Boothby Graffoe – The Insight

Radio Four poster boy Boothby Graffoe, will be refurbishing Komedia fresh from his award-winning show In No Particular Order. Interviewing Graffoe is like being caught in the headlights. With a wit so quick it’s like, well … quick, Boothby moves from silly off-the-cuff stuff to pithy and punchy one-liners. As fast as you’ve understood the last joke he’s onto the next and as soon as you’ve understood the next, he’s waiting for you to catch up. Not only a gifted comedian, Graffoe is also a fine musician, combining a mix of Zappa and Milligan, Boothby will make you laugh with his absurdist slants, melodic rants, and just the plain ole sound of his voice.

How would you describe your comedy?

Purple, frilly, animal friendly, and very tasty in the afternoon when you’ve forgotten your breakfast.

What are your influences?

Alcohol, Nurofen, Ibuprofen, any painkillers.

Why did you want to be a comedian?

I didn’t. I wanted to be great Shakespearian actor, but wasn’t any good at it.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Well sometimes I write with a guy called Dave Thompson (Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies) and other times things are just given to you on a plate. Like George Bush when he said about Osama Bin Laden, “We don’t know where he is, but when we find him – we will.” Or when Claire Short said, “I think we should legalise Marijuana,” and the next day she said; “I don’t remember saying that”. Probably had a few spliffs herself …

What makes someone funny? Plato said that comedy was just tragedy plus distance.

Well, Woody Allen said it’s tragedy plus timing, but I think its tragedy plus tiiiime. I mean, people have jokes about The Titanic, which are funny now, but at the time – I can imagine they weren’t. Like when I did this song about the Israeli – Palestine question. I mean it wasn’t exactly ground breaking, all I was suggesting was, that, seeing as the only people the Arabs dislike more than Jews are the Americans, then maybe they aren’t the best people to be in charge of the peace process – and this bloke complained about my handling of the peace process!? I mean why’s he writing to me?!

Do you think different cultures have different senses of humour?

Yeah, but a fat man with bricks being dropped on his head – that’s funny in any language.