Daniel Simonsen Talks

Art & Culture

Daniel Simonsen's face should be rather familiar to you if you caught Vic & Bob's 'House Of Fools' on your tellybox last year. Cast as Bob Mortimer's half-Norwegian love-child, a canny ploy to ensure his Norwegian accent wasn't too confusing, Simonsen's deadpan delivery made his contributions to each episode one of the genuine highlights – an impressive feat given that the main cast was completed by Matt Berry, Morgana Robinson and Dan Skinner. Ahead of his performance for Knock2Bag at Rich Mix on Saturday 29th November, we spoke to Daniel to find out a little more about him;

Let's start with the basics: how did you get into comedy? Who was your first comedic inspiration?

I was always a massive fan of it since I was a kid. So I used to tape stuff and watch it over and over. I can even remember seeing Hale and Pace on TV in Norway when I was like 8 and finding it hilarious. So I actually watched them quite a lot. I think the first stand up I ever saw was Eddie Murphy.

How would you describe your style of comedy?

Maybe weird observational humor. I have no idea really.

What's the comedic scene like in Norway? Is there a certain style of comedy that goes down particularly well?

It’s growing and there is a lot of talent there. I would say the style is more American then British when it comes to stand up. But they show all the shows you guys watch on the tele. Like The Office, Ali G, Live At The Apollo etc. So the British TV shows are very popular.

Why did you decide to come over to the UK to practice your craft? Do UK audiences differ to other countries?

I would say I actually came over here to practice the craft. I don’t find audiences that different really. Maybe when I go far out of London to the smaller cities that’s when I feel the most Norwegian.

What was it like to be involved in House Of Fools? Were you a fan of Vic and Bob before the TV show came about?

I hadn’t done much as an actor so it’s been a big learning experience for me. To be honest I didn’t really know their work beforehand but I now consider myself a massive fan.

How did you find working as part of a cast full of top comedians? Was there a competitive mood on set?

It was intimidating, not because of any competitiveness, but just because those guys are extremely good at what they do and being silly. For me it was definitely like stepping a bit out of my comfort zone but I also felt really inspired by watching those guys work.

Do you have any highlights from the first series that stand out as particularly funny to you?

All the bad special effects, they always made me laugh a lot.

Is stand-up your preferred medium of delivery or would you rather be working in another setting?

I would definitely say that I first and foremost consider myself a stand up. For now it’s where my biggest passion lies.

Do you find that the stand-up circuit has become incredibly competitive due to the number of young comedians emerging? Have you got a positive relationship with many other up-and-coming comedians?

I haven’t felt a huge difference when it comes to competitiveness since I got here. I notice though people are just getting better and better so that’s great to see. It’s a friendly circuit and I find I get on real well with most people I meet on the scene.

What are you most looking forward to about performing at Knock2Bag?

Rupert always picks strong line-ups so I look forward to watching all the other comics. His nights and crowds are some of my favorites in London so I always look forward to performing at his gigs.

Are there any other young comedians that you're particularly fond of?

There are so many good ones but I would say from my generation Katherine Ryan really stands out to me. Both her writing and performance is superb.

What can we expect to see from you in the next few months?

Well I am gonna be in House Of Fools season 2 and then other than that just keep trying getting better at stand up.

Anything you'd like to add?

No, hehe.

See Daniel Simonsen along with Sofie Hagen and more at the Knock2Bag Comedy Night at Rich Mix on Saturday night, grab your tickets here.