EDINBURGH 2023: Elliot Steel Q&A

Love and Hate Speech comes to Underbelly this August

By: Jun. 08, 2023
Edinburgh Festival
EDINBURGH 2023: Elliot Steel Q&A
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BWW catches up with Elliot Steel to chat about bringing Love and Hate Speech to the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Tell us a bit about Love and Hate Speech.

Love and Hate Speech is just a love letter to dark humor. I think society has really progressed in understanding people but we still see people laughing at dark jokes as a kind insult, or they’re deflecting from feeling about a certain subject. For me it’s part of getting over something.

How are you coping with the recent backlash against nepo babies?

Ha that’s a great question. It’s fine. A lot of cases it’s deserved. We’re annoying. But for me it’s not like I’m walking into tv opportunities. My brand of humor would be heavily edited on Have I Got News For You or The Mash Report. So I have to use Insta, Twitter and Tik Tok to find my audience. And every now and then there’s someone screaming at me because my dad has a Wikipedia but that’s fine. I’ve spent years on the circuit and have the respect of other comics which is what matters most to me.

But to deny my dads job hasn’t had any influence would be utterly disingenuous. Of course it’s opened doors (Which incredibly then shut very quickly). But it took me nine open spots to get a full spot at the comedy store. I’ve failed a tonne in this job and kept going and am now starting to see the rewards. Which will include people calling me a nepo baby. I like to think I’m the best nepo baby comedian though. There’s a lot of us but I’m the most open about it. There’s a few who have producer parents that they try and keep quiet which is lame.

But yeah having a radio 4 darling as a father has had it’s perks and I get why that angers people. Mainly his audience because they’re mental lefties and I can be very critical of the left. So they turn quickly and reach for the nepo card.

After receiving critical acclaim with Merked in 2019, are you feeling any pressure this year?

I feel pressure with every show. I’m competitive. I want people to love the show and have a good time. Merked was when I finally realised I’m getting good at comedy. But this show this year comes after my 10th comedy birthday. And it takes 10 years to get good at this. And from the early preview stages I knew I was onto something. I take the bits that aren’t working and throw them into the club set to get them working. I love the clubs and you’re on with best of British comedy for a weekend. And I might go on with a concept that isn’t seen as a club bit and set myself the task of getting it to work. But audiences always surprise me. I think we as acts treat them with disrespect by not trusting them to get stuff. That’s one of the main things I learned from Merked. Trust the audience. They’ll get it. We love this culture of offence and you can’t say anything. But if you’re any good you can

Who would you like to come and see Love and Hate Speech?

Anyone, I promise you’ll like it. Look I joke about anything and everything. Mixed audiences are the best. I never want a too left or too right audience. Young and old. Killing a gig in a room not just diverse in terms or race, age or gender but also opinion to me is the ultimate test of a comic.

What's next for you after the Fringe?

Straight back at it. I’ll probably go down to top secret and start writing some new stuff. I like to gig most nights of the week and have no plans of slowing down.

Tickets for Elliot Steel: Love and Hate Speech are available on the Edfringe website: Elliot Steel: Love and Hate Speech | Comedy | Edinburgh Festival Fringe (edfringe.com)

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