From white rapper to alcoholic car salesman, Simon Day has taken on a wide and varied range of comedy personas over the years - most famously getting us giggling with his hilarious skits on successful sketch show The Fast Show. But he's tired of only playing other people, as the funnyman reveals to The List during a rare break; Day has taken fifteen minutes out of his busy schedule of filming and warm-up gigs to talk us through forthcoming, first ever solo stand-up tour What A Fool Believes.
'I'm going to be doing lots of different things,' he explains, 'chatting about identity, why people want to be famous, a bit of observational comedy, and stuff about me growing up and my family. I guess it's my sideways look at the world,' he chortles, 'and I'm hoping to give audiences something really quite different.'
Having taken on a wealth of weird and wonderful roles in the entertainment world over the years, it shouldn't be hard for Day to come up with some pretty off-kilter material. He started out in the early nineties with legendary music hall character Tommy Cockles (which won him a Time Out new act of the year award), then hooked up with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer for a run of live and television work, and has since then appeared on such shows as Grass, Eastenders, Heartbeat, Jonathan Creek, Driving School and Swiss Toni, even going on to make big screen appearances in Run Fatboy Run and as a Thames ferryman in Shakespeare In Love.
Day has no trouble deciding which of these many characters he has enjoyed playing most over the years - the gangsters are firm favourites - But he's quick to point out that he has no plans to resurrect any of these old faces for his up and coming solo performances. 'I'm doing this stand-up completely as myself. It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the courage. I mean, I started out really up for saying something interesting, got in with Vic Reeves and then wound up doing adverts and getting paid a hell of a lot of money to say the same thing over and over again - which is the exact opposite of what I set out to do. I suppose this a return to those initial ideas. Yes, it's scary, but it's also exciting and I think it's about time I did it.'
The Stand, Edinburgh, Sun 2 Nov; The Stand, Glasgow Mon 3 Nov; Dundee Rep, Wed 12 Nov