Tag Archives: Carl Donnelly

Punchline Quizzes Carl Donnelly

13 Jul

Photograph of Carl DonnellyWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

I do. I’m actually a big fan of chores. I find them very relaxing and they give you good thinking time.

Which words make you giggle or give you an inner flip of amusement?

Limes. We had a running joke on our podcast about that word for some reason.

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

I am blessed without an addictive personality luckily so can do anything in moderation if I so choose.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Norm Macdonald’s routine about heart attacks and buying a defibrillator.

Where is your favourite place to go for food during the Edinburgh Fringe?

The Auld Hoose serves vegan nachos that are so big that it feels like an episode of Man Vs Food. A couple of times each fringe a few of us go there to take on the challenge.

What’s the weirdest thing an audience member has ever said to you?

I once got invited to a party after a gig and it turned out to be a 50th birthday party of the stepfather of the person who asked me. It was in a conservatory about 10 miles away. I went and it ended up being a fun but quite strange evening.

What have you learned about life through performing at the Fringe?

To not worry about what people think of you. My early years at the fringe were spent stressing about reviews, etc. but once I learned to stop reading them and just enjoy being at the biggest arts festival in the world performing my own show, I started enjoying it a lot more.

If you could be in a sketch with any two living comedians, who would they be and what would the sketch be about?

Tommy Tiernan and Phil Kay. They’re my two favourite comedians so it would probably be about an awkward fan boy who is trying to act cool around two of his heroes.

Tell us about a coincidence or piece of luck that led you to where you are today.

Going to the Banana Cabaret in South London in 2002 because my girlfriend at the time wanted to watch some comedy. I had never seen stand-up before and it blew my mind and set me on a course that ended with me trying it a few years later. The rest is history.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

The guys who run Jordan Valley whole foods on Nicholson Street. Every fringe I live around the corner and pop in most days and not only do I really like the food they sell but I love just how little they care about the fringe. They are a daily dose of reality amongst all the madness.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Constantly talking to people about shows. We’re all up there doing and seeing shows so it’s nice to chat to people about normal things to remind ourselves we’re not the centre of the universe.


Catch Carl Donnelly: Strictly Carl Donnelly! at The Counting House at 6.45pm, 2 – 26 August (not 13)

Join this ‘observational genius’ (Guardian) for his 10th solo show! In 10 years he’s been married, divorced, happy, depressed and twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award. This year he’s taking stock and seeing if his life, in those 10 years of coming to the Fringe, has lived up to his expectations. You may have seen him on telly (Mock The Week, Comedy Central) and he’s ‘ludicrously funny’ (Skinny). Come along innit.

In the Hot Seat: Carl Donnelly

26 Jul

Photograph of Carl Donnelly

One of our longstanding favourites, make sure you see Carl performing “The Nutter on the Bus” on an actual bus…

Close your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

That’s a good question. The opening question to about 90% of Q&As is “What made you become a comedian”. I love Edinburgh. Not just the Fringe but the actual city. When I close my eyes and picture it, I see the view over the city from the top of Arthur’s Seat. It’s rare that you can walk for 30 minutes from a city centre and then be looking over the whole city from the top of an ancient volcano.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

Comedian (and my partner in crime) Chris Martin said the word “panties” in an American accent during a conversation the other day and it really caught me off guard. It was totally out of the blue and it really gave us the giggles. We have the ability to just catch each other with a phrase that turns us into giggling idiots. Last night we were having a conversation while driving about how Ed Sheeran pops up in a lot of stuff currently. I turned to Chris and said “He’s like onions and garlic. They’re also in a lot of things” Needless to say, he nearly crashed the car due to my stupidity.

Tell us about this year’s show.

It’s a selection of stories about some of my more alternative life choices over the last few years that I’ve made in a bid to better myself and take control of my emotions and mental state. Four years ago I was on anti-depressants, in therapy and generally existing in a state of constant apathy. Now I’m much happier but on paper I think people would question some of the things I’ve done to get to this point as they include ‘alternative therapies’. I’m prone to the odd hippy excursion and partaking in hallucinogenic ceremonies that involve a lot of crying and vomiting.

Who do you want to see this year?

