Michael McIntyre Interview

MICHAEL MCINTYRE

He conquered the comedy world back in 2012 with the highest selling comedy tour in the world, and now the King of Comedy, Michael McIntyre, is heading back to Australia this October, bringing with him his Happy and Glorious tour. Having toured the show in the UK last year, McIntyre sold over four hundred thousand tickets and beat his rivals to the Christmas Number One slot in the DVD chart.

Upon speaking with Michael McIntyre we can safely say he remains ever in performance mode, almost bamboozling you into thinking you’re watching a live show. His energy remains throughout our conversation, and is possibly one of the hardest people to interview due to his observational humour as you try and stifle your laughter over his. He’s inquisitive and impulsive, which is probably one of the reasons he’s one of the highest paid comedians in the world…

“Hannah darling, how are you? You’re in London, this is worst line I’ve had so far and I’ve been talking to Australia all morning. Hannah who on earth do you work for? I’m totally confused.” He booms as he answers the phone. I quickly explain the gist of our publication, as he interjects on his thoughts on just how many Brits and Irish have a stint at living in Australia, humourously pointing out a few home truths about life downunder… “A lot of people move don’t they, they love it. They love the sun even though it burns them, and they love the sea even though it’s full of sharks. Although maybe they don’t know that until they get there. I can see the draw of Australia although they are 24 hours in the future, like moving into the future. But then you do lose a day of your life to go there, which is quite a big ask. What if when people die they want that day back?” He exclaims dramatically.

MICHAEL MCINTYRE

I ask him about his hectic schedule during his time in Australia to which he replies, “Not according to my schedule. It’s pretty intense, I’m flying all over the place, I’m flying to Auckland, then to Sydney and on to Melbourne, and Perth two days later and then I’m gone. Completely, gone and exhausted.” He pauses briefly. “I didn’t get onto the time zone last time, I was in a right old state. Also I kept phoning home to talk to the kids after the shows when I’d had a few drinks at three in the morning and for them it would be four in the afternoon and I’d never really spoken to my kids when I’m drunk. I told them I loved them a lot, I started threatening their friends who were picking on them. That wasn’t ideal. I would of loved to have taken the kids, but I don’t think they want to fly every day and I don’t know where I would leave them. I’m going to park them in Dubai for a holiday and I’m going to pick them up on the way back, completely exhausted but hopefully having had some great shows. Which I did last time, they have some fantastic audiences, amazing.”

It’s fair to see from this point in our conversation that Michael McIntyre is a man of very man words as I try and jab my questions in, but it’s almost impossible as everything he says has a wonderful way of coming out in perfect booming diction and at all times remaining hilarious, no matter what he happens to say. Thinking to myself, I wonder if this man is capable of ever being serious?!

Upon asking his highlights of his last Australian tour, Michael shouts “How dare you ask me that! They were all identically, equally amazing!” Pulling back from his sarcastic dramatics, reclaiming his truly professional response… “Well of course I would like to say that they were all equally fantastic. I couldn’t dream of alienating all the other venues. Perth was incredible, Sydney and Melbourne were both identically brilliant.”

Onto his preparation for his shoes, Michael sneakily admits that he likes to look at the audience as they’re coming in. “I like to get a feel for the room. I tend to pop my head round and have a look and then do some pacing whilst thinking about what I’m going to say. The way these venues are, these arenas, on the side they can actually see me doing that. So sometimes there is some waving and some pointing which gets me excited because they’re excited to see me. Other than that there is just various bits of panic ensue. It can be relentless when your touring, so you just want to make sure that’s the best hour or two of the day when your on stage because you’ve got to peak.” Continuing on his varying degrees of excitement, Michael says, “Sometimes I have a nap in the afternoon and then a coffee. I tend to be at my best in the morning – which isn’t great when you’re working at night. I’m a morning person, but actually my wife peaks on the afternoon, so we’ve never actually met each other when we are both at our peak, which is frustrating for our 15-year relationship. So I tend to have my morning again by having my sleep in the afternoon and then waking up again and feeling a bit lively. But then again sometimes I peak after the show because I’ve got so much adrenaline and everyone is gone.”

Back to the UK, we discuss his warm up shows that he’s doing around various venues in London, he pointedly explains, “Well these London dates are tiny gigs for a warm up for the series of my show. The tickets are about a tenner and people say ‘hey look where I’m going for a tenner?’ and then they come along and they get confused when I come out with notes and try and find something funny.” Almost downplaying himself he continues before going off on another comedic tangent, “I don’t really enjoy doing these gigs but you have to put in the hard yards? I don’t know if I’ve ever said that before. I don’t even use that as a term of measurement. What is a hard yard? I’m going to use it. I’m going to do The Duchess, lovely little theater, and it has a nice atmosphere. Sometimes people can be brutally honest about what’s working and what isn’t, so I’ll be doing that this summer.”

Michael states that the version of Happy and Glorious he’ll be bring to Australia will also include some new stuff from whatever he picks up over the summer, and of course any observations he makes during his time in Australia. I point out that he may have to make a swap on the Waitrose joke, and perhaps substitute something about Woolworths instead… he agrees saying. “Yes, I’ll have to ask about the Waitrose joke. Sometimes it’s not quite the same as well, they could have Waitrose but not the same trolleys. Sometimes you’ve got to bin it and not risk it and go with more generic stuff. Of course there should be jokes about Australia. There should be some jokes I pick up when I’m over there. When I’m away like that there is always stuff that comes and makes you laugh.”

Michael McIntyre

As I ask him his plans for after the tour, he turns it back on me with a wonderful ability to show off his remarkable wit, “Well, I’m starting a magazine for ex-pats in Australia, called The BBBM. No that’s you! I’m doing a new series of my show, which will be done a few weeks before I come to Australia. Then I’m going to try and write a book which is going to take a while.” It’s at this point that I make it known how much I love his first book ‘ Life and Laughing’ to which he replies… “Well, thank you very much. This is what I needed to hear. I’ve got to try and remember my life. You know when people say to you ‘what did you do yesterday’ and you have no idea. So I don’t know what’s happened in my life in the last ten years. So I’ll have to probably sit down with my wife and some other people and work out what’s going. Then I’ll try and turn it into a story and then try to make it funny. So I have a plan. I now have a plan. Happy to be of help the conversation once again turns back to life in the UK and London. “I really like it in Hampstead. When I drive on the Finchley Road, which is almost every day of my life, I wonder why I haven’t emigrated to Australia. I think Australia is quite a safe place to be at the moment given who may or may not become president of the United States. I have the conversation with my wife where we say ‘well what do we do if Trump wins?’ and if we are living in a world where Boris and Trump are running things then we need a plan. And we thought of Australia. I looked at properties so I could be reading BBM sooner than we think.”

By Hannah Shakir
@hanshak

Catch Michael McIntyre this October at the following venues…

SYDNEY QUDOS BANK ARENA FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER
Book at Ticketek 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

MELBOURNE ROD LAVER ARENA SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER
Book at Ticketek 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

BRISBANE CONVENTION CENTRE MONDAY 24 OCTOBER
Book at Ticketek 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

PERTH PERTH ARENA WEDNESDAY 26 OCTOBER
Book at Ticketek 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

TICKETS ON SALE TUESDAY 24 MAY 12 NOON