Interview: Justin Moorhouse Talks New Show Northern Joker

Justin Moorehouse is back with a new show – Northern Joker – which tours until January 2020 (tickets here). Here he talks new material, family and where he stands on the ‘anything goes in comedy’ debate...

The scope of your material is wide – from politics to family life and plenty in between. Is everything ‘lived’, so to speak, the primary source for your material?

Yeah I think that’s right. I don’t live my life thinking this thing that’s happening will be funny, but later on reflecting I tend to find the funny in things and ponder on if it’ll be a bit or not with something else. 

Your son and daughter get mentions in the hooks for this tour – do they support your use of your life with them for laughs or do you suffer endless eye rolls?

They do. They realise that the people I show on stage are exaggerated composite characters to some degree and also they wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t funny.

One of my favourite lines of yours is the description of your son as ‘a yawn in a hood’ – do your kids ever get to veto a joke? Or maybe pitch in with the punchline?

They aren’t allowed, I try not to embarrass them – my son is 22 now and he’s not bothered at all. My teenage daughter is getting not comedy (sic). She sees a lot of the shows and offers tips, which I ignore. Then write down when she thinks I’m done ignoring.

The comedy world seems to fall into two parties: those who see funny as funny no matter what and those who see a line not to be crossed and accept it. Where do you stand?

The only line is hatred, once you’ve crossed that line you are in trouble. Everything is potentially funny. Some people might get upset at a joke, [that’s] not the joke teller’s fault. I cry at some movies because they remind me of bad times, no one bans sad movies. ‘Art’ (I’m a comedian for God’s sake), but art is supposed to provoke a reaction. However if you set out to upset people you’ve got a problem with yourself anyway.

How does this current show, Northern Joker, differ from the last?

Brand new material first up. Also it’s been directed by Henry Normal who helped me with telling the story first and then making it funny. He said never worry about the funny because you will always find it.

You’re clearly a proud northerner – what is it that gives you that great sense of pride?

Not sure if I’m that proud – I love the north and appreciate that everyday face to face humour that seems to exist in most places. Plus we have our dinner at dinner time.

Your style is generally not exactly family friendly. Do you struggle to ‘go clean’ when necessary?

Am I dirty? I don’t think so? I do do clean, easy. Fuck ‘em.

So there you have it! Remember, Northern Joker tours until January 2020 and you can find information about dates, venues and tickets here.

Images credit: Paul Wolfgang Webster

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