The Spotlight on... Yianni Agisilaou

Friday, October 23 2009

He's an Aussie comedian making Londoners laugh, he's a sucker for the Comedy Store and dear God you should try his spag bol. That's right – it's Yianni Agisilaou!

Name: Yianni Agisilaou.

Where do you live?: With fellow comedians Sarah Bennetto and James Dowdeswell in a Clapham Common closet. They have the master bedroom, although recently they’ve stopped making me call them ‘master’.

How long have you been gigging for?: My first gig was in a gay bar in Melbourne in January 2000 so I am approaching 10 years in the game. Experienced comics always told me that 10 years is around the time when you find your comic voice. I always called bullshit on that. They were right.

What do you do?: I speak sequences of words which via social conditioning, repetition and a degree of advance planning by myself repeatedly build an expectation in an audience that they know what the next word will be. I then break that expectation, pause, momentarily bask in laughter then repeat until two minutes after a red light gets waved at me.

Who makes you laugh?: Liam Mullone, Damien Clark, Eddie Izzard, Rob Deering, Daniel Kitson, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, David Brent, Family Guy Seasons 1-3 after which it made me cry, Lorin Clarke, Pappy’s Fun Club, Buster Keaton.

At which London comedy clubs do you usually perform?: Jongleurs, 99 Club, Boat Show, Falling Down with Laughter, Soho Comedy Club, Banana Cabaret, Fymfyg, ED Comedy, etc

What is your favourite London comedy venue?: I love the Comedy Store even though Don’s never there when I do open spots and I love the old Comedy Store venue at Storm nightclub which is now the 99 Club, especially when it’s full.

What are you/should you be famous for?: Apparently I give the best hugs in the world. Can you be famous for that? If any of your readers are seeking to improve their hugs, here’s a handy hint. A hug takes place with your whole body, not just your arms.

I SHOULD be famous for taking my Mum’s already perfect spaghetti bolognese recipe and improving it by adding chilli and red wine.

Who is your celebrity doppelganger?: The one I get most is Ben Stiller. I don’t agree, but I’ve stopped protesting. If I disagree and get angry, people just go to their mates “HAHAHAHA he’s doing ‘Mr Furious’ from ‘Mystery Men!”

Whose sex face would you least like to see?: Oscar the Grouch. As an emotionally bruised comedian, I’m always acutely aware that I’m only ever a few weeks of indulging my self-destructive tendencies away from the gutter. But you’d have to fall a long way to look up and see a manky, moaning muppet bearing down on you.

Audiences love it when I... do silly accents and voices. Drop truth bombs.

Audiences hate it when I... cross that diaphanous line between confidence and arrogance.

And here is a quick glimpse of Yianni's 2008 show...


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