Chris Henry, may be an award nominated Scottish comedian, responsible for three unique comedy brands and selling out shows around the world, but that’s only who he is now, its not who he’ll be in the future, and it certainly not who he was in the past.
The cocky comic, grew up in Coatbridge, the oldest of three sibling, technically 4, because he has a 1/2 sister somewhere in Scotland that he has never met, which makes dating a nightmare.
After leaving school and failing to get the grades to be accepted in to any university to become a music teacher, he landed a job at Butlins. Chris likes to explain this as the time he ran away from home and joined the circus (even though it was his mother that got him the interview in the first place).
With no talent, and no experience, how did he get the job? Simple, someone told the man hiring (Robert) that they had saw me in a Glasgow gay bar. A fact that wouldn’t be true for another two years, and is still something that Chris and Robert laugh about to this day. This would not be the last time people would assume Henry’s sexuality, a fact that has amused and confused many people over the years, so to clear things up, Chris had this to say
- it’s none of your business, why do you want to know? Weirdo!
- it’s 2017, are we still using labels?
- people should just be free to be attracted and love whoever they want. Although, I have yet to meet a man that does it for me, but if Chris Hemsworth or Jason Momoa are available, CALL ME
Chris (Henry not Hemsworth) worked for Butlins for two seasons, then worked for Thomas Cook for 4 years as head entertainer in Mallorca, Cyprus & Lanzarote. These years, would be where his addiction to being on stage would florish. Day and night he would be entertaining customers, either in parades, doing party dances, doing daily children’s events, hosting game shows, singing in shows, and even playing the dame in a fortnightly pantomime. But after 6 years singing and dancing, Chris finally realised, he couldn’t sing or dance.
Henry headed back to Scotland with a lot of stories, memories and secrets to keep, but no achievement in any discipline of entertainment. Would that stop our dreamer? Fuelled with an addiction of being on stage and a healthy dose of narcissism, he decided
I wasn’t going to do what other people told me to do, I wanted to live or die by my own effort.
And in June 2003, Chris Henry heard Jojo Sutherland say his name to introduce him to the stage at The Stand Comedy club in Edinburgh. The only support he brought with him was his brother Andrew (who to this day still doesnt laugh at his jokes, but could drive and loved him enough to make sure he got to his gigs for the next couple of years) and his friend Paul McCluskey (who had helped him write some of his material).
I don’t have many memories of the first gig. All I remember is one of the other acts trying to wind me up because it was my first gig, and Jojo being lovely and helping me relax back stage. The rest was a blur of sweat, heart pumping in chest, intermittent laughter, and most definitely me talking too quickly.
So the seal was broken, the cherry was popped, and the only way was up. It didnt take long for Chris to find himself on line ups around Scotland. There were lots of independent gigs at that time outside of comedy clubs, where anyone could get on if you had enthusiasm for performing in front of 14 strangers.
A “promoter” called Mac Star, would find comics starting out, who had a little talent, then take them out and have them perform in some of the roughest and most remote parts of Scotland I’ve ever been to. But he did this so many times, that it fast tracked what I was doing. The stage time I got from his gigs, was key in progressing as quickly as I did.
And progress, he did. In just a few years, Chris was performing in every comedy club in Scotland. By 2009 he was a regional finalist in The Scottish Sun’s Take The Mic competition, and finalist in the Scottish Comedian of the Year Competition.
Two things that prompted him to quit his job in recruitment (he got fired) and commit all his energy to stand-up. He even moved to London, and within a year Henry could boast that he had MC’d and/or headlined at Jongleurs, The Stand, Highlight, The Comedy Cafe and many other comedy clubs around the UK. As well as a packed out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, comedy clubs were closing down all over the UK, there were less gigs and more comedians battling for coveted spots. So after only 18 months in London, Chris moved back to Glasgow, and almost quit comedy for good. If it hadn’t been for comedians Keith Farnan & Dana Alexander calling him to make sure he didnt quit, as well as the amazing support he received from his Mother (Ann) and his best friend Scott Cassidy, then the journey may have ended there. Which would have been a really rotten ending to this story.
In October 2014, Chris would get his first taste of gigging internationally. When Patrick Rolink hired him to do a tour of Toronto Canada, a whistle stop 12 day tour that had Chris headline at the World Famous Yukk Yukks.
This trip, re-ignited Chris with his passion for travelling and had him seek out what has become his most successful working relationship to date. Alan Anderson of HaHa Comedy promotions, was looking for comedians to take out to the 2016 Australian fringe festivals, the super talented Billy Kirkwood turned it down and Chris Henry got the gig when the bigger act wasn’t available (just like how Hugh Jackman got the part as Wolverine). Being young(ish) free & single, was finally paying off.
Re-energised and ready to attack the comedy world from a different angle. Tired of competing for the limited spots on the comedy circuit and hungry for something bigger, his new mantra would take him to where he is now
I was no longer going to stand in line begging for other peoples crumbs, I was going to get my sh*t together, and bake my own cake
Both of which sold out shows around the world in 2017. #justsaying
Which lead us to now. Chris’s next creation is in full production mode and performances start at Perth’s Fringe World in 2018. Around the World in 80 Dates will be the biggest comedy challenge of his life (touring the world whilst looking for love) a concept so ambitious that various companies are trying to convince him to turn it in to a TV show (but that’s all we can say about that at this time)
He’ll be touring all 3 shows around the world in 2018, with dates in Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Jakarta, Scotland, & England all confirmed before the Edinburgh Fringe in August. With New Zealand, Europe, America & Canada all on the wish list, so keep your eyes peeled on the show pages for specific details.
What does the future hold for the silly Scotsman? Who knows. He wants to write books (has 3 specific concepts in mind), wants to write, produce and direct sketches (too many ideas) and wants to produce more content for TV.
Whatever happens though, you can be guaranteed he is going to be having a ball figuring it out.
If you have read this far, you have too much time on your hands and you are definitely a little bit of a weirdo. Chris wants you to know
I’m a weirdo too, and I love that you were interested enough to read all of that about me. Thank you. You rock!