If Wikipedia is to be believed, “Billy Kirkwood (born 1 September 1958) is a Scottish former football player. He is currently a Rangers youth coach.” However, this is not about that Billy Kirkwood…
This is about Scottish comedian and the voice of Insane Championship Wrestling. He is, in his own words, an improviser, wrestling commentator, noisemaker, host, presenter, writer, actor and MetaGeek. On June 10th, Billy Kirkwood comes to Eden Court in Inverness where he’s ‘Just Being Funny’.
I was lucky to have the chance to catch a few words with Billy about the upcoming show.
Question #1: How long have you been performing stand up comedy?
I’ve been performing stand up specifically for 11 and a half years, which is a long, long time so you’d think I’d be good! In fact I can tell you the date, November 3rd 2004 at The Buff Club in Glasgow. It’s weird now, nobody seems to get into stuff for the fun of it anymore and every body has a 5 year plan and ‘I’m gonna be this and an I’m gonna be that’, I kinda got into it for the fun of it and it never meant to be my job. It was always just going to be a fun thing, I’ve always been a fan of comedy all my life almost as long as wrestling. So there you go, in November I’ve been doing this for 12 years and, something crazy like, 9 professionally. This is the longest I’ve ever done…anything. If it ended tomorrow I can’t complain. I’ve gigged with people who have been doing this twice as long as me and I feel privileged to still be doing it today.
Excellent, so for those not aware of your style, how would you describe it?
Emm…loud haha, very improvisational, very interactive and shacky. It’s a little bit different each time you see it so yeah just loud, brash and just creating a fun atmosphere for everybody, if I’m having a good time I want you to have a good time.
What process do you use to develop your stand up comedy material?
When I first started I would be strict about writing and now I would still hone material but I improvise a lot. I’ll have come up with an idea and sort of work it out on stage. So very often the stuff that you’re seeing on stage looks like it’s never been there before and I’ll maybe hone it over a few gigs, six months, and make it better and usually just when I get it perfect I drop it and think of something else. So very improvisational and working it out on the stage.
I’ve had the pleasure to see you a few times doing stand up from compere in Elgin, I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS and at The Comedy Bothy in Inverness and it was three totally different shows.
I think the main reason for that is I get bored and I know, and this isn’t slating them because I’m sure it still works, I know guys who have been doing the same set for 20 years. And I know 20 year comedians, and this is the first time I’ve said it, that look dead behind the eyes. Or just miserable and you never want to be that guy. I think if I was, I think I would quit and I couldn’t do it anymore. I’ve never been able to do a job I hate for very long and I love this job, so as long as I love it I’ll keep changing things up.
You do a lot of other things also like the ‘1001 Things To Do Before You Die Podcast’ and ‘Bad Movies with Good Comedians’, do you sometimes find it difficult to think of new material on the fly or do you just roll with it?
You know, I just kinda roll with it. It’s one of those things where if you start thinking about it you clam up and just blink. So yeah, just roll with the punches and thankfully I’ve never went on stage with nothing to say so as long as that continues…
Okay last question, what should the people in Inverness expect on June 10th?
On June 10th the people of Inveress should expect a high energy, good time. I’m coming up for a good time and a good laugh. Check your inhibitions at the door, forget about all the bad stuff, come in and just have a laugh.
You can buy tickets to Billy Kirkwood’s ‘Just Being Funny’ show that is taking place at Eden Court on June 10th by clicking here. Tickets are only £10 for what promises to be a hilarious night of good fun and guilt free laughs.
Buy a t-shirt! You can get your own ‘Billy Club’ shirt over at Mans Ruin.
You can also hear Billy Kirkwood as the voice of Insane Championship Wrestling OnDemand.
It was a pleasure to talk to Billy and I would thoroughly recommend checking him out at a show near you.