COMING up with comedy ideas is according to comedian Joseph Morpurgo like “doing one clue in a crossword and then suddenly you fill in all the others”.

Each comic has/her there own thoughts about what comedy means to them or what comedy is.

The legendary Stan Laurel once said: “A friend once asked me what comedy was. That floored me. What is comedy? I don’t know. Does anybody? Can you define it? All I know is that I learned how to get laughs, and that’s all I know about it.

You have to learn what people will laugh at, then proceed accordingly.”

In the case of Joseph Morpurgo he is proceeding with this comedy career and heading to Somerset for the Wells Comedy Festival on May 26, with his new show Hammerhead.

Joseph is a rising star in the world of comedy and his previous shows are Time Out’s Number 1 show of 2015, Soothing Sounds For Baby (2015), in which he inserted himself into an episode of Desert Island Discs; Odessa (2014), in which a found VHS is used as the jump-off for a comic murder mystery; and Truthmouth (2013) - a one-man sketch show based around plundered stock images.

His debut BBC Radio 4 show, Joseph Morpurgo’s Walking Tour, aired in November and his other broadcast credits include Harry & Paul’s Story of the 2s (BBC Two) and Murder in Successville (BBC3).

Joseph said: “I am not a conventional stand up comedian as I do shows which are a blend of a play, high concept and improvisation. I start with a big idea and then work my way backwards like I did when I came up with idea of a show about Desert Island Discs. I took a whole pile of tape recordings from the radio show and interposed myself into the show.

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“But for this new show Hammerhead, it is based on a post film question and answer session, so there is a lot of improvisation and audience participation. For me as a comedian, the fun is working with a big idea and constantly surprising yourself as you dig deeper into the idea. You are trouble shooting and problem solving in an area where you are not normally pushed.

“These can be unique, striking ideas and when it all comes together it is an amazing feeling.

“Ideas as many other comedians would say come quickly and seem to fly out of you. It is like doing one clue in a crossword and then suddenly you fill in all the others. While there are other times when nothing will come.”

Joseph said he had always been a big comedy fan.

He got his start when he was at University and he joined the improvisation comedy group which met every single week and this gave him an understanding of performing.

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As far as he is concerned doing Improv gave him the confidence to come up with stuff and writing sketches.

He said he loved doing improvisation and playing to people.

Joseph said: “When I write sketches or do improvisation it is about coming up with a premises and bouncing these ideas off people I love the fact I am a one man band. I not only write the show, I perform in the show and design everything for the show. I have done it all myself and I have complete control.

“It gives me the freedom to do what I want without any constraints. There is an excitement about doing comedy which gives you a thrill.

“I am not so much and endorphin hunter as when it goes well it is great but it can also go badly. What amuses me about my comedy is that people are coming to watch and see my shows. I think I am the same person on stage as off as I am a balanced mixture between introvert and extrovert. You have to be an introvert to sit alone and write and you have to be an extrovert to perform on stage.

“Comedy I think is enjoying the moment but you have to work at it and you have to work at really hard.

“You can do it on your own and there is an innate satisfaction doing it well but you have to work hard as possible to make it the best you can.”

Further details about the Wells Comedy Festival which runs from May 25-27 can be found online on

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