Chris Martin may share his name with the frontman of the world’s most popular band but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
An observational stand-up comedian regarded among the UK’s best, he does not have a lot in common with Chris Martin but he’s been fielding questions on the topic of the Coldplay for much of the last decade.
In fact, the Yellow singer is at least partly the inspiration for his latest Edinburgh Fringe show “The One and Only Chris Martin”.
Inspired by an incident in which Chris mistakenly went viral on social media, it’s an exploration of fame and the eternal pursuit of happiness in this increasingly online world.
Ahead of his latest Edinburgh run, loaded spoke to Chris Martin about … Chris Martin.
loaded: Do you recall the moment you first became aware of Chris Martin?
Chris: It was towards the end of my school years which was annoying because that would have been the perfect moment to change my name. I just didn’t think he would stay famous for that long and end up front one of the most popular bands in the world.
loaded: Are you a fan of Coldplay?
Chris: A lot of people want me to hate Coldplay but I just think they are just absolutely … fine. I’m annoyingly indifferent. I don’t hate them and I don’t love them, I just accept them for what they are.
loaded: What was the inspiration for your show?
Chris: It basically came from an incident where I went viral on Twitter with a lot of people from India who saw my name as Chris Martin and started following me. At first, I tried to shun it by making it clear on my profile that I definitely wasn’t in Coldplay but that just attracted more followers who found it funny.
I even tried using my middle name on stage which is John but that didn’t work… because the bloke from Coldplay’s middle name is also John. So I’ve stopped trying to fight it and just accepted it and it’s inspired this show and the central idea of being happy with your lot rather than trying to be someone different.
loaded: Was there ever a moment when you thought: ‘this has gone too far’?
Chris: I started getting so many news outlets covering me – I even featured on BBC News India. I just had all these random people following. I’ve got about 5,000 Twitter users from India following me – that’s the sort of thing some people pay for and I got them for free.
At one point, I even thought about doing a gig in India. One day, some guy messaged me telling me how funny he thought I was, so I decided to send him a clip of my stand-up. About two minutes later, he messaged me again just completely trashing me. “Yeah, I just watched your videos and they are not at all funny, but good luck buddy!” Okay then. It was then I decided doing a gig in India was probably not going to happen.
loaded: Do you think our society is obsessed with fame?
Chris: Definitely. Everyone is. It’s amazing how people get more excited about my name than anything else. Everyone is fascinated by it. All people want to do now is be famous to the point where it’s almost at any cost. Everyone watched Love Island, including me. All those people just want to be famous. They are not talented per se, they are just good at saying things like “put it on her” and at the end of the day” a lot. They are basically like footballers minus the talent but they are probably more famous than footballers, But I was part of the problem – I watched the show and I don’t know why.
loaded: If you hadn’t been a comedian, what would you have ended up doing?
Chris: Uber driver. It sounds really weird but I like the idea of it and being able to drive and chat to people. I’d be a good one too, one of the ones that hand out free water. I’ve got quite obsessed with my passenger rating. I used to have a five-star rating but now I’ve gone down to a 4.8 and I’m trying to work out who hasn’t given me five stars. So maybe I’d be a good Uber driver or maybe I’d end up being the modern day equivalent of Taxi Driver who goes postal when someone gives me four rather than five.
loaded: What do you reckon might have dented your rating? Did you eat food in the Uber?
Chris: No way, I’m a respectful passenger. I think it was down to an incident when I was in America using Uber and my GPS on my phone was off. I ended up leaving the driver waiting for five minutes and he blamed me for that rather than Google Maps. I actually emailed Uber asking why my rating had dipped but they refused to answer.
loaded: Did you try and pull the old “don’t you know I’m Chris Martin” trick?
Chris: No, annoyingly that didn’t happen. I should have done one of those wanker things and threatened to tweet about their poor service, which is one of the most cringeworthy things you can do online. I would never want to be that famous where that would look embarrassing. It does annoy me when people that have got like a million followers call someone out over appalling service.
loaded: Have you ever met Chris Martin?
Chris: No, but I’ve been in the same gig as him. I watched Louis CK a few years ago and heard a bunch of people saying “wow Chris Martin is here.” I was just like “yeah, I am” but then I realised he was there with Gwyneth Paltrow, back when they were together. We didn’t interact. If I told him we had the same name, I reckon he would probably find it as uninteresting as I do. Someone I know has three Chris Martins on his phone though, so I reckon he [Coldplay Chris Martin] has it worse than me. I would like to meet him though. I imagine he’s probably an alright guy.
loaded: It could be worse: one of our team went to school with a David Gray…
Chris: Okay, well yeah, that is slightly more depressing. I actually came close to meeting another one when I was out in New Zealand. There’s a fast-bowler called Chris Martin who is retired now. He never replied to my emails but I did speak to him on a radio show. He sounded extremely boring, so I may have dodged a bullet. We may have run out of conversation after establishing we both have the same name.
I’d probably have more in common with the Coldplay Chris Martin though. We both like Louis CK for starters. He’s also been divorced while I… am happily married, so I can always rub that in his face. No, I wouldn’t do that.
loaded: How often do people tell you to make them laugh when you reveal you are a comedian?
Chris: Always. Getting in a taxi, as a passenger is particularly tricky. My rule is to never tell them you are a comedian because if you do, either you’ll end up telling them or a joke or they will end up telling you one. And nine times out of ten their gags will be racially unsound.
I try to avoid telling people about my job. Nothing good comes of it. I still have some set responses though. For example, if they are a chef I might ask them to make me an egg. But it doesn’t work. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have told me “you’re not being very funny now”. You’re basically on a hiding to nothing. So I just tell people something vague like I’m an account manager.
loaded: You toured with Milton Jones a while back – what’s his best one-liner?
Chris: Jesus. It’s always good sign when you’re being asked about a more successful comedian in your own interview! This interview is basically about people more famous and successful than me.
With Milton you’ve almost got too many good ones. There was one I liked because he caught me off-guard with it because he’s quite clean but this one is quite shocking. He says: “I like my women like I like my coffee – big, black and with a Penguin.” I did not expect Milton to say that. I hope if you interview him, he tells you his favourite Chris Martin joke.
loaded: What do you want people to come away from your show thinking?
Chris: Due to the fact the news has been so depressing, especially after the shit show of 2016, I just hope there is no talk of politics and terrorism. I just want people to come away having had a laugh without thinking about the impending doom of our society. Or the next series of Celebrity Big Brother. That’s the tougher challenge of the two though.
Chris Martin will be performing “The One And Only Chris Martin” at the Laughing Horse @ The Pear Tree from Thursday August 3 to Sunday August 27 – more info here: http://bit.ly/2pYQ4fu
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.