If you have ever been anywhere near a writing group or book festival of any kind, you will know that writers come in all shapes and sizes, from big, robust circles, to tiny, stabby stars. They come in different flavours too, from cool, classic vanilla, to eyeball-exploding, triple-hot chilli sauce. Some of the nicest people around are writers, but some of them truly are mad, bad and dangerous to know.
I have undertaken to meet up with a few of these weirdly-shaped and strangely flavoured writers, some well-established, others emerging, so that you, dear reader, can find out more about them without endangering body or soul. Welcome then, to the Thrillers With Attitude Literary Smorgasbord. My guest this week is comedian, Gary Little.
A 51yr old Glaswegian. Since 2003 I’ve been doing Stand up Comedy for a living.
Most of my report cards probably had chatterbox written on them! I was the class clown, trying to impress my pals.
You have a colourful life story, some of which you refer to in your stand-up, but what has been the evolution of Gary Little the comedian?
I was always trying to entertain people at parties. The guy you thought was funny, or an arsehole. Or both. Someone had seen me a few times, and suggested to someone who ran a comedy night, to give me a shot. I eventually gave it a shot. Then The Stand comedy club had a competition, along with the Daily Record. I was one of the finalists.
I like telling stories. I feel more comfortable talking about things that are true. I think people can identify with stuff that I’m talking about. Depression, death of my mum, being in jail. All the good stuff! Fortunately a lot of bad stuff has happened in my past, and that’s always funny for other people! Nobody wants to hear good stories.
For me, most of my stuff will come to me when I’m out walking my dogs. I then just go over it in my head,again and again. Only when I have a show coming up ,will I write it down. Even then it’s not all there.
I try the new stuff every week at new material nights in Glasgow. No matter how funny I think it is,only doing it live will tell me if it works.
I’ve never had total silence! Had a lot of gigs where I never enjoyed it as much as the audience.
That’s my whole set!
I’d love to write something,but I keep thinking I’m kidding myself on. While in prison I wrote a short story that ended up in the book Days Like These. It was all short stories by people who had never been published before. Mine was called The King And I. It was about how I felt when I heard Elvis died.
Loads of comics I admire. Charles Bukowski is a writer who makes writing seem easy. Maybe he will inspire me.
Probably the dog in the park routine. Everyone likes a dug story!
Playing the Kings Theatre in Glasgow. Supporting American comic Bill Burr. Performing in New York. And any audience that is laughing at me is a favourite!
I played a club in Leeds recently. I knew before the gig started,that it wouldn’t be great. I was right. That was painful to the ego.
My Edinburgh festival show. I’m at the Stand 9.30pm every night.
I don’t have one. I just talk to myself when I’m out walking the dogs.
Look after your teeth. Learn a musical instrument. Don’t get caught!
Wine. Red or white
Cinema Paradiso, Blade Runner, Once upon a time in America… Too many to list!
Billy Connolly,who made it okay to just tell a story. Chic Murray. Loads of club comics who I see every week on the circuit.
Loads of stuff from Smiths, Joy Division, Scott Walker, to club music.
Ian Banks The Quarry.