INTERVIEW: Cole Parker on his 'Show Me The Funny' experience

Cole Parker

Stand up Cole Parker became the latest comic to be given the boot on last night’s third Show Me The Funny episode, with the 37-year-old’s being given a stern telling off by judge Kate Copstick. We caught up with the man himself for a quick chat about his short time on the show…

The self-confessed 'bad-boy' has a reputation for being a smart, solid act who can handle any audience, but after struggling to win over a group of school kids his time on the show was up. We had a quick chat with Cole following his exit from the ITV1 series...

How did you feel the gig went?
Well how it went and how they showed you it went are different things. It went well, but they showed you bits that didn’t. It was nice, it was nice playing in front of the kids, you could feel the energy coming off them.

Alan Davies said you needed to find out who you were while Kate was very harsh on you, what do you make of the judges’ comments?
Obviously no one wants to have such vitriol thrown at them in television, I did appreciate Ross Noble standing up and correcting [Katie] which is always nice. When I knew I was in the bottom two I knew it was curtains anyway because despite what it shows it went very well, so when I was called into the bottom two I knew it wasn’t for them.

Did you feel you'd done enough to not be called back this week?
It depends on how you saw it. I was playing to 12-14 year olds and they enjoyed it, and [the judges] don’t deny that but they said I had to impress them. So it’s about doing stuff to impress the judges, as well as trying to make the gig work for the people you’re playing to. Kate said we’re looking for someone who targets the wildest possible demographic, and if you’re going to play safe that probably isn’t me.

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Did find it hard writing for the kids as opposed to the older audiences in the previous gigs?
On the whole, no, it was more about what wasn’t going in. [The producers] did a long piece about not swearing!

You took part in three gigs with three very different audiences, which was the hardest to write and perform for?
The hardest gig was probably the first gig in Liverpool, I think it was the audience, there was a bit of nerves going on, but it was a single demographic. Also going on first I didn’t have the privilege of seeing what Jason Manford was doing on stage before me, so I was worried about treading on similar material.

The army gig I walked on and they hated me because of my rather unfortunate idea, the only problem with that is, the reason why I did that piece is because it took the officers 20 minutes to notice, so they were quite upset. These people are supposed to be trained to spot things that are out of place, so if they can’t see a pair of buttocks how are you going to spot a Taliban sniper?

Because it took them that long it made them look a little bad so to go out to a room for squaddies and win it around... they showed one of the short applause breaks, and I got three. They’re not necessarily trying to show all the stand up is what I’m trying to say, you know you’ve got plenty of action, some fine, fine gags which aren’t always being flagged up.

Which of the other comics impressed you the most?
My money to win is on Pat if I’m honest. Everyone’s done well to get here because they looked at about a thousand comics. I think Pat’s going to do very well, and so he should, a very good comic.

Do you have any regrets appearing on the show?
Not yet... let’s see what heckling comes when I come back onto the circuit.... saying that, I haven’t left the circuit, I’ve still be gigging at weekends. But I’ve enjoyed playing to the large audiences, which wouldn’t have happened without the show.

The veteran stand up vows to continue on with his stand up and you can catch Cole Parker on the comedy circuit now.

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