Fringe comedy debut: Matt Okine

  • The List
  • 31 July 2013

This article is from 2013

Fringe comedy debut: Matt Okine

The comedian appears for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut?
I was told not to mention the 16 rare Columbian Red Crested Tree Rats that I plan to sell on the burgeoning Scottish animal black market, as I make my way through customs. Good tip, that.

What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice?
My dad told me I should join a gym for a month while I was there. Hahaha. Give that man a Foster’s Comedy Award!

Imagine this is September: looking back at August, what would constitute a successful Fringe?

Having a fully-functioning liver, no criminal record, and enough money to buy a hovercraft.

In krugerrands, how much do you expect to lose during the Fringe?

I just had to google krugerrands. That’s South African money. Are you asking me about African money because I’m black? That’s racist. How much do you expect to lose in the law suit I’m filing against you as we speak … ?

Back in the old days, there used to be a thing called ‘the festival shag’. Is this ancient tradition likely to play any part in your thinking during August?
I got the most fully hottest girlfriend in the world back home in Australia, so ‘the festival shag’ won’t exist in my thinking. Unless Rose from The Golden Girls happens to be at the Fringe. We both agreed she could be my celebrity free pass.

Back in the old days, comedians would drink alcohol solidly for a whole month and still manage to get out and do their show every day: how much are you likely to imbibe per day?
I have been training for this month my whole life. Drinking at the Fringe is a marathon, not a sprint. And just like in a marathon, I am going to be grabbing any cup that’s handed to me from the side of the road, half-drinking it/half-pouring it all over my face, and then throwing the cup away as I continue running.

What qualities do you expect from a Fringe venue?
I expect it to be hot and stinking of a previous audience’s sweat, with limited fire exits and poor ventilation. Also, if I can hear another show going on next door, that’d be ideal.

Will you read your reviews before your run is over and if so, how do you think they will affect you as a comedian and as a human being?
Reading reviews is like reading your horoscope. If it’s good, you feel great. If it’s shit, you spend the whole day thinking you’re going to die. They’re all fake anyway. Best to just skip that page and pretend you’re smart by doing the medium Sudoku.

Next year, will you consider returning as a double act?
Yeah, it’ll be me, and the big bag of money that I make from this year’s festival. It’s going to be a musical act. Lots of jingles.

If you are in a double act, will you consider returning solo next year?
Are you saying I should be in a double act? Please stop putting doubts into my mind, I’m not too fragile for this shit.

Do you undertake any superstitious rituals before going on stage?

I like to do some air boxing. Seriously. I find it gives me lots of energy in my body parts, and also prepares me in case shit gets real with a disgruntled punter after the show.

If you were about to perform at the Fringe for your tenth year, where would you expect your career to be at that point?
To be honest, I’d just be happy that I’m still playing in the biggest and best festival in the whole world. And as far as venues go, I wouldn’t mind which arena I was playing in, as long as there’s no brown M&Ms in my green room, and a place to park my hovercraft.

Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, 3–26 Aug, 6pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £7.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 Gala - Matt Okine

Matt Okine: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t

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Soho Theatre and Century Entertainment. Winner, Best Newcomer, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012. Award-winning comic Matt Okine is black, likes chicken and make his Edinburgh debut off the back of a massive year of recognition around the world. One of the most exciting comics to emerge from Australia in recent…