Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Sam Simmons

2015 was Sam Simmons’ breakthrough year. He had always had a loyal cult following and had regularly picked up award nominations for his screwy comedy shows, but Spaghetti for Breakfast found him moving up through the gears. The wild unpredictability was still there but it was joined by both proper jokes and a personal back story that put his somewhat extreme behaviour onstage into context. He was a deserving winner of the Foster’s Comedy Award in Edinburgh. Of course, as Simmons says below in this particularly revealing interview, there are still some people who don’t get him, but more and more are enjoying watching a man do things such as sing strange songs and wear green vegetation on his head. 




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’ve recently started playing buoyant 90s hard-core euro trash house music.

Initially this was to combat the show that was playing immediately before my show at Soho theatre recently, it’s an incredible show about Depression but it was taking its toll on me pre-show.

Trashy house music I found is the opposite of this aurally (depending on how you look at it) 

I am generally very moody pre-show and I’m moody in general so rather than self medicate I’ve decided to trick my mind with horrible Euro trance…yuck.

2. What irritates you?

Footpath etiquette, people don’t know how to walk in this stupid city, especially young women, they walk four abreast like they are in a movie, I hate it. Also lots of over gesticulating southern Europeans standing in doorways smoking and having flapping conversations. And I hate navigating couples holding hands.

The other day I got annoyed at the way a guy was eating a Mars bar, I have issues.

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

I was once drunk at a party and put my face in front of a lit firework as a dare when I was 17.

I was that guy, incredibly stupid and REALLY REALLY DUMB, I still am, I will die dumbly.

But I’m also just very brave and extremely dangerous in context of my comedy and with my emotional attitude toward the human condition. 

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

I think it would be my act Bruce; most recently roller-skating on stage to Life is Highway by Tom Cochrane with a Deer’s hoof.

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

That it has become an actual career, and how wildly different the same show is received from night to night, my hit rate is 1/5. 

Still to this day 1 out of 5 gigs is really difficult.

I think it’s a combination of my occasional bad mood on the certain night and the inability of an audience to let go and trust I’m going to do a good job, but mainly its my self saboteur like pre-set.

UK audiences can sniff out a fraud like a truffle pig.

Interview continues here.


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