One cool comedy type, eight random questions; it's the ultimate test of funny person and fate. This week we welcome the writer and show producer Lucy Danser - the greatest Danser? Well, there is a fine new podcast, Comics' Books, which she and producer/editor Joseph Bell finally found time to launch during lockdown.
"It's sort of a cross between a literary podcast and Desert Island Discs but with a comedy twist," Danser explains. "In short, I interview comedians and comic writers about the books that mean the most to them. I work with comedians and I love reading so I thought it would be a fun project to combine the two. And it has been. There's been lots of laughter and tons of great book recommendations.
"What surprised me actually (and shouldn't have) was the myriad of ways in which talking about books and reading can turn to a proper examination of someone's world and experiences. Comedians like Sindhu Vee and Njambi McGrath, both of whom grew up outside of the UK, have totally different early reading experiences to guests who are born and bred here. I've loved learning about that."
Particularly memorable was the episode with Eshaan Akbar, who "spoke about how reading was a key part of his relationship with his mother and how, after she died, he stopped reading for years; I felt really touched to have had that conversation with him," Danser recalls.
"So that's what I've mostly been doing during lockdown! The rest of my time I've been working (where possible) on some future projects, taking part in online storytelling shows and introducing my dog to the beach. She's into it."
Desert Island Dogs would be quite a podcast too. Meanwhile, Lucy Danser, your Random 8 await.
What was your childhood career dream?
I wanted to be a writer or an actress. I did act for a bit before I got into comedy producing but found the lack of agency exhausting, and now I mostly write for a variety of projects.
Is there a book that changed your life?
Such a hard question. I feel like I'm essentially asking people to answer this every week on the podcast but never have my answer ready. It's a bit of a serious answer but there's a book called The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adams.
It's about OCD (which I have) but what's incredible about it is that as well as being a sufferer himself, he's also a science writer and this combination meant he was able to articulate the experience of OCD and intrusive thoughts in a way I've never seen anyone else do.
Also, Forever by Judy Blume was the first time I read about sex in a book and it absolutely blew my mind.
Ever gatecrashed anything interesting?
Oh no I'm not a rulebreaker. My sister however is and she once showed me how to gatecrash rich peoples' nights out in Vegas. We had an unforgettable night which ended with an NFL player offering to fly us to San Diego for a date and my sister climbing up a toilet cubicle wall whilst announcing that she was a giraffe.
What's the weirdest thing in your wardrobe?
We don't have a wardrobe. We have an all-purpose hole under the stairs. So I'd probably say the box of broken hoovers we're not sure how to fix is pretty weird.
Who are you most envious of?
I feel like I've recently been a bit schooled on this. I constantly feel jealous at what other people have or are doing. At the beginning of the podcast episode with Viv Groskop I gush over her 'perfect career' and she reminds me not to assume the grass is greener. So I'm trying to stop wanting what everyone else has all the time.
What's your favourite word?
Can you say it and not smile?
Which live event would you most like to have attended?
Like ever? Throughout history!? I think it would have been something theatrical. I love the whole experience. I would have loved to go to the theatre back in the day when it was all vaudeville. Loads of different acts, lots of bawdiness, a complete cross section of society in the audience. Theatre was everyone's entertainment, I think it would have been fun.
What's your favourite mode of transport?
Flying. I love flying. I love the whole experience, even the gross food. I just love those few hours of being in a little bubble. I miss it.