From foul-mouthed ad spoofs to reading Fifty Shades to his gran, the ‘front-facing camera comic’ has become a legend in his own living room
Even if he wanted to, Alistair Green can’t redecorate his living room. The plain white walls that backdrop the comic’s sketches – and our Zoom call – are as much a trademark of his material as the range of deluded middle Englanders and disquieting eccentrics he portrays in front of them. His home is, for his legions of fans, a Mr Benn-style portal to an amped-up reality where Covid deniers believe that hand sanitiser causes the virus and anti-Meghan Markle sentiment is “nothing to do with race – she’s half and half”. He knows his audience would freak out “if I suddenly had purple walls”.
It would definitely be unsettling, given the amount of virtual time total strangers have spent in Green’s home in Deptford, London, during the pandemic. On Twitter and Instagram, he has gained a reputation for sharp satire and general oddities, with Ricky Gervais and Judd Apatow among the thousands to have retweeted his sketches. So-called front-facing camera comics have been having a moment since Covid hit, among them Michael Spicer, with his politically minded Room Next Door skits, and Munya Chawawa, who spoofs government restrictions at lightning speed. While Green has prodded Boris Johnson and co during the pandemic, his iPhone-filmed material is more focused on society at large and the people we all encounter there, often in single-take monologues.