Interview: Daniel Sloss

By Matt Roud

First off, what’s your name and what do you do?

My name is Daniel Sloss and I am a comedian.

What got you into comedy? How did you get your start?

I’ve been watching stand up since I was very very young, I was a fan of it and I was always told I was very amusing so I thought why not give it a go so when I was about 16 I signed up for a writing course and booked myself a gig at The Stand and it kind of snowballed from there.

So what’s been the most fun thing you’ve got to do in your career so far?

I’ve got to do some real weird things I never thought I’d get the chance to do. I’ve played the Sydney Opera house twice which is like nothing I ever expected to do or be given the opportunity to do and just to do really horrible jokes at one of the nicest venues in the world. I y’know, I got to swear on that stage thus really lowering the tone of the whole place.

How did the tour of SO? Go?

It is was good, real good. I get worried every year that the next show isn’t going to be as good as the previous one, and every year I’m wrong. So fingers crossed.

And are you looking forward to the Fringe this year then?

Oh yeah yeah yeah. The Fringe is honestly my favorite time of the year where my friends from all over come to near where I live and we can all go hang out at the pub.

Would you say your nationality is a big part of your routine?

Being Scottish is not a big part of my routine but it’s a big part of who I am. I’m much more interested in being a good stand up who’s Scottish rather than talking about it all the time. And y’know I don’t wanna pigeon hole myself, I just want to be a good comic who IS Scottish rather than one who makes it his defining characteristic.

Can you tell me a bit about your estimated guide to Scotland?

Basically Smart Energy GB have invited me to just get rid of the inaccurate estimations of Scotland in the same way the smart meters get rid of estimated energy bills. There’s a lot of estimations of Scottish people and as someone who travels a lot they expect something of you and expect you to be a certain way or act a certain way and when you don’t they’re slightly disappointed. It’s kinda ludicrous to just assume stuff about someone because of the part of the world they were born in. Like I always get, apparently Scottish people are cheap, we’re thrifty. Apparently we’re alcoholics, which for me at least is one of the ones that’s accurate. But it’s basically a guide to what the estimations of us are but at the same time point out how ridiculous estimated bills are. Cause like you wouldn’t accept estimations on yourself so why have them on a bill? If I’ve got a bill I would like it to be accurate and somehow this is the only place in the world where you get an estimated bill. If you go to a restaurant, and then the waiter just guessed how much you owed by the end of it you’d be pretty livid so I don’t know why people accept it for energy bills either. So at the same time it’s how ridiculous estimated energy bills are, but also how ridiculous the estimations of Scottish people are.

Do you find that with travelling a lot you meet a lot of people with ingrained stereotypes towards Scotland and Scottish people?

Yeah some of them are nice, the Scottish ones tend to be positive. We have a reputation for being friendly and for drinking which I don’t think is necessarily a bad one, but Americans think that Scottish people are thrifty and cheap and anywhere else in the world I’ve went I’ve never heard that stereotype, but when you go to America they just assume you’re penny pinching. Which is weird because when you drink with them they pass out before you and don’t see you buying every round after that.

Do you find your sense of humour helps with this or is it something that actually bothers you?

Oh it’s definitely both. It annoys me but in a funny way, like I’m not gonna fight anyone over it but once you hear the same things over and over again I thought I’d set some facts straight and do a little research on it myself to find if there’s any truth to them.

What is the stereotype that makes you stop and laugh the most because people actually believe it?

Probably the food one. The estimation that Scottish food is all unhealthy and disgusting, and don’t get me wrong some of it absolutely is. I don’t like the word disgusting but when you go to America and they tell you Scottish people have no cuisine it’s like you’re America, all you have is burgers, pizzas and stuff you stole from other countries and made extra large. We’ve got cuisine, we’ve got shortbread, deep fried mars bars and haggis. We’ve got great seafood because we’re so coastal in many of our regions and for a country famous for not eating our vegetable we produce a large amount of fruit each year. You can’t go anywhere in Scotland without going past a place where you can pick your own strawberries.

What’s your favourite thing about Scotland?

It genuinely would be the people. Like it’s nice to travel the world but I just feel there’s a level of honesty to Scottish people whether it be a good way or a bad way. There’s a certain charm to it, you speak what’s on your mind. You go to America and because of the accent everything just feels kinda fake like “Hey, How are you? How you doing?”. Whenever I’m in America I miss Scottish elevators because if you get in an elevator in Scotland nobody attempts to talk to you, you both agree that just for a couple of seconds you are both hostages with each other. While in America for some reason, 30 seconds in and someone is trying to set you up with their daughter.

Do you find that when you’re travelling you get a bit homesick sometimes?

Oh hugely yeah. You always get people asking “Aw when are you moving to America?” and the answer is literally never. I love Scotland and don’t get me wrong I love travelling but, I just got back from 2 months in Australia and it was a lot of fun, but it gets to a point where you’re like “this isn’t where I live, this isn’t my house.” I like the weather, cause you know I’m Scottish I can’t handle the sun. It’s nice for a week or something but it was like 36 degrees and I was like this is an oven setting! I like the occasional grey sky and it just makes the sunny days more special. There’s nothing better than when you’re in Scotland and you hear one person shout “TAPS AFF!” and then everyone just commits to it. It’s great. The Scottish summer may be short but my god we make the most of it.

Thoughts? Opinions? Stipulations?