Episode 239

Laughter makes the world go round, especially in the summer months and during the festival season when, like London buses, gigs that comics have been waiting for come along three at a time. There are many forms of comedy of course, from slapstick to satire, from sitcom to sick. But nobody would dispute that the hardest comedy of all is stand-up. All alone on a stage, a single spotlight, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd: it’s a tough gig, which is why, when it’s done well, it can bring the house down. John Moloney is not just an award-winning comedian, he’s also a comedy writer for some of the biggest names in the business. He’s laconic, some might say lugubrious, but above all he’s a very funny man. He joined Sputnik this week to tell us what it’s like being both political and a comedian.

And, if it’s tough being a stand-up, it must be even tougher being a female stand-up. It’s a field dominated by men and with only two women ever winning the coveted comedy award at the Edinburgh fringe festival – and only one female in the top 20 of the highest-earning stand-ups. The figures speak for themselves. But things are set to change; women are set to make waves at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Jade Allen is hoping to make a splash performing there for the very first time. She’s definitely bringing houses down in London, so before she rushed off to Edinburgh she was called into the Sputnik studio.

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