Hello! I'm a man that improvises long videos around physical items in front of a brown sofa. Ask me things.

PROOF-ME-DO: https://twitter.com/ashens/statuses/361577107270270976

I also co-wrote and starred in 'Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild', a full length, partially crowdfunded feature film that is being released for free on YouTube on 8th August. So you can also ask me about that, or making low budget movies to incredibly tight schedules in general.

And we filmed a comeback episode of classic 90's UK kid's TV show Knightmare this week so ask about that if you fancy. (I won't give any spoilers for that or the movie though, obv.)

EDIT: Nearly 3 hours in and I'm going to have to stop for the night lest I perish. I'll come back and mop up some more questions later!

Comments: 788 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

Tamyu118 karma

Hello from Japan! ...where it is 5am right now.

I want to thank you for taking time out to do an AMA. I hope you don't mind me asking three questions, I promise they are good ones.

  1. How similar is the Ashens character, both in your regular YouTube work and in the upcoming film, to the real life Stuart Ashen?

  2. How has reaching this level of popularity affected your daily life? (For example, do you constantly find yourself hunting for material? Are you more cautious now as not to have stalkers following you home? Do you feel pressure to be funny?)

  3. Living in Japan, I have access to quite a wide variety of items that may not be widely available in the UK. I would love to send something interesting, but don't want to end up spending huge amounts on postage just to send something you already have ten of. What sort of items do you most appreciate receiving? What do you receive far too much of? (Interested in Wonderswan cartridges? Late 70s Japanese portable LSI games?)

Thank you again! If you ever come to Japan and are in need of a professional interpreter, or even just need a translation for some bit of electronics, I would be happy to volunteer my services.

StuartAshen95 karma

1) It's not really a character when I review things, just a certain way to use language. The film Ashens is a slightly different beast to me - he's more obsessive and insular.

2) I'm still very low on the ladder of popularity so it's made no difference at all really.

3) I have access to Wonderswan cartridges, but old LSI games would be great!

flatmop92 karma

Hi Stuart!

  1. What did you do for a living before YouTube? Did you use your psychology PhD?

  2. Have you ever recived something too wierd/disgusting in your P/O box to be put in a video?

  3. How did you obtain your Mr Noseybonk mask?

  4. Are you still in touch with Charlie Brooker following your Noseybonk cameo on Screenwipe?

  5. Am I right in thinking that the famous brown sofa set is at your father's house? If so, why do you choose to shoot them there instead of your own home?

  6. Will you ever get bored of parading crap around in front of a videocamera? Or do you plan to keep making videos for ever and ever?

  7. Can you explain the faces that show up for a couple of frames in some of your videos?

  8. Why don't you have a car?

  9. What are your views on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

StuartAshen99 karma

1) Loads of things! I've had about five distinct jobs. And no.

2) Yep, the dead duck was just horrible.

3) It was made by a friend who is a professional special-effects person.

4) I've never been in touch with him - you deal with the producers for TV stuff.

5) You are 100% of correct. And because it's funnier!

6) I don't think I could stop now if I wanted. It gnaws at my very soul.

7) Eh?

8) Because they're very expensive to run and I haven't driven for 17 years.

9) I liked it and played it for about 35 hours. Found it a bit samey after a while.

OneWayOfLife70 karma

Hi Stuart!! I'm a big fan, so thanks for doing this AMA. I have a few questions for you:

1) Have Poundland staff ever recognised you? (or anyone else?)

2) What is your favourite film or films? (I've heard you mention The Blues Brothers and Fight Club, which are my favourites)

3) Are you aware of the subreddit /r/ashens?

4)I just got past page 192 of your book, 'Fifty-Thousand Shades Of Grey'. It completely blew me away. I was wondering where you got the inspiration for such a riveting storyline?

Once again thanks for doing this AMA!!

StuartAshen97 karma

1) I've never been recognised in Poundland. Occasionally people spot me out and about.

2) I love so many films. Good psychological horrors are a particular favourite - today's recommendation is obscure Canadian frightener "Pin".

3) Yes - I post there sometimes.

4) I'm gonna be honest here - it's actually page 43 reversed!

ForeverMacaroni4264 karma

Any plans for Poundland Food Special in the near future? (Fingers Crossed!)

StuartAshen68 karma

Not really - I've got a lot of dodgy food to go through, but none of it came from Poundland. Their food is generally high quality, they just sell it in small amounts.

kissthecanvas62 karma

What's the best part of reviewing absolute shit tat on youtube?

Have you had any gripe from the poundshops for your commentary?

Big fan.

