This month I interviewed Lloyd Griffith, a chubby ex-choir boy backstage. John Robins and Tom Toal were in the room as well, eating burgers and chips and occasionally contributing.
Me: Starting off simple, how did you get into comedy?
John Robins (From behind): He realised singing was g**.
Lloyd: (Undeterred) I just used to go to comedy clubs in London. I went to Lee Hurst’s Backyard comedy club and the Comedy Store.
John Robins: (Laughing immaturely) He ***ked a dog to death.
Lloyd: (Jokingly to John) Can you shut up, mate? And I just loved to watch it; I think the first gig I went to was Milton Jones, Mickey Flanagan…
John Robins and Tom Toal shout jovial obscenities.
Lloyd: Can you ignore that?
Me: It probably won’t pick up anyway.
Lloyd: Yeah, I hope the audience outside don’t either. The first proper gig I went to in London was Milton Jones and Mickey Flanagan and seeing the reactions they were getting I was like ‘This is incredible’. I went to clubs for a further two years and then decided that ‘I want to do comedy, I want to be one of these guys’ and it’s great, it’s great. It’s a job.
Me: What did you have to do to pursue that?
John: He had to **** a lot of goats!
Lloyd: I just applied, I went to a few open mic nights and saw what the standard was and realised you can just have five minutes at the start, you don’t have to do it for long. I went away for a few months, wrote five minutes and entered a few competitions and it all went on from there really.
Me: Are you glad that you decided to go into comedy?
John Robins and Tom Toal laugh hysterically.
Me: (Lauging) Do you regret anything? If that’s not a personal question.
Lloyd: (Smiling) Why do you say that after I’ve just done a set?
John Robins: Maybe you should just ask him what he doesn’t regret.
Lloyd: No, I don’t. It’s the best job in the world. When they laugh. Yeah, I love it. Absolutely no regrets. So for me, and I think I can speak for the other comedian and compere in the room, it is the best job in the world. Would you agree, guys?
John Robins: Yeah.
Tom Toal remains silent due to the food in his mouth.
Lloyd: Right, that’s fifty percent then.
Me: (Looking at my question sheet. Efficiency!) Err… You’ve already answered that. Who are your favourite or least favourite comedians?
Lloyd: Favourite, I‘d say…
John Robins: Danny La Rue!
Lloyd: There are a few…
John Robins: Julian Clary.
Lloyd: Michael Barrymore, I used to watch him on Strike it Lucky. He was really good. Jim Davidson, because of that Snooker program. I loved him. And Matthew Kelly from Stars in their Eyes. To me they’re all great stand-ups in their own right.
Me: Any modern ones that people at my college would actually have heard of?
Lloyd: Well they need to google those comedians because they are great. Modern ones, Darren Maskell. I like Romesh Ranganathan. Terry Alderton, Lee Mack, Sean Lock. That’s it really. Oh yeah, comedians I don’t like, John Robins, obviously.
Me: Are you one of those comedians in the ‘Hate Michael McIntyre club’?
Lloyd: No, not at all. I have no reason to hate him, he’s funny at what he does. I think a lot of the people that hate him did gigs with him in the past when they were on the same level and that there are reasons people hate him, not just jumping on the bandwagon. But he’s a very funny man and he’s opened doors for a lot of comedy and comedians. Yeah. I by no means hate him.
Me: Yeah, I don’t see why people hate him either.
John Robins: Who hates Michael McIntyre?
Me: (Struggling to remember more than one) Er… Hugh Dennis.
Lloyd: There are reasons why people hate him, but I have no reason to. Before I started doing comedy I saw him at the comedy store and he was very funny. You know, what he’s done for comedy…
John Robins: I’ve gigged with him three times.
Lloyd: John Robins has gigged with him a few times, there you go.
Me: And lastly, what with Global Warming, the Recession and the possibility of Mitt Romney actually being elected do you think the world is doomed?
Lloyd: Er… No.
Me: That’s good to know. Thanks for your time.
Compere for the evening John Robins (Left) and comedian Tom Toal (Right)