Al Pitcher in 19 questions

Comedian Al Pitcher is the New Zealander who relocated to Sweden in 2010. Here, he’s continued stand-up comedy career with highlights such as winning Best Male Comedian in 2011 and three Sweden-wide tours – all sold out.

Al Pitcher will be performing his new stage show Sverige Syndrome from October till December.What is your name? 
Al Pitcher.

Where do you live? 

Where did you last travel to and where will you be ­traveling to next?
My last trip was to Copenhagen. The next is to see U2 in Dublin. 

Are you traveling for ­business or pleasure? 
Pleasure – I always have to turn right!

Wife, Anita, two kids. Frank, six, Iris, three.

What is your profession? 

How did you become that? 
My friend took me to an open mic evening one night, in ­Islington, London. I couldn’t ­believe how exciting it was. There were some mad people there that night and I thought I’d love to give it a try! 

What is your biggest ­accomplishment or proudest moment in your profession? 
Winning the Best Male Comic in 2011, voted for by my peers. 

What else have you done? 
Written scripts for radio ads, I did an acting course for a year, which did not go well. I have also worked on building sites, picked fruit – proper hard work.

How much cash are you carrying with you at the moment? 
Zero, I am in Sweden. I often wonder whether Johnny Cash would have survived here. 

Who’s your best friend? Why? 
My wife. I’ve been away Fridays and Saturdays for about 10 years now, she’s amazing and an ­incredible artist.

What’s your biggest dream? 
I would love to perform in an ­arena, or at a really big event, to see what it’s like to be in front of so many people. To do it, you have to have a really great show. Having said that though, forging a career here still feels a bit mind-blowing to me. 

What’s your biggest nightmare? 
After so many years of comedy, putting on a tour and nobody buying a ticket. Book the arena, the mic doesn’t work and people start booing.

What would you do if you couldn’t have your current profession? 
I think I’m unemployable for ­anything else, but it would have to involve some kind of performance – I have no fear of talking to people.

Which city will you return to? 
I love going to New York on ­holiday. I couldn’t live there though, it’s too much like the movies, it feels like you’re in The Truman Show.

How would your Oscar speech begin?
By thanking my mum – I think that would show her “I’m doing alright.” It would also give hope to everyone – if I can do this, anyone can! 

Aisle, window, or middle? 
Aisle. Take the ­window seat and you’re stuck – if the person in the middle falls asleep, you have to do the bizarre lap dance over them. I do get my knee hit by the drinks trolley though – I’m sure they do it on purpose – “It’s that ­comedian, he’ll find it funny.” Bang.

What’s your party trick or ­hidden talent? 
The ability to shut down a party by not being able to play guitar! I don’t have a musical bone in my body.

Finish the following sentence: “A funny thing happened to me on the way to…” 
Boston. For the first time ever my name was called out by staff – I was convinced I was finally going to be upgraded, but all they wanted to do was check a number on my passport! 

Last edited: August 29, 2017

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