Tez Ilyas and Alex Edelman Live from the BBC


Tez Ilyas and Alex Edelman

Tez Ilyas and Alex Edelman perform live from BBC's Radio Theatre.


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Transcript


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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Good evening, BBC. Are you well?

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CHEERING

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You sound delicious. Hi!

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My name is Tez Ilyas.

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I should point out at the beginning of this that I...

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I'm aware, I'm more than fully aware, that I do look a lot more

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like an overenthusiastic Apprentice candidate

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than a stand-up comedian. I know.

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It's just what they put me in.

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I should also point out at this very early stage

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that I am openly Asian, OK?

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That's what that is. British Asian as well, which I love.

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I love being British. British people, give me a cheer!

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CHEERING

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Nice. Non-British people, give me a cheer.

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CHEERING

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I reckon we could take them.

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LAUGHTER

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If we all worked together...

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..take them down.

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Honestly, if you're not British, you are missing out.

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Frankly. That is my conclusion,

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because there are so many benefits to being British.

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Literally, there are so many benefits, OK?

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LAUGHTER

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Just learn how to fill out a form and it is brilliant.

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I don't call them benefits, obviously.

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I call them reparations, but nevertheless...

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they're great.

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Of course, I love my roots as well, which are obviously...

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I am from Lancashire.

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Allah's country.

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And I love my deeper roots as well, which happen to come from Pakistan.

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But with this background, sometimes I don't feel completely British.

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Like, I'm not indigenously a British person,

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but I'm not a Pakistani either.

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I guess I've got this kind of hybrid background -

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I'm a British National Pakistani,

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or BNP for short, OK?

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Let me tell you all, it is hard being in the BNP in 2015.

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You tell a liberal, they will choke on their hummus.

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It is hard for them to wrap their heads around it.

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I am Muslim as well, so I have got all of that going on.

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For those of you that don't know that much about us,

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you might recognise us from such hit TV shows

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as the News, OK? Because we...

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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We have been on that one a lot this series, haven't we?

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We have got recurring characters, it's on at prime time.

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We have smashed that show.

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It is an interesting time being Muslim at the moment,

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cos a lot of people have written and said

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a lot of things about us over recent weeks, months, even years.

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Like, some people, you know the ones out there -

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the ones with access to the internet -

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they think being Muslim is all animal cruelty,

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oppressing women and claiming benefits.

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That's what they think it is.

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What those people haven't realised

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is there are downsides as well.

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LAUGHTER

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It's not all summer camps and Nandos up here, OK?

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Have you tried looking after four wives in today's economy, sir?

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It's expensive! It is expensive.

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Hmm.

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I feel like... I will level with you.

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I feel like British Muslims don't get enough credit

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for how progressive we are. I will give you an example.

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My imam, like my priest,

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he is massively pro-gay marriage.

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Loves it.

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Cannot get enough of the stuff.

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That might surprise you guys to hear that tonight.

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If I'm honest, it surprised me too, the first time I heard it.

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But he quite clearly got up in front of his congregation

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on the Friday before the weekend of the first gay wedding

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and he addressed us, a bit like I'm addressing you guys right now.

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He said to us,

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"Wagwan, Taliban?"

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No, OK. I'm em...

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No, OK, listen, I'm paraphrasing slightly for your entertainment, OK?

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Let's not be so immature about it, guys. Come on.

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No, he said to us,

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"Listen, we British Muslims live in a tolerant society.

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"There is no reason why we cannot support gay marriage.

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"There is no reason why in 2016

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"one gay man cannot get married to another lesbian woman, OK?

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"There is no reason why...

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"There is no reason why we cannot support that union."

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I was like, "OK, um...

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"I don't know if he fully understood what is happening.

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"But I am loving your enthusiasm.

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"Sign me up to your newsletter,

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"cos that is going to give me LOLs."

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Despite this progressiveness, the government is really worried

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about the influence of Islamist extremism at the moment.

