Mitch Benn interviewed on Twitter by Angela Hunter

Mitch Benn is a comedian and songwriter, comedy circuit veteran and regular contributor to BBC Radio. He has moved up to an impressive third place in the Mr Twitter Universe competition, with over 2,000 votes, placing him ahead of Stephen Fry (and in between Russell Brand and Neil Gaiman, which some people might consider an enviable position.)

Q: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of comedy on Twitter?
A: Both the best AND worst thing about Twitcom is the fact itís not been tried before and it might not work.

Q: Have you figured out how to get your comedy songs across in Tweet form?
A: I think so Ė itís gonna require a temporary artistic compromise, but it ought to work. Iím not going to do anything to be ashamed of, itís just Iím going to have to bend my own ďrulesĒ a little.

Q: How do you plan to deal with any hecklers?
A: Iíll probably ignore them. Quite looking forward to having the option.

Q: Whatís your best and worst moment in stand-up?
A: Worst was probably being sent out busking by the Comedy Store to promote the Manchester Comedy Fest in 2001. That was dignified. Best was possibly my first proper set at Glastonbury, quite a while ago.

Q: What are your favourite subjects, pet hates or things to avoid in comedy material?
A: There are no hack topics, just hack material. Someone like Micky Flanagan can do fresh stuff about the most obvious subjects. As regards Ďoffensiveí comedy, I maintain thereís no such thing as anything TRULY offensive isnít funny.

Q: Who or what are your comedy influences?
A: my principal inspiration as a comic songwriter is Tom Lehrer.

Q: Do you feel that your comedy style has evolved over the years?
A: I hope so. Itís very important to keep developing. If you decide youíre the finished article youíre in trouble.

Q: Do you think Twitcom night will be a one-off or the first of many?
A: Itíll depend on how well it works, and the fact it may not is one of the most interesting things about it.

Q: It sounds as if you like the idea of taking part in something a bit different and experimental?
A: Yes, I like to do different and unusual stuff, it keeps things interesting.

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY ANGELA HUNTER

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