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INTERVIEWS: DAVE GORMAN

Dave Gorman is a British comedian who went on a mission to find 54 other Dave Gormans. He found them, and turned his search into a book, stage show, and a TV series. We like him - because his whole act is based upon a pub bet.

We got in touch with him, and asked him all the questions the people on the B3ta board wanted to know.


Where are you?
(TheWife)
New York. Doing a run Off-Broadway.

Have you met any cool animals named Dave Gorman?
(AndyK)
There are lots of animals called Dave Gorman. 3 dogs, 2 cats and many, many goldfish. But I haven't met any of them.

Know anything about the Neighbours character Dave Gorman?
(ewmy)
Yes. He was named in my honour after one of the Neighbours writers saw my show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year. The day he appeared I received so many e-mails about it that my computer crashed.

Did you really get a tattoo when you were pissed?
(pep)
Yes. And *you* really can't see it.

If you could go back in time and bully yourself at school, what nicknames would you use?
(monkeon)
I'm not about to give you that kind of ammunition.

What is the craziest thing you have ever eaten for cash?
(monkeon)
I've never eaten anything for cash. Sorry.

If you shaved one of your sideburns slightly wrong - would you try and match the other one to it?
(monkeon)
But of course. Symmetry is all in the sideburns world.

Why were you on at the University Union at Leeds every other week when I was a student there?
(AndyK)
I played there once a year for a few years because they kept booking me. I think you obviously used some narcotics during your student years to spoil your true appreciation of space and time.

What is the first record you bought?
(AndyK)
You know I can't remember. I know I've answered this question about 5 times for different magazines and newspapers and stuff, so I might look like a liar. But I'll say "Baggy Trousers" by Madness. If it isn't true I'd like it to be.

Do the BBC take ages to pay you as well..?
(Ix the Wiz)
Errr... they're okay.

Have you found any other Danny Wallaces yet?
(AndyK)
No. But then I'm not looking.

Tell us your favourite joke?
(rob)
What's black and white and eats like a horse?
A zebra.

What is your favourite type of cheese?
(Cuttie Williams)
I'm not really into cheese.

What is your favourite biscuit?
(AndyK)
Got to be the dark chocolate hobknob.

What's your favourite website?
(gusCubed)
That varies. I love The Onion, but then who doesn't and it feels like a terrible cliche to say it. My favourite websites - apart from the ones that are good - are the bad home pages. There is nothing better online than reading about a mans hobbies and children and wife and wondering why he thinks you'd be interested. And yet you are.

Who are you?
(TheWife)
I am me.

What are you made of?
(TheWife)
Me

Daddy or chips?
(Nacho)
.... daddy...

The Herald said of you: "Astounding: Fringe innovation ainít dead." Do you consider your fringe innovative then? And have you ever had long hair?
(pep)
No... I think you have misunderstood the quote for comedic purposes.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
(AndyK)
Lots.

Are you worried by the amount of nutters you've met? And did they all come from the internet?
(AndyK)
No no. Nutters are everywhere.

I've got the book. When can I get the video?
(AndyK)
You can't. The rights for the video are held by the BBC and I don't think they're likely to release it. I might be wrong - you'd be better off asking them.

Are you the new Tony Hawks?
(AndyK)
I don't think so. If you mean the Round Ireland with a Fridge Tony Hawks, then I'm kind of flattered because I like what he does. But I did Reasons To Be Cheerful before his book was published (and he wrote the book before I did the show) so we had both embarked on drunken bets independently. If you mean the skateboarder Tony Hawks, then definitely not. But hey, what if Tony1 met Tony 2 and then...

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
(AndyK)
Because you long to be... close to me.

In YOUR opinion, which came the first, the chicken or the egg?
(tylrdiablos)
The egg. I'd say that something that a creature that was evolving into a chicken, but that wasn't yet one, laid an egg that hatched into a chicken.

Have you ever bought a rose off one of those guys in Leicester Square?
(AndyK)
No.

Do you know someone who has?
(AndyK)
Yes.

Do you like this anagram of your name: Nomad grave?
(Ted)
It's a bit morbid. David Gorman is an anagram of Mr. Odd Vagina if that helps.

Who would win? a silver back gorilla v's a grizzly bear, in the wrestling ring...
(rupedixon)
which rules?

Did you know that there's a product which allows him to list all the Dave Gormans who are registered to vote in the UK & their addresses?
(Bob)
I do now. But it wasn't about knowing they exist, it was about meeting them. And so long as we had one DG to meet, there was no need to have a list of the others.

Favourite member of the monkees?
(agnes o daffodil de montgomery)
Mickey Dolenz for his work on Metal Mickey

Favourite character in happy days?
(agnes o daffodil de montgomery)
Marion. Phil Silvers made a fantastic guest appearance once though. And I used to fancy Suzi Quatro when she was appearing in it.

Do you eat vegetables that end in 'nip'?
(agnes o daffodil de montgomery)
Yes. Definitely.

Have you met a Norman Gorman who's job is being a Foreman?
(Esteban)
No. But I had an e-mail from a Norman Gorman the other day. His middle name was Dave. If I have a son, I will name him Norman and try to steer him towards that career.

Also do you think rhyming is big/clever/funny?
(Esteban)
Are you a Leicester fan, Esteban?

Do you constantly do searches for your name on Google - just in case a new Dave Gorman has set up shop?
(David)
No. I get hundreds of e-mails a week from people telling me about new Dave Gormans - even though I succeeded in meeting 54 and the search is over.

Do you plan a follow up show? (maybe based on birthdates?)
(Captain Chickenpants)
No. There will be another show but it will be about something completely different. Every stage show is about a different subject.


A few years later, Dave got back in touch with Rob Manuel to make a pop video for his latest DVD. Since we last saw him, he's blown his publisher's advance, travelled around the world on a Googlewhack Adventure, and done sellout tours pretty much everywhere.

Seemed like a fine opportunity to drill his nut for new information.


How did you get interested in googlewhacking?
I was meant to be writing a novel and like most writers the first thing I do is everything else. I was suffering from a particularly bad case of writer's block and was primed for displacement activity of any kind. Then I got an e-mail from someone telling me that I was a googlewhack. I asked them what they meant and they explained what a googlewhack was and that there was one on my site. Naturally enough, it became the displacement activity of the moment. I'm sure if it hadn't come along something else would. It was more to do with my inability to write than anything else.

Any tips on combating procrastination?
I'll have to come back to you on that one. I've got a thing that needs a whatsit.

Going off and meeting people based on a search query is a bit nuts isn't it?
Yeah... I guess so. But I was having a bit of a breakdown so I guess I was going a bit nuts. The first few that I met were kind of accidental and made perfect sense. I look back on them and they still make perfect sense to me. But it did cross a line.

How does the DVD compare to the book?
The stageshow and the book feel very different to me ... they're different tellings of the same story. The stageshow is more condensed and has more punch, the book has a bit more introspection and explains a lot more. Oh... and you don't get Book Extras but you do get DVD Extras, including a song with a really cool video by a guy called Rob Manuel.

Which bit gets the biggest laugh?
Well if I told you that then people would know it was coming. And then it wouldn't get the biggest laugh from them when they watched it. But generally when things go really well for me the audience seems to like it... but when things go badly for me they seem to love it.

Stalkers. Tell us about your worst.
I've not had anything really bad. I've been aware on a couple of occasions that I've been followed as I walk home. I get a lot of e-mails and there are people who, because they get a reply, think you're their new best friend.

One woman sent me an e-mail saying, "some friends and I are renting a cottage in Ireland for a week... my husband can't come so we thought you might like to take his place". She was terribly offended when I declined. A year later she was sending an e-mail to her entire address book slagging me off and declaring that I clearly had a problem relating to women. I've never even met this woman and she thinks I'm a weird misogynist for not going on holiday with her! I've had the odd proposal of marriage too. Very odd, as it happens.

Why did you ask me to make a video?
Short answer: because I think you're great.

Long answer: A lot of the time DVD extras offer so-called "behind the scenes" footage which just turns out to be some badly-shot video of you having a cup of tea in your kitchen. Not only does it seem pretty shonky to me but I can't live with the idea that people would think I'm so up myself that I think footage of me drinking tea is interesting.

I asked the DVD people if I could just put something that I like on as an extra, like a song from one of my favourite bands or something... that way I could introduce some of my audience to something new and besides, showing people something I really like tells them more about me than me drinking tea does. Their reaction was a confused: "...but it has to be about the Googlewhack Adventure".

So I e-mailed one of my favourite bands; Helen Love and asked them if they'd fancy writing a song about the story. I wasn't really expecting them to say yes but I was pretty happy when they did.

And why should B3ta readers buy your DVD?
I think they're well-balanced enough to decide for themselves if they want to buy one without me demeaning myself with a whorish sales pitch.


Do you want more Dave Gorman? Then go and have a look at his website - it'll tell you about where to catch his show and stuff. BTW: Please don't email him saying you know another Dave Gorman. He finished that project ages ago and you'll be wasting both yours and his time. You can read his email if you like.