We are joined in the studio by funnyman Scott Capurro, an American comedian of Genoese descent. Scott can be found on the UK morning show, The Wright Stuff, where recently he antagonized a group of disgruntled vegans.
He starts by regaling us with the story of a sacrilege masturbatory tribute to the crucified Son of God and how that got him banned from the Australian comedy circuit. We talk about fat vegetarians, how to never take hecklers personally and why audience members who “can’t find the joke” often feel embarrassed and turn on the comic. Scott was closeted in the 80’s, trying vainly to make jokes about shagging women and machismo. That didn’t go over so well, so he came out.
One distinction between the US and UK comedy scenes is that, in the US, comics must single out ethnicities and make fun of them, so that each ethnicity feels represented. Miss a particular black, Indian or hispanic joke and certain audience members feel left out. That’s the difference between Racism and Representation. Scott discusses the Seinfeld Effect, which hit the circuit in the 1990’s. Comics, the world over, started doing bits like, “Cardigans – what’s that all about?” or “Women & Toilet-Paper – what’s that all about?”
Scott shares that 20 years ago, women and gay comics weren’t even invited to college campuses, so he’s happy students have become more sensitive and politically correct: today’s atmosphere is more inclusive. Peter and Scott descend into a political morass before surfacing to talk about Brexit and the changing nature of power: these people think “being white gives them an automatic wild card in the game of Monopoly – but it doesn’t anymore. Your skin color doesn’t help you in the world any longer.” We talk about Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and an “England for the English” before moving on to San Francisco and London, each forcing astronomical costs of living on its young people. According to Scott, the “Hippie History” of San Francisco is dead and the dream of the “artist in a loft” is long gone.
We talk about Stinson Beach in Marin, with its ominous signs alerting bathers that “Great white sharks breed in these waters.” And, yet, surfers are out every day, on their boards. To a British mind, this is outrageous, but Paul and Scott both attest to the American facility with statistics: you’re more likely to get stabbed at an ATM in London than eaten by a shark in the waters off San Francisco.
Finally, Scott is asked where he’d like to be transported in history as a gay man: post-war NYC. Great social progress, radical liberalism and a music and arts scene, nonpareil. Ending on a political note, Scott predicts we’ll have a gay President before a female one, and, despite his distaste for Trump, he’d gladly work a paid gig at the White House. You can catch Scott at the Soho Theater in February and on The Wright Stuff, weekday mornings.