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Daniel Muggleton: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy (But I Reckon It’s Easier For Straight, White Men?)

By | Published on Friday 23 August 2019

“Australian comedian and tracksuit enthusiast Daniel Muggleton’s just woke enough to know he’s an asshole. But who wants to be a hero these days anyway?”

That’s what the official blurb for Daniel Muggleton’s 2019 Edinburgh show will tell you. But don’t let the fact that he claims to be an asshole put you off: he is, in fact, a talented comedian who has been impressing the UK comedy scene with his quality headline sets in recent times, and online viewers with his Amazon special ‘Let’s Never Hang Out’.

I arranged a quick chat, to find out more about him and how this year’s Fringe is working out.

CM: Let’s start by talking about the show you are performing at the Fringe this year. What’s it all about?
DM: It’s a show about remembering that where you’re at is more important than what’s happening in front of you. Which sounds deep but it’s really me just trying to explain how I really enjoyed a Coldplay concert but will never listen to them on Spotify.

CM: How did you go about creating it? Did you sit down and write a whole new set, or is it previously performed work gathered together…?
DM: I’m definitely not the kind of comedian who sits down and writes a show once a year. I work comedy clubs every other night, so it’s that material plus some things that tie it all together. Luckily I’m only capable of thinking about a few things each year apparently, so what I talk about seems quite structured.

CM: How do you feel like your Edinburgh run has gone this year? Can you tell us about the high points and the low points?
DM: Objectively it’s gone really well! My biggest room ever is full, I’ve been getting good reviews and got recommended by the Scotsman. At the coal face though, it’s been really hard as that brings in an expectant audience who don’t know what they’re about to watch. I get it, they look at me in the red tracksuit, moustache and glasses and think I’m a vegan who’s gonna complain about Brexit for an hour when actually I’m just a jerk.

High point: getting a 4 Star review – previously I’d only ever gotten horrible reviews and getting four stars was my goal going in. Low point: waking up with a slice of pizza in my bed for the 3rd time. Not even in the box, just on the sheet.

CM: Do you think you will come back next year, and if so, is there anything you’re already planning to do differently…?
DM: I’ll definitely be back next year, I think Edinburgh is the best arts festival in the world. I don’t like arts festivals but it’s so good I can’t help but want a piece of the action. Also, audiences here are very loyal so if you keep coming back, they’ll keep coming back.

And obviously, I’m planning to do everything differently: drink less, join a gym, cook at home twice a week but I’ve had that plan every year and I already mentioned the pizza in bed right?

CM: What do you like most about being in Edinburgh for the Festival?
DM: The BEST thing by such a huge margin is watching other people’s shows. Especially when it’s someone you’ve worked with in a club but in Edinburgh they put on this amazing show with multimedia and other acts and just really take advantage of the full hour. This year I loved Phil Ellis’s show so much, and also think Ian Smith is criminally underrated.

CM: Can we talk a bit about your past? How did you get into stand up, and did you always want to do it?
DM: I got into stand-up at university, someone suggested that I should do it and I’ll never forgive him. I was a law student, all ready to go earn money and worry about business cards and all that American Psycho rubbish. I wasn’t dramatic or creative in any way really, so the idea of doing comedy never occurred to me. Australia isn’t like that culturally, the idea of being on stage isn’t suggested to us – unless it’s to accept a Best & Fairest award in sports, which is strongly encouraged.

CM: Who are your influences as a comedian?
DM: Growing up I listened to Dave Chappelle & Chris Rock religiously, and Eddie Murphy obviously. Then when I got into stand-up more all the usual suspects: Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr, Louis CK etc. All very American, I like their swagger.

CM: What aims or ambitions do you have for the future?
DM: Well I’ve got an interview podcast called ‘The Union Jack Off’ that I really enjoy doing, but I’d like to start a new one with a bit of a looser format that I can really grow. Also Australian TV sucks but our comedy scene is amazing with heaps of brilliant acts doing amazing things, so somehow helping to translate that on screen whether on TV or even online would be very cool.

CM: What’s coming up next for you after this?
DM: After Edinburgh I’m just back on the circuit working random British towns, got a few London encores lined up and then supporting Steve Hofstetter on his UK/European tour in November. After that, I’m headed back to Australia in December, so hoping to do some Australian festivals early next year before coming back here in 2020. Oh, and then I’m gonna get married because comedy isn’t everything.

Daniel Muggleton performed ‘Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy (But I Reckon it’s Easier for Straight, White Men?)’ at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House at Edinburgh Festival 2019.

Photo: Geoffrey Zhu