Stuart Goldsmith is a stand-up comedian, podcast host and actor. In my opinion, Stuart is the host of the best podcast when it comes to stand-up comedy, The Comedian’s Comedian. I am a regular listener, and have enjoyed his interviews with comedians like Romesh Ranganathan, Russell Howard and Bill Burr. However, Stuart is also a very established stand-up comedian himself, having burst on the scene as a finalist in So You Think You’re Funny in 2005, and having recently received positive feedback for his 2014 and 2015 Edinburgh shows, Extra Life and An Hour, with the latter being nominated for the Amused Moose comedy award. Stuart Goldsmith has also appeared as an actor in TV shows like CBBC’s sci-fi gameshow, Mission: 2110. I was extremely excited to talk books with such a well respected comedian, and the host of a podcast which is really blowing up. Please enjoy my interview with the hilarious Stuart Goldsmith…
When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?
I’m a comic. I specifically say comic rather than comedian because I think it sounds more archetypal somehow.
End of Watch by Stephen King, and a book by Michael Rosen about playing creatively with your children.
When you think about your childhood, what book comes to mind?
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An actor I suppose, or what my childishly excitable idea of an actor was.
When did you fall in love with making people laugh?
At school; I would recite the night before’s Lenny Henry show sketches to two friends, and it was the best part of my day.
What do you think your school aged self would think of the present day you?
I can honestly say he’d be fucking overjoyed. The one thing I have done absolutely right is take care of that guy.
If you could wrap up a single book and gift it to yourself as you left education – which book would it be?
The final installment of Game of Thrones. God, I’d be smug.
Does your reading have routine? Is there a particular time or place that you like to read?
No routine in my life really, it’s a bit of a worry. I snatch reading moments ten mins before bed, or while travelling by train or plane.
What two pieces of advice would you give a young aspiring comedian?
Stop trying to be yourself and just be yourself. And, remember to enjoy every gig.
Who would you say your three biggest comedic influences are?
Simon Munnery, Alun Cochrane, Lee & Herring.
Do you have any books that you strongly associate with someone important in your life?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman will always remind me of my brother.
What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?
Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
I prefer reading fiction.
Do you think reading is important?
Of course! I don’t do enough of it, not by a country mile. I use it mostly for escapism rather than to challenge myself; I just snuffle about hungry for “peak experiences”, and I use the novels I read as uppers to get me there.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 6 months?
The best book I’ve read in the last six months is Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong.
Do you prefer real books or digital books?
I prefer real and won’t get rid of my hundreds of real books, but I’ve only read digital for months now.
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?
Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?
I’m hopelessly addicted to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I would also include How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-up Comedian by Stewart Lee, it is enthralling. They’re pretty similar really.
What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?
I can’t promise to up my game to be honest. I’m looking forward to finishing the Michael Rosen book, and I might cast about for more in that vein…
If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?
I Needn’t Have Worried.