Incoming: Gareth Morinan is the busiest man at the Edinburgh Fringe

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Gareth Morinan

Gareth Morinan on lying to the Treasury, animated pleasures and more... 

Gareth Morinan is doing his debut hour, Truth Doodler, this year. Gareth Morinan is doing three different spoken word shows on something to do with Life's Too Short. Gareth Morinan is part of an improv troupe with Sara Pascoe and Ben Target that's directed by David Shore. Gareth Morinan is hosting some debates on serious topics. Implausibly, Gareth Morinan is only one person.
We sent him some questions and he's somehow found time to answer them. Be sure to see him quick before he works himself into an Edinburgh grave...
What brought you into comedy?
Deep down I’ve always been a comedian, it just took me a while to build up the courage to start doing stand-up. What finally pushed me into it was watching some friends trying stand-up and thinking “I can do better than that”. I think I did.
Describe your act in five words.
Truthful doodles. Insightful data-analysis. Surreal?
What's been the best reaction you've had to your comedy?
After one gig a guy came up to me and said, “I noticed you use the phrase ‘Truth Bomb’. Well I own the URL for Truth Bombs and I don’t use it, you can have it if you like?” There is no greater gift than the gift of intellectual property! Though I’m yet to get round to promoting/building/conceptualising the website.
Who's your biggest fan?
One year in Edinburgh I met this guy who came to about ten of my shows. He started bringing me increasingly odd gifts; condoms, love letters, locks of hair, and the last show he brought me a sample of his blood. Definitely the most committed fan I have. Luckily for me he wasn’t a sexual predator, he was just a bit odd.
What's the toughest lesson you've learnt in comedy?
Probably that nothing really matters as much as you think it will. At the time you expect that a big gig, or a review, or a TV appearance is suddenly going to change everything for you. But next week you’re back at the same clubs performing to an ambivalent crowd of people who have no idea who you are. Basically getting into the industry is like a game of Snakes and Ladder, but the ladders are mostly imaginary (I’m yet to encounter a Snake, but I hear they exist).
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Don’t take everyone’s advice. When you do comedy there are so many people (comedians, audiences, promoters, agents, reviewers) trying to give you tips on what you should do, but at the end of the day it’s all subjective and most of the time they’re wrong. This answer is rubbish for a start.
Show us something fascinating on the internet about you. (That isn't your website/Twitter/'similar'.)
There’s the data analysis of Fringe reviews that I did do. I guess it’s kind of fascinating that anyone would ever bother to do that.
What is your guilty comedy pleasure?
I am actually a big fan of all of Seth MacFarlane’s shows; that’s right I enjoy Family Guy, American Dad AND The Cleveland Show. To be honest I don’t know how anyone can dislike the spin-offs, they’re basically carbon copies of the original!
Which other acts have you seen while gigging you recommend?
Holly Burn, she’s brilliantly silly. Also Denis Krasnov, a man who defies conventional adjectives. Though my favourite act is Sam Simmons, the man is an inspiration to us all.
What's the day job?
Up until a year ago I was a civil servant, I worked in the Department for Education, doing financial modelling to help inform policy decisions. At one point my job was to lie to Her Majesty’s Treasury on behalf of Michael Gove, in an attempt to inflate our budget projections. I did a great job, but no matter how good the job was I never a round of applause, so I decided it was best to quit and go down the more self obsessed route of being a comedian and actor, which these days just about tides me over.
Incredible. You can find all of Gareth's shows – of which there are so ruddy many they have to be identified BY LETTER – over on the Edinburgh Fringe site
Gareth Morinan
Holly Burn
Sara Pascoe
Ben Target
David Shore
Denis Krasnov
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