James Ryder: ‘Guiltiest pleasure? High School Musical’

Maltese comedian James Ryder tells all in our Q&A

James Ryder: ‘Follow your baser instincts but accompany them with common sense’
James Ryder: ‘Follow your baser instincts but accompany them with common sense’

Maltese comedian James Ryder is a veteran in stand-up on the island and has been making people laugh for over nine years. In 2016, Ryder took part in Rock of Ages, as well as heading to Tokyo, Japan to be part of the Tokyo comedy store. Ryder has recently achieved viral status in Malta, after one of his short sketches on the social media platform Tik Tok went viral, garnering over 10% of the country’s entire population in views only in a matter of hours.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Espresso. Then another espresso.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To each his own.

What do you never leave the house without?

My phone. It’s an extension of my body at this point.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Easy-going, traveller and foodie.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Establishing stand-up comedy in Malta with local talent.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

High School Musical.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Follow your baser instincts but accompany them with common sense.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

A 1963 Spider-Man comic book.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Don’t live for other people.

Who’s your inspiration?

George Carlin. Legendary stand-up comedian.

What has been your biggest challenge?

This year, it’s been creating material. It’s hard to find a funny story when you’re not going anywhere.

If you weren’t a comedian what would you be doing?

I’d try my hand at advertising. I feel I could be good at that.

Do you believe in God?

It’s 50-50. I’m more agnostic than atheist.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Robin Williams. Without a doubt.

What’s your worst habit?

Smoking. Bad on lungs, worse on wallet.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I get the urge to bake and then sleep without eating anything I bake.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Jonah Hill.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

When people play music in public on their speakers rather than wear headphones.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

‘Winter’ by Joshua Radin.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My comic book collection.

What is your earliest memory?

Being at Disneyland.

When did you last cry, and why?

Last week. Saw ‘The Green Mile’ – seriously watch it. Amazing movie.

Who would you most like to meet?

Charlie Chaplin.

What’s your favourite food?


Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Max Vassallo. Hilarious Tik-Toker.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

1970s Tokyo.

What book are you reading right now?

The George Carlin biography.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Spend two weeks in New Orleans.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Disney soundtracks. I need the positive vibes.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Limp Bizkit. Old school.