Liberal Vegan, Kanye West And Stand-up Inspiration: Interview with Carl Donnelly

To celebrate the Nottingham Comedy Festival, IMPACT Arts interviewed Carl Donnelly about his upcoming show Bad Man Tings, and finds out everything about the inspiration for his comedy.

Can you tell us a little about your upcoming show, Bad Man Tings?

“In 2015 I did a very personal show about my insecurities and anxieties that was really good to do, but took it out of me a bit too much. This year I wanted to do a show that, despite still being personal, was more fun to do. That’s where Bad Man Tings came from. It’s a really silly hour of thoughts on my life currently and wondering how I ended up a 34 year-old middle-class liberal vegan (which as labels go, is pretty bad!).”

Why the catchy title? 

“It’s a phrase me and my friends used to say growing up. I thought it would be nice to name the show something that was the polar opposite of what the material in it was about. I used to be a lot more ‘street’ growing up in South London so it’s basically a nod to my past.”

What makes Bad Man Tings unique in the comedy world? 

“I’m quite confident it’s the only stand up show out there currently that has a routine about Kanye West’s bumhole.”

What is the creative process like in creating a comedy show?

“It’s different for every comedian but mine changes from year to year. Some years, I’ll have an idea for how the whole show will pan out then I’ll work towards that. This show was much more organic and I just wrote about whatever was coming into my mind on any given day (Kanye’s bumhole is a perfect example) then my favourite bits made the final cut.”

Congrats on your Edinburgh Fringe success this year! What is the stand-out Fringe joke you’ve either heard or performed? 

“Tommy Tiernan did a joke that I don’t want to ruin but it was about how much he likes Vladimir Putin and it made me howl with laughter. I find it really funny when comedians share an opinion they hold that is so far from the norm. It’s safe to say in the UK that the majority of audiences are not fans of Putin so to hear a comedian saying that he loves him really tickled me.”

You’ve worked with Alan Davies and Russell Howard to name a few, but who is your favourite comic or general person to work with? 

“My favourite comedian to watch is Tommy Tiernan (see above) but my favourite to work with is my comedy partner in crime Chris Martin. We do a podcast together and every routine I do onstage has been run past Chris first. He’s an excellent comedian that more people should know about.”

Why should a Nottinghamshire audience come and watch your show as part of the Nottingham Comedy Festival?

“Because it’ll be a lot of fun and my brother lives in Nottingham so you wouldn’t want to embarrass me in front of him by not showing up would you?”

Sum up Bad Man Tings in three words! 

Really really funny!

Amy Wilcockson

Image courtesy of Florrie Sheehan

‘Bad Man Tings’ is running as part of the Nottingham Comedy Festival on Tuesday 8th at the Poppy and Pint Nottingham. A link to get tickets can be found here

For more interviews, follow Impact Arts on Facebook and Twitter


Leave a Reply