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They are so worried about it that they keep on banging on

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about this thing called "British values", you may have heard it.

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Banging on about it. I think that is fine on paper.

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But what's got me concerned about it

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is that the government wants to make sure that every schoolchild

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learns exclusively British values in school.

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That concerns me, because I never learnt British values growing up.

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It just wasn't on the curriculum.

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Which probably explains why I have grown up

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to become such a savage.

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LAUGHTER

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But maybe the government is right.

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Maybe I shouldn't be so cynical, because actually I remember,

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back in the day, I was...

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Guys, I will level with you,

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I was brainwashed with some pretty hard-core Arabic imperialism.

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I remember learning some really radical stuff

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like algebra, guys. OK, it was...

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And if exclusively British values means my niece and nephew

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don't have to go through that same trauma, then bring it on, I say.

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It is not just the government, though, is it?

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I was reading the Guardian a few months ago, of course I was.

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I read this interview.

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The interview was with, like, quite a senior police officer

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from the Metropolitan police. He was a senior commander.

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He was having an interview about extremism.

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He said in this interview that Muslims in this country

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need to do more to combat extremism within its own community.

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I was like, "All right.

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"A bit of self-policing.

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"Respect my authorit-ah."

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"Sign me up, I'm in.

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"All right, sir, I have signed up.

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"What should we be looking out for?

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"What is it that will make me think, 'All right, stop that, lads'?"

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He said...

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in this...

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Cos I think that is probably all it is, right? If you just...

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"Stop it."

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And he said in this completely non-ironic interview...

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"Questions should be asked

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"if people stop shopping

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"at Marks & Spencer."

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HIGH-PITCHED TONE: Say what?!

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"Hey, yeah, is that Sherlock?

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"Yeah, hi, mate. Yeah, no, yeah.

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"Yeah? No. No, you're off the case.

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"Yeah, you know those... Yeah, we've solved it.

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"Yeah, you know those lads

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"who stopped shopping at Marks & Spencer six months ago?

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"Yeah, yeah, it was them.

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"Yeah... Yeah...

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"Yeah, no shit...

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"Sherlock. OK, all right, bye."

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I mean, what does that extremist even look like really?

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Guys.

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Because this not just any extremist.

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LAUGHTER

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This is an Isis-loving, M&S-boycotting,

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Best of British extremist.

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Now if there's any of you who don't know where that reference is from,

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then you're obviously part of the problem.

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I can see some of you looking at me right now thinking,

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"We like him.

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"But why...?

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"Why has he got holes in his beard?

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"Why have you got gaps in your face, brah?!

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"Are you going to explain yourself

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"or are we just staring at your chessboard face all night?

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"What is...?

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"What is going on?"

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Guys, it's my HOLY beard.

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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Guys, I'm just a young guy-ish - youngish guy...

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..with a dream.

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That dream is to play the Doctor in Doctor Who.

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That is all I want, OK? That's all I want.

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Because, look, we are talking about a black James Bond now,

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that is a thing, so why can't we have an Asian guy

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in the lead role of Doctor Who?

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I said this to my best friend. I said, "Hey, best friend.

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"I want to be...

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"the first Asian Doctor."

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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He said, "You're a fucking idiot."

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Guys, I have been Tez Ilyas.

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If you did like my jokes or even just my politics,

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then you can follow me.

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I am going to leave in about ten minutes.

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I have been Tez. Enjoy the rest of your wonderful evening.

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Have a good night. God bless!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Hello!

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Hi!

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Wow!

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Thank you so much.

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Yes, my name as Alex Edelman.

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Thank you so much for having me.

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I am a comedian from New York, but I've spent a lot of time here.

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I have spent a lot of time in the UK. I love it here.

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I love being an American in the UK

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as long as I never have to see other Americans.

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We are not good ambassadors for each other.

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Like, the first time I was here,

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I was waiting on this train platform

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in this part of London called Kingston.

