Ian Smith on Funny Folk Comedy Club

Ian Smith is a Brockley-based comedian, who performs in BBC 2's Popatron and has been described as a 'star of the future' by Time Out.

He also runs The Funny Folk Comedy Club at Goldsmiths, so we interviewed him ahead of upcoming dates on the 8th and 15th of March.

He also appeared alongside another local comedy hero, Holly Walsh in this recent BT ad.

How did you get started in comedy?

I used to be in a sketch group when I was 15, with my two friends, called 'Best before: Yesterday'. As we got older and went to different colleges we had to stop, but I enjoyed making people laugh, and had always loved stand-up, I carried on by myself.

Why did you launch the evenings at Goldsmiths?

I really like runing nights, because I get to book the comedians I love and get to watch them work, and get inspired by them. Also, it gives me a chance to host a night every few weeks, which is a great experience and helps you improve as a comedian quicker I think.

How do you like to run the evenings? Is the crowd all students?

It's usually all students, but anyone is welcome! The audience really make a good night, you can tell when you start if the audience are already really up for it, and you can do different things and experiment. And, of course, the acts. A good night for me is when something unexpected happens that makes people laugh, I like it when I find myself in amongst thr audience shouting at people and being laughed at!

Who have you got coming up and how do you get such big names?

I'm still organising the full line-ups for the next shows (March 8th and March 29th) - but so far for the 8th we have Fergus Craig (Star of 'Star Stories') and George Ryegold (Malcolm Hardee Award Nominee). As I've been gigging I've got to know a fair few acts, but just contacting the acts via emails or agents. My personal favourite has been Tim Key, a real comedy hero.

Who would be your dream booking? My dream booking would be Daniel Kitson. he's incredible, his comedy is moving and beautiful, while at the same time being, in my opinion, funnier than anything else at the minute. You should check out his website and podcasts at http://www.danielkitson.com/

Do you see yourselves as competitors to Happy Mondays?

Not at all - I try to not book on the same days, just out of politeness and it makes sense not to. I think that club is incredible, brilliant line-ups, so people should come to both! (Although, if I haaaaad to choose, I'd say come to the Funny Folk).

From Up the Creek to Happy Mondays and Funny Folk - why has there been such a cross over in SE London between performing and organising nights?

I'm not sure, but ift does seem to be a great area for it! Sunday Special at Up the Creek is probably one of the best, and best value nights, in the whole of London.

You were named one of the top 10 comedians to watch in 2011 - how are you doing so far?

Things are going quite well, I'm just gigging as much as possible, and trying to get more acting work, hoping 'Popatron' will get a second series. I'm doing a double-hander comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe with the fantastic Rob Beckett, so I'm looking forward to that. In 2012 or 2013 I hope to take up my debut solo-show to edinburgh, so that will be the next major thing for me that I'm focusing on at the moment.

What's the best thing about living in Brockley?

I think Brockley's brilliant. Everything you need is very close by. One of my favourite things I'm going to do more of now I don't have a day-job is to go to the Wikham Arms and watch football games.

However, someone recently stole our recycling bin. Who does that? Either someone who hates recycling, or someone who is doing so much they need two bins.