In June 1997, Daf went on stage at The Purple Turtle, Essex Road N1 and performed his first standup gig. His set consisted of poems and one liners and it went well or something. He did several more gigs at dawkinsforsaken pubs in London then in August he went to the Edinburgh Festival for the first time with a production of Chekhov's The Seagull which was performed in Marco's Leisure Centre, with an aerobics class next door - the music generally got louder as the class/play went on, but when the director popped round to have a word, the leotard guy was always pumped and unbiddable, though positive about his life goals. While in Edinburgh, Dag put on a ten-day run of a show called The Good Book with his friend the multi-talented Tom Fynn, who has designed the website you are currently browsing while doing a watercolour with his foot and playing boogie-woogie with his peeny. The Good Book was on at 1am in Little C and included such games as 'Cherchez La Femme' - and also some basic standup. While performing to nine silent people one night Daz decided that he wanted to do standup for at least five years and he fell upon the London circuit like a traitor on a spike. By the following festival he had done, like, 200 gigs and this enabled him to win the BBC New Comedy Award, which he parlayed into more gigs and blah blah here he is.
Radios/tellies: The BBC New Comedy Awards (BBC1), The Standup Show (BBC1).
1999-2004: Edinburgh Years
Daj performed in The Comedy Zone in the Pleasance Cabaret Bar in Edinburgh with Lucy Porter, Tony Law and Rob Rouse. Dav put his pants on his head in a way that people agreed was poetic and resonant, played N. Imbruglia's 'Torn' on the piano and this turned into a long mime about Heaven and Hell, and a soul's redemption through standup. At the same festival Dab did Lee Mack's Bits with the northern eponymouse and Catherine Tate who did an early version of her old woman character. In one sketch Lee played a Spanish waiter singing Girlfriend In a Coma and Daq was unable to control his giggles even once.
Radios/tellies: The Standup Show (BBC1), Comedy Nation (BBC2).
Dag's first solo show, the modestly titled Second Coming, inexplicably sold out its run in Pleasance Below. Dak conversed with a tape recording of his (former) self and explored with near-substance the problematic nature of relating to one's own past and the mucous correlation between the artifice/reality and writing/performance distinctions. At one point the recording took control and Daq left the stage for some minutes. The recording attempted to interact with the audiences, while acknowleging its deafness to their response. Most audiences responded. On one occasion an audience member switched off the recording, a respectable heckle. At the end of the show Dat made shadows of himself on the back wall with two lights aimed crossways: the shadows guarded a door and when Dau approached it they converged to block him. The door was his future and the shadows were anger and jealousy. Then they fell in love and someone did a dance or something. It was a long time ago. Anyway this show was nominated for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award. In the same year Dat did another sketch show with Lee and Catherine, Lee Mack's New Bits, which was nominated for the Perrier Award. Dav developed podium blisters but fortunately these would soon heal.
Dam performed the contrarily titled Antopolski 2000 in Pleasance Over The Road II. This show featured Daniel Kitson as a homeless man, John Oliver as a journalist, Howard Read in a nappy, Lee Mack in another gig and famice Frank Skinner and Simon Day as caricatures of themselves - all back-projected onto a screen stretched across the aperture of a magic door. They would knock on the door, Dar would answer and a pseudo-interactive conversation would take place loosely exploring aspects of fame. Then Das became Famehead by wearing a visor that was a two-way mirror reflecting the audience's 'projections' until illuminated by brighter torchlight from within, when Dap's face would appear, pleading for help: "Tony Slattery's coming over... help..." Famehead evoked a legacy of European thought by talking in an Italian accent. This show was full of ideas but often defeating to perform, due to the awkward transitions between the artificial presence of these scripted dialogues and the live standup. Luckily the Perrier panel came on the good nights and it was nominated for the Perrier Award.
Radios/tellies: Head Farm (Channel 4 pilot also featuring Boosh, Marenghi & Mr J Vegas).
Dat performed The Presence in the Pleasance Cavern. This show featured an LED-covered mind-reading helmet and a Bernie-Cliftonesque, again Bernie-Cliftonesque, flying carpet complete with fake legs in duplicated trainers and mounted on a Microscooter. Dab's friend Anna Evripidou made these amazing props which would not have embarrassed an 80's sci-fi series. Then-Foreign Secretary Robin Cook attended this show and reportedly looked sober when the statesman on the stage mentioned Cook's boss Tony Blair in an irreverent tone, as if Cook was preparing to learn something that might one day translate into policy. But then it was a pun and this opportunity to influence world events passed by. Dan regrets this. On another night, Paul Whitehouse came to see the show when the PA caught fire and the audience were evacuated for half an hour. He told Dah afterwards that he felt sorry for him, which Dah really enjoyed. Also in '02 (short for 2002) Daq went to Montreal and did some showcases, but during these years his brow was very furrowed with the innovation project and he pissed these opportunities to make executives laugh up the wall, wearying his manager.
