I've been writing since I was very young, even before I was a teenager. As far as I'm concerned, I am a writer - whether my writing's spoken or written in a blog, paper, book or printed on the side of a submarine.
You can laugh at somebody because they are innocent, and because they are naive or they are about to walk into a wall, but if somebody's giving you stuff, if somebody's talking, giving you their take on things, what makes you laugh, generally speaking, is going to be somebody who is telling it in an angry way.
I wanted to show off - a simple impulse or drive; in much the same way as some kids wanted to play football, I wanted to show off. Not complicated in that sense, very natural; it just depends on how you want to show off.
You know, people sometimes say to me, 'Do you prefer to do this or that, act or do stand-up or write' but the thing that I enjoy most is the difference between all of them, because you're always learning. I don't go around thinking of myself as a great anything. I'm actually lucky to have the chance to fail at all of them.
When I was young, all the politicians looked like ancient Latin teachers or greengrocers. They were mumbly, stumbly men with their hair blowing in their eyes, walking into trees, opening the wrong door. They had no idea how to present themselves.
The terror of failure can make you feel like a failure. So a bunch of people think you're not very good at your thing. How much do you invest in what they say? How much do you care? Failure is not putting yourself on the line.
I grew up in a house where there was lots of teasing and language play and laughter; it was very important. When I was a teenager, you wouldn't go to a bar and find lots of televisions everywhere. People were talking. Talk was the mental fire you would gather around in the evening. It occupied a big part of your existence.
You have to assume that you're talking to the most intelligent, tuned-in audience you could ever get. That's the way you're going to get the best out of people. Whether they know you or not shouldn't matter for comedy. They should get to know you pretty quickly. and they should be having a good time pretty quickly.
What is universal can be surprising. Over time you find the kind of stuff which has people thinking 'That is just something that occurred to me... there's something wrong with me', is in fact stuff that is universal.
I did throw a lot of eggs into one basket, as you do in your teenage years - 'I am buying these records, I am wearing this'. I did quite a bit of that. You have to do it, wear your stupid shoes, wear your stupid hair.
I'm really not big on nationalism, to be honest with you. I really don't think it gets people anywhere except near a pile of dead bodies. I'm Irish, yeah, but I don't need to get up on a soapbox about it.
My drive to put myself on the line comes from boredom. From that feeling when you go to bed and think, 'What did I do today?' It doesn't have to be something monumental, just a feeling that you really tried to look at something, or look into something.
I've seen stand up comedy, and after a while you start to notice that a lot of people are doing things that are like a lot of other people. There can be a bit of a herd mentality, and that's obviously less interesting because there's less going on. I'm just being totally frank with you.
I never thought I want to do anything, really, except not go to work properly and turn up at the same place every day and eat sandwiches in the same canteen, if I can possibly help it, as I don't think I'd be very good at it.
If you're a comic, you don't have a rehearsal room; you rehearse on stage. My main concern is remembering everything. I've written lots of material, but how do you memorise 90 minutes? That's one hell of a long speech. I've always had problems with that.
Home gigs can be hard because it's an odd collision. More than anything, I feel self-conscious when my family are in the audience. I'm doing this job which is not quite acting - part of it is me, part performance. You're presenting a cartoon of yourself to people who know you as a line-drawing.