Muddy has a laugh with comedian Sarah Johnson
Muddy chats to the funny lady about why she turned down the chance to act, how she gets her kids involved in comedy and her new show.
Originally from an ickle village near Swadlincote (growing up she believed that the Baby Jesus was wrapped in Swadlincote), Sarah Johnson grew up watching the likes of Victoria Wood.
She always knew she had a funny bone and even turned down a Scholarship at the Birmingham Old Rep Theatre because she knew she wasn’t cut out for serious acting.
Muddy chats to her about her new show, Impractical Parent and what her kids really think of her.
What do you remember from your first stand-up gig?
My first actual stand up gig was in 2015. I enrolled on a 6-week comedy workshop with DMU Square Mile and our showcase performance was at a Working Man’s Club in Leicester as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival. Lots of the mums from school came and I was so nervous. I went to the toilet after my set and I heard some of the girls talking about me. One said I reminded her of a mix between Victoria Wood and Sarah Millican. Phew I’ll take that. I remember thinking, if this is awful and nobody laughs then I’m going to have to move the kids to another school.
Tell me about Impractical Parent?
Impractical Parent is my third hour-long show at the Leicester Comedy Festival. The idea came when I came back from the Edinburgh Fringe after my first show there in 2018. We were driving home and the kids had their heads stuck in their tablets and mobile phones. I said, ‘put those down and look at the beautiful scenery’ and my daughter replied, ‘ I AM looking at the screenery!’. The show is about my fear that my children aren’t able to play without technology, and my attempts to rectify this. It includes anecdotes from the whole range of my life, how me and my husband met, mine and his childhood and stories about my children, and a few silly games thrown in for good measure.
And how did the youtube channel ‘Wam Bam Thank You Mam’ come about?
I started filming a few ideas at the end of last year. It is really an extension of the stand-up. I’ve just turned some of my material into little sketches, a lot of which are based on funny things that happen at home or after things the kids say. I’ve also written a pilot for a sitcom called Fit To Drop. My kids feature in that as well. They love this show because it’s currently being pitched for TV (finger crossed).
How did you got your kids involved?
A lot of the ideas come from the kids, and we always have fun developing new ideas. We record little clips on our phones and I do ‘try’ to encourage them to perform and express themselves……… If they don’t do it then I’ll threaten to switch the wifi off (they love it really!)
Does this make you the ‘cool mum’ now?
Haha, well I asked the kids this question and my 13 year old soon said yes and my 10 year old daughter said no! I asked her why no and she said, “because you always embarrass me in front of my friends at school drop off!” Ah well, too late to stop now!
Most memorable gig so far – where and why?
My most memorable stand up gig has to be at Coventry Comedy Festival last year. I performed ‘My Mum’s Going To Ibiza’ at JJ’s nightclub. It was the first time I’d had a proper technician and when I got to the part where I impersonate an Ibiza DJ, the tech set all the disco lights going. It was awesome!
Fave places to eat locally?
Favourite pub is The Salmon in Leicester. Another comedian friend, Alex has just started managing it. It’s a typical old style pub and it has such a friendly, warm, welcoming vibe (did I just use the word vibe?) I feel so comfortable there. Alex runs a great pub quiz and live music nights and serves a mean pulled pork cob!
Favourite restaurant is Little Tokyo in Braunstone Gate Leicester. I love Japanese food and so do the kids (my sister-in-law is Japanese) and we just love the chicken katsu curry.
Favourite café has to be the John Lewis café. We used to go there all the time when the kids were toddlers. They love the kids selection food bag, (best cheese sandwiches ever they reckon) and I treat myself to a cheese scone and a latte. Happy days!
Sarah Johnson. Catch Impractical Parent at Grays, LCB Depot, 15 Feb. £5 or pay what you feel.