The West

Chris Turner. Picture: Supplied

On stage, Oxford-via- Manchester comic Chris Turner's brand of one-liner stand-up comedy is paced slowly, with plenty of deliberate pauses for dramatic (and usually comic) effect. So it's surprising to talk to him and learn that he's a motormouth, barely pausing for breath and offering very long and detailed answers to even the most basic of questions.

At just 23 years of age, Turner is one of the UK's hottest up-and- coming comics, with a string of accolades and achievements, including a Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year nomination in 2012, sold-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and finalist for the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011.

February will see the Oxford Honours graduate bring his unique brand of humour to Australia for the first time, with a show called Pretty Fly. And yes, the name is taken from the Offspring song Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).

"That is the intro music for the show, very originally," he chuckles self-deprecatingly.

"Because it's a show about a white boy who loves hip-hop. After a bit of road testing among friends and being like 'What do you think is the best title', they agreed Pretty Fly is quite well suited to both me and the show."

Turner's love of rap and hip-hop stems back to his pre-teen youth, and while these days he counts quality acts such as Kendrick Lamar and Danny Brown among his favourites, initially it was the foul- mouthed braggadocio of gangsta rap that won him over.

"When I was 12 I listened to Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP, and I was like 'Oh my God this is amazing'," he admits. "There were swear words and naughty things, and that led to lesser rap stuff like D12 and 50 Cent.

"I used to think it was all made up on the spot, I thought it was all freestyling. So I tried to do it myself - always freestyled, never written down - which means that now, 12 years on, it's something I can do quite easily. And quite well, hopefully!"

Indeed, while the main part of the Pretty Fly show revolves around Turner's never-ending supply of witty one-liners with which he guarantees a minimum of two to three jokes a minute mostly relating back to hip-hop, the climax of the show involves taking suggested words and ideas from the crowd in order to make up a freestyle on the spot. Independent UK culture magazine The Skinny has described it as "a masterclass in audience interaction".

"Some of my favourite suggestions were calibration, that was quite good, gazebo and goldfish - that was all in one rap the other night," he says. "What I do, when I ask for suggestions, I just say 'Think of a word, a concept, a phrase, an event, an individual,' and it's the best part of the show for me because every evening I don't know what it's going to be about and I can show off a little bit.

"My general knowledge is pretty sound and there's not a lot that I couldn't rap about."

The West Australian

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