Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Richard Gadd

Richard Gadd

Richard Gadd’s Waiting for Gaddot was one of the most talked about shows at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. It won an Amused Moose award, but how it didn’t pick up at least a Foster’s Award nomination I don’t know. Maybe it simply freaked the panel out. It’a real mindfuck of a show that relentlessly upends your expectations of what a comedy show should be about. It is, however, constantly funny while it does it. I won’t say any more about the show because that would spoil the fun of seeing it for yourself if you get a chance. For now  have a read of this illuminating interview which may give you a bit of an insight into the warped worldview of Richard Gadd. 






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


I usually unzip myself, stuff a load of spinach in my mouth, then make sure my knickers (and bollocks) are as visible as possible through my skirt. I also cough a lot. I don't know why, but I get this really weird, anxious, psychosomatic cough every time I am waiting to go on stage. I convince myself my throat is drying up and closing a millimetre at a time until eventually I pass out. It is very weird. It probably stems from nerves though. Or that time Mr. Bates made a pass at me in the changing rooms at school...

2. What irritates you?


Broad questions like this. I could spend hours and hours talking about what irritates me, from my squint bottom teeth to the fact John Humphrys always takes his glasses off when addressing the camera on Mastermind. Then we need to wait until he puts them back on again, before reading out the first question, thus eating into about three seconds of valuable question and answer time. He does it with every contestant. That's four a programme. Fifty-two shows a year. That's one-hundred and eight seconds wasted per series John?! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT?! HAVE YOU COMPLETELY LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND?!

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


I got hooked on Crystal Meth during my final exams at school. That was probably the most dangerous thing I have done. I did it intentionally too. Just so the three hours of essay writing would pass quicker. I wrote all three essays in ten minutes about the late restoration poet Wilhelm von Adamson, then had to sit there for the remaining two hours and fifty minutes until I was free to leave. I got so bored I ended up humping the desk and gave myself sweat rash. Once the effects had worn off three days later, I realised two things. One: that I have a serious problem. Two: that Wilhelm von Adamson doesn't exist.

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


See above.

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

I guess... how well it has gone? I mean, I have only been going at it properly for three years. I was never all that sure that the self-flagellating freak that spends hours talking about how depressed he is, whilst trawling through such inaccessible subject matter as drug addiction, sex addiction, and just about any kind of “iction” there is, would have a place in a world where most people's impression of comedy is what is churned out on Live at the Apollo and Michael McIntyre's Roadshow. I thought I would be niche. Like, very niche. So I was surprised when I was selling out the Soho Theatre and there were queues round the block to see me in Edinburgh. Turns out we are all a little fucked up...

Interview continues here.


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