Leo Kearse’s previous show Right-Wing Comedian was banned from venues following allegations of transphobia, despite being written with a transwoman he dated. His new show at the Edinburgh Fringe is a candid account of sex and censorship, ripping into political correctness, environmentalists and ‘wokeness’. He spoke with The Fountain about the show and what his plans are for Edinburgh this year.
TF: What is the premise of your show?
It’s about how I keep getting banned from things – hotels, Facebook, Tesco. I was banned from my venue at the Perth Fringe in Australia because people complained that my material is transphobic. But I wrote that material with a transgender woman I was dating (a hot one btw) because I’m so woke I dated a transgender woman before VICE were writing articles about it. Most people who complained weren’t even transgender – there were straight people who say they’re queer because they think it makes them more interesting, and there were drag queens. Drag is trans blackface. A drag queen complaining about transphobia is like a minstrel complaining about racism. So my show is about the tyranny of “wokeness”, victim culture and how all these right-on folks are ruining everything for everyone, including themselves.
TF: What drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I think all this “wokeness” is ridiculous. Identity politics, intersectionality, it’s all reductive and divisive. I’m a big fan of Martin Luther King’s attitude that people should be judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin. Today’s liberals are exactly the opposite. People aren’t being woke to be good people, they’re doing it to look pious and feel superior to other people. And there’s huge power in being a victim in 2019 – you can boost your profile and end careers. Wokeness is infesting comedy too. People wilfully decontextualise and misinterpret jokes so they can complain about them. The comedian Hari Kondabolu accused the Simpsons of racism, he said he was bullied at school because of Apu. Hari, you didn’t get bullied at school because of Apu. You got bullied at school because you’re soft. If you took steroids and did MMA nobody would be making fun of you. Woke comedy is rubbish anyway. It’s like women’s football – it gets written about in the Guardian, but it’s s**t.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
Dreams aren’t made at the Edinburgh Fringe. If you were going to achieve anything, you’d have been told about it in a cabal meeting in February where you sucked the barbed penises of various lizard people. Prepare yourself to be ignored by the industry while a posh girl you saw tank horrifically at an open mic wins Best Newcomer. There’s still time to cancel Edinburgh and take your partner on holiday instead. Then they won’t leave you for a guy who has a proper job and does normal things at the weekend. Although I have to add, if you are dating a redhead who used to go out with me, she slept with me two days before you went to Berlin together, and I’m filthy. Also don’t forget to stay hydrated at the Fringe, it’s a long festival.
TF: Is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I want to see Tania Edwards, Darius Davies, Titania McGrath and Jerry Sadowitz because they’re funny. But I’ll be sick of comedy so what I really want to do is go to the zoo and look at the otters. They’re hilarious and so lovely – each otter has a pebble that it keeps for life and plays with every day. If the zoo costs more than a tenner I’ll go to Pets At Home and look at the gerbils instead.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond your show?
I like shoplifting, it’s very exciting. So I’ll do more of that. I run this show called Hate n Live which has a panel of comedians hate on topics suggested by the audience. We’ve got TV production companies interested in developing it, so hopefully it will make it on to TV at some point. Then I’ll get rich and powerful and can crush my enemies.
You can see Transgressive at Gilded Balloon Balcony from 31st July – 25th August from 9:15pm. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com