Interview: Chris McCausland
The comedian discusses his blindness ahead of gigs at Highlight, Glasgow and the Fringe
This article is from 2011.
As Rudi, the ever jovial market-stall owner, Chris McCausland cut a fine dash across CBeebies screens in Me Too! With Big Time, his upcoming Fringe show at the Pleasance Courtyard, he’s back reflecting upon childish things by wondering how time seems to speed up the older you get. When he was a kid, days and months took forever, but now life is an endless parade of birthdays, tax forms and gigging up and down the country.
As Britain’s foremost blind comic, McCausland has probably had to work harder than most to achieve stand-up success. ‘Logistically, I’ve needed to be more committed to doing comedy than some people; the travel is a pain for one thing. I may stick in people’s mind as the blind guy but you’re not going to get a gig at the Comedy Store unless you can do the job and you’ve got to go through the same hoops to prove that you’re at the same level as Stephen K Amos or Terry Alderton.’
While McCausland’s comedy rarely tackles his own disability, he can’t help but have opinions on the controversies which have erupted over the past couple of years, such as Frankie Boyle’s Harvey material and Jimmy Carr’s gag about maimed soldiers. ‘It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, there are cheap jokes and there are clever jokes,’ says McCausland. ‘I won’t avoid a specific subject; I’ve got stuff about race that is clever enough so that the only people who get offended by it are the white people in the room. I don’t think disability should be out of bounds because when it comes down to it, disabled people are the first ones to have a go at themselves; you have to have a sense of humour because a lot of awkward, tricky, uncomfortable situations will happen to you and you have to be able to laugh them off.’
Highlight, Glasgow, Fri 22 & Sat 23 Jul. See edfringe.com for full details on Big Time.