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Isy Suttie: “I was sick in my housemate’s shoe on a first date”

6th July 2016
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Starting university, with all its awkwardness and pretence, can probably be likened to stand-up comedy. Awkward moments abound in both situations, and Isy Suttie agrees that “there are certainly similarities.”

Best known as Dobby in Peep Show, Isy Suttie is in fact many things – a stand-up comedian, radio broadcaster, musician and writer amongst them.

Before any of that, though, she was a student – specifically, a Hull-born, Derbyshire-raised student, parachuted into the salubrious surroundings of the Guildford School of Acting.  

It’s an experience that taught her a lot – about being yourself, and about cutting through the noise to discover the people who do, actually, find you hilarious. 

As it turns out, there are more than a few moments in Issy’s recent-ish experience that are worthy of any cringey uni night out (or indeed any of Peep Show’s 54 episodes.)

What’s the most awkward thing that’s happened to her on stage?

As we might imagine, “there have been a few things. When I got paid £20 to get off, at Edinburgh Festival. That was really hard.”

Ouch... 

“The gig that I was doing wasn’t the right kind of gig for me,” she says, diplomatically. But of course, there’s an upside: “It’s important to make those mistakes because that’s how you learn what you should be doing. You’ve got to do everything at the beginning... I learnt so much from it at the time that I’m not sorry it happened.”

Coincidentally Russell Howard, whose Comedy Central UK stand-up she’s currently featuring in, was sharing a billing with her that night – and afterwards advised her to try and up her price should the unfortunate situation ever happen again.

Now, she predicts, she’d dare to barter up to a grand before she agreed to get off stage – mainly because of inflation, and, we suspect, the fact that she’s managed to establish herself firmly on the comedy circuit despite this early career mishap.

Still, in the scale of awkward moments, it’s a pretty big one. On a par with that time she threw up on a bus on a first date, maybe...?   

“I was sick in a shoe.” she says. “It was my housemate’s shoe, that I’d borrowed, and they were quite nice heels.

“I just handed it to him, and he held it. And we got off the bus. It didn’t make him run off, which was amazing.

“I viewed it as a good test, actually. If he can survive that... Although I didn’t see him again, so...”

As an awkwardly memorable moment, certainly a contender – and here’s a third one for good measure: that time she threw a pound coin at Take That (“to thank them for coming to Matlock and performing”) and it hit Howard Donald on the head.

Yes, that happened. But more on that incident later.

As a survivor of many awkward experiences and a linchpin of one of our favourite comedy shows of recent years, what is Isy Suttie’s advice for life?

As it turns out, it’s three-fold:  “listen to your instincts”, “find out what I can learnt from this”, and, ultimately, “Lighten up. Don’t worry about things so much.”

Good advice, we think – especially when it comes to destroyed shoes, vomit or bemused boy band members.

You can catch Issy Suttie on Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central at 10pm tonight on Comedy Central UK




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