November 29, 2020

Harry Hill: ‘I used to feel a bit sorry for Ricky Gervais’

The comedian, writer, and television presenter on the things that make him laugh the most

I’ve seen a lot and it still comes back to Sean Lock. When we used to play the clubs together, he was pretty much the only one that all us other comics on the bill would come out front to watch; I mean properly watch, like a punter.

Probably Monty Python’s Albatross sketch. That beat John Cleese leaves between Terry Jones asking him whether “you get wafers with it” and his follow-up makes it. It peters out after that, but that’s always been the problem with sketches for me: often the journey is far better than the destination.

Got to be The Harry Hill Movie, right? Channel 4 occasionally put it out at about seven in the morning! I caught a bit the other day, having not seen it for years and, rather embarrassingly, found myself really laughing! OK, you got me: The Producers.

I collect joke books, but they don’t count, right? Then I’d go for The Tetherballs of Bougainville by Mark Leyner. It hasn’t really got a story as such, but it’s just packed full of funny, odd ideas.

Extras was great, wasn’t it? The Bowie bit. I have huge admiration for Ricky Gervais’s single-mindedness. I remember him when he was the entertainments manager at the University of London Union, and I also remember feeling a bit sorry for him! Neat the way it turned out.

I worked in a pub at weekends when I was a teenager and there was no scheduled break for me and this girl that worked there – and we were scared of the boss, who was a highly strung Swede. One day she went out for a couple of hours, so we laid a table up in the pub and cooked ourselves a meal. Sausage and chips never tasted so good.

Wait a minute, you’re really asking this question of the man who does the voiceover for You’ve Been Framed!? Kitten falling off the draining board into the swing bin gets me every time. But, of course, it has to get out of the swing bin too, to prove it’s OK.

Egg. Go on, say it again but imagine me saying it. Funny, right?

Harry Hill’s podcast Harry Hill’s Noise is available to stream now from all podcast platforms