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COMEDIAN & FILM STAR DAVE JOHNS Q&A

Published : 16/May/2017

In 1989, when alternative comedy was still a novelty, DAVE JOHNS stirred up the North East comedy scene when he started a comedy club in the Tyne Theatre Bistro. He hadn't had much training for the job because there wasn't any.

Having got the place up and running, Dave was thrown in at the deep end as compère, introducing up-and-coming comedians like Jo Brand, Jack Dee and Bill Bailey. Then in 1991, Dave bit the bullet and went on stage as a stand-up himself. Despite a stammer, Dave took to the laughter business and became something of a comedians' comedian. Bill Bailey and Sean Lock have put their admiration on record. Another comedian who used Dave's comedy club as a springboard was Ross Noble who, as a 15-year-old, did an open mic slot. 

More recently, Dave was cast by director Ken Loach as the lead in his acclaimed film I, Daniel Blake. The film has won a host of international film awards, and a BAFTA for 'Outstanding British Film'. After all that, a bit of Question and Answer was no bother at all...

WHAT CAN AUDIENCES EXPECT FROM YOUR SHOW?
"I hope they come and experience laughter. There can be few things better than sitting in a theatre laughing with others."

WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE YOU WANTED TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH? 
"Just before you realise someone is going to hit you, that is probably the best time to make them laugh."

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED SO HARD THAT YOU CRIED? 
"At the Montreal Comedy Festival Gala 16 years ago. I was at the side of the stage with other British comics watching Johnny Vegas die the most hilarious spectacular death in front of three thousand Canadians. They just looked at him with blank faces and in deathly silence, it went on for 15 minutes. I was at side of the stage and I wept with laugher it was so funny... I couldn't breathe."

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR COMEDY CAREER SO FAR?
"There have been some great moments. One of the best was in New Zealand, on stage improvising with five other comics. At one point all the comics on stage were laughing and 2,000 people in the theatre were laughing and no one was speaking. Now that was magic."

YOU CO-WROTE THE STAGE PRODUCTION OF THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION IN 2015. YOU WON AT HATFUL OF AWARDS FOR I, DANIEL BLAKE. YOU CO-FOUNDED THE COMEDIANS BENEVOLENT FUND TO HELP STRUGGLING COMICS. HOW WOULD THESE LOOK ON YOUR OLYMPIC STYLE PODIUM, GOLD, SILVER & BRONZE? 
"Gold = I, Daniel Blake.
Silver = Setting up the Comedians Benevolent Fund. 
Bronze = Winning BAFTA for Oustanding Britsh Film."

CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF?
"I have an artificial leg with a real foot on the end."

ON THE MORNING OF THE BAFTA'S, WE'RE TOLD THAT YOU TILED AND GROUTED YOUR KITCHEN AND AFTER HEARING ABOUT THIS AT THE CEREMONY, FILM LEGEND MEL BROOKS ASKED YOU FOR A QUOTE. IS THIS TRUE AND HOW MUCH DID YOU QUOTE HIM?
"Yes I quoted him £60 an hour he said Ryan Gosling quoted him $40. He'll go for Gosling's quote, I just know it."

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS, WHO WOULD THEY BE?
"Isabelle Huppert, Boy George (he's funny) and my daughter, she's great company."