Edinburgh Fringe Rarely Asked Questions – Lucas O’Neil

Edinburgh Fringe Rarely Asked Questions – Lucas O’Neil

US comedian Lucas O’Neil makes his Edinburgh Festival debut with his show ‘Emotional Man’ at Just The Tonic at The Caves. With a delightfully sharp wit and almost concerningly likable demeanor, Lucas will delight audiences with his personal stories and self-reflection that’s as playful as it is poignant.

Lucas has always had to be very accepting of things. If the headlight goes out in his car “it is what it is” and that’s always been OK. No one ever expected anything from him because he was the youngest child. And that’s like living your whole life sitting in the exit row of an airplane. Sure, they say you need to help, but everyone knows if something actually goes wrong, everyone’s just going to die. And so, he begins a comedic search for accountability or, at the very least, an accounting of privilege.

‘Emotional Man’ explores his sheltered childhood, his anxious family and his role within it. His older sister was the favorite sibling and he knows that because his Dad named a boat after his sister and named no boats after him. And his dad has two boats…. That dynamic with his father was fine because Lucas was always close with his mother, they shared the same sense of humor, sensitivity and anxiety.

But in 2019, Lucas was ill-prepared for his new role when his mother passed away and days later his father revealed he had prostate cancer. This is a show about ‘the before’ and ‘the after’ of these events and how to find hope and understanding in the conflict of the two. It’s about the people and places that shape who we are and who we become without them.

Lucas O’Neil is a writer and stand-up based in New York. He debuted his live set on Comedy Central in 2021. Previously, he was a staff writer for Bleacher Report’s Animated NBA Show The PortaL. He was also named a Caroline’s Breakout Artist in 2019 and an Up Next Comic by Comedy Central in 2018.

Lucas O’Neil’s ‘Emotional Man’ is at the Just The Tonic @ The Caves – Just Up The Road at 5.20pm from 3rd – 27th August (except 14th). For tickets go to www.edfringe.com

Read more Edinburgh interviews here.


What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)

I press record on the voice memo app I use to record my sets, so I can listen to it the next day and realize the show went better than I thought, or far worse. But right before that, I take a couple of deep breaths, shake out my limbs and smile.


What irritates you?

Right now, the false promise of airplane wifi. More regularly, I’m pretty irritated that social media requires me to be a documentarian of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love documentaries, but their success really depends on captivating subject matter, and I’m not sure my day-to-day reaches that threshold. Not sure any moment of my life has contained the majesty of a pod of whales migrating North. And that is quite frustrating.


What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Embarrassingly few options to choose from, here. But of the three dangerous things I’ve done, the most dangerous one was my college summer job leading cycling trips for teenagers. Each trip was 500 miles along the Pacific Coast of the United States, and it was just us, our bikes and no cell reception. The Total Danger Generated (T.D.G.) of this scenario was off the charts. It was not only dangerous for me to lead these kids, but it was especially dangerous for the kids to be led by me. Official TDG score: 15/10. 


What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

It seems like my previous answer would be a strong contender, but, the stupidest thing I’ve done (that my brain will let me remember) was when I caused a minor car accident because I was eating a bagel. Or rather, because I stopped eating a bagel. I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic, eating a messy bagel. Not all bagels are messy, but this one was unhinged. And I thought, “this is dangerous, I should put it down…” And as I leaned over to place it on the passenger seat, I took my eyes off the road, and then hit the car in front of me, who hit the car in front of them. And I know this was stupid because that’s what everyone’s eyes told me when I was forced to tell my family what happened.


What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

How finding a new joke always feels thrilling, exciting, like finding out the person you have a crush on, has a crush on you. I would have thought that would fade at a certain point, but it really hasn’t.

Interview continues here.


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