Al Pitcher - Phil Kay My Comedy Hero

Al Pitcher: 'Have you ever seen a comedian try to capture lightning in a bottle? Go and see Phil Kay. I first saw him at the Red Rose Comedy Club in London. I hadn’t tried comedy at the time and was greeted by the strange pre-show sight of a bearded and long-haired Jesus-style janitor mopping the club’s floor, ordering my friends and I to lift our feet. It was even stranger to see that very cleaner onstage as the headline act an hour later.

He was incredible, but not all the audience agreed. That night I sat in awe at his risk-taking and innovative improvising. Most comics have tricks to get them out of sticky situations. Phil Kay does not. He simply continues on his freewheeling journey in the hope he can discover the diamond, and for me he always does. He’s taught me so much over the years and even became my friend. If you stay original, great moments can be found in any comedy show.

Yes there’s another more well known P Kay doing comedy and you can quote ‘garlic bread’ all you want, but with my P Kay you only remember the shows for yourself. Trying to explain how he recreated a whole wedding, sang a song for each row as they left or rode a bicycle down a flight of stairs often just gets blank stares as you retell it. Maybe you have been there – but with Phil Kay I don’t want to not be there.'

The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 23 Feb; The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 24 Feb; Jongleurs, Glasgow, Fri 27 & Sat 28 Feb.

The List - Issue 623

Brian Donaldson