Dublin comic Andrew Maxwell is touring Ireland with his Yo Contraire show and it's running until November 25, when the tour finishes at Dublin's Vicar Street. Before he set off on the road he sat down with John Byrne and answered An Even Dozen questions

First job?

I was a divot-filler at a golf course. It was at Portmarnock Golf Club. Swanky. I think it was the Irish Open.

Tayto or King crisps?

Oh Tayto! I don't know what King really are. But for me, that isn't the big divide. For me, it's normal or crinkle. Obviously it's normal, as God intended. To be honest it's all beyond me. I'm really a Chipsticks' man. I love the vinegar.

Most embarrassing moment?

Nothing particularly springs to mind.  I mean, living a life of shamelessness you don't usually have a big list of embarrassing moments.

If you weren't a comedian what would you be?

Broke! I think that's a fair assumption. I would be a scoundrel of some sort. Being a comedian is basically all the skill-set of a scoundrel, but with a positive outcome. I'd probably do something slightly scoundrelous; something in the world of sales, politics, crime, high fashion. Any of those things that are based on lies . . . and confidence.

Childhood celebrity crush?

Ooohhh . . . . Do you remember Floella Benjamin? Her. I seem to remember Play Away or something like that on the BBC, I remember being very young and a little bit confused. 'This is an interesting and new feeling, and I'm having it for you Floella.'

And that newsreader on RTÉ. Anne Doyle.

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Tell us five utterly fascinating things about you . . .

Five? Who's got five? I've got my own comedy festival in the Austrian Alps, called Alptitude. It's a week away, boarding, skiing, strudel, schnapps, that sort of thing. Liederhosen. Laughter.  In English and in German. That's unusual.

If we're buying you're having . . .

I guess it depends what time of the day it is, but if you're buying I'll have a port. It can be ruby or Tawny, I'll just have port. But if someone's buying you a drink it's always a little bit suspect. Because you don't want to stay for a whole pint as it could be 15 minutes of terrible boredom. You can smash back a port quickly.

What superpower would you like to have?

I'd like to be able to sense whether somebody was going through bad times, as quickly as possible so I could get to them as soon as possible. I'd like to be anywhere in the world and just go . . . 'Oh, I should give him a bell.'

Best heckle ever?

'You said you'd marry me!' I had that once, out of the blue, one night in Vicar Street. This plaintive cry from the audience, apropos of nothing, this girl in the audience, and the place went to pieces.

I knew exactly who it was. It was a girl who had approached me while I was filming something in Moore Street, and went: 'Will you marry me?' I went 'Yes, of course!' and carried on with filming.

I didn't realise that she would then follow up and assume that was a definite offer of marriage .

It's the only time I've been truly stumped on stage.

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Favourite thing about doing stand up?

It's just fun. It's nice to see people laughing and see them smile. It's nice when you really get someone and you  turn them over. You just get them right in the funny bone,  and they just lose it. And the weird hooting, not laughing, people who piggy-snort.

When you see someone in the audience wiping tears away, and you can see that you've just taken a year's stress off their shoulders, and they're grinning like clowns. That's a hell of a buzz.

If you weren't a comedian what would you be?

Broke! I think that's a fair assumption. I would be a scoundrel of some sort. Being a comedian is basically all the skill-set of a scoundrel, but with a positive outcome. I'd probably do something slightly scoundrelous; something in the world of sales, politics, crime, high fashion. Any of those things that are based on lies . . . and confidence.

If you could do a show with any other comedian who would it be?

I'll tell you who I really love, I think he's amazing and I really admire him.  Stephen Colbert.  An Irish-American comic on The Tonight Show. He used to have The Colbert Report.  I don't know if I'd fit into the picture of the stuff he does,  but I'd wash the bottles on his show. I'd do a bit of sweeping-up after because I think he's the biz.

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Any pre-show rituals?

Except for a quick tinkle – I don't like going on stage for the want of a pee.  I'm willing to go on stage slightly late to make sure that I'm fully prepared for the performance.

I do like a cup of tea. Oh, back in the day it was all sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, but now I love a cup of tea before going on stage. It just sets you up nicely, you build your way into the gig. It's just that general, mild sense of optimism and focus that tea brings.