Complete The Circuit is our series of interviews with regulars on the Scottish comedy circuit. Each comedian answers our questions then nominates someone else to answer them next, until, having asked everyone who’s anyone we get back to the beginning.
Who are you, what are you and how are you feeling?
I am John Scott, I’m a comedian and writer. Although right now I’m also a mature student (very mature at 47) doing a degree in Theatre and Script writing. I’m really enjoying the change from my usual routine therefore I’m feeling really quite good thanks.
When did you first think “I’m a comedian”?
I think when I first got some money for telling jokes. It was 1999 I was the 5 minute open spot on a Thursday night at The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh. I wasn’t meant to be paid, just on and grateful for the opportunity. However, it went well and when I came off club owner Tommy Sheppard came up and stuffed a tenner in my top pocket. I was delighted.
When did anyone else first think you were a comedian?
When I started out I experienced two distinct responses from people who knew me from school who came to see me. They would either say, “It was inevitable you became a comedian.” Or “I can’t believe you’re a comedian – you were always so quiet.” I suppose it depended on how well you knew me. There was a time when I was young I had a summer dalliance with an incredibly posh lass. She took me home to meet her parents at their country sprawl. They seemed most keen to have me removed from their daughter’s orbit as soon as possible. At one point she said to her mum “John’s thinking of doing stand up comedy.” Her mum replied, “Oh no! no, no, no, no no. I can’t see him succeeding at that at all.” So not so sure about others telling me to be a comedian. Plenty folk telling me not to.
How do you like to work?
Affable with an edge… and for money.
Someone nicks your joke. What do you do?
It’s happened to me more times than I care to mention. There’s certainly some fucking “writer” out there lifting things from me and flogging them as new to some very established names. I’m not going to name the comics I’ve seen do things I’ve written as they are probably oblivious to it going on. Just the other week I saw one of my gags on the Have I Got News For You Twitter feed. If the producers want to get in touch and sort the situation I’m more than happy to help and maybe you can then get rid of so called “writer”.
What do you like most about the Scottish comedy circuit?
Friendly audiences. Being able to use words I can’t anywhere else in the country.
What do you like least about the Scottish comedy circuit?
Their social media page. Den of vipers.
The Fringe – Heaven or Hell and why?
It has been both. One year at the Fringe I won £12,000 in the Take The Mic Competition. Which I think is still the highest cash prize awarded a comedian at The Fringe. Another year I was on at 10.30 at night trying to do political satire to drunks. It just tended to generate a lot of arguments and abuse. These days I’m fairly experienced so have learned many ways and tricks to make it a very enjoyable experience.
What would you ban from comedy?
Anybody under thirty.
In the kingdom of comedy, who’s the ruler, and what’s your role in the court?
Ah man I’ve got my favourites…. I’ve done warm up for Stewart Lee, Jerry Sadowitz and Frankie Boyle who are three of my favourite comics. So I suppose my role is err… warm up act!
Give us a comedian we should talk to next