Great Britain

Charlie Higson: ‘Vic Reeves Big Night Out is the funniest show I’ve ever seen’

The funniest standup I’ve ever seen …

I was absolutely blown away by Vic Reeves Big Night Out, live. It was the most original, funny and inventive show I’d ever seen. Nobody else was doing anything like it. A new show every week – songs, special guests, games, wonderful characters and, at the core of it, the amazing partnership of Vic and Bob.

The funniest sketch I’ve ever seen …

The Mitchell and Webb sketch with the two SS officers debating whether they might be the baddies has a very deep truth at its heart and is also very funny.

The funniest book I’ve ever read …

I’m not a big fan of the comedy novel but I do love Flann O’Brien (or Myles na gCopaleen). His collected newspaper pieces in ‘The Best of Myles’ has some really funny writing in it. The bits about his ‘Reading Service’, in which he offers to read people’s books for them, so they don’t have to bother, is a masterclass in taking a funny idea and worrying away at it, building on it and taking it to ever more ridiculous extremes.

The funniest film I’ve ever seen …

A toss-up between Life of Brian, The Jerk and Withnail and I. Withnail has so many funny or memorable lines, so it might just squeeze into No 1 position.

The funniest person I know …

Simon Day just seems to come at you from a different place. He’s at his funniest when he’s being spontaneous, and trying to catch this lightning in a bottle is hard. But when it all works it’s brilliant, and some of the things he did on The Fast Show are still my favourites.

The funniest heckle I’ve ever had …

Not being a standup I don’t get heckled much, but I do a lot of talks in schools about my books, and I was absolutely floored by one boy. I’d been talking about my zombie series The Enemy, when he stuck his hand up and said: “Sir, don’t you think you could have done more with your life than writing stories about zombies?”

The funniest item of clothing I’ve ever owned

It’s amazing when you look at any old photos of yourself. You remember thinking at the time how cool you looked, but actually you looked like a knob. In every picture.

The funniest word …

Arse. No contest.

The funniest joke I’ve ever heard …

One of Tommy Cooper’s: A man walks into a bar: “Oww,” (clutches head) – it was an iron bar.

Charlie presents Charlie Higson and Friends on Scala Radio on Sundays

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