Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is Head of Comedy at the Pleasance. He took some time out to talk to us about the relationship between the Pleasance and Waverley Care, his top picks for the Fringe and his love of Nandos!

Waverley Care and the Pleasance have worked together for 25 years. What makes the relationship so special?
The people. Whether it’s the teams that work all year round or the incredible volunteers on the ground during the Fringe, everyone seems to have the same positive attitude and a smile on their face.

What’s your favourite Waverley Care memory at the Pleasance?
It has to be the Tartan Ribbon Comedy gigs. Each year is always different and I get the pleasure of putting together a line-up of brilliant acts performing at the festival.

‘Head of Comedy’ sounds like an amazing job, what does it involve?
Late nights, a bad diet and having to watch a lot of people die on stage (in a comedic way), but I love it. I spend the year watching comedians, trying to find acts that will make up the programme for the Pleasance. We have over 100 comedy shows each year – it’s my job to make sure they’re the best ones at the Festival and that there’s something for everyone.

Away from the Pleasance, what do you like to do to relax?
Music, films, food and anything else away from the world of comedy – although after a little while away I start to miss it. On holiday, I’ve been known to sneak into local comedy shows to see what the world has to offer.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three home comforts would you want with you and why?
Is there a Nando’s on the island? If so, my loyalty card, the box set of Breaking Bad and The Idiots Guide to Surviving on a Desert Island.

What book are you reading at the moment?
The Idiots Guide to Surviving on a Desert Island!

What is your favourite TV show?
The Mighty Boosh. I had the pleasure of working with them during my first Fringe at the Pleasance in 1999. I watched the show every day and have been hooked ever since.

Who inspires you?
People who take a metaphorical beating on stage, or in life, and then get up, dust themselves off and come back stronger from it.

And finally…what’s your favourite joke?
It sounds stupid, but I don’t really remember jokes. One that sticks in my mind…

“I needed a password eight characters long, so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” – Nick Helm

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