problems at University and beyond with people who were vastly homophobic but the city has changed a lot and for the better.
Has Glasgow changed much in terms of attitudes to LGBT people?
I think it has. I think that there is an acceptance of the community and I haven’t had any real problems in Glasgow for years. And you can’t get much more out than I am!
You studied Law at Glasgow Uni. How did you get from Law to stand-up comedy?
I had a bit of a crisis. I turned 30 and realised I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I did want to be a stand up comic and had always wanted to be one. I did an open spot at the Stand and loved it so much that 6 months after that I gave up my job. Most people thought I was an idiot.
Do you see yourself as a role model?
Not at all. I do hope though that if there are any people out there, particularly young people, who feel that they don’t fit in or that they don’t think they can be out and honest, that they can see it is possible. I’m not a role model, I’d just let everyone down!
Will you be attending Glasgow Pride?
I’m working when the Pride events are on so I can’t go this year. I have fond memories of Glasgow Pride when a young thing!
Is Jeremy Hardy (co-panellist on Radio 4’s News Quiz) really that grumpy?
Jeremy is the sweetest pudding in the world. He is a total joy.
During Easter this year you presided over an upbeat atheist church service in Glasgow. How did that come about and will you be doing more?
I was asked by Sanderson Jones, who organises it, to take part. The point of the service is to give people who aren’t religious a space to celebrate life. It was a joyous and fun morning and I’d love to do more.
Have you ever been sent any ‘Ferrero Rocher’ by a fan?
Lots. People give them to me after shows. I very much enjoy each and every one.
What’s your ambition for this coming year?
I’m in the middle of various stages of development of sit coms I’ve written. My main ambition is to see one of them make it to the screen,
You deservedly won the Chortle Award for Best MC last year. Which four comedians would be performing on your dream night and who would be the headliner?
Mary Brouke, Bridget Christie, Joe Lycett and Sarah Millican headlining,
How close to the comedian Susan Calman is the real Susan Calman?
Quite close sometimes, very different at other times. My cats know the real me.
|Genres||solo show, stand-up|
|Group||Susan Calman / The Stand Comedy Club|
|Venue||The Stand Comedy Club III & IV|
After a sell-out run in 2012, Susan Calman, (News Quiz, QI and Calman is Convicted) is back with a new show. For 12 nights only Susan will be asking lots of questions. Questions like where is she, what is she doing with her life, and can she put cat wrangler as her occupation on a mortgage application? But will the answers be found in the basement of a comedy club? She hopes so.