Nelson Nester is a grumpy comedian!
Nelson Nester is a grumpy comedian. The 30-year-old avoids London gigs, makes no effort to socialise with other acts and once slammed a microphone into the ground. Google is not much help either as NN insists on doing comedy the hard way – he refuses to put any publicity online and does not enter comedy competitions. But if you saw him perform you’ll surely remember him as he’s an acerbic powerhouse who loves gross-out humour. An act who loves gigging at pubs where the locals give “instant feedback”. NN has been in comedy for three years but he wouldn’t reveal where and when his next appearance was!
Nelson why don’t you have any videos or even a Comedy CV?
It’s all bullshit man. All these open mic comedians who have websites. Write some jokes first! No one has ever been inspired to write jokes when coding HTML. No one cares if you’re gigging at some Comedy Bin shitfest on a Monday or if some student mag gave you good review. Get over yourself. In fact it’s best to not tell people where you’re gigging so you can turn up under no pressure.
You aren’t afraid to talk about rape in your act?
So? What’s wrong with that?
It could be argued that it’s a subject matter that alienates some people and makes the victim the butt of a joke. Someone who has gone through a horrific ordeal. It’s not punching up but down.
Typical Guardian reader response. You know what they should do? When someone’s been raped sit them down and tell them ‘you do realise you’ll never be able to go to a comedy club again?’ Problem solved.
What’s your favourite comedy venue?
The Lion’s Den. The comedians have to pay to play. Only the committed and really stupid perform. Seriously I like the weekend gigs. London is full of hipsters during the week. If you really want to die a death play a mung bean organic cafe. I hate hipsters. I’d rather perform in front of a bunch of racists! Proper jokes. I like to tell proper jokes.
What comedians inspire you?
I like character acts. Sir Reginald Tweedy-Duffer was great before he started self-censoring. He had this joke about Brixton that used to smash rooms apart.
What advice do you have for new comics?
Play all sorts of rooms. Play hard rooms, soft rooms, full rooms, empty rooms. Rooms with graffiti. Rooms with chairs. Rooms without chairs. Outside rooms. Just turn up to gigs too. Promoters like to see a face not an email. Don’t lie too. Everyone hates liars.
Did you do a comedy course?
No I don’t see the point. You learn on the job. You can’t teach funny. Courses are like ethnic cleansing. All the acts come out the same. “I look like a cross between…” No mate you sound like a cross between Nick Helm and Russell Howard. Dicks.
You’re very angry. Do you ever alienate audiences?
Sure. But then I’m speaking my mind. That’s what comedy’s about isn’t it? Look if we don’t tell the truth then the bleeding heart media commentators will continue to bang on about how all terrorists are heroes, how paedos are just misunderstood and people on benefits should get knighthoods.
You’ve been accused of joke theft.
It’s nonsense. I did one joke that was similar to Roy Chubby Brown’s. Coincidence. I don’t do it no more. Comedy’s an old business if it’s a good joke it’s usually been said by someone else.
You do a lot of MC work. Any tips?
Chat to people. Women particularly. No one complains about my act as I win them over first. That’s why I don’t put videos on the internet as I don’t want people to see the jokes out of context. Most of my work is out of town too so I make sure I know a lot about the place I’m gigging in for banter purposes. Wikipedia the town. Notable residents is always a good avenue of comedy. In Leicester so gags about Adrian Mole. If you’re gigging in Newport do gags about them attacking a paediatrician thinking she was a nonce. Don’t ask too patronising questions though. Don’t say ‘who is on Facebook?’ Ask people if they use Twitter.
What inspires you to write gags?
Anything. I once saw a dog eat a sausage and thought ‘that’s practically cannibalism’. It’s all about looking at the world in an odd way. It helps that I work at a car rental firm during the day. Gives me an insight into people. I also get to use the cars to drive to gigs.
Do you use a notebook or are you more like Louis CK who never keeps notes?
I use my iPhone 5. I dictate into it. Listen to this. [Plays recording: ‘broccoli, beans, fishcakes’] See joke ideas.
Finally, describe your comedy style?
Edgy but cerebral.
• Nelson is not on YouTube