Sunderland born Actor and comedian Fergus Craig, regular on the London comedy circuit, one half of popular comedy duo Colin & Fergus and star of sellout West End show Pete and Dud: Come Again, has recently stepped out to embark on a new solo project. DONG is a comedy hip-hop night which, as well as meshing two unlikely seeming genres, also brings together top quality acts such as beatbox legend Beardyman and internet sensation Mr. B. The Gentleman Rhymer. R$N caught up with him ahead of his upcoming show at Rich Mix this Friday.
Hip Hop and comedy - not your most of obvious of bedfellows?
Not sure I agree. There's plenty of rappers who've always used a lot of humour; Eminem, ODB, Ludacris. Then there's also something innately funny about the areas of hip hop that take themselves far too seriously. It's nice to have a loving pop at those folks.
Tell us what the difference is between working in a double act - with Colin - and working solo now. Do you miss im?
On your own everything is down to you. It's up to you to motivate yourself. You can take the sole credit if it goes well and the blame if it doesn't. Also, you get to keep all of the money to yourself rather than the 70/30 split in his favour deal that we had before. Although we're still good fuck buddies I do miss working with him sometimes. There has been talk of writing something together soon.
What would be your rap name?
Greatest hip hop album ever made?
Absurdly difficult question but my own personal favourite is probably 'Tical' by Method Man.
Comedy is the new hip hop - discuss ...
Comedy is not the new hip hop but I'd like to see it try. I'd like to see comics spending their entire sets telling us how funny they are and starting beefs with other comics.
What joke do you wish you'd written?
The following Dan Antopolski gag... "I saw a sign in a supermarket saying '2 for 1'. I thought 'ooh, tension in the musketeers?'". Also, all of Mitch Hedberg's jokes.
Top 5 hip hop records of all time.
Here's a very personal list; 'Tical' - Method Man, 'Ill Communication' - Beastie Boys, 'The Marshall Mathers LP' - Eminem, 'Liquid Swords' - GZA and perhaps controversially 'Chicken N Beer' - Ludacris. You should know that I really struggled over that list. I wrote and deleted The Blueprint twice.
What did you do before being a comedian? What would you do now if you weren't?
After I left University I acted for a bit and then ended up in a call centre for a miserable miserable 2 years. It's kind of the same area but if I wasn't an actor, writer or comic I think I could have been a fair to middling DJ on a shitty regional commercial radio station. If not then depressingly I expect I'd be a teacher.
Have you had any experience of the US Hip Hop Comedy scene and the big names D.L. Hughley, Don "D.C." Curry and Earthquake? Maybe you'll be touring with DONG stateside sometime in the future!
I've seen a little bit of Earthquake on YouTube and there's a guy called Aries Spears who does amazing impressions of rappers. It's fair to say though that as yet I'm not really operating in the same comedy circuit as those guys.
What's the worst gig you've ever played. And the best?
The worst was with Colin at an Agricultural college in Shropshire. We stood in the corner of the room doing our cerebral sketches about relationships while they did drinking games. When they went to the toilet they just walked right in between us. We were supposed to do 35 minutes but did 16. The only laugh we got was when they misunderstood a joke about domestic violence. The best gigs for me are when unexpected things happen and I feel that I've dealt with them well. The Sunday Special at Up The Creek is a great gig and I've had a lot of fun compering for Knock 2 Bag.
What other rising stars on the circuit should we be looking out for?
I really like Dane Baptiste, Dave McNeill and Daniel Simonsen.
Dre or Timbaland?
I'm going to controversially go with Timbo.
Pete Rock or DJ Premier?
Growing up in a cul de sac means that there are massive gaps in my hip hop knowledge. I do not know those chaps. I'll go with Pete Rock though because I prefer his name.
Run DMC or Public Enemy?
Public Enemy. Definitely.
And finally, what Hip Hop Karaoke track will you be choosing?
My usual is Gangsta's Paradise but I'd love a go at Area Codes by Ludacris.
By Wil Troup
Catch Fergus and hip-hop comedy crew at this week's DONG:
Date: Fri, 23rd March.
Venue: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road Greater London E1 6LA
Time: 19:30 till Late
For more info visit DONG's website
Fergus Craig's Blogspot