SEYMOUR Mace, 42, is a comedian currently living in Manchester, although he grew up in Jarrow.
He’s been doing stand up for just over 10 years, but has been working professionally in the comedy industry since 1990. He’s due to perform in the region on September 17 at both Live Theatre and the Customs House as part of The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club line-up.
What’s your first memory?
A birthday party I had in the back garden of our house in South Africa. I don’t remember anything specific but have a vague recollection of sunshine and colours and some kind of race. I was born in 1969 and we moved to South Africa in about 1970. My dad worked as a gold miner, before returning to live in the Midlands in a place called Bedworth near Coventry.
What were you like as a child?
I think I was like most children, bright and innocent and uncorrupted by what the world had coming.
What childhood games did you play?
I remember games like Polo, Kerbie, Relevo!, Bottle of Poison, Queenie Queenie, What’s the time Mister Wolf? and Pressgang but my favourite game was Best Man’s Fall in which one person would be selected and the rest would line up facing him. Each person would in turn request a method of execution i.e. javelin through the head or machine gun and the selected person would despatch them. The person who died in the most entertaining way would then take over as the killer.
What music did you like and what was the first record you bought?
I went through various musicals styles starting as a Teddy Boy in the late seventies and early eighties. When everyone else was getting into punk and new wave I was down with Showaddywaddy and the Stray Cats. I then went down the path of glam/metal with bands like Twisted Sister and Poison and the like, then moved from that onto alternative rock like Butthole Surfers Pixies and Ween.
Did you have a family pet?
We had tow dogs called Kelly and Drum and a Duck called Sammy that Drum brought home in his mouth one day as if carrying a puppy. We never found out where Sammy came from but he grew up thinking he was a dog. Later on we had a cat called Silky but I’m now allergic to cats.
Were your schooldays the best days of your life?
I think my pre school days were probably the best days of my life back when I could really believe in the fantastical, with all my heart.
Were you ever bullied?
Yeah, one time I was about to get clobbered when my Drama teacher, Mr Bewick, appeared behind the bully at just the right moment. That was great. I also remember being sat on occasionally.
What were your favourite TV programmes?
Murphy’s Mob, Grange Hill, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons and I used to watch the Sullivans, kind of a pre-war Neighbours, at my Gran’s house when I went round for my school dinner.
What did you want to do when you grew up?
I think my earliest ambition was to be a clown, something which I achieved in the mid nineties. After that I just wanted to perform, that was all I ever wanted to do.
How did you spend your weekends?
I used to play role playing games with a group of mates who were as socially awkward as me, it was great fun. I also used to go to South Shields beach or hang out in Newcastle at Eldon Square. I guess I just used to hang out with my mates, just for the sake of hanging out. I should probably try and do more of that these days.
Do you remember your first kiss?
Yes, it was with a girl that everyone in school fancied called Jackie O’Keefe and she decided to start giving out kisses while walking home from school one day.
Who was your first love?
It was a girl called Tilly when I was seventeen. It didn’t work out.
What was the most important thing in the world to you?
I’ve always loved my family.
What did you wear then that you would never wear now?
Pretty much everything, I’m far too timid these days to wear what I really want. Back then I wore anything that took my fancy. Looking back at photos of myself, I’m surprised I didn’t get beaten up all the time.
How have you changed from your teenage self?
I haven’t got as much hair, energy, optimism or courage but I know how to bake a damn good cake.
Where did you go on holiday?
I remember going on lots of camping holidays with my dad; in Blackpool where the tent flooded and we had to drive home through the night with my dad nearly falling asleep; and in the Forest of Dean when my dad would drive along the campsite with the van door open and let me and my brother run alongside and jump in like we were doing a stunt in a film.
I also remember going to Butlins in Filey and Skegness with my mum and gran and going on a family caravan holiday with my aunty Margaret and her sons Paul and Mark where we danced the night away – well till about 10, at the Teen Scene Disco.
Would the young you be pleased with the adult you?
Yes, because the young me was much more forgiving and generous of spirit than the old me is.
If you could go back in time what would you tell your 15-year-old self?
Have fun, be happy, don’t worry about stuff, be careful with your heart and try not to fall off those ladders in your twenties. I’m sure my 15-year-old self would think I was just some local boozed up weirdo.
To book tickets for Seymour Mace see www.thegrinningidiot.com