Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Mark Nelson

I did wonder if Mark Nelson’s three year old daughter Isla should answer these Rarely Asked Questions. This year she upstaged her father by starring in a series of videos that went viral. "The country is gripped by obesity, but all our celebrations have chocolate,” she said during her Easter message. But Isla is not doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year as far as we know, so instead here are her father’s answers. Renowned for his dark material, Nelson gives us his thoughts on life hack apps and ridiculous self-help books in his new show Irreverence. And who knows, his daughter might get a mention too.

Mark Nelson: Irreverence is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot from Aug 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 have this weird obsession/compulsion for doing things in threes. So I will check everything three times. I then tap a picture of my kids on my phone three times. I also carry a small stone my daughter gave me which she named Tony. Essentially the five minutes before I go onstage I am an absolute weirdo. 

2. What irritates you?

Ed Sheeran

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

When I was growing up and starting my drinking career, my friends and I were pretty obsessed with Jackass. Some of the ridiculous things we did, I am amazed none of us ever died. 

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

I once decided to try and extract an in-growing toenail myself with a pen and a compass. An extreme amount of blood, excruciating pain and infection followed. 

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

How generally very decent most people are. My non-comedy friends often ask me about how many arseholes there are in comedy. And honestly it is 90 % good guys. In offices I have worked in it is best 50/50 arsehole/good guy ratio. 

Interview continues here.


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