Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – James Mullinger

James Mullinger is a comedian who moved from London to Canada and has enjoyed enormous success in his adopted homeland. Last year he did a gig at the Harbour Station stadium arena in Saint John and sold more tickets than Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and his comedy hero Jerry Seinfeld. Canadian television has even made a documentary about Mullinger's career. Mullinger has also co-written the new movie A Comedian's Guide To Survival, based on his own experiences and starring James Buckley and a host of familiar comics. The film is out this week. Read a review here. For more about James and the film, go to his website here.


  • 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)?

I fiddle with the cap on a bottle of water. My OCD kicks in at this time and you will see me tapping or stroking inanimate objects with both hands. Whatever the voices are telling me to do. I am also embarrassed to say that – before big gigs when I am nervous – I sometimes say mantras to myself like: “This is what you do.” Sometimes I even wonder how I am going to do this. What if tonight I run on to the stage and I can’t remember how to do stand up?

2. What irritates you?

My own self-loathing. Although I do believe it to be justified most of the time.

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

Climbing Cape Spencer in Atlantic Canada without ropes or harness or helmet or anything that involves health and safety, just because some people with TV cameras told me to. (See him do it in this doc here).

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

Getting involved in a debate on Facebook with other comedians.

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

How long it took to get good. How much work it was. I knew it would be hard but I had no idea how hard. Then I lost all faith and hope but had to keep doing it. Then I was even more surprised to discover that, like a lot of jobs, if you do work really, really hard at it, then that hard work pays off.

Interview continues here.

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