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Tom Ward &
Freya Mallard

Originally not aired on 16/08/22

We’re at the halfway point of the Edinburgh Fringe, and it’s always around this time I start to reflect on what comedy really means to me. Is it about money? Reviews? Awards?


No. If you do comedy for those reasons then you will inevitably be disappointed. Not because those things are unattainable. Far from it – you could have glowing reviews and prestigious awards coming out of your ass, with cash reserves big enough to lubricate that incredibly stuffed ass with Lurpak. Yet that wouldn’t guarantee you happiness. In fact, the more you get these external measures of success, the more you crave. The hedonic treadmill never stops, contentment is never achieved.


So comedy must be done for another reason. Art? Maybe. But I think it goes deeper than that. Comedy should be done for love. Having performed to literally half-dozens of people this Fringe, I’ve realised there are few things more intimate than the connection between a comedian and their audience.


One thing more intimate, of course, is full penetrative sex – something my next two guests are having regularly.


The first ever couple to appear on “Comedians In Edinburgh Getting Chai Latte,” Tom Ward and Freya Mallard make for an interesting case-study on the relationship between external success and true love.


It’s fair to say that Tom – star of Live At The Apollo – and Freya – frequently seen on line-ups for FunnyMonsters-bring-a-friend-and-buy-a-pint-for-a-chance-to-perform’s Wednesday night 11:20pm shows – are at different stages in their careers.


“Tom, you’ve been on TV, you can get these,” Freya joked, as we ordered our Chai’s from Edinburgh’s Black Medicine Café. 


Things might seem off-balance in terms of metrics of fame and success, but then you bring looks into it. Some might stay that Tom is punching well above his weight – a boxing analogy that comes from when a boxer from one weight category fights another boxer who is much more attractive than them.


“Do you think you complement each other’s deficiencies?” I asked.


“What do you mean?” Freya replied.


“Yeah, what do you mean?” Tom repeated, like an absolute simp.


“Well to put it bluntly, fella, she’s out of your league, and you couldn’t catch a break in this business if it fell into your lap, sister.”


There was a silence. We all sipped on our chais.


“Listen, Eric,” TV’s Tom Ward said to me. “Our relationship isn’t built on superficial things like fame, or looks, or even our respective Edinburgh Fringe reviews. There’s only one star I care about and that’s Freya.”


“One star is actually a pretty terrible review,” I responded.


But as I thought about it, I could see what Tom was getting at. In the same way comedy should be based on love, love should be based on love too.  


Then something else dawned on me – Tom is also pretty attractive. Potentially very attractive. Cool haircut, eyes to get lost in, and a great dress-sense.


Conversely, when you forget about how incredibly far she is from success, and actually watch Freya perform, her talent shines through. Excellent writing, tackling the ordinary and packaging it alongside the surreal, delivering it with confidence and poise, it’s only a matter of time before she gets her shot at the big time.


Then this couple will have it all, the world will be theirs. Looks, fame, success.


When they left, I sat there, alone, and pondered:


What do you do if you have none of those things?


Well, I guess I love what I do.


See you next time!

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