Axel the Entertainer may be a new name to some of you, but remember where you heard it first. This young comedian from west London is set to blow and follow in the footsteps of those he admires, such as Slim, Kat B and Michael McIntyre. Flavour catches up with Axel in a noodle bar off Carnaby St to get to know more about him, comedy and women…
How did you get into comedy?
It was about three years ago, I was at Slim’s one-man show. I didn’t used to go to a lot of comedy shows, but when I went there I thought it was amazing. I loved the way he had the crowd under control and the humour. I said to myself, I wonder if I can do this. I went away and went on the Internet, and I found something called The Comedy School in Camden. I went and did a course for two weeks.
Your first gig was at the Sunday Show, how did it go?
I got drunk. I had to get drunk because I was so nervous – JD and coke. I went on and it was hit and miss. All in all, I did all right; sometimes I got a laugh, sometimes I didn’t. When I got up there I was nervous, my heart was beating; to this day the same things happen.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your comedy from?
Everyday life and things that I notice. I’m an observational comedian, which means things that I notice. I’ll say, ‘I’ve noticed this,’ to the crowd and tweak it so everybody will think, ‘Yeah, I’ve noticed that too,’ and bring the humour through that angle. I use my facial features and body language – a lot of body language. That’s where I get the most laughter.
How do you deal with hecklers?
To be honest, I haven’t bumped into a lot of hecklers. It’s not really on our kind of scene. When there are hecklers you have to shut them down quickly. One time there was this girl and she was drunk and making a lot of noise, I kept saying someone needs to shut this girl up. At the end of it I said, ‘Someone put something in this girl’s mouth, my flies are stuck.’ As soon as I said that the audience was like, ‘Ahhh…’ And she didn’t say anything for the rest of the night.
Is it hard to be original in stand-up?
No; a lot of people have touched on topics that you want to talk about. You say it in a different way; it’s how you word it. It is a bit upsetting when I have a joke and someone’s done something similar so there’s no point me going on stage saying it.
How do you feel when a show is going really well, you’re making everyone laugh, the audience is practically eating out of your hand? Is it a kind of power?
Yes, that feeling is amazing. It’s hard to describe. It does feel good to know that people can relate to you and understand you to the point where they’re standing up clapping. It’s like a last-minute goal at the end of a match.
Do you think comedy can serve a higher purpose other than just entertaining people?
Yes, laughter is the best medicine.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
Me and this girl I liked started talking. We ended up linking up and she brought her friend, and I brought my friend. I started to like her friend more than I liked her by far. I obviously couldn’t tell the girl I was with, but I wanted to because it was bothering me. We left it. Then a year later, I find out that all that time the girl liked me and was thinking the same thing. All we had to do was say.
Does being funny help you with the ladies?
What do you think the answer is? Yes it does. Yes it does. Every single show, I get girls that come up to me. They either give you the eyes or they just say, ‘Well done.’ You get the ones that linger around, waiting for you to say something. You also get the straightforward ones…
Choosing comedy over other ‘safer’ career choices is a brave move. Did you encounter any scepticism or discouragement?
Yes, I did; it just helps you get stronger. When I first started out, certain people that I was seeing relationship-wise were like, ‘I can’t see you being a comedian.’
What is the dream? What do you want to do with your comedy?
I want to take it as far as it can go. People say the sky’s the limit, but for me Jupiter is the limit. You see people like Michael McIntyre: he’s got his own tour, own show, he’s on Britain’s Got Talent, and other people are interested in him, because he’s not just a comedian but a personality.
Tell us a joke…
I’ve noticed that a lot of guys like to do late-night calls. It’s getting kind of ridiculous really, because they never do it in the day, just late-night calls, like when poker’s on TV late night. They have this deep voice on that they never had on before. Some guys don’t know how to talk over the phone, they just say, ‘Yeah, what’s going on?’ I was chatting to one girl and she asked me a question, she asked, ‘Are you a guy that prefers a girl with batty or breasts.’ I said batty. She said, ‘I thought you were a breast man.’ I said, ‘Nah.’ She said, ‘So how long you been a batty man?’
Follow Axel the Entertainer on Twitter @AxelEntertainer