Having watched their hugely entertaining show ‘Lets Get Friz Frizzle‘ (abbreviated title), we sat down with Friz to discuss their comedy, mental health, autism and The Simpsons.
You’ve done comedy shows in person and online, are there things you enjoy about both formats?
Each have their own high points. With in-person shows, you get to enjoy jokes that can only happen there and then – such as a heckler retort or gauging a reaction. When I did my solo weekly online show, we ended up having our own in-jokes that would never have translated into an in-person live show. Plus, online gigs have the benefit of being easily accessed by all audience members.
You have worked with many other comedians. This year you have a comedy panel show ‘What’s in the Box’ with different guests each day. Do you have any stories you would like to tell about your collaborations?
I came up with What’s in the Box? in 2017 as an excuse to dick around with different mates every day. It’s got the format of a panel show, but it’s more improvised with chat in the middle. It’s such a fun show, especially when some contestants take the points seriously and really throw themselves into the game. The best moments include Glenn Moore trying to use a bottle as a compass, Lauren Pattison naming as many dogs as she could to the tune of We Didn’t Start the Fire and Gail Porter bringing the scariest dolls you’ve ever seen.
Your previous show on the fringe was all about mental health. Do you find it difficult bringing comedy to such an important subject?
Everything serious can have comedy made about it. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever had to give a eulogy. When I got my diagnosis in 2017, I made it my duty to be completely honest with how I was feeling, which I try and get the audience to do as well. Talking about the stuff you’re worried about it so much easier than keeping it bottled inside, even though it can be the scariest first step.
You talk about your recent autism diagnosis, do you have plans to do more comedy around this subject?
Tricky question. I never know what my hour-long shows will be about. If I find myself in a bizarre situation in the next twelve months that centres entirely on me having autism, I’ll definitely tell it. I’ll call the show Aut-Friz-Tic.
Has receiving an autism diagnosis been a positive thing for you?
It’s certainly explained a lot. My panic attacks, the encyclopedic Simpsons knowledge, the memorising ridiculous routines about owls and the like. I’ve started being able to spot other people with autism. I don’t think I had that power before. When I talked about my diagnosis with my friends and family, they all reacted with “That makes sense! We kind of already knew”, which is annoying, as that’s also how they reacted when I came out as bisexual.
You provide an entertaining mix of parody songs and stand up comedy. Are there any songs or a particular artist you enjoy parodying most?
I’ve done three different Pet Shop Boys parodies because I love doing Neil Tennant’s voice. It’s gorgeous.
And is there a song or artist that you have considered doing but never could be it to difficult or risky?
The only ones I don’t perform are the ones I’ve written to a really niche song. If anyone ever wants to hear my McFly parody about epilepsy, shoot me an email.
You challenge people to stump you with quotes from The Simpsons, have you ever been caught out? And I take it you really love the Simpsons?
I absolutely love The Simpsons. Controversially, some of the latest episodes have been the best they’ve been in about fifteen years. We are very lucky to have that show in our lifetimes. My party trick is obscure Simpsons trivia and telling you which episodes certain quotes come from. The only time I’ve been stumped is when someone just shouts “Excellent!” in a Mr Burns voice. I mean, what the actual heck am I meant to do with that? Ridiculous.
Thanks so much to Friz for sitting down with us.
You can catch their show: Let’s Get Friz Frizzle (to the tune of Let’s Get Physical) – at Whistlebinkies (Binkies Lounge) through to 28 August at 4pm.
More details on the show at British Comedy Guide.
Friz’s comedy panel show: What’s In The Box – takes place at the Globe Bar through to 28 August at 1pm. More details.
Both shows are part PBH’s Free Fringe 2022.
We plan to hold a Neurodiverse meetup to see Let’s Get Friz Frizzle on Wednesday 24th August, meeting at Whistlebinkies from 3:30pm. Event details at OutSavvy.