Stuart Goldsmith was one of two contestants to leave Show Me The Funny on Monday before this Thursdayâs live final. OTB spoke to him and discussed the darker side of his comedy, advice from Johnny Vegas and who he thinks will win the series.
Hi Stuart, how you doing?
Hi mate, I’m good, how are you?
I’m not so bad thank you. Talk us through how you feel your last performance on the show went…
I was fairly pleased with it. I honestly think that we all did work we can be proud of in that semi-final, under the most intense pressure on the show so far. Obviously, I’m disappointed it wasn’t good enough to get me through, but such is the nature of comedy competitions.
Were you surprised to have been voted off?
I’m very risk adverse, so every time I got called in for feedback I’d assume âthis is it, you’re for the chopâ? so I’d always try to prepare myself for it. I was pleased it really came down to the wire with me and Tiff- she’s a really excellent comic so if I had to go, I’m glad they lost some sleep over it.
Are you kicking yourself for playing it safe, in the words of Jason Manford?
I’ll be honest, I’m not. I made the right decision on the night, but obviously you only get to see a tiny fraction of the thought process behind that. The specific bit of material I was referring to, that halfway through the week I thought would really stand out, actually on reflection works best in an hour long show, like the one that I wrote last year. I think I’m still right, and am not losing sleep over not doing it because I think it would have been really weird to chop it up out of context. I actually did use some more provocative stuff on the night which you didn’t see.
Did you find the allotted ten minutes to perform too limiting then?
No, I’m used to doing ten minute sets and it’s always a case of banging as much stuff out as you can in that time. But I was taken aback when they asked us to do five of your best. That wasn’t something that I expected at all. When I write longer work, my stuff seems to come across as a bit of an essay. To take an existing five minutes and put it next to five minutes of new stuff I think is very difficult. The main problem I had was that I didn’t connect with Blackpool- no childhood memories etc. When I make comedy, I want to make a personal connection with the thing I’m talking about, but in a way I drew a bit of a blank with Blackpool.
You mention that you have darker, filthier material that you didn’t use. Is there another side to you that we didn’t see?
Yeah, I think so. Because that was a story I told last year upwards of 50 times, I was a little bit bored of talking about it having been through it quite a lot. I therefore thought on reflection that it was old material that wasn’t fresh and exciting to me anymore, and therefore it wasn’t right to use it on the night. If anyone wants to see a bit more of this side of me though at one of my longer shows, I certainly wouldn’t turn them away!
What have you got planned for the future then?
I’ve got a lot on reall, bits and bobs of other exciting projects that I’m not allowed to say anything about, broadcasting on soundcloud, and in October, after a deserved holiday, I’m going to start writing next year’s Edinburgh shows. The plan was to come to Edinburgh this year to do three hour long shows and see where to go after that. Now I’m two thirds of the way through them, they’re going really well so I’m looking forward to writing the next set.
Well good luck with the final show! What have you learnt from your experience on SMTF then?
It certainly helped me sharpen up my writing ability. In the show I’m currently doing at the moment in Edinburgh a fellow comedian friend of mine came to see it and said what he really admired about it was that every time there was a gap, I’d put a joke in there, and I really think SMTF really helped with that. It really gave me a lot more confidence in my ability to create jokes out of thin air which at the end of the day is what it’s all about. Some of the feedback from the judges was really interesting, particularly from Johnny Vegas, who’s incredibly intelligent, far more than you see in his performances. To get someone who’s expert/genius level at comedy have a proper one to one with me about what I do and why was absolutely fascinating, very stimulating.
There seems to be a fantastic bond between the contestants. Do you think you’ll stay in touch with anyone?
Well some of them I was in touch beforehand, like Tiff and Pat, but people like Dan and Ellie I’d never met before but became very close friends with throughout the show. I certainly hope to keep in contact with them all. Alfie in particular I love, and I’m so gutted that he didn’t get further on. He’s relatively new, but is such a good writer and has so much potential. Alfie was always the person to give the bare honest truth about a performance when someone came of stage, and that’s a really appealing characteristic. I think we will hear a lot more from him.
Who do you think will win the show?
Patrick Monahan by a landslide. Tiff is excellent and Dan is very imaginative and exciting, but Patrick has an indefinable man-of-the-people quality. He walks into a room and every one falls in love with him. We’d get the train to a gig and he’d have met everyone in the carriage- that is an irresistible characteristic and it shines off during his act. I’d be staggered if he didn’t win by a landslide in a public vote. However, I think the real winner years from now will be Ellie, as up until now there havenât been any funny models – now there are. It will be interesting to see if she needs to work anymore comedy clubs, or if TV just goes BANG!
Time will tell! Thanks for talking to me, all the best for the future.