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Comedy Interview

Corrie David speaks with comedian Tom Stade about his new show I Swear and taking offense.

What can we expect from I Swear, apart from the obvious?

We’re going to show the similarities and differences between ages 70 to 20, it’s amazing how many similarities there are. It depends on how you talk to people, 20 year olds never watch their language, 70 year olds do, and when you drop that, they’re the same. A 20-year old’s language coming from an older guy feels right, because it brings you back to your youth.

You’ve promised to tell the truth during I Swear, a lot of people are easily offended these days, is that daunting?

That doesn’t stop me from saying the truth, and by the truth I mean whatever your truth is, there are a lot of different kinds out there. Mostly, it’s the truth about who I am, not on a certain topic or anything. There’s so many different ways of looking at something, but if you sit there and you’re honest with yourself, then that blankets everything.

I understand about being easily offended, but I’m also from Generation X, which is funny because we’re the ones trying to get rid of this stigma about words. Now we have Millennials bringing them all back, so we’re at a clashing point. To a Gen X guy, words don’t mean anything, whereas to Millennials they mean a lot and I think that’s because the Gen X gave birth to the Millennials, and your kids always rebel against what you’re doing.

There’ll be a clash, that’s sure.

How would you deal with that clash?

I let everybody be themselves. I’m not afraid to hear someone’s feelings, because to them, they’re right. I’m not here to change minds, I’m just voicing different perspectives, all depending on how you’re raised and conditioned in society. Everybody tries to be politically correct but they don’t know what it means anymore. It’s become a term that people just throw around because it defends their opinions.

You’ve toured Cardiff before, what do you make of it?

I love it! I was going there when chip alley was still chip alley [cue outrage from me that chip alley is still a thing]. Well it is, but it used to have that porn shop and a kebab shop next to each other. I remember looking at it at 3AM like ‘what a combination, porn with a side of kebab’, but they’ve built it all up now.

If you could introduce one thing from British culture to Canada, what would it be?

The British carefree attitude, a lot of people call it the stiff upper lip, but I call it carefree. There’s nothing that fazes an English person, they’ve seen so much, Canadians don’t have that, they actually give a shit about what people think.

I do better here, this is the birthplace of comedy, where all the greats are from. Americans can say they started it, but I don’t believe that for one second. The English aren’t shocked by anything. They’re not interested in what you’re saying rather why you’re saying it.

You’ve had a year off from touring, have you had a complete break from comedy or have you been doing anything new?

I just took a break from touring and went back to playing above pubs and stuff like that, because if you always tour it weakens you and you forget why you’re so good. On a tour, people are coming to see you, they know you and they’re ready for you. When you go to these pubs, nobody knows who you are so you have to win them over by being you without them knowing you. If you can win them over, then when it comes to touring, that material is a lot stronger.

Why should people come and see I Swear?

Because you’re bored, got nothing to do and you might as well try something new, and because I’m there obviously.

I Swear, The Glee Club, Cardiff, Wed 11 Oct. Tickets: £17. Info: 012 1693 2248 /

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