I interviewed Limmy back in 2009, just after the pilot of his television show – Limmy’s Show – aired. I was still working out how journalism worked at the time, so the questions maybe aren’t the best, but I post the Q&A here, for anyone interested, and as part of my commitment to regularly update this website, at least once every year or two.
For those unaware, Brian Limond – Limmy – is a Scottish comedian, who had a three-series sketch show on the BBC. His sketches regularly do the rounds online, particularly the ‘steel is heavier than feathers‘ one.
When I interviewed him, he was known for a dark, comic podcast called Limmy’s World of Glasgow. The pilot of Limmy’s Show had recently aired, and the first series was about to be broadcast a few months later in 2010.
I fucking love the guy’s comedy. It’s very Glaswegian, and he has a great grasp of the absurd. These days, he has a huge following on Twitter, were you can find a lot of his sketches. Before clicking through to that though, take a trip with me back to a pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, pre-2016 world known as 2009:
Q: How would you describe the comedy you do? And what influences it?
A: Black comedy with a bit of The Twilight Zone. I’m influenced by life in general, The Twilight Zone, horror films, bits and pieces.
Q: Would it be fair to call some of you podcasts misanthropic? Is that a character trait you can empathise with?
A: Aye, some of them, maybe with Vijay’s stuff, where I’m showing how much of a fucking downer people can be. I can empathise with misanthropy, aye, because people can be very, very annoying at times.
Q: Some of your videos are quite hard to understand initially, where the point of the sketch appears to be purposely obscure or where it isn’t immediately obvious that you are playing a character. Have you ever worried that this approach might alienate some people?
A: Naw (straight answer!).
Q: Similarly, did you ever worry that your comedy just wouldn’t be understood by anyone? That people would think you were some maniac who harasses strangers over the phone?
A: Naw (another straight answer!)
Q: Do you think the type of comedy you do could have been as successful if you’d started on TV or radio instead of the internet? Would it have worked just as well?
A: I think the telly stuff would be as successful or not successful as the internet stuff. You’d get people liking it, and other people thinking it’s shite, just like they do on the internet.
Q: What do you enjoy more; your TV work, your internet videos and podcasts or your stand-up?
A: The TV work.
Q: Have you always considered yourself a comedian? When you were younger was it something you aspired to become?
A: Naw, up until a few years ago, I never thought I’d be a comedian.
Q: Your work is quite different from most other comedy in the mainstream. How do you feel about that kind of comedy? Panel shows or traditional sketch shows or mainstream, Live at the Apollo type stand-up?
A: I tend to tune out of mainstream comedies. I like Have I Got News For You and seeing Frankie Boyle or whoever on Live at the Apollo, but I tend to tune out of sitcoms and mainstream sketch shows. I like stuff that’s a bit bizarre or shocking or just something that wakes me up out of my fucking stupor.
Q: I could be completely wrong here, but I thought the pilot for your show was quite similar in tone and approach to The Armando Iannucci Shows? Was that an influence?
A: Naw, I’ve never seen them, but I’ve been told they’re similar.
Q: You currently have a smallish, cult following; if your new show achieves wide, mainstream success, do you think it will change you? Would you find the fame that comes with that level of success annoying or would you embrace it?
A: It depends on how it goes. If lots of people love me, then I’d embrace it. If I get slashed, then I think I would find that annoying.
Q: Your success began on the internet – are there any other comedy websites you think are particularly good?
A: None spring to mind. Sorry, I’m shite at this. I’m not really interested in anything other than my games!
Q: Well then, which games are you currently playing and are they any good?
A: I got Fallout 3 for my birthday a few days, and I’ve been on it constantly. I was up to around 5am playing it this morning. But I normally play Street Fighter IV or Call of Duty 4 or Left 4 Dead. Lots of 4s.
Q: You often mention your political views on your blog. Is political comedy or satire something you could see yourself doing more of? Is it an area of comedy you find particularly appealing?
A: It’s not so much satire as seeing a situation that I don’t like and saying something about it. I just like to moan.
Q: What’s next for you now? Another TV series or more podcasts, or something else?
A: I’ll see what happens with the series first. Something might come up after it’s on, or I might get some ideas to do something different. But I’d definitely like to keep doing something on the telly.
Q: Which video you’ve done do you think is your best? Or which one are you most proud of?
A: I think The Birthday Card is my favourite. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it’s my favourite (right now anyway).
Q: Would you say you have a lot of ambition, a drive that has made you so successful? Or have you just taken the opportunities that came along?
A: A mix of both. For years I was just fannying about on my website. It was only a few years ago that I decided I wanted to try and get on the telly. I don’t think I could have got a series so quickly without all the fannying about.