A chuckle a day...

Next Monday, on the eve of a public holiday, three standup comedians from the UK will be making their way to our shores and watch out... one of them might just float his way in a bathtub.

UK comedian Tim FitzHigham: “I’ve been trying to build a balloon to take me to Malta but it’s not worked yet...
UK comedian Tim FitzHigham: “I’ve been trying to build a balloon to take me to Malta but it’s not worked yet..."

Next Monday night should be special, and not just because it's a public holiday. As it turns out, Malta will be hosting the first ever man to cross the British Channel in a bathtub. But no, sadly - or happily, depending which way you're inclined - we won't be privy to a sideshow of some kind, and there will be no paddling.

However, Tim FitzHigham, an eccentric modern jester (of the kind only the Brits can produce), will be joined by two other fellow comedians for what promises to be a night of revelry to remember, as rising stars of the London Comedy Circuit will be performing at The Dolmen Hotel Resort in Qawra for the 17th edition of LOL Production's standup comedy show.

Speaking to MaltaToday via email - where I imagine the pressures of performing live are alleviated to give way to a more relaxed humour - FitzHigham appeared very enthusiastic about his forthcoming Malta gig.

"I've been trying to build a balloon to take me there but it's not worked yet, so I think I'll just get the plane with the other two comics (they are both very very good in my view so it should be a funny flight... unless we have to fly the plane in which case, we'll never take off)," FitzHigham, who will in fact be joined by Tony Law and Junior Simpson, said.

While Simpson was a late addition to the trio (replacing Stephen Grant at the eleventh hour), and so was not available to answer questions, the Canadian-born, London-based Law was just as eager about the gig itself - when asked if he was looking forward to it, he responded with a resounding: "Absolutely!" - though he was less specific about how he plans to arrive on the island, or what to expect from the locals.

"I've got no idea. Though I'm into knights," Law said.

"When it comes to the audience... I expect them to turn up for the show, that's it - oh, and a bit of laughing too, that would be very good," FitzHigham said... before dovetailing into interesting territory once again... "From the place, I'd expect it to be Malta... if not, then I've got off the plane in the wrong place again. I once tried to do a show in Florida and ended up in Barbados... I just hope the audience in Florida had a nice night without me... it might have been a better show, you just can't tell..."

Law, renowned for his surreal material and 50s Americana-style dress sense, claimed to be preoccupied with "childcare" for most of the day, and when not tending to his tykes, to be mainly busy with "jotting things down and reading".

He definitely doesn't believe comedy to be a 'real job' in any shape or form, and says that he tends to come by jokes by observing the people around him, occasionally stumbling upon a gem here and there.

"I steal moves from my children, though. Stumble is about right".

Law's colourful colleague, however, is more generous with his words when responding to the question of whether he harvests people for his comedy, or whether he just stumbles along for jokes.

"That's more what stand up comics do - I'm not a standup, in a world of standup comedy, I stand upside down, stuff falls out of my head and me the audience work it out as a team. But I do tend to stumble a lot too so perhaps that's important. I think only villains in Bond films harvest people. I just try and make them smile," FitzHigham - who also appeared in TV series Desperate Romantics and the Benicio Del Toro-starring The Wolfman - said.

But enough about them... which contemporary comedians make the twosome truly tick?

"I like John Luke Roberts, Noel James and loads of others," was Law's response, while FitzHigham went for a more classic choice.

"My favourite comedian working today has got to be Gonzo from the Muppets... I've always admired his timing."

Doors open at 19:00, show starts at 20:30. Tickets are at €23 Inner Circle (Cabaret style, first come first served basis, waiter service), €15 Gallery (Theatre Style, first come first served basis, no waiter service). Ticket outlets: King & Ecco Shoe Shops (San  Gwann/Valletta/Baystreet), Cleland & Souchet (Portomaso). More information: www.laughoutloud.com.mt or call hotline 99 465816.