Our very own Jonathan Duffy, author of Bruce the angry Bear and the only gay comedian in Iceland, according to himself, has a new comedy show that is being shown at the Reykjavík Fringe this week.
The show is called “I wouldn’t date me either” and GayIceland was really curious to know why such a nice guy wouldn’t date himself so we contacted Jonathan and asked him all about his new show. Our first question was, whether it was a brand new show.
“Yes It’s something I’ve been working on in bits and pieces over the last year and a half. So people who have seen me in the past may have seen a few 5 minute pieces of what became this show. It’s sort of how I workshop things.”
This is based on your experience of getting on “the market” again after a ten year relationship. What’s the main difference in the dating scene now?
“The biggest thing is that when I entered that long term relationship dating was completely different. It was 2006 so almost nobody really had smart phones and grinder and tinder were years away from coming into existence. When I found myself single again the entire dating game had changed. The world around me had changed and I had no idea how to operate in it. I also moved countries during this period so I had to learn a lot about cultural differences too. Like for instance in Iceland the dating routine is a bit of a reverse of what we do in Australia. Here in Iceland people tend to have sex first and then consider if you would see someone again. In Australia you tend to get to know them and lead up to the sex. I don’t think either way is the right one but they’re both fascinating with different pay offs.”
“… if you were inviting me to a party of bears or twinks, I would choose the bears, at least there will be food.”
You have said that you went from being a twink to being a bear since you started dating again, how does it feel to have entered the bear category?
“Well for me I didn’t even know I had become one. It was revealed to me by a stranger. I think I have a lot more fun as a bear because I have come to peace with the fact that how I look is how I look and if I am going to change that it’s going to be for me and not because I believe I need to look a certain way to get a partner. Plus if you were inviting me to a party of bears or twinks, I would choose the bears, at least there will be food.”
The name of the show “I wouldn’t date me either” says a lot, but why would you not date yourself? Are you a hopeless lover?
“Good question. I guess when I came up with the title it was at a time where I had looked at all of these stories and realising that I had some work to do on myself. The title is more of a funny way of saying that I think we should be more honest with ourselves about our shortcomings. Relationships are work, they don’t just happen and part of that work is about working on yourself. You can have a partner that makes you feel complete but if you aren’t working on yourself at the same time, I think you can just disappear into the relationship and no longer have a sense of self. When I say I wouldn’t date me either I’m more referring to the fact that there is nobody out there who can say that they have been the ideal date for their entire dating life.”
You’ve also said that the show is in a way a teaching lecture, what do you mean by that?
“I guess with that I’m more referring to doing comedy about being gay and gay sex to straight audiences. I noticed here in Reykjavik that the majority of the people who come to see me are straight people. I completely understand why. Gay men in particular aren’t necessarily going to hear me talk about things they don’t know already. When I Have performed some of this stuff for straight audiences I have noticed that they laugh and also learn through my jokes. I often get told afterwards that I talked about things they always wanted to ask their gay friends but were too afraid that it would offend them. So in a way I’m educating through my dick jokes.”
Is the show more adapted to queer audience, or will everyone recognise themselves in the situations you’re describing?
“I think most people will identify with it. The stories I share are things most people have been through. A break up, discovering what tinder is, going on terrible dates and hook ups and having periods of life where you have no idea what you are doing. All of this is stuff I think everyone goes through. None of these things are specific to a queer audience, so I’m also proud of the fact that I’m able to tell straight people that us queer folk go through a lot of the things they do.”
Sounds like a funny show to us. Get your tickets here.