Interview | Alison Spittle

Alison Spittle (@loglogbarkbark) is a comedian from Westmeath. She performed her debut solo show Alison Spittle Needs An Agent in Edinburgh and at a sold out run at the Dublin Tiger Fringe last year and everybody agreed that it was great. She returns to Edinburgh this summer with her new show called “Discovers Hawaii” but first she’s doing a short Irish tour with Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) which they decided to do after climbing a small mountain in Sligo. Alison agreed to be interviewed by me even though she knew I’d never interviewed anyone before which was very sound of her.
Hello Alison, What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you today?
My housemate moved out. We as a house picked a new one today. There was a tense negotiation and dead lock. I understand why Cheryl Cole cried all the time. The old flat mate left some expensive Ryvitas and a shower cap behind. I feel she would have wanted me to have it.
What are the most important qualities required to share a house with a stand-up?
That person needs to be sound and flush the toilet after themselves. They also need to realise I’m not fully unemployed and stop sending me job vacancies. Staying in my pjs all day is a part of the job.
You and Sofie Hagen decided to tour Ireland after climbing a small mountain in Sligo. Why did you decide to climb a mountain in Sligo with Sofie Hagen?
We were hungover and in Sligo for the Spike Comedy Festival. We heard Ireland’s best fish and chips were in Strand Hill and high tailed it up there. Then we saw children doing it so we decided we could do it too.
Does the desire to outperform children influence a lot of your decisions?
Yes, it drives every life decision I make.
So you and Sofie are performing solo shows on the tour right? You haven’t formed a double act for three days or anything?
Oh yeah just one doing one half and the other doing the other half. We’ll leave that stuff to the Chuckle Brothers, don’t mess with the best.
Your new show, Discovers Hawaii, is about “mental health and the ludicrousness of coping mechanisms”. How hard was it to find the laughs in those topics?
I didn’t find it hard really, you know the way some people find laughs in everyday observations such as taytos, I like that stuff but I find trying to stop thinking about my family dying as much as an everyday thing as taytos. I dunno, that sounds arsey but I’m sticking to it.
Do you think Irish audiences are receptive to comedy which deals with deeper, darker subjects?
I do, just not too much, you need to balance it and to be honest I don’t know how to do that properly yet, I’m not the comedian I want to be yet, I think I will never be. I must add I have a good time trying.
What do you want from comedy? You do stand-up, TV shows, sketches; what makes you happiest?
I never thought about it. I like doing comedy. I’ve always loved making people laugh. With stand up the reaction is more instant and a great buzz. I also like sketches too but I’m newer to that and not as confident. It makes me happy to make others happy.
I want to have a nice life, experience new things and meet great people and comedy has given me all of it so far. I’d love a financially viable lifestyle off it too and everything would be perfect.
I have three more questions that don’t fit anywhere else. In Alison Spittle Needs An Agent you sang the all-star version of Perfect Day, what’s your favourite part?
Pretending to be the trumpet solo, it takes a lot out of me but it gets the biggest reaction.
What was your favourite comedy when you were 12?
 My favourite comedy as a twelve year old was probably Bo Selecta or Trigger Happy TV, my favourite film was Coming To America.
Who makes you laugh at the moment?
Stand up wise Maria Bamford, Doug Stanhope, Maeve Higgins, and Edwin Sammon.
In real life my boyfriend is the funniest person I know, he helps me with jokes and can make any bit that bit better.
Is there anything else you wish I’d asked about or shall we leave it there?
Can I add Bo Selecta has aged terribly but Trigger Happy TV is still grand?

Alison Spittle and Sofie Hagen will be in the following places on the following dates:

Anseo, Camden Street, DUBLIN 18th of May, doors 20.30
M.V.P Upper Clanbrassill Street, DUBLIN 19th of May, doors 20.30
Roisin Dubh, Dominick Street, GALWAY 20th of May, doors 20.30
and here’s the poster for their tour by Simon Mulholland (@simonmulholland) which is quite large but so nice that it would be a shame not to include it somewhere.
Alison Spittle & Sofie Hagen Tour Poster - HeadStuff.org
It’s a very nice poster by Simon Mulholland