How many brainy comedians does it take to create a YouTube hit? In the case of American scientist-cum-comedian Tim Lee just the one, and he’ll be bringing his material to the stage this Fringe Festival for just three days in this Australian premiere.
Science and comedy … what’s the connection? Although they seem very different they are strongly connected. Science is the pursuit of the truth. Comedy, on the other hand, is the truth plus absurdity. As a comedian what I need to do is add some absurdity to the science and the comedy flows naturally.
How has YouTube changed the face of comedy? YouTube IS the face of comedy now. It’s not the beautiful face that TV once was. It’s more like Mickey Rourke post plastic surgery: honest and brutal. It’s the only channel that’s seen all over the world. I get email from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas all because people have seen a video on YouTube. That was never possible with TV.
An American on Aussie soils … will you be adjusting your material to suit? I change things up as I move around because humour can be location specific. There are bits that work well in one town that don’t work at all in another. I’ll be changing things up a bit for Australia but I won’t know exactly how till I get there. You have to be in a place for a couple of days to get a feel for the sense of humour. What’s different about people in this town than all the other towns I’ve seen? I’m coming into Sydney a few days early so I have some time to figure that out.
What’s harder, writing a PhD or a good joke? A PhD dissertation. A good joke is its own reward. It makes me so happy to see all those people laughing. Writing a PhD dissertation is a thankless endeavour.
Do you plan on checking out any local Fringe Comedy, and if so, what? Absolutely! I want to see Fringe Comedy Showcase. It’s a mix of local comedy acts. I love these kind of shows because you get exposed to a wide range of humour.
Sep 17-24, 99 on York St, $12.50-19.50, thesydneyfringe.com.au