Radios/tellies: Time Gentlemen Please (Sky One), Brain Candy (BBC CHOICE), The Live Floor Show (BBC2).
Dag formed The Dinks with Craig Campbell and Tony Law and they performed a show in Pleasance Above. This allegorical story of culturally different humans failing to share a yard until united by alien invasion featured the songs "Violence is easy to do (when the one that you're doing it to is weaker than you)" and the soft rock anthem "Craig I'm sorry that I kicked you in the balls." The Dinks climaxed with three 7-foot aliens on sprung stilts jumping up and down to techno music. Whether the aliens were played by the cast cannot be confirmed or denied until 2033, but it can be revealed that yes they were. There was some excitement about this handsome trio and NBC flew them to New York to do a short run. Dax went on a helicopter with Sarah Kendall, but nothing happened or anything. Also in 2003 Dao performed The Presence at the Melbourne Festival, which he loved.
Radios/tellies/flims: Four At The Store (Radio 4), The 99p Challenge (Radio 4), The Dinks (Resonance FM), Mothership (BBC Pilot for eventual Hyperdrive, but with Sanjeev Bhaskar as Captain Henderson and Mark Gatiss as York), The World Stands Up (Comedy Central/ Paramount/Channel 9 Australia), Big Girl Little Girl (dir. A Hann; feat. D Antopolski, M Gutteridge, R Reina; Winner Best Director, Strasbourg Film Festival).
In 2004 Dak performed his fourth solo show A Whim Away in Pleasance Two, a large barn where they keep all the chairs for the rest of the year. This show, loosely about lies, featured a capella vocal stars The Magnets singing a misplaced 'Happy Birthday' to Dax at the end of the show then being sent away sad. In the same year Daf also did another Dinks show, Dinks II - Mouthbreathin', about which the less said the better. In the way of these things, The Dinks soon collapsed under the weight of Daa being right all the time, a responsibility he has always carried and which has etched itself into the lineaments of his face, under his beard - though not under his moustache: he still has the carefree upper lip of a twenty year old, complete with pretentious, ignorant pucker and come-hither harelip.
Radios/tellies/flims: AD/BC (BBC3), It's All Gone Pete Tong (dir. Michael Dowse; feat. P Kaye, D Antopolski, M Wilmot).
2004- 2007: Dark Tymes
On 3rd September 2004, a double first! Dar became a father and took up being knackered all the time. These joint commitments conflicted with life on the road as a standup comic and he moved into acting - giving us the definitive Jeffers in BBC2's Hyperdrive, which ran for two series before being stopped with its papers not in order. In November Daf was flown to Malta to film Jesus's lavish wedding scene for The Da Vinci Code though this was then cut from the theatrical release. Though the film was nicely shot and all, the source novel is so mega-shit that everyone looks embarrassed in it, except Dak who looks proud and pleased in his uncut, fleeting appearance as a thorn-crowned Jesus. This bit was filmed in Shepperton Studios and Dau, in full costume as the J-Man, passed Alfred Molina, in full costume as the corrupt Archbishop, on the lot. They nodded to each other, twinkling like crazy. At the wrap party at the Malta Hilton, Paul Bettany told Dan he had seen him do standup in Islington some years before. Paul is a nice man and he should feel at liberty to quote this website in his own publicity materials.
Radios/tellies/flims: The Milk Run - Dinks Special (Radio 1), Flight Of The Conchords (Radio 4), Edinburgh And Beyond (Paramount), 28 Acts in 28 Minutes (BBC3), The Da Vinci Code (dir. Ron Howard; feat. T Hanks, D Antopolski, P Bettany, A Tautou, J Reno, A Molina).
