Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss had a remarkable 2018. Last year, Netflix premiered two live shows, Daniel Sloss: DARK
and Daniel Sloss: Jigsaw
worldwide in 190 countries. A regular on CONAN
, Sloss has also given his own TEDx Talk and made numerous television appearances.
He brings his critically acclaimed new show Daniel Sloss: X
, his exploration of masculinity, to the Ohio Theatre
In this recent email interview, he talks about his career.
You originally studied acting as a child. What made you want to take up that pursuit?
My mother wanted me out of the house. She works for the UN, but her office is at home and I was, and am, an incredibly annoying child. So she signed me up to any theatre that would promise to get me out of her hair during the summer holidays.
How did growing up in Scotland influence your sense of humor?
The Scots insult everything, so that’s what I do. Everything includes ourselves, which is also why a lot of my material is self-deprecating as well. We have a very dour attitude towards the world and we swear like fuck, so that also makes it’s way into my language.
What was your first stand-up gig like?
It was fine. It went well enough for me to want to do it again. It was at the Stand comedy club in Edinburgh and the staff were incredibly nice to me, and have been ever since.
What comedians have influenced your style?
Bill Burr, Ed Byrne, Tig Notaro, Mike Birbiglia.
You have particularly good comedic timing. How did you develop that skill?
My family are incredibly funny people, and I also grew up watching stand-up from a very young age. I was about 6 years old the first time I saw Bill Hicks. I wasn’t laughing at any of the jokes, just the swearing, but I fell in love with it then. Ever since then, I’ve studied stand-up. Watched as much as I could and I think I learned it through a combination of repeating stand-up routines to friends and my family being genuinely funny people
You first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 11 years ago. What was that like?
Cold and wet. I had to flyer for my own show which was on at 12:30 in the afternoon. The flyering was a miserable experience but the gigs were great, it gave me a proper taste for the Fringe, and that’s why I’ve done it every year since.
Which of your many late-night talk show appearances is your favorite?
The first time I did Conan was pretty special. It was my first introduction to the American audience and everyone at Conaco couldn’t have been nicer. Conan was incredibly kind and supportive as well and has been ever since. I don’t think I’d have my Netflix specials if it weren’t for him and his company.
You often joke about masculinity. What do you think is so funny about stereotypes about men?
A lot of them are true. Sometimes we just are big, simple idiots who like drinking and punching each other (playfully). I love that shit. I love my guy friends and how incredibly brutal we are to each other. There’s profound depths to the friendships too, but sometimes it’s nice to just be a stereotypical man, sitting down watching sports, yelling at each other while getting very drunk. Then you can go and be sensitive, kind and all those other things we all are in private.
How’d you first wind up working off-Broadway and what has that experience been like?
Soho Playhouse in New York has been incredibly supportive of me for years and years. They let me do my solo run when I had done barely any gigs over here and this year they let me do a sell-out 30 day run of my new show X
. [Producing Artistic Director] Darren [Lee Cole] and all the staff are proper comedy fans, so they know what works and that’s what makes it such a brilliant theatre to play.
Talk about what the upcoming show in Cleveland will be like.
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