Rarely Asked Questions: Barry Crimmins

Barry Crimmins has appeared in the UK before but it was probably before a lot of you reading this were born. Thirty years on he starred in Bobcat Goldthwait's critically acclaimed 2015  biographical documentary, Call Me Lucky, and has carved out a niche as a sharp, left-wing comic.

As a young comic Crimmins founded his own comedy club in Boston and fostered the careers of talent including Steven Wright, Paula Poundstone, Denis Leary, Kevin Meaney and Bobcat Goldthwait. He was supportive but could be difficult and almost inexplicably angry (judging by his answers below maybe RAQS caught him on a bad day). He finally brought the personal into his political act with the onstage revelation that he had survived heinous assaults as a child. In the ensuing years he’s become a renowned activist on behalf of children’s rights, campaigning vociferously against child pornography and has received the Peace Leadership Award presented to him by Noam Chomsky. 

Barry Crimmins is at the Leicester Square Theatre from September 29 - October 1. Tickets here.


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)?

Ask myself why I do this.


2. What irritates you?

Interviews in the form of essay questions.


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

Get born


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

Forget to keep track of my mistakes so that I could rate them for daft surveys


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

How many unhip things I have to deal with.


7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?

Dildoic questions


8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?

I’m fine. 


9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?

Fuck off


10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?

Sure but I was eligible for them
11. Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category?

Fuck completely off


12. Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?

Mark Twain


13. Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not? (please think long and hard about this question, it's to settle an argument with my girlfriend. The future of our relationship could depend on your response).

Why do you presume I have drawers.

Barry Crimmins didn't answer Question 6: What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?

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