Edinburgh-based Fife comedian Daniel Sloss has never been one for the big theme. For the best part of a decade, this 26-year-old has carved out an impressive stand-up career on simply telling the best jokes he can.
There’s a structure and a flow to his shows, for sure, but if you’re looking for a grand statement on the world’s woes, there are other acts for you to consider.
So, what’s the deal with his new show title: So?
“It’s something I say a lot, but it can be interpreted in different ways,” he notes. “It can be aggressive or passive or it can fill an awkward silence. I’ll mainly say it to people who have just told me tell me their thoughts or opinions: it’s just a ‘so…?’”
None of which is to say that Sloss doesn’t tackle difficult material from time to time. In his last touring show, Dark, he spoke of death, disability and his younger sister who died when he was 10 years old.
With So? he’s exploring what he views as the negative aspect of relationships. “I believe they can sometimes be cancerous yet it’s something we all pursue because we’ve been indoctrinated by family or the media into thinking that the route to happiness is finding someone else to make you happy.”
To that end, Sloss has crafted an analogy which exposes why we maintain a relationship that’s clearly not working. Having previously tried it out on friends who have subsequently split from their partners he’s happy to enlighten audiences with his theory.
“I started doing the joke at the Edinburgh Fringe and asked the audience that if anything within this resonates and you break up with the person you’re with over the course of the following year, please tweet me because I’d love to know. So far I’ve broken up nine couples. I see this as me doing God’s work.”
Ah, the “G word”. That got him into a heap of trouble before, when material about faith went down rather badly in the US with reactions veering from walk-outs to someone actually showing Sloss the firearm they’d been concealing upon their person. Not that this has put him off making advances in America, and regular appearances on Conan O’Brien’s popular late-night talk show has helped spread the word about this funny Fifer.
“It’s not about breaking America, it’s simply another training ground. I love this job and want to be one of the best in the world. The only way to do that is to do comedy everywhere and if people want to keep booking me for gigs in America, I’ll keep going over there.
“I never got into this to become a TV presenter or actor or personality: I got into this as stand-up is my favourite thing to do. It keeps me happy and sane.”