Interview: alternative comedy forerunner Andy de la Tour on returning to stand-up

This article is from 2014

Interview: alternative comedy forerunner Andy de la Tour on returning to stand-up

Photo: Steve Ullathorne

The comedian will be ending a 20 year absence by appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

Andy de la Tour hadn’t performed stand-up for 20 years when he started to feel its pull again. ‘If you don’t do stand-up, you can still get on with your life, but there’s something about it which you miss. It’s the buzz, the adrenaline, the rush. A little bit of the middle-aged feeling of not wanting to just end my life in dressing gown and carpet slippers,’ he laughs.

Back in the early 80s, de la Tour was one of the original comedians on the alternative scene playing the Comedy Store with the likes of Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson and the late Rik Mayall, but in 1990 he left stand-up behind. Then, four years ago, he suddenly decided to try his hand on the New York live scene. ‘I didn’t want to do it in Britain for all sorts of reasons so I thought, “I’ll do it in New York!” It was a mad idea. So without any planning or knowing anything about the scene I just took off to New York with my partner. It turned into a great adventure.’

After returning to the UK, he performed a run at London’s Soho Theatre telling his New York tale and is now bringing the show to Edinburgh, performing here for the first time since 1984. ‘I never thought in a month of Sundays that I would ever go back to the Edinburgh Festival as a stand-up comic. It still feels a little bit strange; a bit scary as well.’

Andy de la Tour: Stand-Up or Die in New York, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 1–25 Aug (not 12), 5pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50). Previews 30 & 31 Jul, £5.

Andy de la Tour Stand-Up or Die in New York

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Gilded Balloon Only two human activities happen in front of a brick wall. Standing at a mic telling jokes or being shot by firing squad. After a twenty year pause from stand-up, Andy de la Tour went to New York to rediscover his comedy roots. This is the story of what happened. Andy was last in Edinburgh 30 years ago with…