Random 8

Robyn Perkins

Robyn Perkins. Copyright: Steve Ullathorne

One random comedian, eight random questions; it's the ultimate test of funny person and fate. This week we welcome a curious American comic who's now bringing science-backed brain-fuel to British stages. It's Robyn Perkins, who has a curious panel show, too.

Comedy for the Curious is often online, sometimes onstage, and this Sunday it's at London's Bill Murray, with a couple of cracking guests; Seann Walsh and Mark Silcox. But how does it work?

Comedy for the Curious: Relationships. Image shows from L to R: Seann Walsh, Robyn Perkins, Mark Silcox

"The idea is that each show explores a new topic (a few of our past topics include love, personality, hate, emotion, and Ninja Turtles)," Perkins explains. "The show starts with three stand-up sets on topic, all from a different perspective. My set covers the science side of things while the guest comedians tackle it in whatever way they want. We then have a more open chat before playing a silly game where someone wins a coaster."

The hostess with the coasters: it's a hot ticket. And how is this new annum shaping up?

"2022 looks like it could be a good year. My diary is packed full of gigs, and I am set to go up to EdFringe in August, Comedy for the Curious is continuing online as well as live at least once a month. Which is really fun."

Curiouser and curiouser. Robyn Perkins, your Random 8 await.

Who was your childhood hero?

Jacques Cousteau. From the age of six to 22 years old, I wanted to be a marine biologist and my whole life revolved around all things ocean. Cousteau was the world's best marine biologist, so I wanted to be him. I read all his books and watched all his documentaries. Of course typing this now, I can see why I wasn't very popular.

What's the weirdest thing you ever saw?

The other day, in London, it was sunny...

Look, I'm not a very decisive person, so this is really hard. The weirdest animal I've ever seen is a leafy sea dragon. They only have been found off the coast of South and East Australia. They are related to seahorses and pipefish (and worth a google).

The weirdest, yet best food I have eaten was this egg white sweet potato thing in Northern Spain at a tiny restaurant in Hondarribia called Tatapas Gastroteka. I don't know what it is, but it was amazing. And I am sure after this goes to print, I will remember the actual weirdest thing I've ever seen.

Robyn Perkins

Who are you most envious of?

There is a show called Amazing Rentals on Netflix, where three friends travel the world and stay in really unique rental homes. I want their job. How incredible would it be to be paid to just travel?!

Also, in the same vein, I love food. Too much. I would also love to travel the world tasting and discovering food, so I am also envious of Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsey, "Phil" and Samin Nosrat (from Salt Fat Acid Heat).

What's the worst thing in your wardrobe?

In 2008 I visited Prague with my best friend, and went to a second-hand store. While there, I purchased a floor length, denim hooded coat with a very thick fake blue fur lining. It is phenomenal. Most others do not agree.

Ever met a surprisingly great or awful famous person?

I accidentally hit on Chris Evans (Captain America) at a bar in Boston in 2008 by ripping open his snap shirt. Don't get me wrong, I didn't just walk up to him, rip his shirt open, and walk away. But, I saw him, thought he was hot, so we started talking. We spoke about his shirt. It was a snap shirt and at the time, it was fashionable in Boston to pull apart.

So in this conversation, I ripped it open. He was wearing a superman t-shirt underneath, we spoke about this as well. It was well received. We continued talking after that for a while, at which point, I found out who he was. Eventually the conversation ended and we both went back to speaking with our friends. He was surprisingly nice, even if I didn't get his number.

Twelve years later, I was at a show in Boston telling the story and realised my brother's friend knows him personally. I was filled with excitement, daydreaming he would know exactly who I was, we would become friends as we are both in the performing arts now (what are we like?)

As it turns out, he didn't remember me hitting on him at all.

Robyn Perkins. Copyright: Steve Ullathorne

Which unsung British town deserves more attention?

Not sure if it gets a lot of attention already, but I love Shaftesbury. It is gorgeous, cute, and the people are so nice. They hold a weekend long Fringe in the summer and it is a highlight of the summer festivals for me. The town sits on a huge hill/mountain, so the views up top are gorgeous.

What's the best thing you ever bought a ticket for?

I'm not sure if this counts, but a ticket to Croatia? I have been to some incredible places around the world, but to answer the question literally, it was the buying of the ticket that made it what it was.

An American friend came to visit me in London in 2010. We decided to go on a spontaneous trip for four days. We went online, looked up the cheapest flights, and bought roundtrip tickets. That night, we ended up in Split, in Croatia. We had nothing planned, just showed up. The weather was amazing. We had the most incredible squid ink risotto, watched the World Cup in tiny outdoor bars and went on a trip to local waterfalls.

It was all perfect until we missed our flight back by 12 hours, getting the 24-hour clock wrong.

Which historical figure should get more attention?

Did I mention Jacques Cousteau? If so, Marie Curie. She was a pretty badass scientist. I know there was the movie Radioactive which was about her, but she deserves a trilogy.

Comedy for the Curious is at London's Bill Murray on Sunday 16th December, click here for tickets, and details of Robyn's other shows: robynperkins.com

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