Standup comedian Rob Delaney performed an electrifying, sold-out set at the Trocadero on Friday. Before he went on stage, though, I had a chance to chat with him in his dressing room, where I found him practically main-lining pizza and Coke. Delaney’s humor hinges on his enthusiasm for all things disgusting and weird, so I took a cue, shooting him some of the oddest questions I could think of. Here’s how things went down:
Ticket: What is the slipperiest your hands have ever been?
Rob Delaney: I mean, maybe after like working with a lot of raw meat. Cause you have those amazing natural fats.
T: What’s the moistest meat that you’ve worked with?
RD: I mean I’m not a huge meat worker so I don’t have a lot to draw from. A high-fat-content ground beef, probably. Cause when you start cooking you’re like, “Oh, I should use the best, the leanest meat, right?” and then you’re like, “Nah, that doesn’t taste good,” so you get the fat, rich … you just want to have a lot of sinew and viscera.
T: If you had a pet horse, what would you name it?
RD: Probably a human name, like Will or Seth … Linda.
T: Why do you feel the need to name your horse a human name?
RD: I think it would forge a deeper connection. I mean you’re pretty connected to a horse if you’re riding it. And it would be funny to be like, “C’mon, Kevin!”
T: If you could wipe one country off the map, which would it be and why?
RD: Well, I don’t want to kill people and this is presumably going to kill people. So whatever is the least populous. Antarctica? Though you’ve got to imagine that would fuck up the Earth very badly. So hate to say it … but it might be like Andorra, the tiny little country between France and Spain.
T: Andorra is going to read this interview and the backlash will be swift and severe.
RD: I know. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like Andorra. The Pyrenees Mountains: I’ve been there and it’s heaven on Earth. Andorra is probably amazing, but it’s the smallest country I can think of off the top of my head, which is why I’ve singled them out for death.
T: If you could combine two animals into one and be that animal, what would it be?
RD: Maybe like a griffin and a centaur, cause then you’re like 11 animals at once.
T: So you are a baseball fan and a semi-professional scout. You’re very familiar with the terminology.
RD: Yeah, that’s fair to say.
T: So can you give us a scouting report on the Phillies this year? Tell us about Carlos Ruiz.
RD: Sure, Carlos Ruiz. He’s got a farm boy build … He loves to put leather on the balls. Sturdy, sturdy lunge. Got a meat-y haunch bounce.
T: I think you just screwed up the free agent market a little bit. Anyway, if you could have anyone in the front row heckling you tonight, who would it be and how would you handle it?
RD: Joan Rivers came to mind first, because it would just be fun to have her see me do standup. When she makes fun of people, it can be really pretty hateful. So that would be fun. She would probably say things that would genuinely hurt my feelings, which I think would make for a fun show for the audience. … I’d be nervous, it would be really hard, and if I got through it, I would emerge a better standup. And then we’d probably bone after the show.
T: Is anything else you do besides eating pizza and drinking a can of Coke to prepare for a show?
RD: You know, it’s funny. A lot of people would not do this, [points to his can of soda, pizza in hand] they’d be like, “Oh, I don’t wanna burp onstage, I don’t want to feel weighed down.” I cannot perform hungry. I hate it. So I can totally, gleefully stuff my body full of garbage before going onstage, and be like, “How’s it going?!”
T: It’s part of the job.
RD: Yeah, so I eat, I listen to heavy metal through the terrible speakers on my little phone, and I drink coffee. I just try to get chilled out.
T: Do you get nervous before a show? What are the physical manifestations?
RD: Yeah. It can manifest as fatigue, which is weird. I can be like “ugghhhh” before a show. And then when it’s done, I’ll be totally pumped and crazy. I get a little more alert and excited. I enjoy being nervous. I enjoy part of the mental kink or damage that I suffer from. It makes me enjoy having to perform for a lot of people who pay to be there and demand the show be good. I know that I shouldn’t enjoy that, but I do.