Michael Legge: Telling it like it is
By Chris Cooke | Published on Wednesday 19 August 2015
We decided weeks before the Festival began that this would be the year when we finally got round to chatting to TW favourite Michael Legge, here on the pages of your ThreeWeeks magazine. He’s back with his new show ‘Tell It Like It Is, Steve’. “What’s the bloody point of anything ever? I don’t know” runs the blurb. This was all going to be so perfect. Then we forgot to organise the interview.
And so it came to pass that ThreeWeeks co-Editor Chris Cooke got out of bed super early on press day to put together some well-researched, well-crafted questions for the man himself. Those were then sent via the finest of electronic channels to Michael’s laptop where he – having also got up extra early – tackled the interview now before him. And here are the results…
CC: So Michael Legge, we’re all here to talk about the show. So let’s talk about the show. Tell us about the bloody show.
ML: Hello. I’m a bit tired right now because it’s very early in the morning but I’m going to give this interview my all today. What was the question again? Something about the “bloody show”?
CC: Why the loose theme of regretting meeting your heroes? Was there one hero you met that was so disappointing it inspired the whole thing?
ML: Was that the question you asked? God, I totally misheard that. Right. Yes, well, it’s actually several meetings with heroes that have gone wrong. Not their fault, of course. It’s because I’m an idiot. Are you coming along to see the show?
CC: Who do you think would likely be the most disappointing hero to meet? And who do you suspect could live up to expectations?
ML: Erm… OK. Think you just ignored my question there but, fine. The thing is, I don’t want to meet any heroes. I’ll only upset them. Have you ever met your hero?
CC: You’ve done an assortment of things at the Fringe over the years, though seem to have focused on stand-up in more recent years. Is that your true calling? Or could we see you acting, sketching or improv-ing again at future Fringes?
ML: Seriously? Did you not hear the question I just asked… Never mind. OK. I’ve focussed more on stand-up recently because everyone in my sketch group, double act, improv troupe and burlesque review won’t work with me anymore. ONLY JOKING. I’d never be in an improv troupe. Have you ever seen my stand up shows?
CC: You’re pretty opinionated on the world of comedy. Is this year’s comedy Fringe too big / too free / too offensive / too timid / too funny for your liking?
ML: I think the worst part of the Fringe is ASKING SOMEONE A QUESTION AND THEN BEING CLEARLY IGNORED. That said, I think the Fringe could improve a lot if acts gave each other a bit more support. But that’s just one factor. I’ve performed in both the free and non-free sections of the Fringe over the years. This year I’m in the Eight-Pounds-Seven-Pounds-Concession-Fringe, I think. The pros and cons of the two approaches to “doing Edinburgh” are down to support and trust. You get more support from your paid venues and audiences trust those shows more. I love the Free Fringe but hate audience members who just go to the shows for a sit down instead of actually supporting and enjoying a show.
CC: You’ve performed in both the free and non-free sections of the Fringe over the years. This year you’re in the Eight-Pounds-Seven-Pounds-Concession-Fringe, I think. What are the pros and cons of the two approaches to “doing Edinburgh”?
ML: Are you fucking serious?
CC: One thing that’s just occurred to me. What’s the bloody point of anything ever?
ML: Well, I’m starting to think there isn’t a point to anything. This interview is making me feel awful. I suppose you’ll mention a comedian that’s more successful than me next and expect me to comment on it?
CC: You used to occasionally fill in for Richard Herring if he was absent from his 6Music show. Did you consider filling in for Richard Herring now he’s absent from his Edinburgh Fringe show?
ML: There you go.
CC: You’re doing the ‘let’s sell out this gig’ thing again this Festival. For the uninitiated, tell us what that’s about.
ML: Finally! Right. Glad you asked. #LetsSellThisGigOut is very important. Go to Twitter and check out the hashtag. Every day I recommend one show and we all go to see it and then, hopefully, word of mouth will follow and that show will continue to have a great run. It’s really important that people join in with it so check it out right now. There’s also a Facebook group. Have you been following it?
CC: You’ve done stuff for Comic Relief in recent years, including that 25 hour blog-a-thon thing. Lots of comedians have tried similar feats – like 25 hour shows – at the Fringe. Well, I say lots. Mark Watson mainly. Would you consider such a venture during the Festival?
ML: Yes. I’m currently raising money for charity by being sat in front of an interviewer that constantly ignores me. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? WHY ARE YOU RUINING MY LIFE?
CC: You make much of your midday slot in your show blurb. Has midday proven to be the, erm, prime time for comedy gold that you expected?
ML: HELLO! Just say hello to me. Anything. Just acknowledge that I’m here. Please. Please…
CC: And finally, tell it like it is, Mike…
’Michael Legge: Tell It Like It Is, Steve’ was performed at The Stand Comedy Club 2 at Edinburgh Festival 2015.
Photos by David P Scott