Rob Delaney interview
Nosheen Iqbal talks peeing and puking with US comedian and Twitter sensation Rob Delaney
From obscurity on the Boston stand-up circuit to becoming the fastest-selling US act in Soho Theatre’s history, Rob Delaney is one of Twitter’s first real stars. Being endlessly retweeted by his 500,000-plus followers, the Massachusetts-born comic’s Speedo-clad avatar (yes, he owns that pair of swimming pants) bobs along millions of web-pages, and earlier this year he beat Steve Martin and Sarah Silverman to Comedy Central’s ‘Funniest Person on Twitter’ award thanks to his sharp line in smut, satire and silliness. Delaney, 35, lives in Los Angeles with his wife and baby son, and makes his UK debut next month. We got him on the phone…
Hi Rob Delaney. How are you? What are you doing?
‘I’m pretty good. I’m going to be honest with you, I’m peeing.’
In the street?
‘No, I’m home, in Los Angeles, and urinating into a toilet.’
I can’t hear it, though…
‘Men can do a more silent pee. I’m ashamed I’m telling you this. It isn’t the beginning of a seduction or anything.’
It doesn’t sound it. How is LA looking today?
‘Lovely. Grey with a very gentle rain, which is a welcome change from the weather being staggeringly beautiful every day.’
What are you going to do with your one day of gloriously crap weather?
‘Go for a run so I can feel the rain on my body.’
You’re going to love London. But what have you got in store for us?
‘I’m going to strap the audience in with seatbelts, like with those Formula One racecars, and kick people in the face.’
‘Of course, but I’ll work hard to pummel people and force them to laugh. Even if they’re a terrible person – like an embezzler or someone who touches people when they shouldn’t, when they’re not looking, on their privates. I’m going to squeeze them like a toothpaste tube. If a couple of people don’t die from laugh-related injuries, I won’t ever come back.’
What about your downtime?
‘Oh, I’ll spend that oiled up and wrestling Graham Linehan.’
Is it true he gave you your big break?
‘Without question. If it weren’t for him we wouldn’t be speaking. I had two followers. He retweeted me, then I had 400,000.’
Which of them is your favourite?
‘I’ve direct messaged with Joan Rivers. The day she followed me, I took my pants off and rolled around in honey.’
You were voted Comedy Central’s ‘Funniest Person on Twitter’. Who’s yours?
‘Peter Serafinowicz. Hands down. Seen from space, you could be forgiven for thinking he invented Twitter.’
And in real life?
‘Sharon Horgan. I don’t know if she’s the funniest person in the world, but if my comedy juice got sapped out of me I would beg her for a transfusion.’
You’re big on us Brits, then, which is good considering I read that on your last trip to London you saw one man puking and another peeing on the same street.
‘All true! It was in a place called… Angel?’
That makes sense on a Friday or Saturday night.
‘Yeah, it was a Tuesday afternoon.’
You once said that you can’t make a person vomit from a tweet but you can from stand-up. Has this happened to you?
‘My son has thrown up on me numerous times and I love it. I always think: How cute! If you and I got together and started puking on each other it would be disgusting. But he’s mine, so it’s like a little present.’
Finally, aside from puking and peeing, are there any other sights you’re looking forward to on your trip to London?
‘Maybe I’ll get to see someone sobbing uncontrollably or doing a number two.’