As part of our Vancouver Fringe Festival coverage we would like to introduce you to Tim Lee – Scientist Turned Comedian. We sat down with Tim and asked him questions! Here is the results! With pictures and diagrams.
“You know how Larry the Cable Guy’s act pretty much consists of him yelling “Git ‘er done!” every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee’s material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin”
– The Boston Phoenix”
LM: Can you give a brief but interesting history of Scientist Turned Comedian?
TL: When I was in grad school I used to throw gag slides into my talks. I find that a little humor relaxes the mind. When I started comedy I was performing regularly at a bar in Palo Alto that had a PowerPoint setup so I brought back some of those gag slides and put them into my standup act. The audience loved it!
LM: Why did you choose to perform in Vancouver?
TL: I’ve heard Vancouver has a wonderful performing arts scene. I want to experience it myself.
LM: Do you have a favourite scientist?
TL: I named my children after Edison and Faraday. The reason I like them so much, besides their influential body of work, is that they are both self educated. Edison was a child laborer who was beaten so hard at his job that he lost his hearing. He only went to school for three months. Faraday also had little formal education. It was their curiosity that drove them to greatness. I’m inspired because they were both were driven by the joy of discovery. It drives me to keep discovering and I hope it will inspire my kids as well.
LM: Do you have a favourite science fiction character?
TL: I hate to say it but it’s probably James T Kirk. I find him both humorous and oddly inspiring. Only someone as clueless as William Shatner could have taken writing that went right over his head and turned it into a classic role.
LM: What are your top 4 road trip songs?
LM: If you were early to get to your plane and you had 20$ what would you spend it on?
TL: Iced tea and smokehouse almonds.