Comedian Olga Koch on her Duolingo stalker and how she makes tech funny

The Russian funnywoman, 28, on her new podcast combining tech and romance and why we can’t compare Zoom comedy shows to live audiences.

What’s your favourite app?

Shazam. People will ask me about my taste in music and I say I go and stand in Urban Outfitters and Shazam all the music playing. It’s how I discover most of the cool music I like.

What do you wish you’d never bothered downloading?

Duolingo, to brush up on my German at the beginning of lockdown. It sends me so many notifications, it’s like an ex-boyfriend stalking me. It wouldn’t leave me alone after I stopped using it.

What’s your favourite bit of tech?

My karaoke machine. I had coronavirus over Christmas and as a gift, a friend bought me a Lucky Voice karaoke machine.

I spend so much time on it, playing with the reverb and the autotune. If I could be buried with any piece of technology, it would be this.

Most expensive tech purchase?

Apart from my laptop and phone, my Apple Airpods. I resisted getting them for a very long time because I liked the idea of having the cable and thought I’d lose wireless ones.

And the most useful bit of tech you own?

My Nespresso machine. I love the ritual of it. I love that because you have the little pods, there is an illusion of you doing something skilful.

Your most regrettable tech purchase?

I bought an imitation Go Pro-type video recorder that was bigger than a GoPro and didn’t even record audio.

Your comedy themes include technology and dating. What impact has technology had on romance?

In relationships, you have this information pack even before you start, in the form of their profile on LinkedIn, their friends on Facebook, their sense of humour and the things they like on Twitter.

The amount of information you exchange while dating now takes a week when it used to take a year.

What do you make of the trend for Zoom gigs?

I’ve done loads and there are lots of promoters out there who set up lovely gigs – Gigless, Always Be Comedy, Infinite Sofa.

We consciously need to start thinking about these things differently and not making comparisons with the live experience. It’s just different in the same way that radio or podcasts are different.

Tell me about your new podcast, Tech Tech Boom.

It’s a satirical tech news show available on BBC Sounds. It was so much fun to record. I am one of the hosts and I also wrote some sketches for it. It was great working with [fellow comedian] Hugh, aka Huge, Davies who is one of my best friends in comedy and in life.

Tech Tech Boom is available now on BBC Sounds. Find out more about Olga on her website.

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