Stand up comedian Carl Donnelly is rapidly rising in popularity on the British comedy scene with appearances on Mock The Week and Russell Howard’s Good News. As well as this, Carl is also involved in podcasting with fellow comic Chris Martin, which has lead to the duo becoming regular Fubar Radio presenters. Carl Donnelly brings his new show Jive Ass Honky to this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
To find out more, I asked Carl these seven questions…
1) Do you enjoy social media?
I tend to be spending less and less time on social media as am losing patience with people’s behaviour and general obsession with it. I tend to enjoy Twitter during major sporting or cultural events. You can be sitting at home on your own watching the TV but still be part of a group chat about whatever it is that you’re watching. The flip side is that 99% of the time, social media is just a cavalcade of ill thought out opinions stated as facts. Humans naturally have the capacity to be twats but social media gives us a medium to really let that side of us run free.
2) What character trait do you most envy in others?
Objectivity. It’s rare you meet someone who genuinely can step outside of them-self before forming an opinion. The above answer about social media refers to the 99% of people who can’t do just that. Online is where you see the lack of this trait the most. Everyone is in such a rush to say their piece that they haven’t had enough time to form an informed opinion so what you get is a load of shit they’re spouting in the heat of the moment. I’m getting better at being more mindful in my opinions but still have the odd blowout where I get my blinkers on and just lose it. I had an argument with a mate in a pub a few months back regarding Ched Evans (the ex-footballer now charged rapist) where I almost got kicked out of the pub because I was shouting about rape apologists.
3) You’ve performed stand-up on a plane? How did you find it?
It would make the top five list of ‘The most nervous I’ve ever been’. I get really nervous if I do a gig where the conditions are abnormal. In a comedy club or theatre, its set up for comedy so I know what I’m getting into but on the plane, the passengers didn’t know there was going to be comedy until they were boarding and were informed. Then I basically got introduced by the cabin crew about half way through the flight and had to do my set at the front of the plane using the weird phone that they make announcements through. Everything was set up for it to be terrible but weirdly, they got excited that they were part of such a strange experience so we ended up having loads of fun. It’s lucky as if I would have had a bad gig and then had to just sit back down among them, I would probably have stabbed myself to death with a plastic fork.
4) Can you draw?
Not that well anymore. I used to do a lot of drawing/painting/sculpture during my school and college days. I was a very strange teenager in that I was a bit of a wide boy who smoked, drank and shoplifted but also had this weird love of contemporary art. I would bunk off school to hang out at the Tate (this was pre Tate Modern which is now one of my favourite hangouts). I used to go to life drawing classes as well during my late teens so was quite handy at drawing nudes but was the only person in the class who wasn’t a pensioner so just looked like a creep!
5) If you could interview a comedy hero, who would it be?
I think Norm MacDonald would be amazing to interview. He’s one of my all-time favourite comedians but he’s also so funny when he appears on chat shows (and on his podcast which I highly recommend) that I have every confidence that he’d live up to my expectation. His live album ‘Me Doing Stand-Up’ is probably my favourite comedy album.
6) Why are you a vegan?
I got to a point about three years ago where the guilt of eating and wearing animal products was no longer outweighed by the ease of doing so. I made the decision and just tapped out and have felt a million times better mentally and physically since. I was living with a constant feeling of disappointment in myself for continuing to do something I felt was wrong. I was basically making myself feel like shit through sheer laziness. I now feel good and can sit back and enjoy watching carnivores get really annoyed about veganism.
7) Will you ever get bored of stand up?
I’d like to think I won’t but you never know. Some of my favourite comedians have taken a break at some point despite still churning out great new stuff so it’s obviously not an uncommon thing to happen. I love the process of writing a new show and previewing it etc trying to get it perfect so that cycle keeps me excited and interested. Who knows what will happen if I ever feel like I’ve run out of things to say. Maybe I’ll have to go and get a proper job!