From covering Lady Gaga to pimping out dormice: Everything you need to know about on tour British comic Bill Bailey


Bill Bailey is one of the most popular comedians in the U.K. thanks to his appearances on shows such as Black Books, Spaced, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks and his surreal, hilarious, stand-up routines. This month, Bailey is visiting these shores with dates in New York, Chicago and Boston. “There’s something for all tastes,” he says of his current show, Dandelion Mind. “There’s intellectual comedy. There’s observational stuff. Music. Lots of visuals. It’s a multi-media romp!” The tour will also be opportunity for audience members to see why Bailey is routinely mistaken for Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. “Oh yeah, that’s happened many times,” he admits with a chuckle. “You’re Lars!’ ‘No, I’m not.’ ‘Yes, you are!’ ‘No, I’m not.’ And then eventually you go, ‘Yeah, alright, f— it, I am. I’m Lars!’”

Here are five more things you need to know about Mr Bailey:

1. He loves watching dormice do the nasty. A few years back, the wildlife-adoring Bailey made a show about endangered animals, including dormice. “To encourage them to get down and dirty we built a tunnel from one side of this wood to another,” he explains. “We called it the ‘Tunnel of Love.’ I was pimping them. The British love wildlife. Since then I’ve been accosted by enormous goths — like, Marilyn Manson fans with shaved eyebrows and black contact lenses — who stop me in the street and go, ‘Bill! What’s happened with the dormouse?’ It’s extraordinary.”

2. His fans petitioned Peter Jackson to cast him in The Hobbit. “Yeah, there was a petition, but it didn’t work out,” says the comedian, who named one of his previous stand-up shows “Part Troll.” “There was also a petition to get me in Lord of the Rings, a petition to get me in Doctor Who. I think petitions just annoy people. They think, ‘Why not just go through the proper channels? Don’t keep sending us these signatures!’”

3. He’s in the new movie from John “Animal House” Landis. Bailey has actually appeared in several films including Hot Fuzz, the Ed Westwick-starring Chalet Girl, and Landis’ horror-comedy Burke and Hare, which was released in the U.K. last year and hits select screens here next week. “So many people wanted to be in it because John Landis is a legend,” says Bailey. “But I had to shave my beard off, which was very weird. People had no idea it was me. They would say, ‘There’s a bloke that looked a bit like you, without a beard.’”

4. He does a very peculiar cover of “Poker Face.” Bailey frequently pastiches and combines musical genres in his show and of late has been performing the Lady Gaga hit in the manner of British comedy-folk act the Wurzels. “The Wurzels wear smocks and scarves and have straw coming out of their mouths,” elaborates Bailey. “For a while I did Kraftwerk singing their songs in a sort of German disco style. Then I thought it would be funny for the Wurzels to tackle a modern pop song. So that was inspiration behind ‘Poker Face.’ My version is also more about poker. It may be too surreal for American audiences. But it will be fun for me!”

5. He can also play “Enter Sandman”… on old-timey car horns! See below.

Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Templar

    He’s not that funny on Black Books. For sure he’s no Eddie Izzard.

    • ohreallyfactor

      apples and oranges. bill bailey is comic genius and black books is a riot. dylan moran and bill bailey were an amazing duo.

      • Auth

        Danke Shon. Ich Sprache nicht deutsch Haber ich vesetrhen alles Ich bin Holle4ndischI thank you for recommending the blog and the segments on TV as we need to share how we can help both the bullier and the victim in triumphing. Both have to triumph over their fears.

  • Glastea

    Bill Bailey’s comedy is genius – I hope you guys enjoy his work!

  • Samantha

    I love Bill! When I saw Tim Minchin a in June we chatted about him for a bit. I wish I had the money to go in Chicago!

  • Daisy Steiner

    Get out and see him. He’s hilarious.

  • Regina George

    I’ve never heard of him, but he sounds interesting.

  • evan

    he’s angelina jolie on top gear.

  • Dinosaur1972

    His Belgian Jazz version of the theme to Dr. Who still cracks me up.

  • Geof

    Bill is a genius.

  • tresorparis

    Interesting post and view, hope to hear more what the future holds THANKS Great post. Probably saved thousands of hours between everybody here. For me,this clearly is a heads up on which methods to focus on to maximise my online success . Ill start concentrating on your other articles instead. Really great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • jcrumba

    Yeah, I think Lady Gaga is awesome. You know she is a real musician. People who compare her to Madonna are idiots. Madonna was no musician!

  • Peny

    It’s also worth pointing out that aohgluth the actual likelihood of a nuke or two being used in anger is probably greater now than it was at any point between 1963 (the year after the Cuban Missile Crisis brought a new sobriety to the conduct of the Cold War) and 1991 (when the Soviet Union finally finished collapsing), there is virtually no prospect anymore of the sort of world-destroying nuclear conflagration that loomed over the second half of the 20th century. It’ll suck to be those directly concerned if, say, the next war between India and Pakistan escallates to the point where folks start throwing A-bombs around, but none of the nuclear powers that have emerged since the 1960 s has enough firepower for a conflict between them to have the kind of global ramifications that would have attended an all-out war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

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