Comedian Stuart Goldsmith is pleased with the title of his latest show, Compared to What, which he brings to Brighton Komedia on Sunday, February 19.
“One of the problems coming up with the title is that you have to come up with it before you have actually written the show, when you are not sure what you are actually going to be talking about. And most of my shows are pretty autobiographical anyway. They might as well be called This is What I Am Thinking About at the Moment. But having a baby was one of the triggers for this one.
“The title came specifically from the fact that I was thinking that I have had a certain amount of success, that can I pay the mortgage, that I have got fans that come along to listen to what I am talking about and that I have had millions of downloads from my podcasts, and I was just doodling in my notebook when I was supposed to be thinking up jokes. And I was thinking that I had had this success, but that I was not super famous, that I was not enormously successful. And then I was thinking ‘Well, compared to what?’
“The two prongs for the show are having a baby and moving away from London. I had to move to the countryside because of the baby. I start off talking about the countryside and then all the things that people hate about the city. We were having a long-distance relationship which she won by getting pregnant and I had to move to where she was. And really the show is about growing up, the reason that there are only so many parties I can go to, only so many times I can still be talking to someone at three o’clock in the morning that I am not remotely interested in. The show is about compromise, about absolutely having to grow up. There was a time when as a stand-up comedian I would earn a couple of hundred pounds on a Friday night and I would be thinking I am so lucky, that I am doing what I love and someone is giving me folding money at the end of it. But now I would be thinking, right, that money is in the bank now and how I can earn some more.”
Looking back, Stuart recalls he was freaked by every birthday from the age of 14 to 30, constantly worried about getting old: “I just wish I could tell my younger self that we all go through it together, that we all share it. But because of my career decisions and my lifestyle, I suppose I was able to stave off that realisation longer than a lot of people can. But then there is a certain relief in having made that decision. But actually having a baby is a very self-destructive decision. Your self-importance implodes. Life before is like the game Mousetrap. You are setting it all up bit by bit; then you have the baby and everything is smashed up, and you are starting again from zero. But I am a total egomaniac and I now have to realise I am no longer the star!”
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