Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – David Baddiel

David Baddiel's latest show, My Family: Not The Sitcom returns to the West End for the third and final time from March 29. It is honest, touching, audacious and, of course, very funny. Baddiel has found a way to tackle the most delicate of subjects – in this case his father's dementia and his late mother's infidelity – and find humour in them. He makes it look easy. It clearly isn't. Over the years, right back to his early days working with Rob Newman, Baddiel has divided critics and comedy fans. Somehow it's hard to sit on the fence with him. But whatever you've thought of him in the past go and see this show. If you like him already you'll love it. If you hate him you might just change your mind.

David Baddiel's My Family: Not The Sitcom is at the Playhouse Theatre, London, from March 29 to June 3. 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)?

Go for a piss. As I get older in fact it tends to be go for a piss with 5 minutes to go, think that’s it, and then have to go for another one at 30 seconds to go. 

2. What irritates you?

The fact that everyone knows that funny is much harder than dark, and yet still, comedy remains downgraded as an art form. And of course people who go “aahhhhhh…” after they drunk their first gulp of tea.

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

I’m always putting my life unknowingly in danger. I tried to fix an old telly once that was plugged in, and gave myself an electric shock that would definitely have killed me if I hadn’t been lucky enough to be thrown backwards by it away from the telly. Onstage I did a corporate once in front  of a lot of drunk bankers and I had a piece of paper with facts about them, given to me to make light jokes about, and I opened it, saying, “I’ve got a piece of paper here which tells me exactly what you people are…” and then - just because it felt right - I closed it, saying, “Cunts.” That led to something of a kerfuffle. 

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

Probably the above. Although it made a good story in my 2013 show Fame: Not The Musical. 

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

People's reactions. Not the laughter - that comes and goes, depending on the material - but how violently some people can feel about jokes. Some people get very very angry about something that is just trying to make you laugh. 

Interview continues here.

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