StuartAshen112 karma

1) The money, of course! (Points into camera, winks, smiles as teeth glint with audible pinging sound)

2) Nope. What would they care?

Connox61 karma

What's your next video that will be going up on your channel?

StuartAshen183 karma

That's never a certain thing, but it's currently looking like a packet of 24-year-old gummi sweets.

checkeredknight59 karma

What arcade cabinet main board do you have in the oven at the moment?

StuartAshen46 karma

They're in the garage now. I bought some waterproof plastic boxes.

alldreamsfalldown52 karma

If asked to host 'Have I Got News For You', would you?

StuartAshen116 karma

No Englishman could turn down that gig.

lezep50 karma

How many officers did it take to arrest you after using the PCP Station?

StuartAshen67 karma

Bill, Gerry, Jon, and that special constable guy with the missing finger who nobody can remember the name of.

TacoMcD49 karma

What were the best and worst tasting things you have eaten on the show? (not counting the thousand year old egg)

StuartAshen88 karma

Best - Probably the salmiakki. Worst: Those hideously foul German creme-egg looking things that tasted of bitter lemon. (I got loads of e-mail from Germans saying they hate them too!)

thetoastmonster49 karma

What toy from the 70s/80s/90s do you think should make a comeback?

StuartAshen191 karma

I'd like to see a Teddy Ruxpin that only recites creepypastas in the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.

hpholly47 karma

I ordered a copy of Ashenthology and kept the envelop it arrived in. I've still got it now and refuse to get rid of it. Is this weird?

StuartAshen148 karma

Yes. I have informed the authorities.

karlfranks46 karma

Do you think the pop stations will ever stop being manufactured? And if not, do you think they will one day reach critical mass and take over the world?

StuartAshen71 karma

I think fake electronics are here to stay. Some of the phones are actually getting quite good!

RyanSufc199738 karma


1) Do you still own your PS Vita and 3DS? If so, Why so? If not, why not? You could so a "one/two year on" review of them!

2) Who is your favorite fictional character?

StuartAshen49 karma

1) Vita - No, 3DS - Yes. Occasionally there are 3DS games I want to play (got my eye on Fire Emblem next) but there's been absolutely nothing that's interested me on the Vita. My main hope for the Vita now is that they hack it to play PS2 games at some point in the distant future...

2) Bixby Snyder.

DGOJG36 karma

Hey thanks for doing this Stuart, big fan from the UK since the Popstation. What made you want to start doing the reviews and did you forsee the couch as a major part?

StuartAshen56 karma

It all happened to by accident - An Ebay link for the original POP Station was posted on a forum I used to frequent. I ended up buying it, and ad-libbed a quick video to show it to the other forum members who were interested. Somebody must have sent it to B3ta as it was in their newsletter the following week. I only expected about twenty specific people to watch it, so didn’t introduce myself or put my website address on it or anything. The main reason I made a second video was to prove that I’d made the first one!

(I didn't foresee anything as being involved as I didn't plan any of it.)

Bold9235 karma


StuartAshen43 karma

1) Too many to list. Things like HDMI cables and spare phone cables and soap and...

2) Mister Perry is as Mister Perry does.

LeapingMudcrab35 karma


The Couch. Does anyone use it for couchy purposes or when you're not filming is it sealed off and studied by scientists considering the amount of truly out-of-this-world crap that has landed on it over the years?

StuartAshen126 karma

It's a real sofa - people sit on it and wonder why it's covered in Terminator bio-flesh.

pinkl3mon34 karma

Two questions!

1) What's the weirdest thing someone has sent you?

2) Have you kept anything you bought to show in a video, if so, what was it?

StuartAshen50 karma

1) A stuffed duck, presumably sent by an unhinged taxidermist. I'm not a fan of dead animals so was less than amused.

2) Yes - most of the things! (Especially retro gadgetry.)

itsimplyis33 karma

Hi Dr. Ashens,

Got several questions for you:

  1. What are you going to wank to since Cameron decided to be a dickbag?

  2. Will you ever travel to the US for conventions?

  3. What was your inspiration to make Henry Pickles, will he appear again, and most importantly will he get a whippet dog?

I also thank you for the content you have produced over the past few years. They have shaped me into the man I am today, a twisted man waiting for death like a baby wanting the teat of it’s mother.

Much love, itsimplyis.

StuartAshen70 karma

1) I'll be fine - Fortunately I'm sexually aroused by governments sneaking in control systems under the guise of moral authority!

