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Culture

Meet top comic Dave Hill before his big Budapest debut

Due to perform at The Studios in Budapest this Wednesday, 17 July, Dave Hill is perhaps the only comedian to have given a stand-up show at Sing Sing maximum security prison and starred in a film about a boy band. He has also appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe, SXSW and San Francisco Sketchfest. We caught up with him in London during his current European tour.

Dave Hill is a comedian, writer and musician from Cleveland now living in New York. He has appeared on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Jim Gaffigan Show. He has also opened for Snoop Dogg. He plays guitar and sings in his own rock band, Valley Lodge, whose song Go is the theme for HBO’s popular Last Week Tonightwith John Oliver.

We Love Budapest: You have appeared at many international venues and festivals. Have you ever performed in this part of the world?

Dave Hill: The farthest east I’ve been in Europe so far has been Vienna, but that was to play music, which is totally different because I had other people on stage with me and a guitar to defend myself with the whole show if necessary. Now I’ll be playing Budapest and Kraków. I’m really excited to go to both places. I’ve never been to either yet, but I’ve heard great things about both, especially Budapest. Hopefully things will go well for me in Budapest, but as long as I don’t get pelted with anything, I will consider it a great success. I would also like to go for snacks. If anyone in Budapest would like to get snacks with me, hit me up at dave@davehillonline.com and I’m not kidding. Or just bring me snacks. That works too.

I’m expecting this to be the first of many trips to Eastern Europe to perform. A few years from now, if people ask, ‘Where’s Dave?’, I want the answer to be ‘If I know that guy, he’s in Budapest, his favourite place on earth where people bring him snacks all the time and usually don’t even email him first. They just show up with snacks and hang out with Dave as they chat away long into the night, often while wearing matching outfits they got for just such an occasion. And if Dave needs to crash on their couch for a few nights after that, that’s totally cool too. He can help himself to the liquor cabinet too. It’s not a big deal’.

WLB: You've appeared on TV many times, hosted your own radio show, written books, even played in bands – how different is stand-up?

DH: Stand-up is the one thing where it’s impossible to think about anything else while it’s happening. With all those other things, my mind might drift and I’ll remember that I forgot to pick up my laundry or left a half-eaten sandwich in my luggage or had been around livestock when I told the customs agent I totally hadn’t. But live comedy is totally different. It’s just you and the audience in that moment, which is why I love it and keep doing it even though the idea sometimes horrifies me.

WLB: Do you adapt your material according to where you're performing?

DH: I don’t really adapt it too much, but I do try to learn as much as I can about a place and its people so I can hopefully weave some of that into my show. But mostly I just try and be myself and hope no one throws anything at my head or my crotch. That said, I have cat-like reflexes, so if anyone does throw anything, I will be ready. Then again, there has only been one occasion when someone actually threw something at me on stage and they hit me right on the head and I never saw it coming. So I guess the more I think about it right now, I really just want to ask everyone not to do that.

WLB:Are there any subjects you don't touch?

DH: No. I’ll talk about pretty much anything but Tinder, I guess. I’m not on Tinder, but if I were I would shut up about it. Other than that, I try to avoid talking about stuff that I hear everyone else already talking about, like Tinder, for example.

WLB: Recently you were banned from Twitter. Is that something you can live with?

DH: I got banned from Twitter for responding to insults from Donald Trump supporters with jokes implying that I was having an adventurous and consensual relationship with the mother of that Trump supporter. And in some cases, their father. Often at the same time. While being videotaped. A lot of times we’d get pizza after and the Trump supporter’s parents would pay for it, which makes the pizza taste better every time. Anyway, some people got mad about all that and now I’m kicked off Twitter, apparently for life if I read the email right. It’s ridiculous and I am simultaneously embarrassed and extremely proud of it. I’m actually really enjoying not being on Twitter. It’s really freed up my day. If you’re on Twitter though, please tweet something about my Budapest show. I need to get the word out!

Dave Hill 

Wednesday, 17 July, from 8pm

The Studios

District VI. Vörösmarty utca 38

Early Bird tickets 2,000 HUF online here and 2,500 HUF on the door.

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