Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Gary Delaney

gary delaney

There has been a resurgence of the well-crafted one-liner recently. There is even a UK Pun Championship Final at the Leicester Comedy Festival. If Gary Delaney entered he’d be a hot favourite. He has been doing short, sharp gags since long before they were fashionable. Sometimes the Mock The Week regular's quips are childish, sometimes they are dark. The only thing his gags have in common is that they are always funny. Chortle has called him “the Picasso of Puns”, which sounds good, though I’m not sure what it means. For his tour dates click here.



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


Stretch (pointless really as I am not remotely physical on stage). Breathe deeply. Tell myself ‘I am good at this’. Take my inhaler (if it’s a big gig or telly and I’m nervous).


2. What irritates you?


I’m quite petty so…

1)     Bad signage and grammar.

2)     The lack of planning of road closures of British Motorways at night.


But genuinely the thing that makes me crossest in real life is..

 3)     The fact that so many people do not understand the difference between stock and flow, differential rates of change and the difference between million and billion. There are seemingly few who understand these important concepts, including all our party leaders, and most financial journalists.


3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?


Fallen asleep at the wheel. People think this is most likely to happen at night. Personally I think it’s at about 5pm on a hot summer day when you’ve got a cold.


4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?


Not keep a record of all my old jokes from before I had a computer.


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


How good you can get if you work hard. Comedy taught me that ability and focus matter far more than talent. Everyone’s got talent. Who cares about talent? It’s not rare or special. The ability to work hard is much more valuable.

Interview continues here.


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