Joz Norris interviewed by Ben Target: ‘You’re pathetic, Harry Potter’

Comedian-turned-magician Joz Norris talks to magician’s assistant Ben Target about new show Blink, Batman and papier-maché bums

Hello. My name is Joz Norris and I used to be a silly comedian. But today, I’m the greatest magician that ever lived, and I’m never going to be silly again. I’ve made a new show which the good people at Soho Theatre have seen fit to book in for a 3-night work-in-progress run. Proud of the masterpiece I am assembling, I reached out to the brightest and best PRs in the land to recruit their assistance in spreading the word about these shows far and wide, but they all turned me down point-blank, too overawed and intimidated by my rogue genius, and many of them citing concerns that the show sounded “evil.”

So, I’ve decided to just do an interview with my assistant, a former stable boy named Ben Target who I drafted into my show partly out of pity, and partly for other reasons. He asked me 12 insightful questions and it’s my pride and privilege to answer them now, in the hope that it will make you part with your money in order to come and be entertained by me. Without any further ado, here are Ben’s questions and my answers:

1. What do people think of magicians in the 21st century?

I don’t know.

2. Have you ever met Harry Potter?

I hate to be the one to tell you, Ben, but Harry Potter is not a real magician. Harry Potter is something that’s known as a “wizard,” which is a far less skilled and noble profession. The job of a magician is to create the illusion of impossibility, to create an effect the audience knows cannot be done. The job of a wizard is to shoot beams from their hands and turn themselves into cats and all sorts of embarrassing crap. I met Daniel Radcliffe once, the young lad who plays Harry Potter in the movies, and I made no secret of my opinion of his work. “You’re pathetic,” I whispered into his ear, before disappearing into the crowd.

3. What’s the most awkward animal to pull out of a hat?

Snakes. Takes forever, they just keep going. The audience just loses interest.

4. If you had to summarise your magical powers in three words, what would they be?

Not enough words.

5. You cut me in half last week, can you put me back together now please?

These sorts of questions are above your pay grade. Impressed that you typed this with your toes, though, because I know for a fact that your top half is in my attic.

6. Who’s the better magician: David Blaine or Keith Chegwin?

Chegwin. Next.

7. Is it true that whilst training to be a magician you worked part-time for the opticians in Barnard Castle?

Yes, thank you for raising this. This is the only reason I was seen in the area that day. It was not my wife’s birthday. I don’t know when my wife’s birthday is. I was working. The opticians encourage all their employees to conduct their work on a picnic blanket spread out beneath a beautiful tree while ploughing through a hamper of sweet-meats. It was a work event.

8. In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne disappears from Gotham to train as an expert in martial arts. Do you think comedians have to disappear from comedy to become funny?

Yes. I also think that when they come back, it’s important that they dress up as something that scares them, and channel that fear into cleaning up the streets, just like our old friend Batman. I am terrified of my own bum, so have fashioned a giant papier-maché costume to wear at night, and I look forward to chasing criminals and low-lifes down dingy alleys while wearing it. “Come back here!” I’ll shout. “You can’t do that! That’s illegal!”

9. What’s the oddest place you’ve found an Ace of Clubs?

Underneath the Blarney Stone.

10. Some people become magnetic when they get a vaccine but you actually stopped being magnetic - how do you feel about that?

Sad. As you know, the climax of my act used to be that I would scrunch up my face really tight and tense myself so hard the veins started to pop out on my neck, and then everything metal the audience had in their bags and pockets would rattle towards me and attach to my skin. That trick has now been completely ruined, and it’s an embarrassing trick to try and do if it doesn’t work, because everybody just thinks you were trying to do a poo.

11. Is astrology a more powerful kind of magic than science?

Well my Mystic Meg horoscope today tells me that “Personal experience and professional advice make a rich mix in my money zone,” whereas the main headline on www.science.com says “Giant Amazonian waterlilies occupy a large surface area for light capture, despite a low biomass relative to other waterlilies.” I know which one I prefer!

12. Is it true that a certain frequency of fart can rupture the space-time continuum?

Ben! That’s disgusting, you take that back! You know as well as I do that this is a very serious show, it will not do to talk about farts when promoting it! Disgusting.
Joz Norris: Blink is running at the Soho Theatre from March 10-12,
get your tickets here

Image: Miranda Holms

Watch the trailer for Joz Norris: Blink!

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