KICK-STARTING our coverage of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2016, Quays News entertainment reporter Nathan Smith caught up with stand-up comedian and writer of #DigitalGoy, John Klark, as he approaches his first ever hour-long show…

Truly alternative, #DigitalGoy is not just stand up: it is a comedic experience.

With a hilarious soundtrack and bizarre characters, this unique experiment embraces some of the weirdest stuff in life such as paperclip traumas, selling machetes and the perfect world of Gloria Estefan.

 “I like plays that are really depressing – about massacres and stuff, and really terrible things. I thought it would be good to experiment those into my own comedy show”

 – John Klark, writer of #DigitalGoy

When generating ideas for a comedy show, many traditional ‘funny things’ may spring to mind. Perhaps some observational humour? Taking the everyday things we all take for granted and have a good old laugh at them?

It seems thoughts such as these have long gone over the head of comedian John Klark, as he reveals a rather dark and sadistic sense of humour; somehow played off in a unique light-hearted comedic style that only Klark can produce.

Following a theme of a middle-aged man struggling to come to grips with the technological advancements of the modern age, Klark admits a sense of self-reflection is shown in a character he plays called ‘Analogue’: “Analogue thinks he’s really digital but he’s not, he’s still into his cassette tapes”.

John Klark in #Digitalgoy
John Klark in #Digitalgoy

Adding more characters to his act, the East London comedian says the people he portrays are taken from the environment he grew up in.

“I’m from White Chapel,” he says, “so there’s a lot of volatile characters around. There was this guy who used to threaten people with a CD. I thought these people would fit in nicely with my show.”

One character in particular is ‘Belt-man’, which Klark says is simply a man who wears a belt around his head, and is based on a person he used to know.

Following the unconventional methods of traditional stand-up comedy, Klark admits a strong dislike of those who choose to pick on audience members. Detailing the reasoning for this choice, the comedian says: “I like the idea of getting into the audience, I’m just not picking on people.

“They can interact if they want too, but I really hate that in comedy when they take the piss. It’s really cringey to watch.”

#DigitalGoy is not just an hour of an out-there comedian being wacky and drawing on the humorous aspects of the weird and wonderful, he brings things back to earth.

Drawing on personal experiences of the North-South divide and playing on the fact he is a Londoner in Manchester, he admits people up North do not always understand his accent. Detailing a conversation with a bus driver, confusion began to rise: “I asked to go to Castle Hill, he didn’t understand me until I said ‘cas’le’”.

To experience the bizarre comedy that is #DigitalGoy, you can find him at the Bandit Mugger & Thief on the Friday, July 1 as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2016. Tickets are available here.

By Nathan Smith

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