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It is, like, December, it is freezing.

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These two girls stumbled onto the platform.

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You know how some people dress with no regard for weather?

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It is December in London,

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they have dressed for, like, July in Mexico.

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It is like when they were getting ready that night,

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someone was like, "ladies, we are going to Kingston."

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They were like, "Jamaica?!"

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LAUGHTER

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Cos they're coming down the platform and they're huddled over.

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They are so drunk and they are so loud

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and they are so clearly from New York City.

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They are saying things like, "It is so cold."

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Everyone else is like, "Yeah, that is why we wore jackets."

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This British guy standing next to me,

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I don't know this guy, I've never met this guy,

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he looks at them and then he looks at me and he just goes...

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"Ugh!"

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LAUGHTER

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"Americans."

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I didn't know what to say to that. So I just went with...

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MUMBLING: Mm-hmm.

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And they are coming down the platform and I am praying,

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like, "Please don't notice me. Please don't notice me."

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They stop right in front of me, and for a second I was like,

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"Fuck! They can smell it!"

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And I realised I am wearing a New York University jumper.

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I'm like, "Oh, clever girls."

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One of them goes...

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"You're from New York City!

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"We're from New York City!

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"Where in New York are you from?"

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The British guy next to me looks at me like, "Are you?"

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Instead of handling it like an adult,

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instead of being like,

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"Shut up, you are ruining this", I panicked.

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I just looked at him and I looked at the guy,

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I looked at everyone around me and just went...

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HE MOUTHS

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LAUGHTER

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APPLAUSE

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I pretended to be deaf to get out of a conversation.

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Everyone backed off.

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Everyone just went, "No, don't want no part of that."

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Except for one of the girls who mistook "I'm sorry, I'm deaf"

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for "Hey, I can't hear you, yell at me."

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And she starts screaming, "Where are you from in New York?

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"Where are you from?"

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Then to the horrified looks of everyone, she goes,

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"WHY WON'T YOU ANSWER ME?!"

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And this British guy next to me is getting angrier and angrier,

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because in his mind it is not one dick American

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being a dick to another dick American,

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to him, it's one dick American being a dick

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to a nice deaf British boy.

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LAUGHTER

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He says to the girl who backed off, he goes,

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"Hey! You better grab your mate."

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She goes, "Katie?"

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Which I could have guessed, by the way.

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"Katie? He's deaf."

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Her friend goes, "Wha...? Oh!"

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Then she gets right in my face and she goes...

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"HEY!

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"I'M REALLY SORRY YOU'RE DEAF."

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I was offended, as a fake deaf person.

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They walk off down the platform and everyone is standing...

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I don't know a lot about British people even though I have spent,

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I guess, the better part of the last year here.

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But I will say that I have noticed they don't love tension.

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So everyone is doing very typical London thing of, like,

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maybe if you don't look at it, it will go away.

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Except that guy who got involved. He just stood there like this.

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This British guy is just ramrod straight.

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After a minute, he looks down on the platform at them

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and any looks at me and he just goes...

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"I can't believe you got away with that."

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LAUGHTER

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I said to him, "How did you know?"

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He went, "Mate...

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"you have your iPod headphones in."

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LAUGHTER

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APPLAUSE

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I love it here. I love the UK. It doesn't mean that I belong here.

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I know I don't belong here.

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Like, a few months ago, I was on a train to Leicester. Not to brag.

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I got a text from a musician friend of mine.

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The text said, "Hey! I'm going to be on Blue Peter."

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I just don't know what that is.

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No idea.

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I figured from the context it was either a TV show

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or a specific kind of MDMA.

0:16:350:16:38

Given I didn't know the musician that well,

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it was a girl I had a crush on, actually,

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I figured it was a TV show.

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It is a TV show. Well done me.

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So I said, "Cool. When?"

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She said, "Half an hour."

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"It's a TV show, well done me."

