Bill Bailey is not afraid to throw out a reference to Thomas the Apostle, to test his audience’s knowledge on British government or to build a clever joke around his thoughts on the biology of empathy.
“Audiences like to feel smart,” says the British surreal comic. “I want them to think and say ‘Yeah, I knew about that guy!’ Or if they don’t, I want them to try and look it up.”
Bailey would probably fare well with nothing but this fiercely witty routine and a mic, but his newest offering “Dandelion Mind” is more than just your average stand-up act — it’s a multimedia extravaganza.
Bailey’s mix of animated video clips, live music and light shows do a fantastic job of complementing his nonsequential approach to comedy.
“It’s almost integral to the show,” Bailey says of the different components. With an abundance of stimuli, he says, “you’re able to constantly tune into and be surprised by different forms of comedy.”
Already somewhat of a household name in the UK, Bailey is looking forward to bringing his act to American audiences.
“I’ve wanted to do this for years,” he says.
Bailey will be in good company, as we’ve seen happen many times before with British comedic imports like “The Office,” Simon Pegg and Monty Python.
Bailey says he’s always been a fan of intellectual humor, citing Python as a major influence.
“When I’d listen to [Monty Python] as a young boy, they’d make me think and want to look up these names I didn’t understand to get the joke.”
Like Bailey himself, he says of Python that “they were very silly, kind of off the wall … and I think those elements I’ve really adopted and put into my shows.”
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