I had the opportunity to interview the brilliantly funny Jarred Christmas who is an award-winning comedian & star of CBBC’s ‘The Joke Machine’ and ‘The dog ate my homework’.
New Zealand born star Jarred is a sought after headliner famed for his quick-witted spontaneity and improvisation skills, he is a regular at the Edinburgh festival and at comedy clubs around the globe. He was named ‘Best Compere’ at the 2016 Chortle awards scoping this award for the second time.
As well as children’s TV he has also featured on shows such as Never Mind the Buzcocks, Mock the week, Russel Howard’s good news, 8 out of 10 cats and has also taken part in Lets Dance for comic relief and Celebrity mastermind.
Jarrred has now teamed up with champion beatboxer Hobbit and together they have created The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show that they are performing together at theatres around the UK.
How did you first get into Comedy and at what age did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
I first started doing stand up comedy when I was 18 way back in 1998, but I guess my passion for getting people to laugh at me started when I was about 10 years old, when I started doing Theatre sports. Which is improv comedy like ‘who’s line is it anyway’. Where I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand they had school competitions that I started doing comedy improvisation through my school years.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Oh my gosh there has been so many. Just the other day myself and Hobbit did The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show at the Southbank centre and we sold out 2 shows in one day. That was incredible to perform in such an incredible and iconic building.
I also done stand up at Sydney Opera house, which was amazing and I did a televised gig with Steve Martin.
Those 3 things have been pretty incredible.
Let’s talk about the Pot noodle Ads, as they look like they were a lot of fun. How did that come about?
Yeah they were heaps of fun. I just auditioned for them, I remember having to go in and perform material about my relationship with food. I had a routine about full English breakfast and I did that and they loved it. I got cast in the advert and amazingly the director was Taika Waititi who has just one an Oscar for the film JoJo Rabbit. I knew him from back in New Zealand as he started out as a comedian. Yeah we had a lot of fun on a lot of those pot noddle ads, I did it for 3 years, It was great.
Which is your favourite of the Pot noddle ad that you stared in?
Oh I can’t choose they are all so good. I guess the high school musical one was a lot of fun. It was just fun learning dance routines and being paid for it I guess.
The little black dress the Beyonce one that was a good one, Oh yes how could we forget.
Do you enjoy playing the mean joke master in BBC’s ‘The Joke Machine’?
That came about because I did Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs panto at the New Wimbledon Theatre with Priscilla Presley and Warwick Davis and the producer of the Joke Machine was in the audience and really liked what I had done and knew that I was a stand up as well so got in contact with me. He asked me if I would be up for doing this creative show we have got and I thought it sounded like a huge amount of fun and it was.
They filmed the kids telling the jokes then I sat in the studio for 5 days watching kids telling jokes ranging from awful ones to quite sublime and brilliant ones. Every now and then a joke would come up where I thought I have got to remember that one that was brilliant.
Then other jokes came up where I was like not this joke again.
What advice would you give to people wanting to get into comedy?
Just get out and do it. It is the only way you are going to know if you are any good at it. I think a lot of people say it is something they really want to do but then they get to the end of their lives and they never did it. It is just a matter of finding out where you can perform and getting out and do it If you don’t like it at least you can say you tried.
So you have kicked off your new tour The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show. I understand that you started this show off for adults. What made you decide to change it into a kids show?
When I first worked with Hobbit we were hosting a hiphop comedy night in central London. Where I got booked to host the show and he got booked as the house band and we didn’t know each other. We found that we were on stage for the whole time together and we had a laugh backstage so we thought let’s just mess around on stage. We ended up hosting that show together for a year and a half and when it finished we just thought let’s take what we have been doing here and make a late night mess around adult show of beatboxing and comedy and that went great.
We then both realised if we stopped swearing and being rude this could be a great family show. Also it coincided that my kids were a bit older and interested in what I was doing and wanted to go to comedy shows. So part of it was a desire to develop a show that my kids could go along to as well.
I run ideas past my children and if they just stare at me blankly I know I need to go back to the drawing board. I think now they are so used to me running ideas past them they now go ‘yeah that’s a good one’ instead of laughing.
Who is a tougher crowd Adults or Children and why?
Well they are both tough for their own reasons and they are both brilliant for their own reasons too. I mean you are never going to get drunk heckles at a kids show, well I hope not.
What you do get is absolute randomness and chaos you have no idea what they are going to come out with, no idea what they are going to do and that is hugely enjoyable. You are never going to get a straight answer out of a kid, they are going to throw constant curve balls at you. I love that aspect of kids shows and just the sheer enjoyment they have, adults can be a bit cynical at some times.
We do still every now and then do an adult version of the show and it tends to break through cynicalism as it is just such a positive and enjoyable show that even the adults embrace the silliness of it.
What can we expect to see in your new kids show The Mighty Kids beatbox comedy show?
What you can expect is a whole heap of fun, it is hugely interactive for kids and for parents. The beatboxing is insane, Hobbit is just amazingly talented. It is fascinating watching just how the kids are just enthralled by what he is doing. I bring the silliness and buffoonery and host the show and get the kids up and interacting and hobbit wows them with the beatboxing skills. On top of that he is funny as well.
Is it a show that parents will enjoy as well?
Parents love the show as well as the kids, because it started as an adult show we are aware of what is funny for the adults. Being a dad myself and going to shows with my kids I hate it when I walk out a bit bored so something that engages me to I am well up for it. It is more of a Ben & Holly than a Peppa Pig.
What have you got coming up next?
We are doing the tour and at the same time we are developing our new show to take up to the Edinburgh festival this year. We have also got a tour of New Zealand in May that we will be doing Auckland and Wellington and other smaller places around New Zealand so it will be a pretty busy six months for The Might Kids Beatbox comedy show. We are in talks to see if we can develop it into a TV show.
I have got a podcast called Three Foreigners Walk into a Bar which is on Union Jack radio and then I am doing stand up all over the palace. Hobbit is doing beatbox shows all over the world with his group the Beatbox collective.
To see The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy show you can order your tickets via the website www.mightykidsbeatboxcomedy.com
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