GETTING millions of views for a viral video on social media is an achievement in itself, but for stand-up comics, does it really mean anything?

That was the worry Scottish comedian Connor Burns had ahead of the Edinburgh Fringe this year.

“I had some social media stuff, like a few video clips, do really well last year and we went into the Fringe not really knowing how that would transfer to actual ticket sales,” the Edinburgh native told the National.

“When it's the first time it's ever happened, you really don't know. You go, well, the number on the screen has gone up but are those people actually going to want to come and see me live?”

As it turned out, they did. The initial Fringe run of Burns’s show Vertigo was extended to some 37 performances. A similar pattern followed for his subsequent UK tour.

“We thought, well, we'll do a small tour – and it's kind of grown arms and legs. What was originally going to be a 10- or 15-date tour, we're now up to about 44 dates.”

The later extensions to the tour are visible in the schedule, which has Burns going from Cambridge up to Aberdeen, before heading directly back south to Bristol.

“I think the goal for next year is to plan it alongside an atlas,” the comic quipped.

And he might well need one, as Burns is taking his show to Australia for their festival season in April and May.

It will be the Scottish comic’s third year down under in the six since he started stand-up comedy.

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Asked how he’d got into the business, Burns told the National: “Stand up always appealed to me, but the thing that was the kind of tipping point was I was the best man at my brother's wedding. I wrote the speech and people laughed and I thought, ‘maybe I can do this’.

“After that I went and did my first open mic in Glasgow. The good people of Glasgow, they let me know, ‘maybe I can't do this’.

“But I got the bug and just stuck with it.”

But while they might have given him an early kicking, Glaswegians were also the inspiration for one of Burns’s first viral social media videos.

The National:

The comic (above) explained: “I was at the Stand comedy club in Glasgow and they weren't sure if the show was going to go ahead because there was a snowstorm.

“I just flippantly said at the start of the show, nothing's going to stop Glaswegian women getting a night out.

“Eighty mile-an-hour winds, minus-four, snowstorm. ‘Oh, well, I better put on a second coat of fake tan.’”

The clip – which has now been viewed millions of times – was followed in its success by another Scottish bit, angled on the England rivalry at the Euros.

The online success of his Scots jokes saw the branding for his Vertigo show lean into the blue and white Saltire branding. But, Burns said, the jokes translate on a much wider scale.

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“It's funny because I said that about Glasgow but most of the comments were like, ‘in Newcastle women are the exact same’. ‘Oh, I'm in Manchester, it's the same here’. And then people were like, ‘I'm from Minnesota, we're just like this’.

“So it's funny. I think as long as there's just something relatable in the joke, it doesn't really matter where you're saying. People will go, ‘oh, we're like that as well’.

“So we leaned into [Scottishness] a little bit, but I think next year we'll give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.”

Connor Burns is playing a UK tour through January, February and March 2024, including dates at Glasgow’s International Comedy Festival. You can find details and tickets on his website.