Loads of stuff. It’s the biggest arts festival in the world so I could see something in every waking hour and still not see everything I wanted to. The first show I am seeing (on its opening night) is Hannah Gadsby’s show. She’s excellent.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Day one I go shopping with Jimmy McGhie for nice house things for our accommodation. It sounds silly but we’re living in a flat that isn’t ours for a month so I think it’s important to make it feel like home. We go and buy new bedsheets, towels, incense (or scented candles depending on our mood) and other nice bits and bobs.

What is your getting ready music?

INXS’ Need You Tonight is one I constantly return to when getting ready for my show. During the day when I’m relaxing I tend to have a lot of chilled ambient types of music (Brian Eno is a regular on the daytime playlist). The moment it gets to near showtime and I need a little energy boost, INXS get called off the bench. If you get the chance, watch the official video for Need You Tonight. It’s on YouTube and you will get to see one of the greatest rock lead singers in his prime. He was so sexy that even as a heterosexual man, that video does things to me.

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

See question 6. Hutchence in his prime. He died far too young so it would be great to have him back with us.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

I won the Chortle Award for ‘Best Club Comedian’ this year which I was very touched to receive but a tiny part of me can’t help but hear that title as a backhanded compliment. It kind of sounds like that’s all I do.  The comedy circuit is varied and in some ways quite fractured. Some comics only play clubs, some only do festivals etc. I like to think of myself as being one of the group that are able to play all facets of the circuit. I play festivals all around the world, perform at most clubs, do two podcasts and plenty more. Basically I was honoured to win but like all comedians I managed to see some negative in a nice thing.  Part of me wants there to be a ‘Best Comedian Who Does Loads of Stuff’ award which I could win.

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

Dave Allen. He’s one of the few childhood heroes who lasted the journey into adulthood. I still think of him as one of my biggest comedy influences.

What should Donald Trump know?

If ever there is someone who needs to take a heavy dose of hallucinogens (with the aid of a shaman in a controlled environment of course) it’s old Donald. He’s the most egotistical person I’ve ever seen. He’s incapable of answering a question without it being about him. If he’s asked about nuclear deterrents, rather than answer with any fact or opinion, he prefaces it with a comment about how much ‘he’ knows about nuclear deterrents. It’s fascinating to watch.  I think he needs an experience where he is detached from his ego and can see the irrelevance of his own existence as an individual. I recommend he go to an ayahuasca retreat for a week to learn the interconnectivity of all things and how small a part of that he actually is.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

They would not be too happy that I talk about them onstage. They feature quite heavily in this show as a lot of my past mental health issues can be traced back to my childhood. Luckily for me, they never come to see my shows. They also don’t have the internet so have no way of finding out that I’m discussing them.

Catch Carl Donnelly: The Nutter on the Bus at 7.30pm at Heroes @ Bob’s Blundabus throughout August

Punchline Recommends Carl Donnelly: Now That’s What I Carl Donnelly Vol.6

11 Aug Photograph of Carl Donnelly
Photograph of Carl Donnelly

Carl Donnelly

Words by Suzy Romer

By the time Carl Donnelly formally introduces himself to the audience, he’s already made friends with us. His relaxed style and lack of pretension make him an instant hit.

This is no mean feat because Carl has had a difficult year. He talks candidly about separation from his wife and coming off anti-depressants but never burdens the audience with his angst. Instead, he takes us through the hilarious stories of how he’s recovered his appetite for life. Many of these stories have a “You had to NOT be there” condition and cause ripples of laughter that tip back and forth across the room. His up-for-anything attitude gets him into one scrape after another but here he is to tell the tale, with his sharp outfit and self-proclaimed expensive haircut. The overriding thrust of his stories is that boys just wanna have fun, especially naughty ones, but then it’s so much better when he tells it…

When he suddenly announces it’s time to wrap up the show, it comes a bit of a shock. We’ve got to know him a little, caught up on recent stuff, but our time’s up so it’s goodbye until next time. It’s like meeting up with an old friend after a long time apart. It’s rare to find a comedian so warm and easy-going – nice one, Carl.

Catch Carl Donnelly at 8.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard. Buy tickets here

Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominees Announced

22 Aug

Words by Susan Ford Seann Walsh

We were very pleased over at Punchline to hear that our next headliner Seann Walsh has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, and wish him the best of luck come Saturday.

