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GETTING TO KNOW GARETH BERLINER

Fri 18 May 2012

The Abnormally Funny People star speaks to Soho Theatre about doing the funnies

At what point did you decide to become a stand-up comedian?

I decided after doing some Karaoke in a bar in Portugal and realizing I liked entertaining but was not the worlds best singer. I’d always been the funny guy among my friends and was born April 1st so it seemed like the right thing to do.

How did Abnormally Funny People get together?

Simon Minty and Steve Best who are best mates realised there was a lack of representation of disabled people in the stand-up industry and audiences were not hearing enough from disabled acts. They decided to do something positive about it and started AFP.

Do you have an opinion on the way disability is represented in comedy?

I am happy for disability to be represented in comedy if disabled people are involved, creatively as writers, behind the camera or as performers in some way. I am most dissapointed when this is not the case e.g The new film Snow White and the Huntsman where all the 7 dwarves are average height known actors who have been shrunk using CGI and given Achondraplasia a condition of dwarfism based in the real world. To me that’s as offensive as having Mel Gibson blacking up to play Obama in a Biopic moovie.

Which other comedians do you admire?

Mitch Hedberg (Deceased), Bill Hicks (Deceased), George Carlin (Deceased)….Alive comics that I admire are Louis CK, Micky Flanagan, Hal Cruttenden, Tom Stade, Michael Dwyer, Ian Stone…

Complete this sentence: ‘Stand-up comedy is…’

definitely at it’s best when it’s funny. ; )

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