He's become king of a country called Lovely, started a cult and said yes to more things than Pete Doherty - now Danny Wallace is taking over Hollywood. We chatted to the comic about his movie Yes Man and being mates with Jim Carrey.
To watch Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey was a rare treat
How did you get into comedy?
I was really lucky to get a gig at the BBC as a comedy producer, which was a dream. I started working there and tried to get the people I knew, who were quite young comics at the time, on the air. And then one day I left the BBC and started a cult.
You're the man who gave us Mighty Boosh - true?
They would have ended up there anyway. I just gave them a helping hand.
You're good friends with Dave Gorman - where did you first meet?
We actually met at the Edinburgh festival. It's such a brilliant place to go and an incredible meeting point. I met this other guy there who I now do a radio show with. We discovered that not only did we get on like a house on fire but we'd grown up four doors apart and never met. The Edinburgh festival is one of those magical places where strange things happen.
The whole Yes thing came about after you met a guy on a bus. Are you still in touch?
Sadly not. I did start a brief campaign to track him down. I know that he's a teacher, he lived in East London, the Aldgate area, and he's got a beard. So if you know a bearded teacher from East London, get in touch.
I've made him slightly more magical in the book. His words "just say yes" really struck me. He was right. The answer is to say yes more. And that's exactly what the book is all about.
And then the book was picked up by Hollywood.
That was a great phone call to take. Suddenly you realise there is going to be this huge team who'll make this big effort. Previous to that it was just you and a keyboard. It's a massive thrill. To be able to go out there and hang out on the set and watch everyone do their jobs. To watch Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey was a rare treat.
So are you and Jim best friends now?
I wouldn't say we're mates. I'd say we were friendly relations. He was great, really lovely. At one point we got to the hugging stage. That was nice. But we've not hugged since. He would have been my top choice for the role. In terms of comedy actors, he's the best.
What's great about him is that he can be Jim Carrey when he wants to be. But when he's not being Jim Carrey he's sort of thoughtful and funny and interested in other people. One day it was really hot so he bought an ice cream van, had it driven to set and gave out free ice creams to everyone.
How much control over the material did you have when it came to turning the book into the film?
I wouldn't say I had any real power. They were very nice to me and I had a chair on set with my name on. But I know if I had said something like "I'm not sure about this Carrey fella", they would have just laughed.
You appear near the end of the film in a bar scene: were you keen to get on camera, just to top the experience off?
Yeah. It's great. I've been on TV and all that, but its only when you realise you're going to be in a film - something that people watch on planes and in the cinema - that you suddenly realise what a big deal it is.
Are you loaded now?
No comment. All I'll say is that Jim Carrey's been kind to me.
Are you still saying yes?
Yes, but not to everything. I've proved that can be a dangerous pursuit. But I certainly say yes more these days.
What's the wittiest thing you've ever seen or heard?
The other day I was in the pub. The barman was clearing up some glasses and on one of the tables were three fellas. One had an Irish accent, one had a Scottish accent and one had an English accent. He was like "what is this some kind of joke?" I was deeply impressed.
You've started a cult, conquered a country called Lovely and said yes to everything. What could possibly be next?
What more is there? I've actually been writing some poetry, so that's next. Danny Wallace's extreme poetry comes out in the Autumn.