Q&A : James Barr
We're talking to multi-award-winning comedian James Barr about his Edinburgh Fringe Show 'Straight Jokes'. Debuting at the Underbelly Bristo Square, the hilarious show speaks of James experience in the comedy industry, navigating the exhausting reality of pretending to be 'woke for fame.' 'Straight Jokes' is James Brilliant response to straight comedians telling jokes about queer people.
See James Barr: Straight Jokes at the Underbelly during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-29 August. For more information and tickets visit www.edfringe.com or www.underbelly.com.uk
How does it feel to be coming back to Fringe for the second time? Do you feel any arising expectations or pressure?
It’s enormously exciting and I love my new hour! I can’t stop laughing at bits and there’s some super silly moments that will hopefully get people talking. It’s even better coming back to Edinburgh for the second time because I know where the best coffee is- but there’s definitely some expectation, I hope audiences love it.
What was the last straw in your comedy career of seeing ‘fake wokeness’ that led you to start writing “Straight Jokes”?
I saw a porn influencer appeal for peace in Ukraine-, “if there is war, there is no porn’. I’m absolutely sure Putin would think twice about his illegal war if he knew that Chad would have to cancel his wank into a peach.
How has your experience with your collaborator Dan Hudson helped inform your latest show?
Our podcast A Gay and A NonGay has taken me to some pretty extreme places. We met a ‘gay conversion’ therapist, I’ve been to Northern Ireland and an extreme Heavy Metal Festival. I think you can guess which experience was the worst. The metal. JOKE. Dan’s allyship has helped me to realise how blind to anyone ‘othered’, the rest of the world can be. Our podcast is also live at the fringe, 25-27th august! I’ve also learnt a lot about what makes straight men tick, there’s not much to it tbh, just a pint and a vagina.
Have you ever called out a straight comedian for telling a joke at the expense of queer people?
All of them. It’s another inspiration for my show, it’s made me so angry watching straight men like Dave Chappelle make jokes about lgbtq+ people so I’ve decided to reclaim them.
Which act at Fringe are you most excited to see?
I’m really excited to see Jen Ives: Peak Trans! There been so much nonsense about trans people everywhere in the last year or so, all of it nonsense. Distracting us from real news! Finally someone that’s actually trans has their say- l can’t wait.