Irish gay comedian Gearoid Farrelly chats to The Outmost about his brush with global fame (thanks to Joan Rivers), his on-stage nerves and his brand new podcast, Fascinated.
Tell us about your new Podcast, Fascinated?
It’s basically just about people that I find fascinating. A bit self indulgent, to be honest! That was my only criteria for interviewing people really. At first I had an idea for a ‘Where Are They Now’ type show. I think they are always fun, but some TV production companies don’t really like them because sometimes you can’t really remember who the person is, and the audience would just switch it off. So, I decided to make the show myself. I was actually inspired after I watched The Big Reunion last year. I saw one of the girls [Mariama Goodman] from 90s band The Honeyz, I used to love them, and she was now working as a midwife. I interviewed her, and that became the first show.
And why did you decide to do something different to stand-up?
I think when you start to make a bit of traction as a stand-up comedian people expect you to go on and do other things. I’ve done the panel shows, and I’ve filled in on radio stations and stuff … but I felt that this [podcast] was just a natural progression.
How did you get into comedy in the first place?
It was a complete accident. I used to write sketches and stuff and thought I’d do stand up so I could test out different characters. I never saw it as something that I was do regularly, maybe just now and then at open mics and comedy clubs. I then was asked to do more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I have a mortgage and I still have my day job. But when I am busy it is an absolute treat to do something I love.
What else are you up to at the moment?
I’m on tour with Neil Delamere up until April. Believe it or not I’m in the train station right now on the way to Kilkenny to do a show with him. It’s my third year touring with him. I’ve also opened for Tommy Tiernan and PJ Gallagher a few times… and Joan Rivers.
How did that come about?!
That was bizarre! I had just gotten back from Edinburgh feeling sorry for myself and lying on my couch thinking, ‘I am never doing comedy again!’. Then I got a call asking would I be interested in supporting Joan Rivers when she does a few dates here. I said, ‘Yeah, no bother’ thinking that it would never happen. Two weeks later I get a call to say it was all confirmed and I almost dropped dead.
What was she like in person?
Oh she was SO nice. She then asked me to come to Brighton to support her and there was 4,000 people in the audience. It was brilliant. I have a very brief ‘walking past the camera’ moment in her reality show. That’s my claim to fame. Hopefully now I’ll break America!
Are you ever nervous going on stage, especially when there’s 4,000 people in the audience?
Oh god, yeah! The interesting thing about stand up is that whenever you write new material and perform it… you are like a rookie all over again. You never know how the audience is going to take it, you are back to square one. When you write new stuff, it doesn’t always work. As you get better at stand up, you get better at writing. You might start off only having 5 good jokes for every 10 that you write. When you get better, it might be 8 out of 10 that will work. I’ve definitely had bad gigs. But I always remember that you learn from that bad gigs, and you don’t learn anything from the good. It’s the sad truth really.
Visit GearoidFarrelly.com for more info.
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