Harrogate Comedy Festival: Hebburn star for final show

Hebburn cast, including Jason Cook, Chris Ramsey and Vic Reeves, and crew filming on location in Park Road, Hebburn, for the second series of the show
Hebburn cast, including Jason Cook, Chris Ramsey and Vic Reeves, and crew filming on location in Park Road, Hebburn, for the second series of the show
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Interview by Dane Wright

When the 2013 Harrogate Comedy Festival comes to an end with its Hyena Closing Gala this Saturday at Harrogate Theatre, one comic appearing may look more familiar then his peers. If so that is because it’s Jason Cook, creator and one of the stars of BBC Two’s hit sitcom Hebburn.

I chatted to Jason to find out about his stand up and the success of the show.

How does the performing and cracking jokes on camera compare to being on stage?

“Well you do get another take if you muck it up when you’re filming! Which is a luxury probably every stand up would like on stage!

“But the two are massively different. When you’re filming, if there are a lot of people in the scene you have to do it over and over for all the different camera angles. By the end you’ve pretty much got it perfect but said it so many times you are bored with it.”

How does writing for TV compare to writing a stand up show?

“You have to have a different head on. In Hebburn it’s possible to dictate every element of the storytelling, from the wallpaper to how orange I wanted big Keith to be in when I dressed him as an Oompa Loompa!

“With a stand up show, I’m writing a story to be performed by one person, with just a microphone and my gangly body to do all the work.”

Have there been times when you’ve written gags you’ve liked for your stand up but saved them for Hebburn or vice versa?

“I often try out lines on stage that end up in Hebburn. If I’m scriptwriting that day and I have a gig that night, I’ll chuck some of the lines in, just to check they are as funny as I had hoped. It’s a nice system, to have an audience double-check your work for you!”

What material have you been covering in your current stand up show?

“I’ve just been trying to find stuff that has my point of view. Having just become a father, I’m trying to stay away from all the “dad stuff”. I think there are comics out there already who are covering that stuff. So I’m trying to talk about love at the minute, specifically the nature of long term love and how it changes and matures.

“I became bored with watching comics say how their partners hated them and their relationship is grinding them down. I’m trying to talk about the same thing but in a much more positive way. My missus is great, but not all the time. And she loves me, but not all the time. “

What can we expect from your performance at the Harrogate comedy festival?

Loads and loads of mucking about. Some stories, some crowd stuff, just trying to create a bit of a party.

Jason Cook appears alongside Marlon Davis, Paul Sinha and Ian D Montfort at Harrogate Comedy Festival 2013 Closing Gala at Harrogate Theatre on Saturday, October 19 starting at 8pm.