Also nominated is previous Punchliner Nick Helm, as well as some of our favourite comedians from this year’s Fringe: Carl Donnelly, James Acaster, Max and Ivan, Mike Wozniak and Bridget Christie have all been announced as contenders today.

Nominated for the very exciting Newcomers Award are Aisling Bea, John Kearns, Liam Williams, Matt Okine and Romesh Ranganathan.

The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards are now in their 33rd year and are one of the most respected accolades in the world of comedy. Steve Coogan won the award in 1992 (known as the Perrier), and will be responsible for announcing the winner of the Award and the £10,000 prize at lunch time this Saturday.

It’s all very exciting!

Edinburgh Fringe Recommendation: Now That’s What I Carl Donnelly

20 Aug

carldonnellyWords by Susan Ford

I think one of the reasons I like Carl Donnelly so much today is because of the volume of gags that take place in a zoo, and I really love a zoo! At first impression, you could say that Carl Donnelly is an observational comedian, but be quick to dismiss that idea as his observations are not at all obvious and in fact are very unique to the way he thinks about the world. Going to and listening to Donnelly’s show this year is an insight in to his mind, and how cleverly he can apply comedy to any scenario.

As mentioned, Donnelly has a fair amount of animal-based humour in his set, but it is just a coincidence that so many animals have been funny this year! He also has a heap of other stories about interesting train journeys and his personal life that make again for hilarious set ups, but only once he has applied the Donnelly comedic-twist to make them inspiringly funny. It is certainly evident that Donnelly is passionate about writing jokes and making people laugh, and he has created a wonderful stand up show on these grounds.

You may recognise Carl Donnelly from various TV shows, including ‘Mock the Week’, but he shines through as a stand up this Festival as well. He is dressed to impress, meaning that his emotional and interactive stage presence is a joy to watch as well as listen too. Donnelly tells his anecdotes and jokes with enthusiasm and skill, proving himself to be an artful and absolutely brilliant comedian.

Carl Donnelly’s Edinburgh Fringe run finishes on 24th August in Pleasance, so I recommend you get your tickets in early.

Punchline’s Top 10 Comedy Shows

4 Aug

felicity ward

It’s difficult to narrow down our top picks for this year’s Fringe, but here is Punchline’s Starter for 10 (in no particular order):

Nick Helm is the only person in the comedy world who can get away calling himself a “One Man Mega Myth”. Those who came to October’s Punchline won’t need convincing. You will be part of the show but you probably won’t mind.

Boy with Tape on His Face is a delightful hour that’s original, funny and touching. It’s also a good one if you have any visitors who don’t speak English as a first language.

Felicity Ward One of Punchline’s Top 3 last year, Australian comic Felicity Ward is laugh out loud funny. She covers various subjects and you kind of feel like you’re chatting to her in the pub, then find yourself crying with laughter.

Joe Lycett is delightful and very funny, with a sting in his tail. He’s going to be a comedy superstar so get in now.

Josh Widdicombe is fast becoming a household name, as seen on Last Leg and Mock The Week.

Andrew Lawrence is one of the best comedians full stop. Go and see him.

Local lad Iain Stirling is a Bafta-nominated presenter and Chortle-nominated comedian, returning home to bring you a new hour of standup.

Ivan Brackenbury is the hapless hospital radio DJ who plays pumpin’ but inappropriate songs. Be advised to pay in advance as he has queues around the block already.

Susan Calman is here until 12 August, doing a work-in-progress show. Clever comedy and personal stories from an inspiring performer.

Seann Walsh is another Punchline favourite – will this be his big year?

Other recommendations: David Trent, Aisling Bea, Carl Donnelly, Pat Cahill, James Acaster, Claudia O’Doherty & Romesh Ranganathan

We’re hearing good things about John Kearns – let us know what you think!

Matt Richardson is not doing a Fringe show but he is appearing on a couple of late night shows and he’s well worth a look if you can find him.

Comedy Reserve has four bright young things including Punchline’s own John Hastings, and Comedy Zone has the excellent Lucy Beaumont and Carl Hutchinson (who also has his own solo show).

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