Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Adam Kay: Amateur Transplants, Christmas Edition

By | Published on Wednesday 11 December 2013

I doubt there are many pop culture-absorbers out there in London these days who haven’t heard that Amateur Transplants ‘London Underground’ song, so even if you’ve never seen Adam Kay perform live, I’m pretty sure you’ll have experienced his comedy schtick via the good old interweb.

Adam Kay

If you liked what you heard, and, you know, maybe listened to some his other songs, his Christmassy show this Friday might just be the one for you. To aid you in your decision-making process, I put a few questions to the medic-turned-comedy-singer…

CM: Our reviewer saw your ordinary ‘Bum Notes’ at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe and really liked it. In what way is the Christmas version Christmassy? Do you sing carols? Or is it just because you’re putting it on in December?
AK: It’s Christmassy in every way, shape and form. From the Christmas tree on stage, to the thirty Christmas classics I destroy in the name of comedy. My particular favourite is a version of ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’ as rewritten for George Michael. (It’s called ‘In Restrooms I Meet Gentlemen’.)

CM: What else can we expect from the show?
AK: Expect to never hear Christmas songs in quite the same way after you’ve heard them through the lens of this show…

CM: According to the press release, you’re determined to have a hit single in 2013. You haven’t got much of 2013 left though, have you?
AK: I managed to squeeze a hit in just in time. John Lewis were running a competition to re-voice their Bear & Hare advert, so I gave it a go. It’s had 400k YouTube views, but unfortunately John Lewis disqualified my entry for changing the words…

CM: Of all the songs you perform, do you have a favourite?
AK: I’ve got a charming little number about Oscar Pistorius that I’m playing rather a lot at the moment –  My favourite song changes a lot. Although it’s never the London Underground Song.

CM: You’ve done quite a lot of writing for TV and Radio. Which do you prefer, that or live performance?
AK: Writing scripts is great because I can do it in my pyjamas. Performing live is great because people (generally) clap afterwards, which is a nice feeling. I’m going to choose performing live because I’ve just realised I can probably do that in my pyjamas too.

CM: In the summer you wrote for us a column about why doctors leave the profession for comedy. What were your own reasons for leaving, and why do you think anyone stays?
AK: I left medicine so I can drink at work. (Legally). I’m pretty sure that most people stay because they don’t have a Plan B. Or they’re better people than me. Probably that actually.

CM: Do you like Christmas? Do you have any Christmas traditions?
AK: I love Christmas. Everything about it from getting presents, to the food, to getting presents, to the decorations, to getting presents. Having spent three months listening to Christmas songs so I could write the show, I’m not such a fan of the music though. My main Christmas tradition is getting extremely drunk and having a massive argument with my boyfriend. Looking forward to it already!

Adam Kay performs his ‘Christmas Bum Notes’ on 13 Dec at Bloomsbury Theatre. See this page here for details and tickets. 

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Photo: Idil Sukan