I had to relearn how to be a normal person

Chortle Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012

Lucy Porter on her two years away from comedy - The Sun's comedy columnist Tommy Holgate catches up with Lucy Porter in her local pub in Bloomsbury, Central London.

I had to relearn how to be a normal person

Tommy: We’ve missed you in the last two Edinburghs. What have you been doing?

Lucy: Well, having two kids has kept me pretty busy! I have Emily, who will be two in September and John, who will be six months old next week. I’ve not really been gigging much over the last couple of years after having the kids and what not.

The way it works, I can either have a baby or do an Edinburgh show. So for two years I’ve had babies, and this year I thought ‘I’ll give my body a break and tax my mind instead.

T: Not many people would describe the Fringe as ‘giving their bodies a break’…

L: True! But two years off means it’ll be nice to come back.

T: Are you a better person for being a mum?

L: No! Having kids makes you less selfish, because you have to be, but I don’t think it suddenly turns you into a better person. But since becoming a mum I’m looking a lot healthier – if more tired. My kids have saved my life!

T: Have they affected your material?

L: It’s tricky, because a lot of people say ‘Don’t do material about your kids’, but it’s difficult when that’s literally all I’ve done for the last two years. But they’re only young, so not really doing enough to generate any material. They’re not earning their keep, basically.

I’d say my show is ‘informed’ by them, rather than ‘about’ them. It’s not like Kids Say The Funniest Things, because they’re both fairly mute. Emily’s got a few catchphrases that she repeats, but only about six of them. Her main one is: ‘I don’t like it.’ I’m obviously raising very negative children!

T: I don’t think you could raise a negative child if you tried. Your shows are consistently ‘feelgood’. Will this one follow suit?

L: It’s more about friendship and being a people person and relating to people, I think. I’ve always been quite upbeat and positive with my themes, but this one might not be so much.
Maybe because I’m so tired all the time!I like to be quite cheery, but this one is easily my most tired show to date.

There are some darker moments. Like I deal with the theme of loneliness, because that’s the thing people always say about stand-up: ‘Oh it’s a very lonely job’.

And I call bullshit on that a bit, because now, having experienced true loneliness of being at home, with a two-month-old baby, nobody to talk to, nobody else around, you go: ‘Ah, perhaps that’s loneliness?’

But really loneliness is and old person in a cold flat, not a comedian on a road who’s just performed in front of 300 people and been out for drinks with a load of other comics, but they just so happen to be staying in a hotel room for one that night.

T: Yeah it’s not all bad being on the road is it? And you must’ve made friends with other parents…

L: I have, but it’s tricky just trying to be a ‘normal mum’ at playgroup. I always want to go for the laugh and say the thing that’s shocking. I almost treat meeting new people like a gig, but that’s not appropriate when you’re taking the piss out of somebody’s kid’s outfit. People don’t like that, weirdly enough.

I’ve had to relearn how to be a normal person after having kids.

T: It will be interesting to see if you can combine being a good mum with being a good comedian…

L: It will, and of course the only way to find out is to go up to Scotland for a month and talk about it to a room full of strangers for an hour a day!

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