Comedian Kevin Bridges travels to Cardonald on his search for ‘wee mental Davie’ and chats to the Courier about college, standup and his mate Good Will Hunting
By Magdalene Dalziel
JOINERY students at Cardonald College Glasgow are enjoying a taste of fame after their chats with comedian Kevin Bridges were broadcast throughout the UK on his new TV show.
The comedian spent a day filming with some apprentice joiners at the college, then picked one to appear on a specially printed billboard on the city’s High Street for 24 hours last December.
When faced with the man himself, Bridges found them quiet at first, but soon coaxed them out of their shells.
“All my mates are apprentices,” he said. “[out of] everybody that went to my school, I was like the only one that didn’t do an apprenticeship. We had one mate that went to uni, and he was like f***ing Good Will Hunting.”
However, Bridges’ own educational career wasn’t quite so straight laced.
“Well, I got three Highers in fifth year and I missed two exams, I never showed up. I got chucked out because of that. So, I had three highers when I left school and I never had enough to get into uni so I went to the food tech college to study business administration.
“That would’ve been September 2003, through October and November, and I went back after Christmas. But over Christmas I got Frank Skinner’s autobiography so I was reading that and I was getting right into the idea of doing stand up.
“I sent an email to The Stand over Christmas asking if I could get a spot, like a five minute spot, and then they gave me it in February 2004 and I tried doing standup. I never went to those college classes or anything so I just sort of gave up on that.”
“I made friends at college, which was the worst thing that could’ve happened to me because I felt like a school child again. You know your first day at college, you’re no’ wearing a uniform and you feel like a grown-up, y’know: ‘I’m an adult, in the real world’. But then it just became like school again, so I kind of gave up. I had the decency to bow out. I thought, ‘I’m not gonna stick at this, bin it’. That’s why I tried standup – because I was always just…being a knob really. And I thought I better try turning it into something positive, being a creative knob, a more rehearsed knob.”
Since the release of his DVD in 2010 The Story So Far, Live in Glasgow, Bridges’ jokes have struck a chord with fans in Scotland and beyond, some even turning them into popular catchphrases.
“You’re quite proud because they remember the jokes. That’s what this series is about pretty much, like, I remember the jokes and the day I had the ideas,” he said.
“And I’ve written these on bookie slips, like ‘ah, that’s a good idea for a joke’ and wrote it down. It’s just like scraps of paper and wee ideas.
“For example, the Chad Hogan thing. I used to say when I did that first routine, it was like ‘Hey Troy’ or something like that. It was Troy or Hank. And then me and my pal were thinking about this bit of grafitti we saw in Clydebank that was on the side of the Playdrome swimming baths and it just said “Chad Hogan Sex Case”.
“I don’t even know what that means. that was all, just ‘Chad Hogan’ and ‘Sex Case’. This was ages ago when we were talking about this, and then I was just thinking about the routine: ‘Troy’s not very funny’ and ‘Hank’ is too cliched and I was like ‘what’s that name again, on the side of the Playdrome?’ and I phoned him and he said ‘Chad Hogan’ and I was like, that’s it.
“[American fratboy accent] ‘Hey, are you going to Chad Hogan’s?’. I did it on stage one night and I got a massive laugh, and it’s not like a punch line or anything. They were laughing at the name. I was laughing.”
He added: “People always say I laugh at my own jokes. I don’t really – I laugh at people laughing. See when you’re on stage, I just focus on a guy that’s p***ing his pants. And that’s what I laugh at, that guy’s really enjoying it, I’m just saying words that I’ve said so many times that I don’t find funny. I still find it funny but not as funny as hearing it for the first time.”
Bridges looks set to accomplish a lot more this year, with the BBC series, other appearances and a sell-out tour which offloaded a mind-blowing 45,000 tickets in one day.
The subsequent DVD sales will undoubtedly be the icing on the cake, but there is one thing the young Scot is really looking forward to – the effect it will have on fans of the opposite sex.
“Aye, the more DVDs I sell, the better looking I get,” he laughed – and this time, it was definitely at his own joke.