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I really wish I knew what kind of TV show,

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because half an hour later I walked into a pub in Leicester.

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LAUGHTER

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I went up to the oldest bartender I have ever seen and I went,

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"Hey. Can you put on Blue Peter?"

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LAUGHTER

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The bartender went...

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"It's on CBBC, mate."

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I said, "I don't care if it is Canadian broadcasting,

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"do you guys have it?"

0:17:340:17:35

It's a TV show.

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It's a children's TV show.

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I really wish I knew it was a children's TV show,

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cos the bartender is going to change the channel...

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Rugby highlights were on,

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which is apparently, like, a big deal in Leicester.

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He is going to change the channel and he says,

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"Do you watch Blue Peter often?"

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I said, "No.

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"But today I have a crush on one of the guests."

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LAUGHTER

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It is a TV show for children.

0:18:130:18:16

He turned it on and it was just presenters with bad hair

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making toys. Apparently that's...

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You are all nodding. That is the thing they do on Blue Peter -

0:18:220:18:25

they make toys. Like, they were making SpongeBob SquarePants toys

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but they couldn't say it was SpongeBob SquarePants.

0:18:290:18:32

They were like, "This is SpongeRobert RectangleTrousers.

0:18:320:18:36

"And his best friend Padraig."

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The strangest thing about being out of the country is that, like,

0:18:460:18:49

there are certain routines that you have at home...

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And I've been in the UK, up until last month, for almost a year.

0:18:520:18:55

Like, where do you get a haircut when you are away from home?

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I just googled haircuts.

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I was in Glasgow, I googled haircuts

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and I walked into the first place that came up.

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I walked in, and the guy who was going to be cutting my hair

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had the worst haircut I had ever seen.

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The optimist in me was like, "he's probably the best in Scotland

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"and he can't find anyone to cut his hair."

0:19:180:19:20

LAUGHTER

0:19:200:19:21

That is not the case.

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And you forget how creepy a barber can be. You forget how odd...

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Like, I walked in. It's such an intimate job. Like, the guy was...

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Can I use your head for a second?

0:19:360:19:37

The guy was like,

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DEEP TONE: "What are we going to do with you?"

0:19:390:19:42

I was like, "Haircut?"

0:19:470:19:49

The guy is like,

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DEEP TONE: "What are we going to do with your fringe?"

0:19:530:19:56

I said, "We are going to cut it?"

0:19:560:20:00

This is what he said to me. He went,

0:20:000:20:02

"Brother, you've got to tell me something."

0:20:020:20:06

This is what I decided to say

0:20:060:20:08

to someone with the worst haircut I had ever seen

0:20:080:20:11

who was about to cut my hair.

0:20:110:20:13

I said "Hey, man, just make me look cool."

0:20:130:20:18

This is the haircut.

0:20:220:20:25

That guy was like, "Who is the coolest person in the world?

0:20:250:20:28

"Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway.

0:20:280:20:30

"That is the haircut you are getting."

0:20:330:20:36

I have been here for about a year. I miss my siblings.

0:20:410:20:45

That is the thing I miss most of all.

0:20:450:20:47

I have two siblings, AJ and Austin. AJ is my twin brother.

0:20:470:20:51

AJ is a professional bodybuilder.

0:20:510:20:55

LAUGHTER

0:20:550:20:58

People are like, "Are you guys identical twins?"

0:20:580:21:00

I'm like, "We fucking used to be!"

0:21:000:21:02

Now we look like a before and after photo.

0:21:050:21:07

He lives in San Francisco with two cats and no neck.

0:21:110:21:15

I went to visit him. MUFFLED: "Dude, come to my gym."

0:21:180:21:22

I was like, "What?" MUFFLED: "Dude, come to my gym."

0:21:220:21:25

"What you mean, it's your gym?" "It is where I train."

0:21:250:21:29

I went with him and he was lifting weights.

