The still-young Fife-born comic has done a lot in recent times. He’s co-written an online indie sitcom called MUFF, conducted a TED-style talk about the nature of stories, performed stand-up on late-night US TV show, Conan, and written a new stand-up set entitled Dark. Here, he answers questions about all of those things, and a wee bit more.
I hear you’re sick of people calling your comedy ‘dark’: what do you think they see in your work that could be described as dark? What constitutes dark humour for you?
I talk about death, God (or the lack thereof, if you have any common sense), drugs, sex and lots of other things, and I’m comfortable talking about them. I’ll also sometimes challenge ideas and spout my opinion, which people are obviously allowed to disagree with, but don’t expect me to give a shit. I only claim to be a comedian, not a genius. People who get offended by comedy are idiots, there are no other words for them (there are: ‘cunts’). You don’t get to listen to a comedian’s joke and say ‘he / she wasn’t joking’. I think people see comedians like Jim Jefferies, Louis CK, Amy Schumer etc. are really funny, but also genuinely honest about themselves, their insecurities. A lot of people are too scared to be honest, so seeing someone else do it freaks them out.
Unless they turned the background sound right down, it seemed like you had a very tough crowd at the TEDx Talk you did on stories: what was your experience of doing that?
Could have been a tough crowd. Could’ve been the fact that there were only 25 audience members in a 200-seat lecture theatre in the afternoon. It wasn’t a comedy gig or interactive talk and I was the only one mic’d up. But who’s to say…
The first Conan you did: was it scary or just fine? Would you ever consider pitching up in the US for an extended period to try and crack it there?
It was great. It’s an incredibly supportive show. Everyone backstage is on your side and really friendly. I don’t think I’d ever move to America. I love Scotland. I love Edinburgh. And I can’t see any reason for me to move there; I don’t mind visiting a lot, but my entire life is in Scotland and I have no intention of ever changing that.
What’s the latest with MUFF?
We’re technically behind schedule, but also not, considering it’s our show and we don’t have any contracts. We want it out, but we don’t want to rush it. Hopefully it’ll be out by September.
What kind of stuff are you tackling in Dark?
God, tampons, chilli, drugs, death, your mum.
In House of Cards, Frank Underwood gave up videogames for painting figurine civil war soldiers. What do you picture yourself doing in the future should you ever drop the habit?
You’ve never especially dabbled in politics on stage: does politics bore you too much to find comedy in it? Do you think it’s an area you might see yourself ever talking about?
I just can’t pretend to give a shit about it. It bores me and I don’t know enough about it. I like talking about things I’m passionate about, and I feel nothing for politics, because I’m an out of touch moron.
Daniel Sloss’ Dark is at EICC, Edinburgh, 6–30 Aug (not 17, 25) and on tour from 18 Sep