Joe's in disguise as a modern day court jester
Not many people come to Blackpool hoping for a rainy day, but that's what Joe Pasquale wants when he heads to the resort next month.
“I’m one of those stuck in the mud people,” he says. “I prefer the rain.
“It’s always better business when it’s cold. No one wants to go inside when it’s nice, they’d rather stay out eating fish and chips.”
And while the devil is in the detail, so the saying goes, that’s something Joe doesn’t share when talking about his latest The Devil In Disguise show.
“It’s me, mucking about for about two hours,” he says. “It’s just mucking about.
“There are too many bad things going on in the world.
“Laughing and comedy is very important for countries.
“Court jesters have always been there to lighten the mood. That’s very much important and needed now for people to go out and laugh.”
While he’s out playing the court jester, who or what makes Joe laugh?
“I love Noel Fielding, he has always made me laugh,” he said, of the Mighty Boosh star and new host of The Great British Bake Off, before reeling off other favourites including Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse, Eric Morcambe and Dawn French.
“The alternative becomes the mainstream. But regardless of the label, the only thing important is funny.
“Funny is funny, regardless of whether it’s rude or not. Do people laugh? If they do, then it’s funny.”
Initially famed for his squeaky voice and a ‘song that’ll get on your nerves’, Joe’s gone on to become a popular TV presenter, theatre performer - he’s a regular on the pantomime circuit, and occasional daredevil, with reality TV stints including Dancing On Ice, being crowned king of the jungle on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in 2004, and ITV’s Sugar Free Farm.
But he remains faithful to his stand up roots, with Blackpool still one of his favourite tour destinations and paying compliment to one of the resort’s newest venues, where he plays on Friday, August 11.
“I have been coming to Blackpool for 30 years and have played everywhere; the Opera House, Grand Theatre, the piers,” Joe said. “I just love working in Blackpool, people know how to laugh there.
“I loved Viva when I last came, that’s why I’m coming back.
“There aren’t many cabaret rooms about now, especially good ones. [At Viva] They know what they are doing and make it work. They seem to really care about the place and want to get it right. It shows that that’s what they do.”
With cabaret rooms more commonly replaced by theatre auditoriums, does that change the way a show works?
“I do what I do, whether it’s a cabaret room or theatre,” Joe explained. “Regardless of theatre, panto, TV, I do what I do. I don’t really find audiences change too much.
“The atmosphere is different, but the ultimate goal is that they laugh.
“If you’re doing edgy things, maybe it would be different in a cabaret to a theatre, but just because I’m doing a nightclub the response is that they laugh, still, hopefully.”
• Joe Pasquale, Viva Blackpool, Friday, August 11. Tickets from 01253 297297 or online at www.vivablackpool.com.