0:21:290:21:32

As he was lifting the weights,

0:21:320:21:34

he was looking at a reflection of himself in the mirror.

0:21:340:21:38

I wish I hadn't asked, but I was like,

0:21:380:21:39

"AJ, why do you look at your own reflection

0:21:390:21:41

"when you lift the weights?"

0:21:410:21:43

Without breaking eye contact, he went,

0:21:430:21:45

"Because when you're training...

0:21:450:21:47

"..it helps to look at a champion."

0:21:490:21:52

LAUGHTER

0:21:520:21:54

So thank God that I have another one.

0:21:580:22:02

I have another brother, that one is better.

0:22:020:22:05

He is way better.

0:22:050:22:07

His name is Austin.

0:22:070:22:09

Austin is 13 years younger than AJ and I. 13 years.

0:22:090:22:13

Austin was planned.

0:22:130:22:15

My parents insist that Austin was planned even when nobody asks.

0:22:170:22:20

They will be like, "We have Alex and AJ, who are twins,

0:22:200:22:24

"and Austin, who was planned."

0:22:240:22:27

We just found out Austin is funny. We didn't know.

0:22:270:22:30

We thought he was little-kid funny, he might be for-real funny.

0:22:300:22:32

He was at summer camp this summer

0:22:320:22:34

and they were introducing all the kids to each other,

0:22:340:22:36

asking them icebreaker questions -

0:22:360:22:38

what is your greatest strength, what is your greatest weakness? -

0:22:380:22:40

One of the kids, a kid named Motty Blumenthal said...

0:22:400:22:43

SCATTERED LAUGHTER Yeah, don't worry,

0:22:430:22:45

it's the most Jewish name you've ever heard, it's cool.

0:22:450:22:48

It is a Jewish camp, so all the kids have names like that...

0:22:480:22:50

It's the good kind of Jewish camp!

0:22:500:22:53

LAUGHTER

0:22:530:22:55

The icebreakers at the other kind, way less fun.

0:23:000:23:06

They were introducing all the kids -

0:23:060:23:08

greatest strength, greatest weakness -

0:23:080:23:10

Motty Blumenthal says, "My greatest strength

0:23:100:23:13

"is that I have a huge penis."

0:23:130:23:15

It's funny, but Austin's was funnier, cos he went,

0:23:180:23:20

"Well, I don't know my greatest strength,

0:23:200:23:22

"but Motty's greatest weakness

0:23:220:23:24

"is that he doesn't know the difference

0:23:240:23:26

"between 'have' and 'am'."

0:23:260:23:29

LAUGHTER

0:23:290:23:31

Good boy. I think we are going to keep him.

0:23:340:23:38

Last time I saw my brothers was...

0:23:380:23:40

..about 10 months ago. I saw them...

0:23:420:23:45

I was travelling and I saw my brothers

0:23:450:23:47

in Terminal C of Dallas Fort Worth airport.

0:23:470:23:51

I fly a lot for comedy. AJ flies more than I do.

0:23:510:23:54

AJ is what is known as a mileage runner.

0:23:540:23:56

He flies just to get more miles, get into clubs and things like that.

0:23:560:24:00

This is what he did three weeks ago -

0:24:000:24:02

he flew from San Francisco to Houston,

0:24:020:24:03

Houston to Chicago, Chicago to Miami,

0:24:030:24:06

Miami to Johannesburg, South Africa.

0:24:060:24:09

Johannesburg, South Africa, to Mumbai.

0:24:090:24:11

Mumbai to Melbourne.

0:24:110:24:13

Melbourne to Honolulu. Honolulu to San Francisco.

0:24:130:24:15

He told me that. I was like, "Why? Why?

0:24:150:24:20

"How is bodybuilding not the most insane part of your personality?"

0:24:200:24:25

He went, "Cos now I am a club member." He is obsessed with clubs.

0:24:280:24:33

I joined my first club this year. Actually, I'm sorry.

0:24:330:24:36

I joined my second club this year.

