New York comedian Dave Hill discusses his British credentials and collaboration with John Oliver
PUBLISHED: 12:20 03 April 2015
Dave Hill is famous both for his outlandish jokes and his similarly bombastic guitar playing, which led to one of his songs being used as the theme to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Ahead of his shows at Tufnell Park’s Aces and Eights, he talked to Alex Bellotti.
Hi Dave. Your shows at Aces & Eights see you make a return to what you call your “ancestral homeland”. What are your British credentials?
My dad swears to me that I’m at least part English. My last name, according to the Google search I just did, is English, for example. I guess in olden times, people who lived on a hill were given the last name Hill so everyone in town would know where to find them when it was time for snacks or intercourse. These were simpler yet awesomer times. Ask the Johnsons.
You’re going to be performing some hits from your debut comedy album Let Me Turn You On. What might we expect from the record?
The record features me standing there talking for a seriously long time. I also rip a couple of sweet guitar solos at the end, which is awesome. I’ve also included a few pre-recorded spoken word interludes that I’m hoping will make me seem like more of an artist or something. There is also clapping and laughing at times. We hired actors to do that. Haha. I am kidding. If you would like to hear more jokes like that, definitely check out the album.
Why do you often choose to mix music and comedy?
The sex. Also, it’s much harder to get my band booked than it is for me to get booked as a comedian, so I just decided to bring my guitar to my comedy gigs. By the time I get it in the door, it’s too late to say anything really.
Your band, Valley Lodge, wrote the theme song for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which has so far been a massive success for HBO. Why do you think America has taken so well to the Birmingham comedian?
For starters, Americans always give Brits credit for being at least 10 per cent smarter and funnier because of the accent. But John Oliver doesn’t need that help because he is genuinely hilarious, brilliant, and great at what he does. I loved him on The Daily Show but he’s really taken things to the proverbial next level with his new show. I hope it’s on for another thirty years at least. I say that not only because I’m a huge fan but because so far the royalties on that theme song have been just great.
I’ve noticed many comments about your great hair, unstoppable outfits and alluring smell. How hard is it as a white male comedian to deal with the media pressures of being constantly gorgeous?
To be fair, most of those comments have been made by me, but even I tend to forget that after a while. The media pressure is exhausting, though. And I’m tired of people treating me like some kind of unicorn just because I’m a white male comedian. I’m certainly not the first. Look it up. None of them smelled as good as me though. I’ll always have that and my soft, soft skin. Oh, and the dong, which I only mention because I’m curious to see if that word will make it to print.
Dave Hill plays Tufnell Park’s Aces and Eights from April 20-24. Visit acesandeightssaloonbar.com
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