2) No plans for that. It's super-expensive and I'm always hearing horror stories from people suffering at the hands of US customs. And to be frank, I don't think I've got a big enough fan base to make it worthwhile anyway.

3) I think Henry came out of a daft conversation with an ex-girlfriend. I might bring him back one day, but even simple animation is such a pain in the arse that I could do five other things in the time it would take to make one video.

TheMadCat33 karma

Is your home overrun with stuff to review?

StuartAshen54 karma

Yes. I've moved a lot of stuff into the garage but it's still tat central here.

Ar7230 karma

Isn't it about time to buy a new sofa?

StuartAshen107 karma

No, that time was around twenty years ago.

mio42228 karma

Hi, I was wondering if it'd be possible for you to get a set of those "the goose" from wholesalers and sell them on your blog or something? I've been looking everywhere to get one :<

Also I love your videos and all, I hope you never stop!

StuartAshen47 karma

No chance - the minimum order is 1000 pieces! (Imagine if they all went off at once...)

thepolodoc28 karma

Firstly, I love all of your videos so thanks for making them.

Secondly, what is your favourite piece of technology?

Thirdly, what is your most hated product of all time?

Good luck on Quest for the Game Child!

StuartAshen60 karma


2) Probably my phone. I literally carry it everywhere!

3) Anything that simply does not do what it's supposed to. The ultimate example is probably Syncronys' SoftRAM.

InterstellarBurst27 karma


StuartAshen27 karma


ibecharlie27 karma

As you are (no offence) getting older, are there any plans for having a baby, let's say an Ashens 2.0?

StuartAshen61 karma


IAMA_3DSXL_AMA24 karma

Since you have moved your blind bags to your main channel, what are you going to do with your 2nd channel now that its not been used in awhile?

StuartAshen35 karma

What it was originally designed for - little extra things. A bit like DVD extras, except somebody might actually watch these.

R0FLB0TDrDerp24 karma

Hey Stuart! I've been watching your videos ever since!

Couple things:

1.What was the worst thing you ever ate?

2.How long is the Gamechild movie?

StuartAshen32 karma

1) Probably some lobster I had in a restaurant once that gave me severe food poisoning.

2) From memory - the final cut is about 84 minutes.

IspamObjection24 karma

What is a piece of tat that you actually like?

Also can you tell us your role on the comeback episode of Knightmare?

StuartAshen33 karma

DUNGEONEER. I got to wear the bucket Helmet of Justice!

Net_Bastard23 karma

Hi Ashens! Been a fan since your Neo Double Games review. Love your videos. Now here are my questions:

  • Do you take any safety precautions when you blowtorch something?

  • Did you ever get legitimately ill from any of your Food Special review items?

StuartAshen28 karma

1) YouTube wasn't even a thing when I did the first review - it was originally uploaded to some kind of file storage site.


3) Not yet...

BlizzardShot23 karma

If you had to create some piece of tat, what would it be?

StuartAshen118 karma

Probably a book that just repeats the same phrase over and over.

CaptainNoKills23 karma

So have you had another 1000 year egg?

StuartAshen29 karma

No. Very much no.

Andz200zx22 karma

Hello Stuart! I have been watching your videos for years now, since the Neo Double Games review in which you said a naughty word (which I was completely oblivious to at the time.)

I just want to say thank you for you continued effort; you've inspired me to do the odd video myself. A few questions though:

What do you do with all of your tat after you have finished the videos?

Roughly what percentage of the tat do you end up keeping after you film it?

Thanks for everything!

StuartAshen25 karma

1) I either keep it, bin it, or give it to the charity shop near my house.

2) I'd say about 20%. It's only the electronic stuff and things for the shelf of interesting items really.

Corosz22 karma

Weirdest video that you made?

StuartAshen37 karma

Breakfast Mess takes some beating.

Merlin67622 karma

Two today:

  1. Do you ever get funny looks while picking up crap in Poundland?
  2. Have you ever been recognized by any of the staff?

Thanks Ashens!

StuartAshen43 karma

1) Nope - The sort of people who would give you funny looks in Poundland would never go in Poundland...

2) Nope!

Koolaidman6421 karma

Will there be a sequel to game child if it is super popular? or is this your last film

Also i love you

StuartAshen31 karma

We'd love to do a sequel but it would have to be super-popular. I hope it's at least popular enough to prove the idea works, then it could lead to a slew of professional quality movies starring YouTube people more famous than me.

KowldKoffey21 karma

Will you attend gamescom this year? And if so, will you sign my copy of your novel?

StuartAshen29 karma

Nope - nobody's paying for me to go this year!