Daw co-starred with Karl Theobald in a pilot for BBC3 called Moonmonkeys written by Karl Minns and directed by George Milton. It was atmospheric and funny and BBC3 were so thrilled with it that they didn't commission it. Dac became a regular team member on Radio 2's 'Out To Lunch', which ran for six series and which to his knowledge has not officially been canned. Other regulars included Fergus Craig and Colin Hoult (Hoult 'n' Craig), the authentically delightful and brilliant Joanna Neary and various other talented people. Dak's 'Inside Music's Mind of Music Mind' strand became a nano-institution, oh go on then, micro. In December 2006, Dad's second child was born, and his relationship with sleep suffered further estrangement. His attempts at standup were impeded by his haggard appearance, blank delivery, powerless banter and obvious reluctance. During this tricky period he was patronised by nitwits and fainthearts and showed some pretty christly forbearance towards their stupid faces. However he is relieved that this is now over and he looks forward to re-establishing a bedrock of public merit that supports his preferred attitude of benign distraction. Fucking hell.
Radios/tellies: Out To Lunch Series 1&2 (Radio 2), Undone (Radio 4), One (Radio 4), Moonmonkeys (BBC3 broadcast pilot co-starring with Karl Theobald), Jeffers in Hyperdrive Series 1 (BBC2), Comedy Cuts Series 1 (ITV2).
Dag all but quit standup and did an amount of radio stuff. He began to prepare his children for the rise of the machines and did some garden clearance.
Radios/tellies: Jeffers in Hyperdrive Series 2 (BBC2), Out To Lunch Series 3&4 (Radio 2), Comedy Cuts Series 2 (ITV2), Exterminating Angels (Radio 4, four-part sitcom co-starring with Karl Theobald), One (Radio 4), Peacefully In Their Sleeps (Radio 4), The Dan Antopolski Radio Show (Radio 2).
2008-present: Second Wind
In 2008, with the political situation in Mozambique stabilising, Dal started gigging again and returned to Edinburgh, where his show Dan Antopolski's Penetrating Gaze received six four-star reviews, full of quotable adjectives. This show featured rapping - a growth area for the musical Dao - including The Sandwich rap and 'Babies are Cunts' which finally told the truth about our selfish, incontinent friends. Dap watched lots of shows and was pleased to discover that his favourite was his fellow ex-Dink Craig Campbell's play Mr Eyetwister. He developed a script with ITV2 for The Dan Antopolski Adventures and he is now trying to hoik his profile back up to early millennial levels so people will give him moulah to make it.
Radios/tellies/flims: Out To Lunch Series 5&6 (Radio 2), Comedy Cuts Series 3 (ITV2).
In June Dap developed a video for his Sandwich Rap with a Certain Production Company (HatTrick) who then flaked on the budget. So therefore Dan he decided to finance it himself. This being the case, goodwill attracted many fine people to the project and it ended up super and 25,000+ have watched it up the Youtube. Dak's motor was generally beginning to hum again and his Edinburgh show Silent But Deadly received plenty-plenty nice-a reviews and won the Dave Award for Funniest Joke of the Fringe for the inevitable but pleasant joke "Hedgehogs: why can't they just share the hedge?" Despite over a decade of earnest labour in comedy, this one-liner has been among Dah's highest-profile work to date - benevolent naïfs have even referred to it as Dav "winning Edinburgh".
Radios/tellies: Radio 4 Stands Up (Radio 4), This Is My Mark, (Radio 4), One (Radio 4).
In February Dax wrote and filmed three vidblogs for the BBC, featuring the character John Keller. They are not bad, not bad at all - and some proper geek-work went into the blogs. Dam embarked on his first National Tour with Silent But Deadly, which went great. Disembarking, he made his first visit to Whipsnade Zoo and saw a two-day-old elephant! He snowboarded and performed in the French Alps, rapped in the cantons of Switzerland where he recovered much of his family's gold, and delighted expats in the nightclubs of Singapore where it is illegal to murder a man. In August he took his seventh solo hour Turn Of The Century to the Edinburgh Festival and then on a national tour of more than fifty venues around the UK, bringing his joy to and making spiritual contact with many beautiful people from a narrow range of backgrounds.
Radios/tellies: Tim Minchin's 'Strings' (Radio 4), One (Radio 4)
This year our heroine began working with standups Tom Craine and Nat Luurtsema on a new sketch project called Jigsaw. They filmed three sketches for the BBC and wrote and performed a show at the Edinburgh Festival, which went super-great They are now working on a second show provisionally titled 'Gettin' Jiggy' for the 2012 festival and are developing radio and tv. In addition to Jigsaw Dar has continued to spread his funny butter on the public bread in rooms-where-part-of-the-floor-is-raised around the country. He tweets.
Radios/tellies: The Simon Day Show (Radio 4), In And Out Of The Kitchen (Radio 4)