Stephen K Amos interview

Stephen K Amos is a British stand-up comedian, actor, and television personality. He was born on December 3, 1967, in London, England, to Nigerian parents. Amos started his career in stand-up comedy in 1998, and since then, he has performed all over the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Apart from his successful career in comedy, Amos has also appeared on various television shows. He has been a regular guest on shows such as “Mock the Week” and “Have I Got News for You,” and has also appeared on “Live at the Apollo,” “The Royal Variety Performance,” and “QI.”

Amos has been recognized for his work, winning the Time Out Comedy Award, the Chortle Award, and the Adelaide Fringe Festival’s Best Comedy Award. He is known for his observational comedy, which often touches on themes of race, sexuality, and social class.

Stephen K Amos has revealed that he didn’t tell his parents when he first started doing comedy – but instead explained his nighttime absences by pretending he had a minicab-driving job.

And even when he did come clean, they did not see him perform live until he took his tour show to the 3,500-seat Hammersmith Apollo in London.

The stand-up comedian, writer and television personality said ‘When I first started doing comedy, I didn’t tell my parents, good heavens no,’ he told journalist and food critic Jimi Famurewa on his new podcast Where’s Home Really?

‘I used to tell them I was a minicab driver, because I was out all hours of the day. When I started getting sort of regular paid work, my dad would still, when I used to visit them, have job applications from the council – “Have you thought of this?”’

My parents were flying in from Nigeria that day. I got them seats, got them picked up at the airport, sat in the stalls, and I put on like a big after-show party thing with Nigerian catering. I was so overwhelmed.

‘I didn’t change my routine. I did all the stuff I do, talking about them, and at the end I went, “Can I just tell you ladies and gentlemen, my parents have arrived just in time, and this is the first time they’ve ever seen me live.” The crowd went mental. My mum stood up and took a bow.’

Amos who is one of the most likeable figures in British comedy used to joke that representation of black acts was so scarce on British television that he’d have to wait for Lenny Henry to die to get his own show.  – also told Famurewa that after he made his first major TV performances people started trying to compare him to the older comic,

‘I was like, is that the barometer now? Are we now going to be pitted against each other. Maybe it was naive of me, but I didn’t appreciate the weight of what that would represent.’

But he added that ‘weeks and days’ after his first appearances on The Royal Variety Show and Have I Got News For You ‘I’d be stopped in the street by predominantly black youth, saying thank you for representing.’

“Never in my wildest dreams, at the dizziest heights of stand-up comedy when you’re meeting very famous people and on bills with Rihanna or Madonna, never did I think I’d be sitting down for a half-hour private audience with the Pope. Particularly for a man with no religious leanings; it was so surreal. I was very apprehensive because I said I would only be part of it if I could ask some questions; I didn’t want to be sitting there being talked at and not have the opportunity to address issues. I had a weight on my shoulders that if I didn’t do this, that I would be doing a disservice to a whole community of people. They did say it might spark an international incident depending on the question, but I said bring it on.”

Stephen is happy to be back on the road and delighted with the show he has put together. “The structure is in place, and I’m very fond and pleased with it. I think there’s a maturity to the show; I’ve got peace with myself in terms of not having to show off. It’s a departure for me.” But one thing that won’t be different is Stephen K Amos’ ability to make audiences laugh, wherever they are around the country. Especially if the venue car park is fully operational.

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Dan Dunn
Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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