EWAN Staton from Culduthel was not planning on a comedy career when he entered the Happyness Festival’s Class Clowns competition, but he might have to re-think that after coming top in the contest.
The Inverness Royal Academy pupil was named the winner of the final to find the north’s funniest teen at Eden Court on Sunday, despite never having performed in public before.
"I’ve been applying for jobs and I wanted something that would look good on my CV," Ewan revealed afterwards.
As part of his prize, Ewan will go to Edinburgh to see the final of this year’s So You Think You’re Funny? showcase for new comedy talent, which helped launch the careers of such star comedy names as Dylan Moran, Reginald D. Hunter, Kevin Bridges and Lee Mack, as well as one of this year’s Happyness Festival headliners, Ireland’s Tommy Tiernan.
Last year’s Class Clowns winner Peter Dingwall attended the 2013 event and is now looking ahead to making an appearance in a future So You Think You’re Funny? First, however, Peter returned to perform a short set at this year’s Class Clowns final while the team of expert judges decided on the winner.
Ewan, whose own comedy heroes include Stewart Lee and American controversialist Doug Stanhope, seems less certain about taking the next step in his comedy career.
"I suppose...maybe," he said when asked if he would be taking his comedy any further on the back of his Class Clowns success.
Happyness founder Karen Koren of leading Edinburgh comedy venue the Gilded Balloon was quick to praise the five would be stand-ups from the Highlands who came from as far away as Aviemore to take part in the final.
"You all did really well," she told the competitors.
"Come down to Edinburgh, come and do some shows and we will help you make it."
Comedy professional Patrick Monahan, who hosted the final and also helped the youngsters prepare for their appearance in front of an audience with a comedy workshop, was also impressed by the young potential stand-ups.
"Last year you could see how nervous they were, but this year they are a lot more confident and you can see how they’ve improved," he said.
"They are all performing good material and that was really different as well. Even the ones who came back were performing new stuff. A lot of professional comics would have just used the same jokes."
Accepting his prize certificate, Ewan did his best to cheer up.
"I’ll go home and be delighted for a bit — and then be back to my miserable usual," he said.