WHEN Christopher Macarthur-Boyd was 19 he gave himself three choices: join a band, become a wrestler or give stand up a go.

In 2012, suffering a mental health crisis, he dropped out of Edinburgh Napier University where he was studying journalism.

From there, he sought to find a new path in life – but only one would stick.

“Stand up was the only one I was good at,” the comedian told The National. “I was really bad at being a bass player and I was really bad at being slapped for money. So I did stand up and that’s the one that stuck.”

The National:

Asked what he would’ve done if comedy didn’t pan out, he said: “I’m not fit to do anything else. I don’t have any practical applications to the real world. I exist solely to tell stupid stories that make people laugh.”

The Glasgow comic is back at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the Monkey Barrel comedy club for his brand-new show Oh No that will see him discuss the end of the world, Italian food and surviving lockdown.

The 29-year-old said he changes his show each year, describing this year’s style as “straight forward, 90s American observational comedy but through the lens of a specky wee goblin from Baillieston”.

The comic said he’s slowly been finding his own style throughout the years but all the time has remained “sad and funny”.

He said: “I started out doing liners to an extent, and then I did jokey jokes.

“And then Susie McCabe was like, ‘You’re good at the jokes but you should try doing stories’.

“You live by the sword, you die by the sword when you do jokey jokes, whereas if you’re a real person then people, even if they don’t find you funny, they’re like, ‘well okay, he did tell me he pissed himself’.”

Macarthur-Boyd used to make jokes about independence, and while he isn’t scared of discussing politics, he says the issue is keeping it relevant.

“The thing is, I like writing a joke and telling it for five years whereas if you write a joke about Keir Starmer, he’s not going to be the leader of the Labour Party in two years. He’ll be on the scrap heap.

“Imagine you wrote a joke in 2019 about Theresa May and it was the best joke in the set. Who’s talking about Theresa May now?”

Among the political acts at the Fringe are what Macarthur-Boyd describes as “the 10 ‘only Tories in comedy’ who think they are the only ones who tell it like it is”. But that’s not the genre he’s a fan of.

“I get such cringe when I hear a 40-year-old guy say ‘oh you can’t say anything anymore’. You can, you can say stuff now you couldn’t in the 70s because you’d get your head kicked in for being gay or trans.”

More than anything though, he just doesn’t think that’s what people are after at a gig.

“In the last ten years politics has made me really sad so I go to comedy to try and forget about it,” he said.