Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Alex Edelman

Alex Edelman

There is a long tradition of American artists being quickly embraced in the UK, from Jimi Hendrix to Bill Hicks. I think at the moment Alex Edelman is in the process of joining that illustrious list. Since winning the Foster’s Best Newcomer Award last year he has been spending a lot of time over here, gigging in clubs, honing his new Edinburgh show and winning a lot of new fans with his appearance on The John Bishop Show. The impossibly young Bostonian is a brilliant, smart comic who deserves success on both sides of the Atlantic. He works really hard at his craft and it shows. As he says below, his new show is even better than last year’s debut. Anyway, enough of the build-up. His answers below are really good too, offering you a much greater insight into Edelman’s personality and thought processes as a stand-up than could ever do if I simply wrote about him. Have a read, but more importantly go and see him onstage as soon as you can.

Alex Edelman is at the Pleasance Courtyard until Aug 30. Tickets 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)?

I sing along to the entrance music before I go on. It gets me in a good mood.


2. What irritates you?

Service charges that are included. When waiters or tour guides give you the spiel that they've clearly said a million times and now deliver with no actual in-the-momentness. Animal-attack shows. People who pick "killing Hitler" when asked what they would do if they could go back in time as if they'd be able to do it and as if they're the best that we could send back and as if that’s not the most uncreative answer possible. A weak handshake I once got from Dan Schreiber. The fact that US Olympic Ice Hockey team hasn’t won a Gold Medal in such a long time. People who just say that they don't like Country music. Henna tattoos. Temporary tattoos. Real tattoos. Political impressionists. Magicians who do too much patter. Rhys James and Alfie Brown. One of my girlfriend’s fucking dogs.

There's other stuff but that's just off the top of my head. 


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

I did some stupid things in college around the Occupy movement. There are some things that I was at where there were cops swinging batons and stuff going on, which, in retrospect, could’ve wound up really bad. I was online recently and I saw some overhead footage of something at NYU that almost got out of hand. It had this little frisson of nervous energy you get when people don’t really know what they’re doing.

So that was dangerous. Also, once when I was ten years old, I found a cheese sandwich on a sidewalk and brought it home and microwaved it and then ate it.


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

Taking a bad job in Wisconsin for a baseball team so I could stay involved back when I was still seeking a full-time career in sports. It was nice of the people who hired me to hire me, but it was utter stupidity. A wasted summer almost.


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

The abundance of funny and decent people in this industry. The different thought patterns and processes I’ve seen in some really sharp comics. The fact that I hear new ideas constantly, even though I’ve now been a comedy fan/comedian for more than half my life.

Read more of this interview here. Believe me, it's worth it.


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