Luke McQueen – 'I only get excited by shows where there's a bit of jeopardy'

This article is from 2017

Luke McQueen – 'I only get excited by shows where there's a bit of jeopardy'

Prankster comic takes on a 'new' identity and raises the stakes on mischief-making comedy at the Fringe

Luke McQueen always goes for the laugh, regardless of the consequences. 'I can't resist,' he tells me over the phone, while pretending to be interrupted by his mother vacuuming. 'Even with shaming myself. And in terms of self-humiliation, if you're in control of it then it's actually not that embarrassing.'

From his #GetSarahBack videos, in which he publicly debased himself to win back the fictional girlfriend he'd supposedly cheated on, to faking a one-time double-act with Jack Whitehall, and his 2014 Fringe stunt of conning a large audience into seeing him after selling them tickets for Frankie Boyle, McQueen has forged a career as one of the UK's most mischievous, risk-taking comedians.

Now, in his latest blithe disregard of the Trade Descriptions Act, he's appropriated the name of a better-known comic who's no longer using it. And since becoming The Boy With Tape On His Face, 'I have been a lot more popular and a lot more people have heard of me. It's an opportunity for me to carry on the brand. And if people get confused and turn up at my show instead of his, I think that's only a good thing for them.'

McQueen does admit that staying funny with his forehead taped up throughout the show will prove a challenge. 'But it's led to me being a bit more inventive. I didn't realise just how much comedians use their foreheads: it's always on show. If you need a frown for a joke, you can't do it anymore. Even rolling your eyes. Without a forehead it looks like you're having a seizure.'

With great ideas, he suggests, 'there's never any reason not to commit to it fully, even if it's potentially going to have a negative effect on you. I can only really get excited by shows in which you don't know what's going to happen, where there's a bit of jeopardy and it feels like an event.'

Luke McQueen: The Boy With Tape on His Face, Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, 3–27 Aug (not 15), 10.40pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.

Luke McQueen: The Boy With Tape on His Face

  • 3 stars

Luke McQueen Heroes / PWYW Award-winning comedian Luke McQueen will attempt to perform stand-up without the use of his forehead. 'His performance is as electrifying as it is disconcerting… raw potency and inspired ideas' ( 'A monstrously overgrown baby that has burst free of its play-pen' (Guardian). 'A…