Peter John Kay (born 2 July 1973) is a British stand-up comic from Bolton in Lancashire who rose to prominence at the end of The '90s. As well as performing stand-up, he has written and acted in shows such as That Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights and Britain's Got The Pop Factor (the latter being a parody of the talent shows of the late Noughties). His stand-up is based on observational humour, often centring around his family members and work colleagues. Despite its local focus, it proved to travel surprisingly well and he became popular across the UK.
After one of his earliest stand-up jobs was doing warmup for the audience on Parkinson, when he became a household name he was invited back on as a semi-regular guest, and was present for the show's final programme.
He went into semi-retirement after 2004, but returned in 2010 with a new stand-up tour entitled The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour, Now On Tour. A brand new sitcom Car Share began on BBC1 in April 2015, about two ill-matched people forced to share a car to work every day.
- Artistic Licence - Geography:
- In Car Share, it has been observed that the journey across Manchester takes anything but the shortest line between two points.note This is possibly due to the vagaries of shooting and re-shooting dialogue scenes, and a not unreasonable assumption that the vast majority of viewers will not have local knowledge of Greater Manchester streets and landmarks and will in any case be looking at the characters and not the backgrounds. The journey taken in Episode One was observed to go round in circles, double back on itself, meander miles to the north and miles to the south of the assumed destination, leap instantly between locations as if the car was a Tardis, and in one scene it appeared to visit a completely different town sixty miles away from Manchester. Although the show Lampshaded Peter's inability to use a SatNav and his lack of any maps in the car...
- It has been noticed that over the six episodes, John and Kayleigh never take the same route twice. Episode One touches on Stockport, in the south and east of the conurbation. Episode Three appears to have been shot in Bolton, Swinton and Salford, in the north and west; episode six sees them in Chorlton and Altrincham, to the south and west of Greater Manchester.
- Apparently Kay is well aware of this aspect having been noticed by observant fans. The new series will include driving scenes shot in Liverpool. Fifty miles away from Manchester. To make it more obvious these will include the line of statues erected on the beach at Waterloo. On the Irish Sea coast.
- Bad Humour Truck One of the grotesque characters devised for his mockumentary series That Peter Kay Thing was an ice-cream man in Chorley, Lancashire, who is clearly in the wrong job and clearly hates children. The show focused on his failing business, and his eventual desperate resort to using the ice-cream van as a front to sell untaxed, illegally imported, booze, cigarettes and video porn cassettes. This works until one day, the police turn up and raid the van.
- Based on a True Story: Many of the more outlandish events in his sitcoms turned out to be this.
- Catchphrase: Many.
- Crazy-Prepared: His dad on holidays ("Always thinking!"), taking along anything from clothesline to teabags. Unfortunately, he also brought along Coffeemate powdered milk, which caused problems when 'trying to get through Spanish customs with lots of little bags of white powder'.Dad: It's Coffeemate.Customs Officer: I'm not your fucking mate - coffee's brown, dickhead!
- Does Not Like Spam:
- His hatred of Rola Cola.
- Variation with his dad and "GARLIC? BREAD?!" and "CHEESE? CAKE?!" — more a case of 'incredulous that anyone would combine those two things in one food' but did like them when he tried them by accident.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Tends to do this for early jokes in a set as part of a Lampshade Hanging gimmick.
- Dumbass DJ: He mocks wedding DJs in his "Mum Wants A Bungalow" tour.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His Uncle Knobhead. Even other family members seem to call him that.
- Foreign Queasine: A routine about how British holidaymakers will go to Spain, completely avoid "any of that foreign muck" and gravitate to the nearest British expat pub for pie and chips. "It's just like home, but you've got the weather."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Paddy McGuinness, since nursery. Their lifelong friendship is best reflected in Max and Paddy.
- Malaproper: His nan.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Although he doesn't make a big thing about it, Kay is quite a talented impressionist.
- Mondegreen Gag: Invoked in one routine where he mishears various lyrics:
- In "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge, he mishears "Just let me state for the record" as "Just let me staple the vicar"
- "Mercy" by Duffy gets misheard as "Birdseed"
- "All souls" from KD Lang's "Constant Craving" is misheard as "arseholes"
- "I believe that the heart does go on" from "My Heart Will Go On" is misheard as, "And I know that the hod dogs go on"
- Old Shame: "Love & Monsters", the tenth episode of the second Series of the revived Doctor Who - he went as far as to say that being in that episode was the biggest regret in his career as of 2012.
- I loved making it but when I saw it, I thought, "Oh my God. I'm a big green lizard running around Cardiff? Is that it?"
- Oop North: Peter is from Bolton. After an abortive attempt to settle in Liverpool, he got homesick and chose to do his drama degree at the then-new Bolton University so he could commute from home.
- Rapid-Fire Name Guessing: A routine about how alarmed he was when his mother went through female relatives' names before reaching his.
- Running Gag: In his book, he gives all the nuns from his school punny names includung Sister Sledge and Sister Mercy. When he gets to Sister Scissors he apologises for running out of good jokes.
- Small Reference Pools: Some chain emails have attributed jokes to him that are actually much older.
- Super-Speed: Claims that wearing slippers give you this power. After he was knocked down by a car as a child, his mum put on the slippers, chased after the car and caught up to it!
- Suspect Is Hatless: Parodied in his routine about how Stars In Your Eyes would always try to find a tenuous connection between the contestant and the singer they were impersonating:Matthew Kelly: Now, you've got a lot in common with the person you're going to be tonight, haven't you?Contestant: That's right Matthew, because we have both got heads.
- Take That!: In the first episode of Car Share, a Northern Rail Sprinter appears on screen just as the radio plays an advert for Lancashire Scrap Metal.
- The Unintelligible: The wedding DJ who turns out to actually talk like that all the time, not just having his voice blurred by a bad microphone as everyone had assumed.
- Worrying for the Wrong Reason: Peter Kay's standup act relates the story of a meal interrupted by a cellphone call from a child who's scared to go to sleep because of monsters in his cupboards. Our hero tells him he needn't worry about monsters in his cupboard - it's burglars breaking into the house he should be worried about. This ended up being made into an advert for John Smiths beer
- Write What You Know: Peter's first book reveals exactly how much of That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights were based on Peter's life experiences, mostly to dead end jobs he had growing up.