Forget Edinburgh, one of the capital’s funniest men is right here on your doorstep.
Matt Smith (no, not that one) from Enfield has joked his way into a place in the finals of the Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian of 2014 competition.
He out-funnied 160 new London acts during the last year and will now compete against 11 other stand-ups next month to try to make the judges sick with laughter and scoop the top prize.
You can go along to support him on the night at The Forge in Camden, but if you want to know more before making a comedy committment then read on...
What area of London do you live in?
Enfield, close to Oakwood Tube Station. Close to tube lines and night bus routes, which are essential for anyone doing comedy in the city.
Describe your act in five words.
Surreal, but not too surreal.
How long have you been doing comedy?
What is your day job?
I’m an IT support technician, one of those annoying occupations where when someone finds out you work with computers they usually have a problem they want you to fix.
What has been your worst job?
It was cleaning a cinema in the mornings; people throw rubbish everywhere in cinemas. The job itself wasn’t the worst bit though, it was the 6am start time I didn’t enjoy.
Why do you love comedy?
It’s never short of surprises and can be found in everything.
Who are your comedy heroes?
Reeves and Mortimer and Paul Merton played a massive part in sculpting my sense of humour as a child. I knew the Paul Merton Live at the Palladium VHS word for word.
What made you bite the bullet and start performing?
I was playing in bands before performing comedy, the thing I enjoyed most was making the audience laugh in-between songs. When the band split up, getting into comedy seemed like the natural direction to go.
What was your first gig like?
My first gig was great, it was five minutes to a full room who were laughing at all the right bits. The exact same set bombed horribly the next time I performed it.
What’s your biggest achievement so far?
Selling out shows at the Camden Fringe was quite a big deal.
What has been your favourite gig?
The Comedy Knights semi-final earlier this year. Everyone on was great, the audience were fun and Nick Helm was headlining, that sticks out in my mind as a favourite.
And your worst?
It was the first time I performed where the stage lights were so bright I couldn’t see any of the audience, it completely threw me and I messed up my entire set.
When doing my bit on the Afghan hound someone in the back row kept shouting out, “It’s just a greyhound! I know all about greyhounds, my family have greyhounds!”.
What is the best thing about being a comedian?
You never know what’s going to happen when you step up on the stage, but when it goes well there is no greater feeling.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt?
The thing that has helped me the most is not to fear failure.
Where do you hope to be in ten years with your comedy?
I hope to be travelling the world with it, without the need for a day job.
Any other aspirations?
I have crazy new aspirations every week. After failing to be a rock star, comedy is the only thing that has stuck with me.
What’s your favourite joke by another act or from your childhood?
When I was a child my Nan would always say: “I know you’ve not been well, but come on, eat your nuts”. I have no idea where she got it from or what the set up was, but it made me laugh hard for years. I never found out what she was talking about.
The Forge, Camden, Wednesday, September 17. Details: forgevenue.org