Know Thy Comedian
Interview by Kirthy Iyer
16th December, 2013
Welcome to our new "Know Thy Comedian" series. Our very own interview series where you get to know our comedians, what drives them to make others laugh, what goes in their head and what can we expect from them in the future. This week we will be interviewing João Paulo, our very own typical socially awkward comedian.
o Tell us a bit about yourself. The boring part, where you are from, what do you do and if you have ever been arrested for defacing a public property...
João: I am from Figueira da Foz, Portugal. I am a programmer, working in the videogames industry at the moment. My University degree is in Chemical Engineering, actually, but when I starting working I found out that programming was much more interesting than doing Chemistry.
I have never been arrested for defacing a public property because the only public properties with faces in Portugal are statues made of stone, and it’s really hard to take their faces off.
o How did you end up doing stand up comedy? In English? In Germany?
João: I already had a humor blog going on for some years. I used to write on the blog stuff that I found funny. Most of the material I used in the beginning when I started doing standup was from that blog. I just needed a little push to take my jokes on the stage.
I came to Germany to work, and a friend invited me to watch one of the comedy shows hosted by you at Frankfurt Art Bar.
I made a pact with Pedro for us to do our open mic jokes in the same day //
The show was great and lot of fun. I watched a couple of shows before I try to go on stage for the first time. I made a pact with Pedro for us to do our open mic jokes in the same day, and once that was decided I couldn’t back down afterwards. That’s how I got hooked.
o Did you always know that you wanted to be a comedian? Like any clues from your life... comedic family, bullying in school, any relative in circus?...
João: I didn’t choose the comedy life, the comedy life chose me… I never really wanted to be a comedian. I never was the funny guy before. The first hint came from my blog, it had a few different subjects in the beginning but it was with the humor tales that it started to get some attention. So it became a humor blog almost exclusively. With standup comedy it was the same, it was only when I tried it for the first time and it went well that I realized there might be a future in it.
I didn’t choose the comedy life, the comedy life chose me //
When you’re in a good mood you approach your problems in a different way, you get a different perspective of them. They seem lighter, easier to solve, and in fact they are. Being happy and cheerful takes a big part in changing your life for the better.
o Who are your inspirations?
João: I’m a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld and the type of comedy that I do is a lot similar to his. I feel comfortable trying to emulate his style when telling my stories. There is also a Portuguese comedian called Nuno Markl whom I identify myself with. But mostly I draw inspiration from my own life: every humiliating moment I suffer, every weird thing that I notice on the street is always good inspiration for another comedy set.
o How would you describe your style of comedy?
João: I do mostly observational comedy, the “have you ever noticed?” kind of thing like they say. I also like to play a lot with language and words, and being in Germany and learning a new language gives me a big sandbox of language to play with. Sometimes I also add some nonsense to the mixture, like having imaginary friends or trying to get an autograph from God.
o What can we expect from you in future shows?
João: Always expect something new. I don’t like having people coming to my show to hear the same jokes they already know. I get bored of my own material pretty quickly and I try to come up with new stuff at least every month, so that people have something new to see every time, and are willing to come back again.
The show was great and lot of fun //
o Check out our events page and come and see João Paulo at our next stand up comedy night show.
o Why do you think it’s so important to laugh?
João: Because all the obstacles in your life are easier to overcome when you’re in a good mood. This is scientifically proven.