Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Dan Antopolski

Versatile genius Dan Antopolski could be 2017’s comeback kid. He hasn’t done the Fringe for a few years but back in the day he did various sketch shows and stand-up sets and picked up numerous nominations for being hilariously funny and brimming over with ideas. This year’s show, Return of the Dan Antopolski, is about “change, pain, honour and gain”. He is older and wiser and, quite possibly, funnier than ever. And still brimming over with ideas.

Dan Antopolski is at Assembly George Square Studios from August 2 - 27. 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)?

I mentally check how scared I am. Too scared? Come on mate, you’ve done this before. Not at all scared? You are not entitled to their laughter Mr Big Shot.

 

2 What irritates you?

Subeditors. I wrote a piece for the Scotsman once and a dull mind took a pass on my punctuation, surgically removing all the kink and presence from my prose. I would never have put my name to it - we writers don’t have much, leave us our voice for god’s sake. And if you’re deaf to tone, just trust us.

 

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

As a kid I loved to explore rooftops - seeking out secret or forbidden spaces where I could brood, Batman-like. I was always getting bollocked for being in the assembly hall attic etc. One time I made a stupid big sign saying “Vegetable Rights and Peas" out of that continuous dot matrix printer paper. I broke into the school after dark and climbed onto the roof to affix it. It was very high up. Down through the library skylight I could see the headmaster and staff having a meeting. “Fools” I chuckled. I set about my moronic task. Somehow the headmaster appeared below me in the playground and barked at me to get down. I was across the vaulted roof and descended three full storeys in about 0.8 seconds. I don’t know how I didn’t mash myself to bits. The next day I passed the headmaster in the corridor and he gave no sign. He must not have recognised me up on that roof as he squinted through the floodlights - though he may have had his theories. The interrupted sign said “Vege” which may have intrigued somebody so I guess it was worth the parallel universe scenario where my lifeless body was returned to my grieving family.

 

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

I saw Sting at the Hay On Wye festival and hastily lifted my then-infant daughter to get a picture with him, smacking her head on a chair en route and making her bawl. Despite this abuse, my gesture sort of flowed onwards and I presented Sting with an injured, irately yelling baby. He smiled thinly and moved away. I didn’t even want his stupid photo, I thought it might amuse my kid in later life. Now all I have for her is the story of her scar. There isn’t really a scar.

 

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

Literally, this: a student at Birmingham University rugby-tackled me off the stage - he was drunk and I had playfully teased his friend. I had only a nano-second's warning in my peripheral vision before being impacted and translating through space like a GCSE quadrilateral - and landing entwined with my aggressor in the wings. His t-shirt was orange and it was to my lasting regret that when I returned shakily to the microphone I lacked the presence of mind to resume the performance with the words “You know when you’ve been Tangoed” - a contemporary reference that would have been absolutely le mot juste in the circs.

Interview continues here.

 

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