In 2014 Ismo Leikola won the “Funniest Person in the World” competition organised by the Laugh Factory in the United States. He is a six-times winner of the Audience Favourite Comedian Award at the largest annual stand-up festival in Finland and was voted Best New Comer 2003. Leikola also performs with a band consisting of Finnish leading musicians, performing comedy songs.
What are you plugging right now?
The 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival, specifically the North Island Tour of the International Comedy All Stars.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
Being completely relaxed, no problems, no worries, everything just flowing, not having to make decisions … wait a minute, that sounds a lot like being dead. Darn. So, I guess happiness is having some problems, but nice ones.
Which living person do you most admire?
Some people I’ve admired in the past have later on turned out to be terrible awful monsters. I hope my admiration didn’t cause that but I’m not going to risk doing it anymore.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Shaking hands with someone and realising that just a minute ago – when they weren’t there – I had just sneezed into the hand. Or maybe the same thing, but so that you replace “sneezing” with “digging ass”.
Ever stolen anything?
When I was a kid I took a booklet from a video store (a place they used to have where you had to physically go to rent movies). I had thought the booklet was free, but when I got home I saw it had a price tag of ten Marks (a currency Finland used to have before Euro). I felt horrible and was afraid of jail for a few days. I don’t get how real criminals ever sleep.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Pimples when I have them. I’m way more self-conscious about pimples than about my belly – even though they are normally much smaller.
Which living person do you most despise and why?
I normally despise people only when driving. I can’t be driving now because I’m writing the answer to these questions, you can’t do both at the same time. Or can you? Some people seem to think they can. I despise those people.
What life lesson would you pass on to your children?
Don’t have children. Having them is just passing the ball of life to someone else instead of doing something with it while you have it. I’d like to pass this lesson, but because I followed it, it seems I can’t.
What job would you do other than your own and why?
A philosophy professor who has almost completely lost touch with the world as we know it. I could go deep and come up with the strangest possible ideas and theories they would all have to be accepted as academic.
Finnish comedian Ismo Leikola is coming to the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and joins the International Comedy All Stars tour as it heads to Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Wellington and Napier in May. Tickets from ticketek.