Muddy meets Dom Holland (aka daddy Spiderman)
Writer, funny man, and father of big star Tom Holland. Muddy sat down with Dominic Holland to chat life in the shadow of your eldest, stand up faux-pas, and his upcoming set at The Potters Arms.
Let’s address the Spiderman in the room. Be honest: are you still holding out hope that you’ll re-eclipse your eldest?
Despite my best efforts this is highly unlikely. But this is no disgrace. As I say in my book, if Eddie Izzard was Tom’s dad then he could write a book called Eclipsed. In the next six months, Tom has two enormous movies on worldwide release and I am opening a gig at The Potters Arms. I hope in years to come to be in a position to close a gig at The Potters but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
Comedians had a long period off from live shows during Covid. How was that — excruciating or bliss?
A mixture. Bliss not being scared/nervous but tough having lots of ideas for funny stuff to say but no one to say it to. My wife can only take so much.
Do you get many hecklers? Do you practise responses to them or just take your chance on improv? Anyone got the better of you?
Not really and very rarely from people trying to trip me. Doing the late shows at The Comedy Store back in the day could be tricky with boisterous crowds but I am not expecting much venom at the Potters Arms. Although saying that, these days a well times tut and a disapproving huff can be just as disarming.
What’s The Potters Arms like as a venue?
Richard who runs the pub is a real comedy fan and a very nice bloke – and I think his demeanour rubs off on the gig. The gig used to run in his pub which is not very well suited with site lines and yet it somehow worked and this is to his credit. I have only done the marquee gig once and I remember that it was great fun.
Go on, big up your set a bit. Are we in for a treat?
Mmm… having only done a handful of live gigs in the last 18 months – you can expect a funny but rusty man trying to remember his old stuff and running out his new ideas. Stand ups are like athletes – better when they are fit. That said, few comedians look like athletes, me included.
What’s been your most embarrassing moment as a stand-up?
Being back stage listening (but unable to see) the compere chatting to a pregnant lady on the front row. Getting on stage I spot the lady immediately – a very large woman and I begin to probe about her pregnancy also. But she seems less playful than she did with the compere and is even quite hostile. Her boyfriend/husband too does not best pleased either. And then a little along from her, I spot a very slim, very beautiful and a very obviously pregnant lady.
The room is aghast. The dressing room empties to see Dom try and retrieve such a monumental faux pas. Let’s just say that my profuse apologies were nowhere near enough.
Favourite joke you’ve ever told?
I tell stories. But a fave joke of mine is this…
Little boy in the bath. Grabs between his legs and asks his mum –
“Mum, are these my brains?”
Mum says, “not yet.”
Are there any jokes you’re still miffed didn’t do well with an audience?
With the woke cloak over us all, it’s increasingly hard to talk or even mention certain things on stage. Before lockdown a young lady came up to me after a gig, furious that I had used the word wife to refer to my er… wife.
But she is my wife.
“Yes, but we don’t use that word now. We are not owned by men anymore.”
I drove home bemused and a little angry because having been married for so long, I had no idea that I actually owned another person.
Does your wife think you’re funny?
Once I explained to her that I actually own her, she has been much more compliant and laughs dutifully at everything I say.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a comedian?
Struggling even more than I am as a comedian – (after all these years and opening The Potters Arms!). The only way I make any money is by holding a microphone. All of my investments have been a disaster because I am gullible and easily led and I seem to live by an unusual investment mantra of – buy high, sell low.
Why are you so obsessed with Muddy Stilettos?
Haha, very funny.
Dom Holland is performing at The Potters Arms, Winchmore Hill (near Amersham) as part of the pub’s annual Comedy Festival from 29 – 31 August.