On Tuesday, The Comedy Store is opening to do it’s first ever gig since Lockdown with a very special event, The Funny Women Awards 2020 Final. Since the 1st of April this years event has been running online with 320 entrants all competing to win in a place in the final that has seen comedians such as Katherine Ryan, Sara Pasco, Desiree Bunch, Sarah Millican and Kerry Godliman all make it and gone onto become household names. Over the next few days we have exclusive interviews with the finalists! This morning we speak to Naomi Cooper .
Hello Naomi tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Naomi Cooper. I like afternoon naps and Chelsea Football Club and I have a minor obsession with Tom Hanks.
How did you get into comedy?
I trained as an actress and was in an improv group that took a show to the Edinburgh Festival. After that I co-founded ImproBabble who had a residency at the Leicester Square Theatre for a couple of years. After that all the men I was working with moved to the suburbs to have babies (this is the danger of working with men you see) so I was forced to go it alone and try stand-up.
You are one of the finalists of The Funny Women Awards 2020! How did you react when you found out?
Obviously I assumed there had been a mistake, so I kept my head down and hoped no one would pick up on it.
Why is it important to have awards such as this one?
Competitions like this are great for giving comics a spotlight and an opportunity to be seen and heard. It’s a nice reminder in what’s been a pretty crap year that you never know what pleasant surprise might be around the corner.
You have the live final coming up and it is in a venue! That must be exciting to be performing back on stage?
I am so excited to be back in a comedy club and I plan to take extra time to really soak in the atmosphere of desperation and mild fear.
What one of your jokes are you most proud of?
I have a few routines that I’m really proud of, but years ago I had a truly shit joke about how you couldn’t have great sex with a man named Dennis, to which my late Nan had told me, “When God gives you Dennis, make Dennis Quaids.” This very rarely got any kind of reaction on stage, but the cheapness of it really tickled me, and when it did get a lone honk of laughter from one person, I knew that particular audience member was my kind of person.
Who are your comedy heroes and why?
My dad is the funniest person I know. He has many more followers than me on Twitter despite mainly only tweeting about Chelsea and pies and my overall life ambition is to show him who’s boss.
Tell us about the writing process for your shows – do you have any specific ways to motivate yourself?
As soon as anything amusing, embarrassing or weird happens to me, I write it down. If you go through the ‘notes’ app on my phone, all you’ll find is ideas for sets and other people’s WiFi passwords. Then at some point I sit down, go through the notes, put them together into some kind of story, read it the next day and hate myself for not getting a proper degree and a nice job in publishing. As for motivation, nothing works better than a really good gig, or a really, really bad one…
With everything happening in the world this year have you been able to do any shows or content online?
I started producing online content with a new character called Philippa who is basically the yummy mummy from hell. She was inspired from several utterly tone-deaf complaints I heard during lockdown. She’s become pretty popular online and I’m currently developing the character for television with a great team so I’m excited to continue with that.
What three things have you learnt about adapting to performing online?
Wear pyjamas, tone it down and don’t expect much evidence of laughter or enjoyment.
What are your plans for 2021?
I plan to spend the majority of 2021 supporting various pubs like the absolute hero I am.
If people want to find out more about you, where can they go on social media?
I’m @naomicooper on Twitter, and @naysaying on Instagram and TikTok. They can also view all my videos on YouTube.com/naomicooper
Finally in three words, why should you win the Award?
Because I’m ever so sensitive and it would prove to my Dad that I was right to not pursue a degree in French. (I know that’s not three words but I’m quite tired now and need a nap.)