Tim Vine: “It was such a bad gig, I walked off stage and came back as Vim Tine” | Arrange

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How did you come to comedy?
I spotted an advertisement in the Stage newspaper announcing a new acting competition at the Comedy Cafe in London. Twelve acts lasted five minutes each and the audience voted for the winner. I started going there every Wednesday.

Who did you admire when you started?
I was inspired by all the artists doing full 20 minute spots when I was just doing five minute unpaid open spots. The list is almost too long to name. It was all the acts that worked on the circuit at that time. Boothby Graffoe, Kevin Day, Lee Evans, Alan Davies, Eddie Izzard, John Moloney, Harry Hill, Jeff Green and many more. The whole comedy circuit inspired me.

Best rowdy?
“Go hang yourself, Blondie.” It reminds me of a time when I had a mop of blond hair.

Do you remember a concert so bad, it’s now funny?
I remember dying on stage and thinking maybe I was going to go back and come back, so I said, “That’s enough of me, now please welcome Vim Tine. ” I walked offstage and came back with my shirt on and just kept dying.

What is your current show about?
Nothing. It’s just a bunch of unrelated nonsense.

All meadowshow rituals?
Yes, I pray a little and if I feel very nervous, say something like: “Your turn, Lord. I’m not sure I can do that because I’m such a scared cat.

What is your process for writing new jokes?
I often hear something that sounds like a punchline, then write the setup afterwards to get me there.

You won the Perrier better newcomer price in 1995. What changed the most in the outskirts of Edinburgh at this time?
Everyone has rejuvenated. They probably didn’t but it looks like it because when I look in the mirror I don’t see a guy in his late twenties anymore.

Comedy heroes and why?
It’s hard to say just one, but I’ll go for Larry Grayson. An absolute, hilarious and weird genius, despite his huge success on shows such as The Generation Game, I think he’s hugely underrated as a comedian. He never made it to those top 100 comedian lists, which is ridiculous.

Who is your non-comic hero?
My father. He had the best approach to life of anyone I know. The model of contentment. Nothing ever really got to him and he also had a very inquisitive mind.

What advice would you like to give to others?
Create something and after doing that, create something else.

Tim Vine: Beep! is at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, until August 28.

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