Credit: Press

Interview: Max Fosh and his stand-up show Zocial Butterfly

By Jordan Hunter

British Youtuber Max Fosh sat down with The Glasgow Guardian to talk about his first ever stand-up show.

Max Fosh, for the uninitiated, is a young British YouTuber who has made waves doing bizarre and often random adventures such as playing jenga with architects, infiltrating the world’s most posh event, and parking a car with his CV on it to get a job at BBC radio. His latest creation: a stand-up show titled Zocial Butterfly. While this tends to be a trend, Max Fosh has promised that it won’t be anything like the traditional YouTuber meetup, and instead can be enjoyed by anyone. Before his show in Edinburgh, Mr. Fosh was kind enough to chat to The Glasgow Guardian. Here’s what he had to say…

The Glasgow Guardian: You’ve run for London mayor, purchased a roundabout, and found a model from a stock photo in your own house, garnering about a half a million subscribers along the way. With this in mind, how has the transition to stand-up been?

Max Fosh: Very good question, I would say that I’m trying – “trying” being the operative word. I’m trying stand-up. I just happened to have done it the other way around, because I had an audience first and then I made a show. So I don’t want to say I’m a stand up comedian because I haven’t done the graft of 10 years that a lot of stand-ups do in order to get really good at their craft. I’m in a middle-ground, a new space, where I’ve got this audience and I want to make a show for them, and having said that the show can be enjoyed by anybody. You don’t necessarily need to have watched any of my videos to enjoy the show. It’s a whole new ball game, it’s a completely different type of entertainment. I think we’ve created a show that people will really enjoy. 

GG: Your videos seem to be just as much about the process and work leading up to doing an elaborate quirky thing as much of the elaborate quirky thing itself. Do you think this process is reflected in Zocial Butterfly?

MF: That’s a very astute observation about the videos, because I think it’s all about how you are going to keep people invested in watching a video for as long as possible. The process of it all is very important when it comes to a YouTube video, and yeah the show reflects that. Someone said to me it’s like they were in a live Max Fosh video. That is quite a nice compliment to get, to show that what we’ve made is coming across in that. I’m happy in terms of the process. It’s about seven or eight segments where I tell a different story in each one. I go over the process in each where things go well and things don’t go well, because it doesn’t matter if you see it in a video or not, it matters if you tell a funny story along the way. 

GG: What have you enjoyed most about doing the stand-up tour?

MF: Interacting with people. Being on YouTube, you see the numbers, and they’re just that, they’re objective numbers; it’s so quantitative. But getting in front of an audience, you understand that every single person behind the number is someone who has their own life, their own story. There’s a lot of audience interaction throughout the show, chatting with people in the show has been awesome, as well as meeting people after. I’ve loved it. It’s been such a rewarding experience, showing people what I’ve worked on for a while.

GG: Final question. YouTube boxing still seems to be a thing, are you planning on getting into the ring? And is there anyone you’d like to call out? 

MF: As every YouTuber says, they’d always say “No”, but then they always preface it with “If the money’s right”. I have nobody that I have “beef” with from YouTube, but that’s not to say that manufactured beef could not be made quite easily, which is what happens a lot. I have called out someone, Laurence Fox, who was my competitor at the London Mayoral election, but he swiftly turned it down. So at the moment, I’ve got no one on the line up.

Our review: Zocial Butterfly

I would agree with what Max said before the show; it certainly was like being in a Max Fosh video. I wouldn’t say you would have to watch a Max Fosh video to find it funny, but you definitely would have to appreciate his humor. His existential, self-aware “apologetic posh-boy” act is refreshing in the age of Eton Mess. I think he’s always had this humor, only to see the posh passive aggressive opposition to Laurence Fox he demonstrates in his London Mayor race. 

His jokes really got at the heart of some weird questions such as why are Gary’s becoming extinct, but also provided social commentary such as comparing Nelly’s classic Hot in Here to the global climate crisis affecting the Norwegian Arctic village of Herre. Fox involves the audience in many ways, not like the traditional stand-up. While we can usually expect comedians to pose questions and deal with heckling, Max introduced a live multimedia experience to the show, with ad-hoc audience elements such as a talent show for cash based on social media interactions. 

While you might not understand what I just said, it really is a new format unlike any other comedy show, or any show in general. The audience finds themselves on a journey with Max. The show did not disappoint his fans, especially as he gave behind-the-scenes extras of some of his videos, but not in a way that felt like a general YouTuber meet up. Zocial Butterfly is a truly unique experience, and hopefully an experience we’ll be able to catch again soon. 

Keep up to date with Max Fosh on his website and YouTube.


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