You’d think it’d be the perfect job: no filters when you talk to people. Obnoxiousness acceptable, even applauded.
Watching Al Murray, aka The Pub Landlord, on stage will not dislodge you of that notion.
The British comedian, who is all set for a no-holds-barred routine at Dubai Opera on April 11, in fact gently rubs your face in it. “The thing about being a comic is you have to really, really like doing this, because it does disrupt your life; you are sort of living on your nerves, on your wits and you have to love doing it. I absolutely love doing it,” he tells Gulf News tabloid! ahead of his gig.
He’s had a lot of practice; he’s been on stage since school and perfecting his rapier wit on stage since university. “When I was at school, I did a lot of acting and did a lot of music, and really got into the idea of performing. When I went to university there was a really strong comedy scene there and I just got drawn into that; I met interesting people doing it… When university got over, I was just like okay, ‘I’ll try to make a living out of this’.”
And so began the career that’s seen him zip across countries and continents, laughing all the way.
“I never know what’s going to happen next, work wise,” he explains.
But the ongoing saga of Brexit seems to have at least settled what he’s serving up this year. “In all honesty, the chaos of it is exactly what I expected to happen. Because the truth is the result was really close and the truth is what happened next was never clear. So this chaotic state we are in, was entirely predictable,” he says. “I found that very funny,” he explains.
Dubai, he hopes, will offer him fresh material on the subject. “The thing is, what you get in a room you jump off into a topic. The thing about going to Dubai is you’ve got people who are living there - you want to find out why, you want to find out their story… [and as for] Brexit, it would be very interesting to leave the UK and see what other people think of this from a distance. Because caught up in the middle of it, people I don’t think realise what it might look like from a different angle.”
Shifting perspectives is something he’s tuned into; it’s a play between expectation and reality. The lesson was probably hard-won. “The cost of being funny is…very often people expect you to be funny all the time and I know I’m not. It means people have different expectation of you,” he explains.
Still, don’t feel too bad for him; he gets to wear his obnoxious hat to work.
Doesn’t it seem like the perfect job?
Don’t miss it!
Tickets to see Al Murray The Pub Landlord at the Dubai Opera on April 11 start at Dh150.