JJSec20 karma

Hey Stuart. Are you making any plans to be at anymore cons? I met you onstage at London gaming con and it was a lot of fun. And no, I still wouldn't give you any of my food :p

StuartAshen31 karma

Pfft. That rice looked terrible anyway.

No plans for any cons at the moment.

kyngsecond20 karma

Why Noseybonk?

StuartAshen48 karma

Like he gave me a choice...

MartinB9019 karma

HI STUART!! Probably the biggest question that is going to be asked, but Who is the random person who flashes up in your videos from time to time?

StuartAshen39 karma


Mystia17 karma

Did you have any unpleasant encounters with tat toys in your childhood that you remember/regret?

StuartAshen35 karma

Chargertron. Fucking Chargertron.

I have one - I'll do a video on it one day.

isecretlyjudgeyou15 karma

What is your day job? Does it utilize your Phd?

StuartAshen26 karma

I write and perform comedy, and act. Keep up, fella!

InaccurateQuote15 karma


StuartAshen20 karma

Probably the NeoGeo Pocket Color. Used to be the Atari Lynx, and I'm enjoying the TurboExpress more and more. To be honest I love most handheld consoles.

Mentski15 karma

What was it like working with Tim Burton in Planet of the Apes?

Wait a minute... You're not Mark Wahlberg. Where the hell am I?

StuartAshen10 karma

I know your face...

RammFF15 karma

Hello Stuart. I think I am your youngest fan, probably not. (15) Here's my questions: 1. What do you think of those Spitting Image-esque Tony Blair mask thingies? 2. I bought a horrible PC version of Vectroids from Poundland recently, have you also encountered it? 3. Will Popstation Watch be revived in the future 4. Is this IAmA rated 0-3 sad onions?

StuartAshen22 karma

1) I have never formulated an opinion on them.

2) Don't remember that one! I miss the good old days ten years ago when Poundland had old PC games overstock like Hexen 2 and that War of the Worlds RTS.

3) Yes. But true POP Stations are slowly dying out.

4) Of course!

L55114 karma

1) What is Chef Excellence doing? Will he be appearing again?

2) Century Egg or Hunger Breaks Bolognese?

3) How much abuse has that couch taken?

4) I miss the POP station watch. Any return of it?

StuartAshen20 karma

1) Much like Pinocchio, Chef Excellence has become a real human being! He will be appearing in the feature film 'Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild.' And then in some videos later when I tempt him with gin.

2) Bolognese.

3) Too much. Far too much.

4) Yep, but they'll be few and far between as there aren't that many left...

Terzanto14 karma

Would you mind people sending you completely random tat that might not cost the equivalent of £1? I know I have some stuff that might prove interesting for one of your reviews but doesn't cost £1.

StuartAshen22 karma

They do that all the time! The pound rule only extends to Poundland Specials, and then I'm probably breaking it as I have no idea of the price of most donated items.

twattycakes13 karma

Any plans for another Ashenthology DVD/betamax in the near future?

StuartAshen21 karma


cerealkiller15512 karma

How did the Silver Skull come to exist?

Same with Nosybonk.

StuartAshen36 karma

The Silver Skull was intended to poke fun at an odd trend in review videos, where the presenters started adding dramatised storylines. They often featured some kind of incompetent arch-villain, so I came up with one so incompetent that it doesn't make any sense. For some reason the audience took a shine to him so he keeps popping up from time to time. He's now gained a sidekick, Malvolio, and appears on the YouTube channel "The Multiverse" where he's gearing up to be the arch-nemesis of their resident superheroes Knighthood and Decoy.

Noseybonk was a real children's TV character from the eighties. He made me carry him back from the dark place.

kyngsecond11 karma

I remember you saying in one video that you were shy before. What has changed in your life that made you not?

StuartAshen19 karma

The usual - got older, stopped caring about what other people might think.

Aintnodisco11 karma

What's the worst thing you've ever bought from a poundland?

StuartAshen41 karma

A set of screwdrivers that immediately broke.

Am1o1ss11 karma

Are there any videos you've filmed that have never seen the light of day? If so, why?

StuartAshen23 karma

Not really - I can usually work out from an item whether it'll make a good review before I film.

I do have a really long review of an o2 Joggler that I recorded and somehow forgot about! Might put it on the Extras channel.

ThatsMyHat11 karma

Hey there Mr Ashen, I'm a big fan of yer videos, they're just fantastic!

My question is, what inspired you to start reviewing cheap tat?

Thanks for the AMA, I'm sure it will be insightful! :D

StuartAshen19 karma

There's a hefty answer to that floating around elsewhere on the page.

