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Interview: Jason Cook
DON’T forget your tissues when you go to see comedian Jason Cook’s show Joy, because apparently it’s a tear-jerker.
One reviewer wrote: “It’s rare to be touched, to the very core, by a comedy performance... there were tears welling up in many punters’ eyes, and for good reason.”
In the show 35-year-old Jason talks about true stories from his life, the ups and downs he’s experienced and what he has learnt from them.
“I’m not sure if that’s a good advert for your show, having your audience leaving with mascara running down their faces, but I’d be crying with them and it was the most magical feeling in the world. You know that they are feeling what you are feeling and it’s rare to get that kind of connection with your audience,” he said.
“Apparently what people are feeling is pathos. I never really understood what that meant!
“I talk about happy and sad things that have happened in my life. I talk a bit about my dad not being very well. I talk about life and death... all the fun stuff.”
Jason started out in much the same way as any other comedian, but when his father suffered a stroke, it changed him and his performance.
After his first show My Confessions took Edinburgh Fringe Festival by storm, earning five-star reviews, Cook set himself the challenge of writing a show without embellishment, exaggeration, or poetic licence.
“I started talking about my dad being ill on stage and I found people really liked it,” he said.
“People are more interested in true stories than embellishment, they’re more real. It’s nicer stuff to do as well. When you’re doing victim-less stuff you feel positive and it's a nicer day.
“At first it was a bit odd to stand on stage and release all this information about yourself, but I'm used to it now. It feels good.”
Cook was first bitten by the comedy bug as part of Newcastle-based sketch troupe Soup. He went on to make a name for himself on Tyneside, most notably as a regular compere at The Hyena Club.
Before that he travelled the world in the merchant navy.
“It all started when my mate was putting on a comedy night and asked me to contribute some stuff. I really enjoyed writing and performing,” he said.
“I ended up quitting the navy and moving up to Manchester to do comedy full-time.”
l Jason Cook, Frog and Bucket special comedy night, King George’s Hall on Sat February 21. Call 0844 8471664.