“I don’t like waiting between laughs, it makes me more nervous than I already am, so short jokes means you can keep it going” – Tim Vine talks comedy, music, and Melbourne
If you don’t like waiting to laugh, have we got the comedian for you; with his rapid fire delivery, it’s not hard to see why Tim Vine held a decade long record for most jokes in an hour. He doesn’t like waiting either.
Audiences may know you from Not Going Out; how much of Timothy Gladstone Adams is Tim Vine, Punslinger?
None at all, to be honest! Timothy Gladstone Adams is a very straightlaced, serious sort of chap, whereas me, I’m trying to be silly all the time. Lots of silly jokes, one after the other.
Do you have any memorable anecdotes from your time on the show?
I had a great time doing it; I did five series of it. We use to sit at that bar – me and Lee [Mack] – and I always enjoyed it. A lot of the time we were so clinging on to our lines that if someone clinked a glass in the bar behind us we’d have to start again ’cause we’d forget everything.
You’ve been awarded several times at Edinburgh Fringe and also held a decade long record for most jokes told in an hour; what is it about puns and one-liners that appeals to you?
I like the way that it’s a very short way of getting a laugh, you’re cutting the journey time down, and that’s always appealed to me, I think. “Let’s get on to the next laugh!”; I don’t like waiting between laughs, it makes me more nervous than I already am, so short jokes means you can keep it going.
You’re also a multi-instrumentalist, often set jokes to music (one of my favourites being Alarm Bells); how did that come about?
I write all sorts of silly things at home. When I wrote that one, I didn’t realise it would be something that would work on stage – some of them work and some of them don’t – I do remember sitting on my sofa at home and thinking it up. But there are bits of it now that feel a bit…talking about a crash on a rollercoaster now after there’s been a quite serious one in the UK in the last year means I’ll be leaving that song for a while, to be honest.
So you think there’s a place for comedy to be sensitive?
Yeah, it’s weird, actually. I use to do a joke about blackbox flight recorders, and every so often there’s a quite serious plane crash somewhere and you’re doing a gig the day after that people make a connection, so you have to hold it back for a bit, move on to the next new story.
How do you find humour differs between Australia and the UK? Do you have to edit/alter any of your material?
I find that culturally we’re very similar, it’s great really; we’ve got a lot of the same chocolate bars, a lot of the same TV programs, I think our senses of humor are very similar, so really it’s just one or two cultural reference points…it’s never really that many, maybe ten jokes out of the hour?
Is there anything you particularly enjoy about Australia, anything you enjoy doing while you’re over here?
Well, I must say that I just love Melbourne, it’s a beautiful place, and it’s amazing really to be on an airoplane for that long and then when you get to the place it almost feels like home, but with sunshine! It’s a friendly city – it always strikes me – best coffee in the world, like to do bit of karaoke here, play a bit of darts; I just really enjoy myself, it’s a wonderful place.
What can audiences expect from your show Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival?
It’s me being silly again; silly jokes, silly props, just a grown man acting the fool for about an hour, followed by a written apology.
Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You is on at the Victoria Hotel’s Banquet Room from the 24th of March until the 17th of April at 7pm. Tickets range from $28 to $37, and are available from the MICF website.