Rarely Asked Questions – Rob Rouse

I’ve been tipping Rob Rouse for stardom for so long it has started to become embarrassing. But he is finally making up for lost time. This year he played Bottom in Ben Elton’s return-to-form Shakespearean sitcom Upstart Crow and cornered the contemporary market for idiot sidekicks. A Christmas special and a second series should cement his reputation as a comic actor. But Rouse is also a clever, playful stand-up with a mischievous streak and just to remind us the former geography teacher sets out on his Are You Sitting Comfortably? tour this month, starting in Southampton on September 16. You can find all the dates and ticket details here. And if you want to add even more Rob Rouse to your life he has his own podcast, which you can listen to here. But before both of those things have a read of this lovely interview with him below.





1. 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 )?
Generally I’ll check myself for stains. Predominately food-based, either spillages from me or wiped onto my clothes by one of my children. I’ll check my phone is off and while doing that possibly imbibe some information via text, that I need to remember to buy bin bags, cereal and milk on the way home. It’s like I inadvertently run a side business as a 24hr personal shopper. I do this happily, it’s all part of the job. In fact, the security guy at Chesterfield 24hr Tescos is someone I feel like I actually know, but in an Alan Partridge and Michael kind of way. 
2. What irritates you?
If my dear wife wears any kind jewellery that rattles i.e. lots of bangles or multiple necklaces, stuff that clacks against each other, I physically and mentally can’t handle the sound. Does that make me sound mad? Thank God I married my wife, rather than Mr. T.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
At a local petting zoo, my wife (the same one) double dared me (probably pay back for the rattling jewellery ban) to go down a vertical drop death-slide. I reckon it was at least 20 feet high. Children were pinging themselves off it left right at centre and I sat quaking at the top for what felt like a good half hour. Eventually the small children were shouting at me to “just do it”, I cowed to peer pressure and allowed myself to drop. I screamed all the way down, but in my defence, received a nasty friction burn to the fatty section of my upper back. I rest my case.
4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?
I do stupid things all the time, so it’s hard to know where to start. I remember once when I was young I’d overheard about these things called ‘condoms’. One day when I was really bored, I tried to make my own and I wrapped sellotape around my willy and then started to panic because I couldn’t get it off. I couldn’t find the end. I then made the fatal mistake of running crying into my sister's room, thus arming her with crucial damning information she could use against me publicly, the next time I was irritating her. I think I also overshare sometimes. That might be stupid.
5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?
Upstart Crow was a lovely surprise. As a snotty little kid glued to Saturday Live, Harry Enfield and watching Blackadder over and over again on video, I’d never have imagined I’d end up working with those amazing people. That was a very pleasant surprise. Also I’ve only ever been in single series of things in my career, so to be doing a second series of the show in January and a Christmas special is a real cherry on the top.
Interview continues here.

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