0:24:360:24:38

The first club I ever joined was Judaism,

0:24:380:24:42

so I was nervous about joining the second club,

0:24:420:24:47

because to get into the first club...

0:24:470:24:49

I had to cut off a tiny bit of my penis.

0:24:490:24:52

So the second club was like, "Would you like to join our club?"

0:24:550:24:58

I was like, "How do you get in?"

0:24:580:25:01

They're like, it's £3,200 a year."

0:25:010:25:03

I was like, "Would you like a tiny bit of my penis instead?"

0:25:030:25:06

I did a show in exchange for membership. I don't belong there.

0:25:100:25:13

The name of the club, and I always say it like this, Soho House.

0:25:130:25:18

Mm.

0:25:180:25:20

There are two types of people who are members at Soho House -

0:25:200:25:23

fashion people and insufferable douche-canoes.

0:25:230:25:26

In the Venn diagram overlap,

0:25:280:25:31

100%.

0:25:310:25:33

I saw the most racist thing I have ever seen at Soho House.

0:25:370:25:41

There was a drunk guy coming up the stairs. He was like a pinball drunk.

0:25:410:25:44

He was, like, slamming into things to give him

0:25:440:25:46

enough energy to slam into the next thing and slam into the next thing.

0:25:460:25:49

He narrowly avoids me and my friend Jenner,

0:25:490:25:51

and he slams into this black guy behind us and he goes,

0:25:510:25:54

"Watch it, you...

0:25:540:25:56

"Idris Elba."

0:25:560:25:58

We were both like, "No."

0:26:030:26:06

Jenner looks back at this guy and says,

0:26:060:26:09

"I'm sorry, man, that's really terrible."

0:26:090:26:11

The guy went, "It's fine, it's not a big deal."

0:26:110:26:13

I'm like, "No, it's horrible. It's incredibly..."

0:26:130:26:15

The guy went, "It's fine. It's not a big deal."

0:26:150:26:17

Jenner went, in "No, it's really racist."

0:26:170:26:19

The guy went, "It's fine, I'm Idris Elba."

0:26:190:26:22

I have only ever seen him in The Wire.

0:26:280:26:31

So I made it so much worse cos I went,

0:26:310:26:33

"Idris Elba is British?"

0:26:330:26:35

Very patiently, he went, "Yes, he is."

0:26:370:26:39

LAUGHTER

0:26:390:26:41

I said, "But The Wire?"

0:26:430:26:46

Less patiently, he went, "That was acting."

0:26:490:26:52

LAUGHTER

0:26:520:26:53

Jenner was like, "Oh..." I was like, "What?"

0:26:560:27:00

He's like, "It's like The Sixth Sense -

0:27:000:27:02

"we were the racists the whole time."

0:27:020:27:05

LAUGHTER

0:27:050:27:08

I'm going back to New York tomorrow.

0:27:120:27:14

AJ is coming to see this show at the end of next week.

0:27:140:27:19

It is how he will find out that I have been talking about him.

0:27:190:27:22

LAUGHTER

0:27:220:27:25

He is going to beat the shit out of me.

0:27:250:27:28

We are going to find him two seats...

0:27:280:27:31

We are going to put him right in the front row so that I can look at him,

0:27:310:27:35

because when you are performing, it helps to stare at a champion.

0:27:350:27:39

You guys have been so great. Enjoy the rest of your night.

0:27:410:27:43

I'm Alex Edelman. See you later.

0:27:430:27:45

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:450:27:48

New York-based comedian, recent college graduate and winner of this year’s Foster’s Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, Alex Edelman performs a stand up set live from BBC’s Radio Theatre. Here he discusses his body-builder twin and his passion for Gregg’s the bakers. Preceded by Blackburn-based comedian Tez Ilyas, who has found himself in eight competition finals (Including the prestigious BBC New Comedy Award and Leicester Mercury New Comedian of the Year).


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