Tim Murray spills the (green) tea on his upcoming ‘WITCHES!’ debut at Edinburgh

Tim Murray, star of WITCHES!

Something witchy this way comes to Edinburgh this summer with the debut of Tim Murray’s WITCHES! The openly gay stand-up comedian has parlayed his affinity for magical mavens into a musical exploration of finding one’s queer coven, honoring every prominent pop culture witch from Angelica Houston’s Grand High Witch to Sabrina’s Aunt Zelda and every enchantress in between. In anticipation of this Edinburgh Fringe Festival premiere, we fired up our cauldron and spilled the green tea (to match his head-to-toe green drag) with Tim about WITCHES!, performing in conservative states, and his hilarious Hot Gay Guys videos.

Tim Murray

What projects are you working on right now?

I’m currently ramping up my WITCHES! musical comedy show that I’m debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, then taking on a UK and U.S. tour. The show is a mix of stand-up and original comedy songs about my favorite pop culture WITCHES! I’m in full green witch drag from head to toe (with very ugly shoes). 

The show is a tribute to LGBTQIA people and how we discover our magic once we find our coven. I celebrate ‘The Craft’, ‘Wicked’, the ‘Sanderson Sisters’, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ and Angelica Houston’s ‘Grand High Witch, among others, and use their stories as a parallel to the queer witch hunt that’s currently happening. 

What are your future travel plans?

I’m very excited to be doing stand-up with Michael Henry in Denver, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Also Cleveland with my other great gay friend Chris Grace. Following that I’m taking WITCHES! to Edinburgh, London, Sandusky, OH, Columbus, New York City, Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Palm Springs, Seattle, Detroit, Washington D.C., and ending in Los Angeles on Halloween night!! 

What was the most surprising destination on your recent comedy tour?

Louisville, Kentucky has been the most surprising stop for me! I had a blast there! The space Michael Henry and I played there was in the gayborhood. It was such a cool little theater attached to a restaurant called The Bard’s Town. Everyone there was so friendly and fun! The gays in Louisville know how to party. The bars were a blast and SO cheap. I love going to cities where the people there are super proud to show the place off and in Louisville everyone had a story about the area. Plus I have a mullet which I think spoke to the people. I felt like people were treating me like I look like Harry Styles in Kentucky! In LA, people treat me like I look like Harry Truman. Honorable mention to Columbus, Ohio which has 18 gay bars! That city is also so fun! 

Tim Murray full length

Does your audience react differently in “conservative” states?

This is such a good question. I find that audiences who are going to comedy shows are generally pretty accepting, but I also play mostly for gay men and women when touring alone or with Michael Henry. When I do play for straight people I find that they are VERY down for anything BUT they don’t understand a lot of gay references. Comedy is all about the element of surprise and so I feel like audiences enjoy being shocked, but the main reason I change material for non-queer audiences is that they simply don’t know what I’m talking about and a confusing joke is a joke that doesn’t land. I have a raunchy gay joke and a PrEP joke that KILL with gay people, but they flatline with straight crowds. I have an Amelia Bedelia joke that crushes with Millenials and Gen Xers but anyone older than that (gay or straight) has no clue who I am talking about. Knowing your audience is a huge part of doing stand-up and fortunately when I am doing my tour the crowds who come to see me in conservative areas are usually the liberal people who live in those towns and are craving some queer content that speaks to them. I almost feel like they enjoy it more. 

Was there an outstanding conversation you had with an audience member you’d like to share?

Both of my favorite conversations actually happened on the same night at my WITCHES! show in San Diego. That particular show is 95% comedy show and then the last song has a really powerful message about how queer people really find their powers when they meet their gay coven of friends. After the show, a young woman and her father came up to me and said that although she is not part of the LGBTQIA community she really identified with the “otherness” of my show because she’s autistic and wants to perform. She told me she felt inspired and it absolutely melted me (pun intended).

The other conversation was minutes after that. A gay man told me that he was on vacation in San Diego and was just walking down the street and saw that there was a show going on and bought a ticket. He had never heard of me but just took a chance on the show and he said “There is a lot about you and me that is so different. We are different ages, different races, and different cultural backgrounds but your show made me feel so connected to you and to our gayness. It meant a lot to me and I wanted to say thank you.” Then we hugged and we both cried. I think about that moment and that man a lot. When I am doing something extremely gay on stage I often think “This is for him and everyone like him, everyone like me.” 

How do you come up with your “Hot Gay Guys” videos? They’re spot on!

“Hot Gay Guys” came from walking down the street at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. I was walking down the street with my friends and the festival is so gay that everyone walking by looked gay and so hot! So I just started singing it as a joke and it just took off from there! Now I ask locals in each city about their favorite landmarks and cultural touchstones. Then I just mash them up into lyrics related to gay horniness.

Don't forget to share:

Your support makes our travel guides possible

We believe that LGBTQ+ people deserve safe vacations that allow them to be their authentic selves. That's why our City Guides aren't locked behind a paywall. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated