It may not come as a great surprise that one of the country’s most-loved comedians finds farting hilarious, but the fact that he is studying for an Open University degree in Geology and has a pilot’s licence might just. But, as we found out when we put our revealing Q&A to Monty Python’s Spamalot’s newest star Joe Pasquale, this funny man and performer is full of unexpected revelations.
While you might know him best from his 20-year stand-up career or winning appearance on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Pasquale is also at home on stage, earning his stripes in touring productions of The Producers, The Wizard Of Oz and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, and, following a bit of casting matchmaking from his former co-star Bonnie Langford, you can catch him in his West End debut as Spamalot’s King Arthur until 27 June.
Read on to discover why Spamalot’s new leading man calls Bob Monkhouse his inspiration, how laughter is the most satisfying sound and why he celebrates Christmas in January.
I’m excited to be a part of Spamalot because…
I grew up watching Monty Python, and Monty Python And The Holy Grail is one of my favourite films of all time.
Spamalot will see you reunite on stage with Bonnie Langford after 13 years. Was she a big part of the appeal of joining the company?
Absolutely, she is one of the most accomplished all-round performers this country has. You just have to watch and learn with Bonnie.
Has she given you any advice?
Yes, of course. She simply said ‘just have fun with this show’!
What first sparked your interest in performing?
I was a huge fan of comedy when I was a kid and was always drawn to people who made me laugh.
Who or what has inspired you?
Bob Monkhouse was a huge inspiration to me, as he took me under his wing when I was just starting out.
What do you consider your big break?
My big break came in 1987 on the ITV show New Faces. It was my first exposure on TV.
Have you made any sacrifices for the sake of your career?
Yes, I always miss Christmas due to pantomime, so we end up having our family Christmas at the end of January.
What is the finest performance you have ever seen?
Michael Crawford’s opening night in The Phantom Of The Opera, it was the night everybody forgot about Frank Spencer.
If you could create a fantasy production to star in, who would you cast, who would direct and what would it be?
That would have to be The Producers. I did it a few years ago on tour and loved it. I would play Leo Bloom and Mel Brookes would play Max Bialystock. The whole thing would be directed by Mel Brookes.
What do you do when you’re not performing or rehearsing?
I have a pilot’s licence, I box, I run and I am studying with Open University for a degree in Geology.
What will always, without fail, bring a smile to your face?
Farting…. Nuff said!
Do you have any regrets?
No, you should never look back and regret anything! Everything is a learning curve.
Before going on stage for a comedy gig or performance, do you have a pre-show routine or any rituals?
Sorry, no. Nothing at all.
What book, film or album do you find yourself recommending to people time and time again?
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. It’s the most life-affirming book ever!
What could you not be without?
My health. It’s the most important yet most taken for granted thing we all possess.
What ambitions would you like to fulfil?
I would like to live to 100-years-old and be the oldest person on the moon.
You’re off on tour after you finish your run in Spamalot. What is the best thing about performing comedy?
Nothing is as satisfying as hearing an audience of all ages laugh.
And the worst?
There is no down side to comedy.
You’ve appeared in lots of pantomimes. Is that something you really love doing?
Yes, because it’s the first time a child gets introduced to the live theatre environment, which I think is important for the business and also in child appreciation of performance.
If you weren’t a performer, what would you be?
I’d be an airline pilot, as I do love my flying.