It is a well known fact within the entertainment industry that comedians can be extremely difficult to interview. To get an insight into a comic’s take on the world can be compared to attempting to locate a small needle in a giant haystack…it’s virtually impossible and only the elite interviewers have the know how to tease it out of them. Comedian Joe Pasquale has been making British audiences laugh for over thirty years since coming second on ITV’s New Faces in 1986. Every talent show requires a “nasty” figure for the public to love to hate and in this series the sharp tongue of the writer and broadcaster Nina Myskow got the whole nation talking. Being on The X Factor of its day benefited Joe at such a young age as it gave him an insight into the workings of a television programme, an art which he would later hone as a comedy compère.
Press play, below, to listen to the full interview
Joe Pasquale made his debut at the Royal Variety Performance in 1993 and thus began a long association with the legendary show which has resulted in a host of memorable television moments. Who can forget the hilarious 1997 sketch with Des O’Connor and the mischievous lama who obviously wasn’t house trained? These appearances helped to transform Joe into a household name and made him synonymous with the Royal Variety. It was here that Britain fell in love with his unique brand of madcap humour, whether it’s his spectacular failed magic tricks or a melody of irreverent songs including the now iconic I know a song that’ll get on your nerves which interestingly he persists he hasn’t sung for around two decades.
In 2005 Pasquale reigned victorious as King of the Jungle in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here. One of the aspects which you don’t consider as a viewer is the incredible boredom which takes place each day. ITV merely broadcasts a maximum of 45 minutes of footage per day plus the sister programme on ITV2 therefore there is a lot of time when absolutely nothing happens and for a natural entertainer like Joe, this would be enough to send you round the twist! Yet his laid back cheeky chappie persona eventually won him the series, cementing his popularity with the British public. This helped to extend Pasquale’s Audience and in 2006 he was put forward to reprise the legendary game show The Price Is Right. The price checking show once presented by Leslie Crowther and Bruce Forsyth was back on our TV screens five nights per week in the slot now occupied by Bradley Walsh’s The Chase. The revival was short-lived but let’s hope Alan Carr’s imminent incarnation which airs later this year is just as popular.
Despite television success, Joe has never lost his passion for touring and his current live show The Devil in Disguise epitomises this. Being in an elite pool of performers who can easily be at home in a large theatre or doing the late night stint at The Comedy Store, Pasquale has never been one to be a one trick pony. In his words “if it’s funny then it’s funny!” He regularly shares the same stage as “edgier” comics such as Joe Lycett and Romesh Ranganathan at The Comedy Store. So for him, there is no distinction between mainstream and alternative comedy – it shouldn’t be analysed or quantified, it is what it is!
Pasquale is soon to be seen in the stage revival of the 1970’s sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘ave ‘em playing the part of the infamous Frank Spencer. For this, he’s found himself as a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight in discussions with the original writer of the sitcom Ray Allen [click here to hear my interview with Ray Allen himself]. It’s unclear when this new incarnation will make its way to the stage but stay tuned for more information.
It was a great pleasure to spend time with Joe Pasquale and I can’t wait to see what’s next for the accomplished comedian and entertainer.