Baron-Shandy11 karma

If Poundland were to offer you the starring role in an ad campaign for their shops what would you say?

StuartAshen20 karma

I'd say "Pull the other one mate, it's got bells on."

EwanTheGeek10 karma

Hey Stuart - you're awesome - here's a serious question. - If you could explode one thing, what would it be?

StuartAshen28 karma

The moth that's fluttering around this room as I type.

CreepingMoth10 karma


StuartAshen33 karma

I really like 5 Second Films at the mo.

NyanMario8 karma

Why do you review on your couch When you (probably) have a table?

StuartAshen25 karma

Tables suck.

a12h8 karma

Do you warn anyone who wants to sit on the sofa?

StuartAshen16 karma

People don't need warning. Have you seen it?

_bagpuss_8 karma

I've seen all your videos for two reasons; I'm a big fan and I'm a masochist.

Answer me these questions three:

  1. Who is the child at the end of this video? It's like the ransom video super villains make after they've taken hostages, only a bit nicer.

  2. Have you heard of this chap?. He makes toy review videos too except he's charming, lovely, posh, reviews good toys, and his videos are short and concise. So more or less your exact opposite. I'd love to see some sort of meet-up/collaboration video with you two, will you make my dream come true? Look, just do it, alright?

  3. And if you were to make a game what would it be like?

Really looking forward to Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild.

StuartAshen14 karma

1) That's Ryan from the Soda Stream video (Also 'Chef Control' from the xmas video) when he was much younger.

2) Not encountered him before. He seems like an upstanding fellow.

3) The best game ever! Or just Rise of the Robots with altered sprites.

mav67717 karma

One more. Do you think doing this in reddit comments was a bad idea?

StuartAshen14 karma

No. It's how it's done, man!

richardinmyear6 karma

How big is your penis?

StuartAshen8 karma

Not as big as the one in your ear.

sneakyspriggs6 karma

Big fan, fellow Norwich Dweller. What do you honestly think of Norwich, and how often do you go to poundland?

StuartAshen10 karma

I love Norwich. I go to Poundland at least once a week.

alexbragdon6 karma

Have you ever heard of the mega duck, (the hand held game console not some sort of monster duck)? If so would you want to review one?

StuartAshen11 karma

Yes! It's also known as the "Cougar Boy". And yes.

TheGreenJuan6 karma

Are you trying to bring back Knightmare or is it a one off?

StuartAshen15 karma

It's a one-off, but if it's successful then who knows?

lukeh2505 karma

What achievement in your life are you the most proud of.

StuartAshen13 karma

Completing Dungeon Master on the Atari ST.

odie1475 karma


1) Are you worried about inhaling anything dangerous from all the crap you burn?

2) Do you wear a gas mask or anything when your burn things?

An excellent AMA.

StuartAshen15 karma

1) + 2) I actually wear a mask and record the spoken audio later. MAGIC OF TELEVISION, INNIT

Ben_Dawg5 karma

Hey Ashens! I was wondering what it was which spurred you to start reviewing what is best described as 'tat'?

StuartAshen9 karma

There's a big fat reply to that very question floating around this page somewhere.

InsertWittyNameRHere4 karma

How did you find out you was going to be in Knightmare, or did you audition? Was it like a childhood dream come true?

StuartAshen9 karma

I was asked if I wanted to do it, so of course said "HELL YEAH!" immediately. Then I got a bit worried in case it was some god-awful parody where the game wasn't taken seriously. Then I found out it was being done properly so I said "Phew!" and had a sandwich.

It was indeed a childhood dream come true, although I'd have been too shy & scared to have done it at the time.

Yup-That-Guy4 karma

Would you ever even contemplate getting a new sofa ?

StuartAshen4 karma

God yes. This one's knackered! But I'd need to keep one part for review purposes.

ibecharlie3 karma

as we know you are a huge gamer, what is your opinion on the PS4/Xbox One? what is my generation of teenage gaming compared to yours?

StuartAshen7 karma

1) No idea. Far too early to tell - it's all down to the games, innit?

2) I don't understand this question, so here's a picture of a happy man wearing a big green hat - http://static.neatoshop.com/images/product/44/7144/Giant-Leprechaun-Hat_37956-l.jpg?v=37956

Connox2 karma

What's up with all those random millisecond second shots of some guy's face in certain videos?

StuartAshen3 karma


BigC232 karma

Hey Stuart, huge fan!

My question is, out of all the food people have sent to you, has any of those ever make you physically ill or get food poisoning.


StuartAshen4 karma

Not yet...