Interview: Simon Munnery
Surrealist comedian on theft, referring to previous answers and things yet to happen
First record you ever bought
Cassette! Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits. First I stole – Buddy Holly: Legend.
First film you saw that really moved you
That has yet to happen.
Last lie you told
I refer you to my previous answer. But I still assert that the only films worth watching are documentaries. And they’re awful.
First movie you ever went on a date to
That has yet to happen.
Last time you cried.
That has yet to happen. That’s a good answer this. Cut and paste.
First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
That has yet to happen: I’M ALWAYS WORKING. AND SO SHOULD YOU.
Last great meal you cooked
Sunday lunch. It was on a Tuesday, that’s what made it great.
Last extravagant purchase you made
A hat. From a shop. In Covent Garden. They saw me coming. But I didn’t mind. It was my birthday after all. I’d already bought a hat that day, from the market. But I knew it wouldn’t last: my last one started to discolour, then I lost it. I wanted a hat, a descent hat: one you can go down in.
Last book you read
To Ride the Storm, by Sir Peter G Masefield. I’d recommend it but there’s only six left on Amazon at £95. To me, that’s overpriced. I got it out the library. It’s about the R101 disaster, which I am currently cogitating.
First great piece of advice you were given
It was probably ‘Stop!’ or ‘Don’t put that in your mouth’. Still is great advice. But a very clever and very kind man once told me that one of the hardest things in life to come to terms with is how little you can do to help other people. It took me ages to understand what it means. It helps if you go through it phrase by phrase. Get well soon Eric.
Last time you were star struck
Sarah Miles. I saw her one-woman show three times.
First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Enquire as to the process that led to this. If it was anything short of universal consensus I would resign. Next I would decree a new currency: my soiled pants. For I’d prefer to wake feeling richer rather than ashamed. From then on, were I to break wind in public, I would smile benignly and announce, ‘Ah, a little quantitative easing for you there,’ and everyone would clap.
Last meal on earth – what would it be?
If I had a choice? Just get on with it, I’ve lost my appetite. It’s compulsory? Beans on toast. Make sure the toast is buttered and the beans are hot.
First song you’ll sing at karaoke
'Blind Willie McTell' by Bob Dylan.
Last time you exploited your position to get something
11.15pm. ‘Please, I’ve just come off, just a half.’
First time you realised you were famous
That has yet to happen.
Last time someone criticised your work
‘Rudimentary guitar playing does not redeem sloppy writing.’ I was delighted. My guitar playing has reached rudimentary standard at last; that’s only one step below adequate.
First three words your friends would use to describe you
He is like.
Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
The hat. But I’m coming to terms with it now. That is always the process: purchase, regret, try to forget, remember, shame … possible forgiveness. That’s the trouble with shopping: it’s demoralising.
First concert you ever attended
All the world’s a concert in my view. I’d like to have a word with the conductor.
Last time you bought someone flowers
Wednesday 4th October 2010, 3.25pm.
First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
First object you’d save from your burning home
The toilet. It’s made entirely of gold.
Last funny thing you saw online
Clip of Kevin Eldon is Titting About.
Job? No thank you. I am self-employed and proud to be so. I come from a long line of self-employed people. We can trace our family tree all the way back to the family tree, and not one of us has ever been employed by, or employed, anyone other than ourselves. And my wife is self-employed too; I employ her on a self-employed basis. Not for us the numbing comfort of the regular wage, the possibility of a mortgage and tacit acceptance by mundane society. Ours is the ever-bracing wind of the free market, the exciting scrabble for patches of work, and the constant thieving.
Last person in the world you’d sleep with
My wife. She’s also the first.
First word you spoke
Last crime you committed
I habitually steal kindling. I thought it was in the Magna Carta that commoners have the right to gather fallen wood. And it is, they do, but there are no commoners any more except round the Forest of Dean.
First song at your wedding
‘I Only Want To Be With You’, by Dusty Springfield.
Last song at your funeral
I can’t decide so shall start writing one forthwith. Now, what rhymes with dead?
First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
The real winner for lending me their skin.
Last thing you recommended to someone
Avocado, and I still do, wholeheartedly.
First celebrity you ever met
That has yet to happen. For in my mind there are no celebrities, just equations, blueprints and songs.
Last celebrity you’d want to meet
I refer you to my previous answer.
Simon Munnery appears at the Stand, Edinburgh, Tuesday 5 April; the Stand, Glasgow, Wednesday 6 April.