Carl Donnelly Discusses Bad Man Tings On Eve of Newport Show

Building on the success of a sold-out and critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stand-up comedian Carl Donnelly will perform his new show Bad Man Tings at Newport Riverfront on March 29. Andy Howells recently put questions about the show:

What inspired you to become a comedian?
The first time I went to a comedy club was the inspiration to become a comedian. I was in a job I didn’t like with no real direction in my life and then I went to the Banana Cabaret in London and everything changed. I’d always been a fan of comedy in general but had never experienced it in a live environment. The fun and energy in the room blew me away and made me desperate to learn more about it. The rest as they say is history.

Can you tell us a bit about your current show Bad Man Tings?
It is pound for pound the funniest show I’ve ever done. Normally my shows are made up for a couple of big stories surrounded by a few shorter bits but this show is pretty much all short snappy jokes and ideas on the topic of me being in my mid 30’s. I thought it was going to be a difficult show to write as there was nothing major going on in my life to talk about but the opposite was true. It turns out there were loads of minor things that I realised were funny about adjusting to being a fully fledged grown man.

So what can people expect from the show when they come to see you?
I’ll cover a lot in a short space of time. Don’t expect major insight into any single thing but do expect to see a man discuss his fears of farting in yoga classes one minute then defend Kanye West for being a fellow confused man in his 30’s the next minute.

You’re playing Newport in Wales are you looking forward to visiting here?
Absolutely. I’ve only ever been to Newport once and that was when I was supporting Rhod Gilbert there about 6/7 years ago. The traffic was so bad driving from London that I was super late and Rhod had to go on and start the show himself and then introduce me when I ran into the theatre. It was very stressful so this time i’m looking forward to having a leisurely journey and getting there early to have a mooch around pre show.

Who are your comedy heroes and why?
I grew up in an Irish household watching Dave Allen which is probably why I gravitated towards a storytelling style of stand up more than a more jokey type. I remember watching his BBC show when I was so young and despite not understanding a lot of it, finding it hilarious. He was so naturally funny.

Who or what makes you laugh?
You’d think working in comedy would mean I’m harder to make laugh but its actually the opposite. I’m very easily pleased. I love beautifully crafted comedy that is full of depth but the flip side is that I can still roll around laughing at a clip of someone falling over. The most i’ve laughed at something in memory was a late night repeat of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ that me and a friend watched after a few drinks. We were tired which I think added to our response but at one point a toddler rode a buggy underneath a trampoline that was too low and slowly rolled backwards off the back of the buggy. There was something about the way he fell that sent me and my friend into hysterics. We laughed so hard that after a couple of minutes I had to run to the toilet as an accident had begun to happen.

What’s the most bizarre or funniest experience you’ve had at a gig?
In Edinburgh 2012 I was telling a story about a childhood friend I’d not seen in maybe 17 years and half way through found out he was in (as his girlfriend made an audible shocked sound as I said his name). I couldn’t believe it and got quite emotional as genuinely hadn’t spoken to him in years. We had a hug onstage while the audience cheered. It felt like an episode of ‘Surprise Surprise’

What else can we expect from you beyond the tour?
There are plans for me and my podcast partner in crime Chris Martin to maybe take our podcast on the road. We’ve just recorded a spin off series of our regular podcast called ‘Babysitting Trevor’ where we are trying to help our hilarious Australian mate Trevor Crook adjust to the modern world (he currently doesn’t have a mobile phone which is one of many old fashioned traits he has). The aim is for the three of us to go on the road togetherin the next year.