Comedy Newbies Q&A: Melissa Stephens

Attribution/author:Article by: Brian Donaldson
Publish date: 2 August 2022

Article Type:by:

The Edinburgh Fringe is not far off now, and another comedy debutant is in the firing-line of some questions

Taking on the Q&A today is Melissa Stephens

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been ever been given from a seasoned comic? 

You don’t have to fit into any comedy scene. Just do you. 

And what has proved to be the least useful? 

Do as many shows as possible. 

Is there one thing that keeps cropping up when people talk to you about Edinburgh in August? 

It’s hard and you will be working for an audience. Expect to have some really tiny audiences and shows. You will need to hustle. It’s pretty intense when people talk about it. 

What’s your favourite word that begins in ‘e’? 


Is there one act you absolutely HAVE to see in August?

The Idiot Circus: Death Is Coming. The lead singer is hot and my husband. 

 Jokes that got the most laughs were always about my family and the South

Picture yourself in early September: what would constitute a successful Fringe for you?

That I never had to cancel a show for lack of audience. 

What percentage of your early stand-up performances is likely to appear in your Fringe debut?

A good 25%. When I first started stand-up the jokes that got the most laughs were always things about my family and the South. That informed the writing and shape of Hot Dogs & Tears.

Which other new comedian do you feel a special kinship with? And do you reckon it’s reciprocated?

I feel kinship with anyone performing, and more people than we think feel this way. 

Which side of your family do you get your funny bones from? 


What will you do to keep fit and healthy (relatively speaking) during August? 

Run and maybe join a gym nearby. Walk a lot.

Which word of six letters or more will crop up the most in your Edinburgh show? 


Melissa Stephens: Hot Dogs & Tears, Assembly Rooms, 4–27 August, 7.40pm.

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