The Spotlight on... James Mullinger
The London is Funny Spotlight turns to James Mullinger, a globe-trotting comic who comperes at two London comedy nights and definitely does NOT look like Paul Danan. So come on then, James, what have you got to say for yourself?
Outstanding eyebrows: James Mullinger
Name: James Mullinger
Where do you live: Tooting Bec How long have you been gigging for?: Four years
What do you do?: Tell a mixture of truth and lies. The truth always gets the biggest laughs. I am half Polish so much of my material comes from that. I perform at least once a week in London. I have performed in Australia, Canada and the US and there is no doubt that London is the best place for comedians and audiences.
Who makes you laugh?: Louis CK and Chris Rock are the most intelligent stand-ups alive. Jerry Seinfeld is the greatest of all time. My favourite UK-based stand ups are Scott Capurro, Greg Davies, Shappi Khorsandi, Robin Ince, Shazia Mirza and Richard Herring. Frank Skinner is the reason I wanted to do stand up.
At which London venues do you usually appear? I have performed at all the big clubs (Comedy Store, Jongleurs, Comedy Café, Up The Creek) but more often than not you’ll find me at smaller venues. You’ll often find me at James Everett’s wonderful Porthole Comedy Club in Kilburn, he’s a great compere and creates a fantastic atmosphere.
I am resident compere at Upstairs at the Masons in Mayfair and Electric Mouse Comedy at Theatre 503 in Battersea. I am running a new theatre gig with Chris Mayo at the lovely New Players Theatre on Sunday, February 9, which will be great, you’ll see.
What is your favourite London venue? Jokers Die Younger at Upstairs at the Masons. I know I’m biased but, when the atmosphere is just right in an above-pub gig, it blows any big purpose-built club out of the water.
Jason Rouse headlined a few months back and seeing 70 people convulsing with laughter in this tiny room was a joy to behold. At the end of the show everyone present knew something unique had happened. People were so overwhelmed they were almost afraid to make eye contact afterwards. It was a bit like the end of an orgy when you have to put your clothes back on and say goodbye.
And when Jimmy Carr, Stewart Lee and Stephen Merchant pop in to try out new material the atmosphere is far more electric than if you see them at a bigger venue.
What are you/should your be famous for? I occasionally get recognised from appearing on Jimmy Carr’s DVD or a low-budget comedy panel show I was on two years ago that gets repeated. I should be famous for getting pulled out of the audience by Lionel Blair and Patsy Kensit at Cinderella in Richmond Theatre when I was eight. They asked me to sing a song so I sung Baa Baa Black Sheep. I received a standing ovation. Now that’s living the dream.
What is your placing in the Top Million Comedians League?: I’m very near the bottom but every gig – good or bad – takes me a stage higher.
Which celebrity do you look like? When I used to have a shaved head people said I looked like Paul Danan. That’s as bad as it gets, it really is.
Whose sex face would you least like to see? I wouldn’t be that keen on seeing John Leslie’s at close range. Long distance would be okay because then I would just be a dogger. Or more likely, the witness for the prosecution.
Audiences love it when I... Get heckled.
Audiences hate it when I... Leave the stage.