Glasgow comic Larry Dean attended exclusive Belmont Academy in a posh suburb on the south-side of Glasgow – the same school attended by the Biffy Clyro boys – but he clearly isn’t your typical private schoolie.
First off, his dad’s family are fae the East End and Larry’s idea of looking good in his teens at the weekends was to don a ‘classy’ silver Sellic (Celtic) ring and snazzy silver watch.
The award-winning (a Moose award is still an award!) stand-up manages to put his varied upbringing to good use.
Larry explains: “My family on my dad’s side are from the East End of Glasgow but I grew up near Shawlands.
“A mate of mine owned Bairds Bar near the Barras. So how did I end up in a private school? I moved around a lot when I was younger.
“My mum was a teacher and around twenty years ago when property prices were doing well she realised if she did a house up and painted it she could make a lot of money. It was a good way of looking after three kids. So she sent me to Belmont.
“The main reason I went to Belmont was basically I wasn’t the most academic kid in the world.
“I still left there with only a B in Art and a C in Music so it’s either draw a picture or play the guitar for the rest of my life!
“My brother and sister sound proper south-side though I don’t.
“When I’m doing stand-up, Scottish audiences don’t mind a posh accent but I find myself, when I’m overseas, changing my accent. I’ve subconsciously learned to tone down my voice.”
The 28-year-old has learned a lot of lessons along the comedy road including some personal beauty tips.
He explains: “I had a haircut that made me look like one of the guys from Dumb and Dumber. I learned don’t get a £100 haircut the day before your photo-shoot because I looked like an absolute eejit!”
The southsider, who was nominated for best newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 and won the Amused Moose award at the Fringe in 2016, radiates ‘ease’ on stage.
Obviously years of honing his skills and testing the water in dank venues has worked a treat.
A Scottish audience is notoriously hard to please and quick to poke fun at a drowning guy on stage if he shows any fear or weakness.
But that ‘I’m still in the pub’ rapport with the audience works a treat and Larry reveals there’s no pre-performance mantra to relax before going on stage.
Larry says: “I’ve been jammy the past three years with great reviews for my shows in Edinburgh.
“Am I nervous? I’m screaming inside. It’s weird, I’m not exactly really laid back before I get on, I’m terrified.
“But if something makes me laugh just before I go on it’s okay. I guess if you’re laid back you don’t describe yourself as it.”
His comedy heroes include Jim Carrey, Richard Pryor, Omid Djalili and Billy Connolly.
“The usual silly jokes made me laugh. When I left school Kevin Bridges was doing the Michael McIntyre Comedy Roadshow on television,” he says.
“There was nothing else like it I’d seen as a comedy show on stage. Comedy was really big during that time and I loved making people laugh.
At school I used to practice in front of the mirror making funny faces and going over a joke I wanted to tell everyone.
“I did a comedy show at school run by the PE teacher who doubled as the show organiser.
“I was told by the PE teacher I was funny and it was a bit of a weird thing but I treated school days like a gig and would think to myself ‘I can make that joke funnier and that one was weaker’, or ‘I didn’t get many laughs from that one’.”
After school and before stand-up took off, Larry worked as a cleaner and a pizza delivery boy.
“I was cleaning toilets and offices and delivering pizzas,” he laughs.
“The toilet cleaning wasn’t the hard job, everyone knows the difference between white and yellow but the pizza company’s slogan was ‘we’ll deliver anywhere in Glasgow’ so they’d tell me an address and I had ten minutes to get from some where like Merrylee to Kilmacolm!
“It was a great place to work and all the workers would take the mickey out of each other.”
interview by Susie Daniels